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Aberdeen 1 - 0 Heart of Midlothian

HT Score: Aberdeen 1 - 0 Heart of Midlothian

Aberdeen scorers: Lovell 7.

10/03/2007 | KO: 15:00

Lovell breaks Hearts again

Aberdeen ran out deserved winners at Pittodrie this afternoon against a physical Hearts side who had Layrea Kingston sent off in the second half. The winner came in the 7th minute of the game with a well-executed goal from Steve Lovell. Brewster and Nicholson combined well to set up the striker who controlled the ball well and drilled it low past Gordon to sink Hearts for the second time this season. Aberdeen controlled the rest of the match and the red card helped their cause. The visitor's collected another five yellow cards in a physical encounter but the Dons now look to extend their three point lead when they visit Fir Park on Tuesday evening.

Aberdeen kicked off and they carved out the first chance in the 3rd minute when Nicholson fed Hart on the right and Craig Brewster scooped his cross over the bar. The red army were incensed two minutes later when Nicholson was scythed down by Wallace and the referee allowed play to continue. When the ball was finally put out of play the midfielder needed lengthy treatment. Brewster was then taken out late with no action taken as both sides gave everything. Brewster and Nicholson had the last laugh however as they set up the winning goal for Steve Lovell.

Brewster found Nicholson and his through ball picked out Steve Lovell who drilled the ball low past Gordon. Aberdeen took heart from the early goal and continued to press forward as the visitor's were forced on to the back foot. Hearts gradually came into the match and went close in the 16th minute when Elliot worked down the right and the Aberdeen defence were forced to scramble the ball away for the first corner of the match. A second corner followed two minutes later and Considine half cleared but Hearts continued to press until they conceded a cheap free kick allowing the Dons to clear.

Hearts now had the upper hand but Brewster and Lovell were linking well and Lovell fired a Brewster flick wide in the 25th minute. Two minutes later Clark was sandwiched illegally but once again nothing was given and Clark had to go back to the dressing room to get his head stitched up. Clark returned five minutes later as Gordon easily gathered an Anderson flick from a Severin throw before Kingston fired well over at the other end. Aberdeen almost added a second in the 36th minute when a Jamie Smith free kick was half cleared and Nicholson's shot was blocked six yards out. Brewster then went close in the 41st minute with a low drive from the edge of the box that was parried wide by Gordon.

Pospisil replaced Elliot at the start of the second half as the visitor's made their second substitution of the game. Kingston collected the first yellow card of the game in the 50th minute after his umpteenth foul. A minute later Lovell should have done better but drifted offside as he broke forward. Hearts threatened three minutes later before Lovell broke but had his cross blocked. Ivaskevicius followed Kingston into the book in the 55th minute and from the subsequent free kick Gordon was forced into a save from a Nicholson drive. The keeper then appeared to make an amazing blunder as he kicked the ball into the back of Craig Brewster before the referee mysteriously awarded the keeper a free kick.

Lovell was flagged offside on the hour mark but the decision looked tight. Aberdeen continued to dominate but were desperate to get a second goal, being well aware of what happened in the last match at Pittodrie. The Dons cause was helped in the 63rd minute when Kingston made a reckless challenge on Nicholson. He was shown a second yellow card and walked despite his protests. Nicholson never recovered and was replaced by Diamond as the Dons moved to a back three. Foster had an ambitious attempt at goal in the73rd minute, but he was never going to beat Gordon from that range and would have been better releasing Hart on the right. Driver collected another yellow card in the 74th minute but the subsequent free kick was wasted.

Lovell almost sealed it in the 77th minute with some lovely control before his blocked shot was cleared off the line. The Dons were getting frustrated with a string of offside decisions as the Hearts defence stayed disciplined under pressure. Dempsey then replaced Lovell in the 84th minute and Miller replaced Brewster three minutes later as Aberdeen looked to close out the game. Hearts were presented with a chance in the 89th minute when they were awarded a free kick 30 yards out. Fortunately Driver drove the ball well over. At the other end Aberdeen had a fair shout for a penalty when Miller was sandwiched chasing a through ball.

The referee then managed to find three minutes of injury time and Hearts almost punished the Dons as Langfield fumbled the ball following a free kick in the 92nd minute. Hearts somehow managed to collect two more yellow cards in the final minute of the match as time ran out for the visitors and the Dons ran out deserved winners. They now look to extend their lead over the Edinburgh side when they face Motherwell at Fir Park on Tuesday night.

Aberdeen Teamsheet
Langfield, Hart, Foster, Severin, Considine, Anderson, Smith, Nicholson (Diamond 66), Lovell (Dempsey 83), Brewster (Miller 87), Clark.

Unused Subs: Soutar, Touzani, Smith, Maguire.
Heart of Midlothian Teamsheet
Gordon, Ivaskevicius, Kingston, Berra, Pilibaitis, Zaliukas, Driver, Wallace, Kancelskis (Karipidis 39), Elliot (Pospisil 46), Velicka (Jankauskas 71). Unused Subs: Banks, Jonsson, Fyssas.

Bookings:  Kingston 49,   Ivaskevicius 54,   Kingston 63,   Driver 73,   Berra 90,   Jankauskas 90  Kingston 63
Attendance: 13,964
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
Referee: Steve Conroy, Busby
Next Match
10 Jul 2024 / 19:00 / Balmoor Stadium, Peterhead