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Aberdeen 0 - 0 Heart of Midlothian

HT Score: Aberdeen 0 - 0 Heart of Midlothian


26/08/2012 | KO: 15:00

Dons Dominate but Can't Break Hearts

Aberdeen were totally dominant for large spells of the game but couldn't make the breakthrough as Hearts left for the capital with a point following this goalless draw.

Both teams had tough midweek assignments leading up to this one and Dons boss Craig Brown made one enforced change after Stephen Hughes was forced off on Wednesday night in Greenock. Captain Russell Anderson returned in his place.

The game started off brightly with the visitors certainly having the best of the opening spell but there was little goal mouth action. Early on though, good play by Johnny Hayes (who started on the left) was nearly rewarded but Scott Vernon was clattered into by a Hearts defender- referee Alan Muir waived play on.

The Dons then started to play the ball about well and looked dangerous particularly when Russell Anderson found Johnny Hayes who swung in a great cross which Vernon just couldn't quite reach as Hearts cleared for a corner. That kick was taken by Hayes and caused mayhem in the Hearts box and just as Isaac Osbourne looked like he might fire the ball in the net, it was booted out for another corner.

Ryan Jack then went down in the box a short while later but a penalty would have been harsh on this occasion after the tackle by Darren Barr. At the other end, Isaac Osbourne had to look sharp to turn away a fantastic Hearts cross into the danger area.

The Dons then created their best chance of the match so far, when Ryan Fraser found Ryan Jack but Jamie McDonald made a good stop to deny the Scotland U21 international.

There was then controversy on 41 minutes when Gavin Rae appeared to get the better of Mehdi Taouil and the Hearts player fouled him. With the Red Army calling for a red card, referee Muir produced a yellow, deeming that Andy Webster was in a position to bail out his teammate. This did not amuse the home fans.The resultant free kick was taken by Hayes and was cleared for a corner by Zaliukas.

Referee Muir was at the centre of attention once again soon after when Zaliukas made a wild challenge on Ryan Fraser. Again the ref produced only a yellow card. With the Dons upping the pressure on the visitors before the break, Scott Vernon's shot hit the cross bar and Hayes couldn't connect with the rebound to give the Dons the lead they probably deserved before Half Time.

HT 0-0

The Dons started the second half superbly and but for Jamie McDonald could have taken the lead. The Hearts Keeper saved Ryan Jack's effort at goal before blocking Scott Vernon's follow up shot.

The home side were by now looking the much more dangerous team and swung in several dangerous crosses to pile the pressure on Hearts. But they received a blow on 58 minutes when Gary Naysmith had to be replaced after sustaining a hamstring injury. Chris Clark was his replacement.

Andrew Considine then found himself in the referee's book after a challenge on Taouil inside the centre circle. The Dons defender looked to have won the ball fairly and the Red Army were dismayed by the caution for Considine. Hearts caused no damage though from the resultant free kick and were beginning to tire badly following their exertions against Liverpool the previous Thursday.

Craig Brown then made two changes to try and get the goal that had been proving elusive. Rory Fallon replaced Ryan Fraser and Josh Magennis replaced Scott Vernon.

The Dons created another superb chance but Magennis' cross was unfortunately cleared for a corner by Andy Webster. From Hayes' resultant free kick Rory Fallon headed over the bar.A short while later, Fallon managed to scoop the ball towards goal but Grainger cleared for the visitors once again. Ryan McGowan then fouled Gavin Rae and was booked by the ref. The free kick eventually landed at the feet of Rae and his shot was goal bound until Andy Webster diverted it away to avert danger for Hearts once again.

On 84 minutes, Magennis found Hayes who crossed superbly into the box and Considine headed over as the Dons racked up the chances and minutes later Hayes found Clark who floated the ball across the box but Magennis couldn't connect.

The Dons continued to apply a lot of pressure on Hearts in the closing few minutes but just couldn't make the breakthrough and could have suffered the cruellest of blows in the final minute when McGowan crossed for Driver who's shot hit the post. It would have been a real injustice for the Dons who did everything bar put the ball in the net. They await their first home league goal of the season but on the evidence of this game it won't be too long until they get what their much improved play deserves.

Aberdeen Teamsheet
Langfield, Anderson, Considine, Reynolds, Osbourne, Jack, Rae, Naysmith (Clark 59), Fraser (Fallon 74), Vernon (Magennis 75), Hayes.

Unused Subs: Rogers, Megginson, Low, Paton.

Bookings:  Considine (65).
Heart of Midlothian Teamsheet
Jamie MacDonald, Ryan McGowan, Andy Webster, Marius Zaliukas (Denis Prychynenko 46), Daniel Grainger, Andrew Driver, Callum Paterson (Dale Carrick 69), Darren Barr, Mehdi Taouil, Arvydas Novikovas (Jason Holt 64), John Sutton. Unused Subs: Peter Enckelman, Scott Robinson, Kevin McHattie, Gordon Smith.

Bookings:  Ryan McGowan (83),   Marius Zaliukas (44),   Mehdi Taouil (42),   Arvydas Novikovas (62).
Attendance: 11,971
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
Referee: Alan Muir