First team

Match Report: Aberdeen 2-1 Hearts

09 December 2023

Despite a first half header from Lawrence Shankland, Hearts fell to a 2-1 defeat at Pittodrie on Saturday afternoon.


Steven Naismith made three changes from the side that faced Rangers during the week. Toby Sibbick, Alex Lowry and Kenneth Vargas came into the side as Nathaniel Atkinson, Jorge Grant and Kyosuke Tagawa dropped out.


It was a cagey beginning in wet and windy conditions in the Granite City. 


Neither goalkeeper had been seriously tested in the opening 15 minutes, however Jamie McGrath may have changed that had his vicious strike from the edge of the box not been blocked by Frankie Kent.


The men in maroon were looking a threat themselves with Lawrence Shankland linking up well with Lowry and Vargas and the Hearts skipper provided the opening goal after 19 minutes.


It was intelligent movement from the Hearts number nine, who peeled off the back of Graeme Shinnie to head home Alex Cochrane’s corner at the back post.


The Jambos continued to frustrate their opponents and although chances were arriving for the home side, many remained from relative long-range.


The best opening for the home side fell to Leighton Clarkson, 12 minutes before the interval, but he dragged his shot wide to close out a first 45 of very few chances.


Half-time: Aberdeen 0-1 Hearts


The Dons started the second half brightly and when Shinnie made ground down the left and cut the ball back for Bojan Miovski, his shot lacked power and it was a comfortable save for Clark.


The Hearts stopper was tested further just minutes later, when getting a strong hand to Richard Jensen’s long-range thunderbolt.


Just a minute later, the home side did restore parity. McGrath worked the ball wide to Miovski and his low shot across goal found the far corner.


That gave the Pittodrie crowd a real lift, however the game became a bit scrappy for much of the second half as the rain continued to pour down.


As the clock ticked past the 80-minute mark, the game remained finely poised. Dons substitute Duk fired a low strike towards goal, but it was straight at Clark.


Just when it looked like the spoils would be shared, Clarkson sprung the offside trap with a run from deep and he coolly slotted the ball past Clark to secure all three points for Aberdeen.


Aberdeen: Roos, Devlin, Shinnie ©, Jensen, Gartenmann, McGrath (Macdonald, 90+7), Miovski (Polvara, 77), Clarkson, Hayes, Sokler (Duk, 73), Milne (Morris, 73)


Subs: Doohan, Barron, Duk, McGarry, Morris, Polvara, Duncan, MacDonald, Rubezic


Hearts: Clark, Kent, Kingsley, Baningime, Nieuwenhof (Denholm, 71), Shankland ©, Rowles, Cochrane, Sibbick (Halkett, 71), Lowry (Grant, 58), Vargas (Tagawa, 58)


Subs: Gordon, Halkett, Grant, Oda, McKay, Denholm, Tagawa


Attendance: 16,064