Aberdeen 2-0 Heart of Midlothian
Saturday 22nd December 2018, KO 15:00 | Ladbrokes Premiership | Pittodrie
Ten-man Hearts fell to a 2-0 defeat against Aberdeen today at Pittodrie, despite an improved performance from the previous match.
A Sam Cosgrove double earned the points for the Dons, while Demi Mitchell was dismissed late in the second half for two bookable offences.
Craig Levein made five changes to the side that were defeated by Livingston last weekend, with a first start for Colin Doyle in goals and a return to the side for Steven Naismith the notable inclusions.
The Jambos got off to the worst possible start when Sam Cosgrove gave the hosts the lead after just one minute. Max Lowe found space down the left wing and floated a ball into the area that the big striker rose to meet, and head home past Doyle.
Connor McLennan beat Demi Mitchell for pace down the right, and when his cross was cleared out to Niall McGinn, the Northern Irish forward volleyed but it was saved by Doyle.
The Dons then had a goal disallowed when a deep cross from Shay Logan appeared to evade Doyle, but he was impeded by a shove from Lewis Ferguson and referee John Beaton spotted the infringement.
Hearts then had their best chance of the match, when a well worked free kick from Olly Lee found its way through to Steven MacLean, but Joe Lewis was out quickly to block. However, Naismith was fouled by Max Lowe in the area in the move leading to the chance, but no penalty was awarded.
Lee’s set pieces caused more problems for the Dons defence five minutes before the interval, when his deep free-kick found a Hearts head, but the ball drifted just wide of the Aberdeen post.
Lee was involved once more as Mitchell was fouled down the left wing by a crude challenge from Logan, who was booked. Lee’s delivery found the head of Naismith but the ball drifted wide.
Mitchell and Peter Haring quickly found themselves in the book, as the game descended into scrappiness. Mitchell tripped Logan on a counter, while Haring took out Graeme Shinnie on a counter attack.
On 68 minutes, Aberdeen were awarded a penalty when Christophe Berra was deemed to have fouled Scott McKenna in the area, although replays proved inconclusive. Cosgrove sent Doyle the wrong way to double his and Aberdeen’s tally for the day.
The goal seemed to take the wind out of the Jambos’ sails, and their afternoon was made worse when Mitchell hacked down McLennan and was shown his second yellow card of the day, leaving Hearts to play the remainder of the match with ten men.
Aberdeen: Lewis, Logan, Considine, McKenna, Lowe (Campbell, 48'), Shinnie, Ferguson, McGinn, May (Gleeson, 60'), Cosgrove, McLennan (Wright, 86'). Subs: Cerny, Wilson, Forrester, Anderson.
Hearts: Doyle, M. Smith, Haring, Berra, Bozanic, Lee, Clare (Morrison, 83'), Mitchell, Naismith (McDonald, 77'), MacLean, Godinho (Brandon, 87'). Subs: Zlamal, Hughes, Mulraney, C. Smith.
Referee: John Beaton