Hearts and Aberdeen had to settle for a share of the spoils after today’s 0-0 draw At Pittodrie.
Kenny McLean went close with a second-half header and Tony Watt’s late chance could’ve won the game for either side, but the Jambos head back to Edinburgh with their first point of the season.
Robbie Neilson made three changes from the side that was in Betfred Cup action midweek. Faycal Rherras returned from injury to replace Alim Ozturk, Sam Nicholson came in for the suspended Jamie Walker while Watt slotted in up front in the place of Robbie Muirhead.
The home side had the game’s first chance three minutes in, with Peter Pawlett tore down the left-hand flank to send in a cross for Jayden Stockley to head wide of the target.
The Dons had another headed chance on 6 minutes. Anthony O’Connor was completely unmarked in the box to meet a high ball in but he could only float his header wide.
It was nearly 1-0 to Aberdeen after 12 minutes. Niall McGinn weaved his way through the Hearts defence to curl an effort from the edge of the box but John Souttar got a crucial touch to deflect the ball over the bar.
At the other end Callum Paterson was inches away from giving Hearts the lead when a ball was looped out of the box and straight into his path, but his neat volley flew past Joe Lewis’ right-hand post.
Paterson was in the mix again just after the half hour mark. Arnaud Djoum escaped from from his man at the byline to send a cross into the six-yard box and a Dons defender cleared but only to the edge of the box where Paterson was waiting, but his half-volley spun over the bar.
Hearts had a penalty shout turned down in the 37th minute when Watt’s delightful chipped through ball saw Nicholson run into the box and get caught by Shay Logan’s sliding leg, but referee Kevin Clancy said no.
Aberdeen almost opened the scoring eight minutes into the second half. Logan’s teasing ball in flew across the face of the box and Pawlett was too far wide to hit the target as he slid in.
Watt was proving to a menace for the home defence and in the 64th minute he burst into the Aberdeen box and looked to power an effort past Lewis but a block took the sting out of it and the ball sailed into the ‘keeper’s arms.
Moments later Watt teed up Don Cowie for an effort from 25-yards but he blasted clean over the bar.
Substitute McLean then flashed a header wide from inside the box as the game hung in the balance.
The Jambos passed up a golden opportunity to win the game in the 86th minute. Some neat footwork from Conor Sammon saw him slip in Watt, and he took a touch deep inside the Aberdeen box before ballooning over the bar.
Aberdeen: Lewis, Logan, Shinnie, Taylor, Reynolds, Burns (McLean, 56'), McGinn, O'Connor, Pawlett (Storey, 72'), Stockley (Rooney, 56'), Jack. Subs: Alexander, Considine, Storie, Wright.
Hearts: Hamilton, Paterson, Souttar, Rossi, Rherras (L. Smith, 46'), Djoum, Buaben (Kitchen, 46'), Cowie, Nicholson (Muirhead, 71'), Watt, Sammon. Subs: Noring, Zanatta, Nowak, Ozturk.
Referee: Kevin Clancy
Top man: John Souttar