Hearts were beaten 1-0 by Aberdeen at Tynecastle.
Johnny Hayes’ second-half strike was the difference, in a match where the Jambos never really got going.
Ian Cathro made two changes from the side that hammered Kilmarnock in midweek. Liam Smith replaced long-term absentee Callum Paterson, while Don Cowie returned from injury to slot in for Prince Buaben.
A scrappy opening period saw neither side threaten until the 15th minute. Niall McGinn’s corner was met by Mark Reynolds, but the defender’s header flew narrowly wide.
Four minutes later Jamie Walker hit a free-kick on target from 25-yards, but Joe Lewis was able to gather with ease.
Jack Hamilton came to the rescue in the 26th minute, beating away Kenny McLean’s header after the Dons man got on the end of McGinn’s cross from the right.
Hearts weren’t having much luck in the final third, with Perry Kitchen hitting a tame 31st minute shot straight at Lewis.
A minute later Hamilton denied the Dons again, this time blocking McGinn’s close-range shot after the Northern Irishman connected with Graeme Shinnie’s sweeping cross into the box.
Hearts had the woodwork to thank for keeping the scores level with two minutes to go until half time. Shinnie burst through the middle of the park to drill a low effort from 25-yards beyond Hamilton, only to see the ball crash off the post, and Adam Rooney failed to bury the follow up.
Aberdeen continued to threaten Hearts’ goal in the second half. Shay Logan took down a cross-field pass at the edge of the box and cut inside before hitting a left-foot shot, but his effort was deflected inches wide.
The Jambos battled back and had a half-chance in the 64th minute. Cowie’s corner found the unmarked Smith, but the right-back’s header looped over the bar.
The deadlock was broken after 66 minutes and it was courtesy of the visitors. McGinn broke free down the left to send over a pinpoint cross for Hayes to smash home inside the six-yard box.
Hamilton was at full stretch in the 82nd minute to reach McLean’s shot from outside the box, as time began to run out for an equaliser.
Walker produced a good save from Lewis with four minutes remaining. A ball into the Aberdeen box wasn’t cleared the winger was able to turn and shoot, but eh Dons ‘keeper made decent block at his near post.
Cowie headed over deep into injury time but it just wasn’t to be Hearts’ night.
Hearts: Hamilton, L.Smith, Souttar, Rossi (Muirhead, 82'), Rherras, Nowak, Kitchen, Cowie, Walker, Djoum (Currie, 74'), Johnsen. Subs: Noring, Ozturk, Oshaniwa, Sammon, Zanatta.
Aberdeen: Lewis, Logan, Shinnie, Considine, Taylor, Reynolds, McLean, Rooney, McGinn (O'Connor, 87'), Hayes, Jack. Subs: Alexander, Burns, Pawlett, Stockley, Maddison, Storey.
Referee: Willie Collum
Top Man: John Souttar