Hearts were beaten 2-1 at home by Aberdeen this afternoon.
The Jambos couldn’t find a way to send off the Archibald Leitch Main Stand with a victory as goals from Adam Rooney and Anthony O’Connor, either side of Isma’s second-half header, gave the Dons all three points.
Ian Cathro made two changes to the side that drew with Partick Thistle last weekend. Aaron Hughes and Lennard Sowah both returned from injury to replace Liam Smith and Choulay.
The visitors had the first sight of goal three minutes in. Jonny Hayes’ free-kick into the box was met by Andy Considine but he couldn’t steer his header on target.
A dangerous Aberdeen breakaway in the 17th minute saw Niall McGinn tear down the right into the Hearts box, unleashing a powerful cross-cum-shot which Jack Hamilton did well to beat away at his near post.
The deadlock was broken in the 20th minute and it was courtesy of the visitors. Peter Pawlett burst forward and shot from distance and although Hamilton stopped his effort, Rooney followed up to slot the ball home.
A Don Cowie set piece in the 25th minute saw Hearts get their first real bit of goalmouth action. He swung to the back door for Jamie Walker, who could only head wide.
Before the half was out Hamilton pulled off a fantastic reflex save to tip Rooney’s close-range header over the bar, however the Dons striker was flagged for offside.
Hamilton was called into action five minutes into the restart when McGinn took down a cross-field pass to advance into the box and rifle a shot on target, but the ‘keeper blocked the Northern Irishman’s effort and Graeme Shinnie fired wide with the rebound.
Hearts had a decent chance three minutes later. Isma’s neat backheel inside the box found Sowah who played the ball across the face of goal for Arnaud Djoum at the back door, but at full stretch he could only knock it over the bar.
The Jambos got back on level terms after 61 minutes. A series of slick passes saw substitute Liam Smith out on the wing with possession and he whipped in a cross for Isma to head home from close range.
The lead only lasted three minutes as Aberdeen got their noses back in front. Hayes’ free-kick into the box was met by substitute O’Connor, whose looping header beat Hamilton and nestled into the back of the net.
Substitute Bjorn Johnsen twisted and turned his way into the Aberdeen box with 15 minutes remaining and spying a gap shot towards the bottom corner of the goal but an Aberdeen shirt deflected his effort behind.
Both sides continued the search for another goal but as the half wore on there was a lack of goalmouth action, with Rooney going closest by hitting a shot wide on the spin after 84 minutes.
With a minute remaining Walker saw red for a second yellow after appearing to trip Shinnie, and with that the game was brought to an end.
Hearts: Hamilton, Struna (Smith, 46'), Buaben, Nowak, Hughes, Sowah (Choulay, 57'), Tziolis, Cowie (Johnsen, 67'), Djoum, Walker, Isma. Subs: Noring, Kitchen, Martin, Currie.
Aberdeen: Lewis, Logan, Shinnie, Considine, Taylor, Reynolds, McLean, Rooney (Stockley, 85'), McGinn, Hayes, Pawlett (O'Connor, 46'). Subs: Alexander, Christie, Wright, Ross, Storey.
Referee: Willie Collum