The least said about this match the better. A dreadfully bare pitch played its part in keeping this game low on excitement, but somehow Aberdeen played by far the better football throughout. No doubt their players and management team will be disappointed that their dominance was not rewarded – meanwhile Hearts` disappointment will be centred around the fact that the team simply couldn’t retain possession for more than 30 seconds at a time.
Hearts had Marian Kello to thank for 4 breathtaking saves, including one in the last minute from substitute Blackman. The visitors only seriously threatened the Dons goal at the start of the 2nd half when a Skacel thunderbolt produced a fine save from Langfield. From the resulting corner, Zaliukas`s strong header flew just over the bar – if he had headed it down, Stephen Elliot would surely have knocked it into the net.
Aberdeen`s midfield worked at twice the rate of the visitors, anticipating Hearts` passes to ensure that we couldn`t get any decent moves going. Paul Hartley certainly won his individual duel with old pal Rudi Skacel – perhaps his early head clash with McArdle had an influence – while Andrew Driver was a big disappointment. Andy Webster lasted only 30 minutes before retiring with a groin problem – let’s hope this isn`t the start of a long injury saga for our big defender.
So although a Hearts win would have taken us into 2nd place ahead of Rangers (temporarily at least) – which would have been big psychological moment – we must hope that the likes of Lee Wallace and Kevin Kyle get back to fitness for the visit of Kilmarnock .
Man of the match – undoubtedly Marian Kello !!