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Windass spot on against diving


22 Apr 1996

Aberdeen 1, Hearts 1 DEAN Windass is anxious not to gain a reputation as a "diver" after being denied two penalties as Aberdeen and Hearts battled for third place in the league.

Twice the sturdy midfielder looked to have perfectly justifiable penalty claims in a match which produced little to test either keeper, but referee Andrew Waddell waved play on on both occasions.

The first time, Windass protested too long and was eventually booked.

At the second incident, Windass was rather more restrained but manager Roy Aitken was outraged enough for both of them, and he had to be spoken to by the referee.

Even Hearts manager Jim Jefferies later admitted that he wouldn't have argued too much if Waddell had pointed to the spot on the second occasion.

"It would be easy to get a reputation for that," said Windass, "but there is no way I would dive.

If there is a chance of staying on my feet, I will." In between the two rejected claims, however, Waddell did award Aberdeen a penalty when Scott Booth was brought down after Paul Ritchie had blundered with a back-header, allowing the striker to home in on goal.

Windass hurried the injured Booth off the pitch to allow the penalty to be taken.

"I took all the penalties at Hull and never missed one," Windass said.

"I scored 20 or 21 in four seasons.

"My only previous penalty for Aberdeen also was against Hearts and there was a three or four-minute delay before I could take it, and the keeper saved it, although Duncan Shearer followed up and scored.

"I wanted Boothy off the pitch so I could take it as quickly as possible, because your nerves are jangling all the time." He revealed that at Hull his formula was simply two steps back and blast it - but that has changed.

"I think the keeper thought I was going to blast it and he stood up, so I looked one way and put it the other." Windass was also later credited with the own goal which gave Hearts a share of the points.

Gary Locke blasted in a free kick from the right and as Windass lunged at it in an effort to clear, he got a touch which was enough to deflect it past Watt.

A draw was a fair result in the match, which Hearts dominated for the first half and Aberdeen took over in the second.

Hearts lined up without John Colquhoun, Pasquale Bruno, and Gary Mackay, who, because they are perilously close to suspension, Jefferies rested.

He believed a draw was a fair result but is still ambitious to overhaul Aberdeen, who are currently one point ahead in third place.

He said Tynecastle is "buzzing" and believes it will be advantageous that his players will be fighting to win a place in the Scottish Cup final team over the last two league games of the season.

Roy Aitken is equally determined to take six points off their last two opponents, Rangers at Ibrox on Sunday and Falkirk at home.

He was cautious not to criticise the referee but his personal view was that of the three penalty incidents during the match, the one which resulted in the spot-kick was the weakest of them.

Aberdeen's problem, which has occurred on many occasions this season, was that when they were dominant they ran out of imagination as they approached the box.

"Over the course of the game I thought we deserved more," Aitken said.

"We are well ahead of what we achieved last year in terms of points tally and position, but I am greedy and want to pick up as many as we can.

"When you put the ball in the box as often as we did, you should expect more."

Taken from the Herald

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