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Hearts 0 Aberdeen 0

By Jon West, PA Sport

Hearts and Aberdeen shared a tedious draw at Tynecastle on a day when neither side looked like scoring.

The two sides meet again in a few days' time in a CIS Insurance Cup quarter-final and if that tie turns out to be a mirror image of this game, Pittodrie could end up hosting extra time plus the longest penalty shoot-out in history.

When the game kicked off, the home fans were still basking in the glory of last week's win at Hibernian, although Phil Stamp, the man who had supplied a stoppage-time winner, wasn't on the pitch as he was suspended following his sending off for celebrating it.

The former Middlesbrough man did come out to milk the applause at half time however and received a far bigger cheer than any of his team-mates had been given in the previous 45 minutes.

The reason for that was obvious as it had been an utterly tedious half in which a re-jigged Hearts side had dominated without creating more than a succession of spurned half chances.

Centre back Kevin McKenna had also been an Easter Road hero, heading a late equaliser to set up Stamp's surprise finish, and this time he was thrust up front from the off in the absence of the injured Andy Kirk, with youngster Graeme Weir his strike partner.

The Canadian contrived to head over with the goal at his mercy in only the second minute and although he made plenty of subsequent connections they either ended up equally off target or in the arms of goalkeeper Peter Kjaer.

McKenna also tried to be a supplier with headed flick-ons but first Kevin Twaddle, who was making his first Hearts start, and then Jean-Louis Valois fired off target on the turn.

Perhaps the best opportunity that came McKenna's way did so when Jamie McAllister completely missed a Valois through ball but the Canadian was so surprised he allowed the ball to bobble off him and into Kjaer's grasp.

It was that kind of half although Scotland international Scott Severin did show everybody how it was done in the 38th minute with a volley that Kjaer was relieved to be able to get behind.

Aberdeen threatened rarely before the break, with a fourth-minute drive from Fergus Tiernan that was straight at goalkeeper Roddy McKenzie their best effort.

The chance had been set up by good work down the left by Nicolas Fabiano but the Frenchman lasted just 17 minutes after finally convincing the Aberdeen bench he had been incapacitated by a groin muscle problem and needed to be replaced by Ben Thornley.

Hearts made a change at the break, taking Stephen Simmons off and sending on Neil Janczyk in the hope the teenager could repeat the impact he made last week when he set up both goals.

The newcomer's first contribution was a cheeky, but off-target, lob from 40 yards after Kjaer had given the ball to him.

Twaddle was replaced no long after by Robert Sloan as Aberdeen began a 10-minute spell of indiscipline.

First Phil McGuire marked his 100th Dons appearance with a booking for throwing the ball away after contesting referee Dougie McDonald's view that he had played Weir not the man. Then Eric Deloumeaux and Leon Mike were cautioned for crowd-inflaming fouls on Valois.

The visitors at last became more adventurous but it was still poor fare from both sides and the Aberdeen efforts on goal were either like Thornley's - on-target but weak - or like Deloumeaux's free kick - powerful but hopelessly misguided.

McAllister became the fourth Don to be booked, with a foul on Valois again the offence, before McGuire headed over from a Deloumeaux corner.

If ever there was a match crying out for a repeat of last week's dramatic ending it was this one but history stubbornly failed to repeat itself.


Hearts: McKenzie, Maybury, Webster, Pressley, McMullan, Twaddle (Sloan 52), Severin, Simmons (Janczyk 45), Valois, McKenna, Weir (Wales 83).

Subs Not Used: Gordon, MacFarlane.


Subs Not Used: Preece, Hedderman, Payne, Billio.

Booked: McGuire, Deloumeaux, Mike, McAllister.

Att: 11,920

Ref: D McDonald (Scotland).

Taken from

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