London Hearts Supporters Club

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Csaba Laszlo <-auth Scott Davie auth-> Iain Brines
Zaliukas Marius Wallace Lee [L Miller 36]
6 of 028 ----- L SPL A


By Scott Davie, 27/12/2008

Scorer: ABERDEEN: Miller

HEARTS gaffer Csaba Laszlo claims he was baffled as his side ended up with two red cards in the battle of Pittodrie.

The Jambos had stopper Marius Zaliukas sent off during the game and then defender Lee Wallace was red-carded after a furious bust-up in the tunnel.

Aberdeen sub Chris Maguire and Hearts star Robbie Neilson were both booked after tunnel clash.

Lee Miller’s superb strike won it for the Dons, but now Hearts will go into next week’s showdown with Hibs minus Zaliukas and Wallace.

Despite the fact Hearts have the worst disciplinary record in the SPL, Laszlo refused to criticise his players.

Laszlo said: “I don’t think I will be punishing either of the players who were shown red cards. There is a lot of emotion involved in the job of a footballer.

“We just have to concentrate on the next game now. I don’t really know what happened with Lee Wallace.

“After the game the referee came into the dressing room and had a conversation with Lee and he came up to me and said he’d given him a red card.

“I don’t know what happened in the tunnel. Maybe it’s because the dressing rooms are so close there was a problem on the way in.”

Laszlo was also at a loss to explain the ordering off of Zaliukas by ref Iain Brines.

He added: “I think Zaliukas must have been fighting with Christian Nade because they were both shown yellow cards but the Aberdeen player was not, although I didn’t ask the referee about that one.

“I’m not really thinking too much about it at the moment, but if Zaliukas and Wallace are out of the Hibs game then we have some good young players on our bench.”

Aberdeen made it five home wins on the bounce to move within a point of Hearts on a day when the Jambos’ discipline disintegrated again.

Zaliukas was booked for telling the ref to book Darren Mackie in the first half then walked for trying to elbow Andy Considine at a corner in 73 minutes.

Dons gaffer Jimmy Calderwood was delighted with the win, but he slammed Zaliukas for his gamesmanship involving Mackie.

Calderwood said: “I have had problems with Iain Brines before, but I thought he handled the game very well.

“And when people ask him to hand out yellow cards to opponents which has nothing to do with them then it was right he should book Zaliukas.

“That has no place in the Scottish game and if he was one of my players then I would certainly fine him for that.”

Hearts will also be hit with a bill for damage done to the away dressing-room door after the game as the visitors’ frustration spilled over.

The damage on the park was done by Miller with a dazzling strike straight from the training ground.

A couple of decoy runs bamboozled the Hearts defence enough for Miller to evade marker Christophe Berra and he volleyed Scott Severin’s free-kick in to the far corner.

Calderwood added: “It was great to see something we worked so hard on in training pay off so well and it was a brilliant finish from big Lee.

“Miller is at the top of his game at the moment and that was a goal fit to win any match, but it was doubly satisfying for us.

“It’s the first time this season we have beaten a team in the top six and it keeps us right up there in the race for third place.

“That was also payback to the fans for what we put them through at the start of the season — but they turned up in great numbers and hopefully that will keep them coming. To be fair to the lads there was a wee bit of illness in the camp. Gary McDonald played today even though he wasn’t feeling his best.

“We thought we would get an hour out of him at the most, but he nearly played for 90 minutes and that was a great effort.

“There is a lot of coughing and spluttering in the dressing room so because of that it was a very important victory.”

Aberdeen could have been cruising early on, but Jambos keeper Janos Balogh made two great blocks to keep out Darren Mackie while the excellent Jeffery de Visscher shot narrowly wide.

Hearts rarely threatened and Jamie Langfield could have taken a seat in the stand for all he had to do. At the other end Miller continued to be a threat and was inches away from converting a Sone Aluko cross in 60 minutes.

The Jambos never looked capable of an equaliser and whoever leaves in the next few weeks they need to get a proven goalscorer in if they want to book a return to Europe.

All the bookings and red cards didn’t take the edge of Miller’s day though as he made it seven goals for the season with the winner against his former club.

Miller said: “It was a massive result to get us right in to the battle for third place and we deserved it.

“I was delighted with my goal and the ball from Seve was superb so you really enjoy it when these things come off after working so hard on them in training.”

ABERDEEN: Langfield, Foster, Diamond, Severin, Mulgrew (Considine), de Visscher, Kerr, McDonald (Mair 90), Aluko (Maguire 87), Mackie, Miller. Subs not used: Bateman, Hodgkiss,Paton, Young.

HEARTS: Balogh, Neilson, Zaliukas, Berra, Wallace, Karapidis, Kingston (Jonsson 77), Stewart, Palazuelos, Driver, Nade (Glen 77). Subs not used: Kello, Thomson, McGowan, Templeton, Rapnik.

News Of The World

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