Scottish Premiership
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Aberdeen 3-2 Hearts: Ryan Hedges strikes late to settle Pittodrie thriller

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Highlights: Aberdeen 3-2 Heart of Midlothian

Ryan Hedges hammered in an emphatic late goal as Aberdeen came from behind to win a fractious Scottish Premiership contest with Hearts.

The substitute smashed in his first for the club with five minutes remaining, adding to a Sam Cosgrove double.

Steven Naismith had levelled with his first touch after coming on and Hearts briefly led through Jamie Walker.

Aaron Hickey was then sent off for the visitors before Cosgrove's second from the spot and Hedges' cracking finish.

Cosgrove now has eight goals in five games as Aberdeen opened their league campaign with a fourth successive home win against Hearts.

Hearts' hit back then falter after dismissal

The introduction of Naismith, who has been out since February through injury, appeared to have swung the game in Hearts' favour.

Fresh from signing a four-year deal to stay at Tynecastle, the Scotland forward powered in a diving header after a throw-in had been flicked on. He was also involved as Walker poked a shot beyond Joe Lewis to make it 2-1 to the Edinburgh side on 76 minutes.

However, the dismissal of 17-year-old full-back Hickey handed the initiative to the home side for a rousing finale and a crazy challenge from Clevid Dikamona gifted them a penalty, converted by the red-hot Cosgrove.

The striker, full of confidence after a midweek hat-trick in Europe, had scored the only goal of the first half, racing away from Christophe Berra and slipping in an angled shot with goalkeeper Bobby Zlamal reluctant to leave his line.

The best goal of a breathless afternoon was saved for last though as Hedges, on as a second-half replacement, timed his run perfectly to meet a low cross from Greg Leigh and blazed in an unstoppable strike from near the penalty spot.

The Welsh winger was shown the ninth yellow card of the afternoon by referee Don Robertson after his exuberant celebrations. Two of those were for Hickey, who cynically clipped the heels of Scott Wright in the first half before crashing into Niall McGinn soon after his side had gone in front.

The foul count began to rise after an enthralling first 20 minutes, which included Cosgrove's opener, an outstanding save from Joe Lewis to keep out a Berra header and Zlamal pushing away a venomous effort from Jon Gallagher.

Bad-tempered challenges disrupted the flow of the game for a long stretch before Naismith's dramatic arrival and the merry bedlam that followed.

Steven Naismith dives in to head Hearts level at Pittodrie
Steven Naismith dives in to head Hearts level at Pittodrie

Man of the match - Sam Cosgrove

BBC Scotland's Stephen Couse at Pittodrie

Cosgrove was the difference, scoring his seventh and eighth goals of the season. He was assured for his first goal, coolly converting from a tight angle, and was confident from the spot, after Dikamona's foolishness gave Aberdeen a golden chance to equalise.

He was a physical presence upfront throughout, much like Uche Ikpeazu at the other end, but unlike his Hearts counterpart, he was able to create chances for himself and was brimming with confidence.

Gallagher was a strong contender for a superb first-half performance full of strong running and Joe Lewis played his part with a stunning first-half save but Sam 'Ballon d'Or' Cosgrove was the hero of the day once again.

A man on form - stats

Cosgrove graphic

'We found a way to win' - reaction

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes: "The resolve and the spirit was clear and even after getting the equaliser you would have forgiven my players for thinking we'd take a draw. But there was no let up.

"That was a team that were on their knees but still finding a way to win. That's why I'm excited about this campaign."

Hearts manager Craig Levein: "Even if we had come away with 2-2, I'd still be a little bit disappointed because I felt that we deserved more than that.

"The extra man made a difference. Clevid made a stupid decision to leave a foot in at the penalty area when he didn't need to. And that has cost us. So I'm ruing those silly decisions that we made."

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'They were on their knees but found a way' - McInnes

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'We deserved all three points' - Levein

Line-ups

Aberdeen

  • 1Lewis
  • 2LoganBooked at 45mins
  • 4Considine
  • 5McKenna
  • 3Leigh
  • 22OjoBooked at 56mins
  • 19FergusonBooked at 47mins
  • 28WilsonSubstituted forMcGinnat 68'minutes
  • 21GallagherSubstituted forAndersonat 81'minutes
  • 15WrightSubstituted forHedgesat 61'minutesBooked at 86mins
  • 16Cosgrove

Substitutes

  • 10McGinn
  • 11Hedges
  • 17May
  • 20Cerny
  • 24Campbell
  • 25Anderson
  • 44Ramsey

Hearts

  • 1Zlamal
  • 2Smith
  • 4SouttarSubstituted forDikamonaat 39'minutes
  • 6Berra
  • 26Halkett
  • 51HickeyBooked at 79mins
  • 10Walker
  • 8ClareBooked at 35mins
  • 40IrvingSubstituted forNaismithat 66'minutes
  • 11MulraneyBooked at 53minsSubstituted forWashingtonat 66'minutes
  • 19IkpeazuBooked at 34mins

Substitutes

  • 3White
  • 7Bozanic
  • 9Washington
  • 13Doyle
  • 14Naismith
  • 20Cochrane
  • 28Dikamona
Referee:
Don Robertson
Attendance:
16,410

Match Stats

Home TeamAberdeenAway TeamHearts
Possession
Home50%
Away50%
Shots
Home10
Away7
Shots on Target
Home5
Away3
Corners
Home4
Away4
Fouls
Home18
Away22

Live Text

Match ends, Aberdeen 3, Heart of Midlothian 2.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Aberdeen 3, Heart of Midlothian 2.

Lewis Ferguson (Aberdeen) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Sean Clare (Heart of Midlothian).

Shaleum Logan (Aberdeen) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Conor Washington (Heart of Midlothian).

Booking

Ryan Hedges (Aberdeen) is shown the yellow card for excessive celebration.

Goal!

Goal! Aberdeen 3, Heart of Midlothian 2. Ryan Hedges (Aberdeen) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the high centre of the goal. Assisted by Niall McGinn.

Lewis Ferguson (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Uche Ikpeazu (Heart of Midlothian).

Foul by Sam Cosgrove (Aberdeen).

Christophe Berra (Heart of Midlothian) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Substitution

Substitution, Aberdeen. Bruce Anderson replaces Jon Gallagher.

Goal!

Goal! Aberdeen 2, Heart of Midlothian 2. Sam Cosgrove (Aberdeen) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the centre of the goal.

Penalty Aberdeen. Niall McGinn draws a foul in the penalty area.

Penalty conceded by Uche Ikpeazu (Heart of Midlothian) after a foul in the penalty area.

Dismissal

Second yellow card to Aaron Hickey (Heart of Midlothian) for a bad foul.

Niall McGinn (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Aaron Hickey (Heart of Midlothian).

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match because of an injury Jamie Walker (Heart of Midlothian).

Corner, Heart of Midlothian. Conceded by Andrew Considine.

Attempt blocked. Uche Ikpeazu (Heart of Midlothian) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Goal!

Goal! Aberdeen 1, Heart of Midlothian 2. Jamie Walker (Heart of Midlothian) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Uche Ikpeazu.

Andrew Considine (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Clévid Dikamona (Heart of Midlothian).

Foul by Greg Leigh (Aberdeen).

Jamie Walker (Heart of Midlothian) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt missed. Conor Washington (Heart of Midlothian) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left.

Sam Cosgrove (Aberdeen) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Craig Halkett (Heart of Midlothian).

Goal!

Goal! Aberdeen 1, Heart of Midlothian 1. Steven Naismith (Heart of Midlothian) header from very close range to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Craig Halkett.

Substitution

Substitution, Aberdeen. Niall McGinn replaces James Wilson.

Substitution

Substitution, Heart of Midlothian. Steven Naismith replaces Andrew Irving.

Substitution

Substitution, Heart of Midlothian. Conor Washington replaces Jake Mulraney.

Foul by Ryan Hedges (Aberdeen).

Sean Clare (Heart of Midlothian) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Substitution

Substitution, Aberdeen. Ryan Hedges replaces Scott Wright.

Lewis Ferguson (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Jamie Walker (Heart of Midlothian).

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic11007073
2Ross County11003033
3Aberdeen11003213
4Rangers11002113
5Hibernian11001013
6Livingston10100001
7Motherwell10100001
8Hearts100123-10
9Kilmarnock100112-10
10St Mirren100101-10
11Hamilton100103-30
12St Johnstone100107-70
View full Scottish Premiership table

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