Hearts' foreign bodies have an unhappy time
12 Feb 1996
By IAN PAUL
Hearts 1, Aberdeen 3
AS ONE of his foreign imports performed heroics in trying to save Jim Jefferies' side, another did his bit to make life difficult for his team-mates.
Sometimes you get more than you pay for, as the Hearts manager found out when Gilles Rousset, his French keeper, put up a magnificent attempt to defy Aberdeen, and his Italian defender, Pasquale Bruno, foolishly left his side a man short and with a goal deficit to combat before half-time.
Jefferies wanted to examine the video evidence before condemning Bruno, who was sent off after clearly (at least, it seemed so to us in the stand) elbowing Dean Windass, who had the audacity to harass him and give his shirt a tug as both headed towards the corner flag.
Referee Kenny Clark immediately, and quite correctly, reached for the red card and did not deserve the ensuing scrummage as Rousset and others protested that the Aberdeen man had reacted unnecessarily dramatically.
It was a shame that a game which was surely as entertaining and thrilling as any that has been seen in Edinburgh this season should have been spoiled as an even contest, although the depleted Hearts did make a huge effort to bridge the disadvantage.
Aberdeen had been in sparkling form early on when they played quite delightful football and scored a splendid goal inside two minutes.
Rousset nearly stopped them, nevertheless.
When Windass headed a fine cross from Joe Miller it seemed set for the net until the keeper somehow managed to haul his large frame to the right and stopped the ball on the line.
However, he was desperately unlucky to see it come off the inside of the post and bound into the net.
The keeper knew it was not his day when he was robbed once again after making a superb save.
This time it came from a penalty, which was clearly justified after Alan McManus pushed Windass as he cut across him inside the area.
Windass, with one of those worrying short runs, hit the ball hard and low but Rousset reached it and blocked it brilliantly.
His frustration was complete, however, when Duncan Shearer reached the rebound before any of his colleagues had reacted and gave him no chance from a yard or two.
Even at that point Hearts did not seem quite out of it.
They pulled a goal back, albeit a bit fortunately, when a Gary Locke cross seemed to be headed by Paul Bernard off Brian Irvine and over his own line.
John Robertson was said to be claiming that the ball hit him but he has been known to claim goals when in bed with the flu and so we will let him argue the point.
In his favour, TV evidence suggests it may not have been that much of a dream.
It was soon after that Jefferies made the substitution which was to affect the game in a different way from what he had intended.
He took off McManus, who was having an uncomfortable time against Windass, and brought on John Millar into midfield, releasing Bruno for a defensive role.
Unfortunately, the Italian accepted it too literally and shortly after was sent packing.
There was some nasty stuff as players lost control for a while but the referee got most things right, even the yellow, rather than red, card for Brian Grant when he downed Robertson.
Hearts battled on gamely but when Stephen Glass scored the best goal of the day with a stunning strike midway in the second half, they knew their fine recent run was over.
Aberdeen will go into their Tennents Scottish Cup meeting with Stirling Albion in good fettle, but Hearts will take on Kilmarnock at Rugby Park without suspended captain Locke, and now Bruno.
Taken from the Herald