London Hearts Supporters Club

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<-Page <-Team Sun 11 Nov 2007 Hearts 4 Aberdeen 1 Team-> Page->
<-Srce <-Type Telegraph ------ Report Type-> Srce->
Anatoly Korobochka <-auth Ewing Grahame auth-> Iain Brines
[J De Visscher 38]
3 of 007 Andrew Driver 3 ;Andrius Velicka 13 ;Ibrahim Tall 53 ;Christian Nade 61 L SPL H

Aberdeen unable to keep pace with Hearts

By Ewing Grahame

Hearts (2) 4 Aberdeen (1) 1

Hearts owner Vladimir Romanov made a rare appearance at Tynecastle yesterday - but the absentee landlord may return to Edinburgh more regularly if his club continue to crush the opposition as comprehensively as they did here.

Romanov had earlier laid a wreath at a memorial service in Haymarket to commemorate the seven Hearts players who died during the Great War.

At half-time he honoured a more recent hero, Sunderland and Scotland goalkeeper Craig Gordon, who has become the youngest player to be inducted into the club's Hall of Fame.

Romanov had received a mixed reception from the home support when he appeared on the pitch but there was no such ambivalence in the crowd's reaction to a performance from the home side which lacked nothing when it came to verve, vision and commitment.

The opening goal arrived in the third minute and was something of a personal nightmare for Richard Foster. The full-back conceded possession to Andrew Driver and when his poor touch returned the ball to Foster he played it across the face of his own goal, where Christian Nade was lurking with intent.

A spoiling challenge from Michael Hart managed to prevent the striker from connecting properly but the ball spun kindly for Driver, who was left with a simple finish from a yard out.

The Dons were the architects of their own downfall again 10 minutes later when goalkeeper Jamie Langfield, under legitimate pressure from Nade, failed to claim a cross from Driver and Andrius Velicka forced the ball home from close range.

Aberdeen almost pressed the self-destruct button once more in the 20th minute when Hart mishit a clearance straight to Velicka, but on this occasion he delayed his shot and was crowded out.

"You can't give any team, let alone a good one like Hearts, the kind of start we handed to them," said Calderwood. "We were trying to play one-twos 12 yards from our own goal and you just can't expect to get away with that."

Matches at Tynecastle tend to be conducted at a high tempo but the visitors struggled to move out of first gear. As a consequence, they were all too easily brushed aside by their opponents.

To make matters worse, influential midfielder Barry Nicholson was withdrawn midway through the first half due to a back injury. His replacement, Chris Clark, almost made an immediate impact, hitting the top of the crossbar with a dipping half-volley.

Nade ought to have added a third but, after sidestepping the ineffectual challenge from Lee Mair, the Frenchman sidefooted wide from six yards. And Hearts paid for their profligacy eight minutes from the interval when Scott Severin's diagonal pass was controlled by Jeffrey de Visscher before he cut inside to send an angled drive low past Steve Banks.

The Dutch midfielder was culpable, however, when Hearts restored their two-goal cushion; Ibrahim Tall beating Langfield with a glancing header from Michael Stewart's free-kick.

That goal sucked the life from Aberdeen, who fell further behind seven minutes later when Audrius Ksanavicius supplied Nade and he eluded Zander Diamond's challenge before scoring at the second attempt.

Hearts head coach Stevie Frail pronounced hunself well pleased. "If we play at that tempo then we can give anyone a game," he said, before denying any knowledge of plans to sign Celtic fringe player Derek Riordan. "He would need to play some to get into this team," he added.

To complete a memorable afternoon for the Edinburgh club, their impressive midfielder, Eggert Jonsson, received a first call-up to the full Iceland squad.

Match details

Hearts (4-4-2): Banks; Neilson (Zaliukas 38), Tall, Berra, Goncalves; Driver, Stewart, Jonsson, Ksanavicius; Velicka (Kingston 58), Nade (Beniusis 80).
Subs: Basso (g), Wallace, Palazuelos, Elliot.
Goals: Driver (3), Velicka (13), Tall (54), Nade (61).
Booked: Goncalves.
Aberdeen (4-4-2): Langfield; Hart, Diamond, Mair, Foster; de Visscher (Lovell 68), Nicholson (Clark 24), Severin, Young; Miller, Maguire Aluko 58).
Subs: Soutar (g), McNamara, Touzani, Considine.
Goals: de Visscher (37).
Booked: Young, de Visscher, Severin.
Referee: Iain Brines (Scotland).

Taken from

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