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Csaba Laszlo <-auth Michael Gannon auth-> Steve Conroy
[D Mackie 13]
11 of 015 Lee Wallace 21 L SPL H

Aberdeen claim a point as Laszlo loses his cool at Tynecastle
hearts manager and home crowd incensed as referee reverses penalty decision

By Michael Gannon

Published: 27/10/2008

An almighty storm whipped around Tynecastle at the weekend and it had nothing to do with the atrocious weather conditions.

The talk beforehand was about one manager’s future, afterwards it was about the other manager’s meltdown. In between there were two committed sides who could not be separated over 90 frenetic and enthralling minutes.

Scottish football may butcher the beautiful game on occasions, but on days like Saturday, it can be devilishly enjoyable.

Darren Mackie’s expertly taken early opener for the Dons was cancelled out by Lee Wallace’s equally emphatic equaliser soon after.

The drama and excitement was only just starting, however, and there was a generous dollop of controversy in case the weather-beaten supporters who dared the horrendous conditions felt in any way short-changed.

The flashpoint was reserved for the closing five minutes. The match was in the balance with both sides creating chances to claim a winner before Hearts midfielder Michael Stewart burst into the penalty area.

Aberdeen goalkeeper Jamie Langfield raced out to intercept, but was second to the ball and Stewart ended up flat on his face.

A clear penalty. Or at least it would have been if there had been any actual contact.

Referee Steve Conroy initially pointed to the spot before his assistant, Chris Young, showed him the error of his ways and the decision was reversed.

The home crowd was livid, but not half as much as Hearts manager Csaba Laszlo, who waited until the final whistle before invading the pitch like a demented Tasmanian devil.

The fourth official tried to stop the Romania-born coach, but was manhandled out of the way and it took several bodies to hold Laszlo back from the referee.

Dons coach Sandy Clark offered a handshake, but he too was vigorously pushed aside.

Laszlo’s amnesia afterwards, when he claimed to have done no wrong, will not save him from being dragged over the coals by the SFA.

If there was any manager who had reason to be in a strop at the weekend then it was Aberdeen’s Jimmy Calderwood.

There were reports on a national radio station on Saturday morning which had Calderwood clearing his desk within 48 hours, claims furiously dismissed by the club and the man himself.

Another sterling away display keeps the Calderwood show on the road, but the manager knows his side’s home form will be crucial if he is to fend off the vultures.

There remain signs, however, a revival could be on its way, but like Aberdeen’s season so far, it is impossible to predict.

Likewise, Mystic Meg has more chance selecting the six lottery numbers in advance than being able to name Calderwood’s starting line-up before each match.

The decision to play Richard Foster in what was basically a holding role, acting out a man-marking job on Hearts play- maker Bruno Aguilar, was bold and it just about came off.

The Dons started brightly and seized the lead after 14 minutes after Andrew Considine, at left back, threaded a terrific pass down the line which sucked Marius Zaliukas out of position.

The defender failed to cut it out and Mackie pounced to slot the ball into the corner of the net.

The hosts were stunned but hit back seven minutes later when Wallace burst forward and exchanged a one-two with Christian Nade before smashing the ball high past Langfield.

The Dons made it safely to the break and in the second half it was Aberdeen who wrestled control of the match.

Aberdeen’s Jared Hodgkiss and Lee Miller were unlucky as both hit the woodwork.

Despite the penalty drama Hearts still could have pinched a winner at the end as Deivdas Cesnauskis clipped the post and Jamie Mole lashed the ball over when the goal was at his mercy.

After an exhausting 90 minutes, the only surprise left was Laszlo had the energy to throw his massive hissy fit.

Taken from The Press and Journal

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