Hearts 2 - 0 Aberdeen: Naismith and Milinkovic goals see off Dons

Hearts' David Milinkovic celebrates his goal. Picture: SNS/Alan Harvey
Hearts' David Milinkovic celebrates his goal. Picture: SNS/Alan Harvey
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Hearts maintained their unbeaten run since returning to Tynecastle with a 2-0 win over Aberdeen.

Two quick-fire, first half goals from Steven Naismith and David Milinkovic were enough as Craig Levein’s side rounded off their pre-split season with a deserved victory over the uninspiring Dons.

A poor early kick from Joe Lewis afforded Hearts the first opportunity of the game. Connor Randall fed Milinkovic, who in turn picked out Kyle Lafferty, but Hearts’ top scorer sent his first-time effort high over the bar.

They could then count themselves fortunate not to fall behind. Niall McGinn’s excellent free-kick delivery from the left was helped on by Scott McKenna, who watched his glancing header come back off the far post with Jon McLaughlin beaten.

A fine bit of play then had Levein’s team ahead. Naismith’s clever run was found brilliantly by Marcus Godinho, and the former Everton man took a touch to open things up before slotting past Lewis.

The advantage was doubled just two minutes later. A speculative effort from Lafferty was deflected in the path of an unmarked Milinkovic, who had sufficient time to steer the ball under Lewis for his sixth goal of the season.

Lewis had to look sharp to prevent a Christophe Berra’s looping header dropping under the bar for 3-0 after he got on the end of Godinho’s free-kick.

The Jambos began the second 45 on the front foot. A move started by Randall was almost finished by the scouser, but his near post volley from Lafferty’s cross was blocked. Berra then strode forward, but a fairly clumsy effort from distance was never likely to worry Lewis.

Some good link up play down the left saw Milinkovic release Lafferty, and striker was unlucky with vicious left foot strike from a tight angle that was helped over. Squaring for the unmarked Smith however, would have been the better option.

The Dons finally registered another attempt five minutes after the hour, but it was a tame effort from sub Mackay-Steven that McLaughlin gathered with ease. Christie then had a go, but ballooned well over.

A sweeping counter then found Mackay-Steven in the area, but another weak attempt, this time off target, meant Aberdeen’s best chance of the second 45 was wasted.

Hearts looked comfortable but were still searching for a killer third. It almost arrived when John Souttar slid in Lafferty, but Lewis stood up well to block his low effort.

The visitors then hit the woodwork for a second time. A deep ball from Shay Logan was knocked down at the back post by Considine for Adam Rooney, who turned the ball against the post from close range.

That was as near to mounting a dramatic comeback as they were to get, with Hearts able to see out the remainder of the 90 with a modicum of comfort.

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