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Last Updated: Saturday, 4 February 2006, 16:50 GMT
Hearts 3-0 Aberdeen
Michal Pospisil is congratulated on opening the scoring
Hearts were comfortable winners at Tynecastle
Hearts made comfortable progress in the Scottish Cup with a home win against 10-man Aberdeen.

Michal Pospisil volleyed Hearts ahead before Calum Elliot neatly turned in a low cross from Deividas Cesnauskis.

Steven Pressley added a third from the penalty spot on the stroke of half-time as Zander Diamond saw red for a trip on Pospisil that was outside the area.

The visitors played gamely after the interval but they never looked like breaching the home defence.

With both Celtic and Rangers out of the competition, the Edinburgh club will now fancy their chances of winning the trophy they last held in 1998.

Hearts have been busy in the transfer market and head coach Graham Rix handed starting debuts to winger Mirsad Beslija and full-back Jose Goncalves.

Beslija's first contribution was to give away a needless free-kick close to the touchline after clipping the heels of former Tynecastle favourite Scott Severin.

Stevie Crawford got on the end of Jamie Smith's delivery but headed straight at Hearts goalkeeper Craig Gordon.

Aberdeen looked the more dangerous early on and Gordon had to be focused to save Smith's stinging long-range drive.

But it was the home side that snatched the lead in spectacular fashion in the 21st minute.

Elliott crossed from the right flank and Pospisil got ahead of Diamond to swivel and send an unstoppable right-foot volley past James Langfield.

Moments later, a furious Crawford was chasing referee Kenny Clark back to the halfway line after Andy Webster had wrestled him to the floor in front of goal. But Hearts went further ahead in the 34th minute following more enterprising play.

Steven Pressley scores from the penalty spot
Steven Pressley scores from the penalty spot

Cesnauskis pulled the ball back from the by-line and Elliott nipped in front of Chris Clark to flick a shot past Langfield from close range.

Smith ran at the Hearts defence and teed up Crawford but Aberdeen's luck was out and his shot flew just past the upright.

Hearts were playing with confidence and Cesnauskis cut in from the left flank with menace before blasting a low strike wide.

And the tie was wrapped up in the last minute of the half when Diamond brought down Pospisil.

The Dons defender was sent off and Pressley blasted home from the spot, although the offence was a yard outside the penalty area.

Hearts were content to knock the ball around after the break, while Aberdeen battled on valiantly.

The Dons did apply some attacking pressure but seldom threatened to trouble the Hearts defence.

Beslija's debut was brought to a premature end after a clash with Dons substitute John Stewart and Hearts' record signing left the field on a stretcher.

Aberdeen's Barry Nicholson came close to grabbing a consolation goal but his mis-timed shot from close range was blocked by Gordon and Crawford's weak follow-up header also ended up in the arms of the goalkeeper.

Hearts: Gordon, Neilson, Pressley, Webster, Beslija, Cesnauskis, Brellier (McAllister 60), Johnson, Goncalves, Elliot (Makela 52), Pospisil. Subs Not Used: Banks, Berra, Wallace. Goals: Pospisil 21, Elliot 34, Pressley 45 pen. Aberdeen: Langfield, McNaughton, Anderson, Diamond, Griffin (Macauley 62), Nicholson, Severin, Clark, Foster (Stewart 46), Smith (Snoyl 90), Crawford. Subs Not Used: Esson, Mackie. Sent Off: Diamond (45). Att: 17,353 Ref: K Clark


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