Scottish Premiership basement side Hearts made Aberdeen pay for Barry Robson's second-half dismissal by coming from behind to win at Pittodrie.

Aberdeen had led at half-time thanks to Niall McGinn's assured strike.

But Jamie MacDonald saved a penalty struck by the Northern Irishman and Hearts came alive when Robson was sent packing for a challenge on Jason Holt.

Jamie Walker flicked home a leveller in 66 minutes and Callum Paterson added a second before Ryan Stevenson's strike.

Aberdeen began the match in second place, seven points behind Celtic after their win in the early kick-off at Ross County.

However, it was bottom-club Hearts, with the same starting 11 as last weekend, who had the best two chances before the Dons made the breakthrough.

Kevin McHattie found Stevenson at the back post after 17 minutes but the forward fired a shot straight at Jamie Langfield from eight yards.

And the Reds keeper had to be at his most alert when winger Walker thumped a shot at goal from 20 yards but, fortunately for the home side, it was aimed directly at their goalie.

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes had made only one change to his starting line-up from the team that beat Partick Thistle 4-0 on Monday - captain Russell Anderson replacing Cammy Smith - but his hand was forced when Willo Flood was injured midway through the first half.

Fellow midfielder Robson was his replacement and within three minutes his corner from the left fed McGinn who fired confidently past MacDonald.

Aberdeen sub Barry Robson is shown a second yellow card, with a red to follow

Aberdeen sub Barry Robson is shown a second yellow card, with a red to follow

Aberdeen claimed unsuccessfully for a penalty eight minutes from half-time when it looked like Dylan McGowan had handled Calvin Zola's shot on the goal line.

But only a minute later referee Iain Brines pointed to the spot when Jordan McGhee was penalised for hand ball, though TV replays suggested the ball struck his back.

McGinn looked to double his tally for the day but his penalty was saved by Hearts keeper MacDonald, who made a fine stop down to his left.

A goal up going into the second half, Aberdeen enjoyed the bulk of possession but Hearts' youngsters could not be accused of failing to give their all.

Robson had been booked for in the first half for breaking ranks from a defensive wall at a free-kick and he picked up a second yellow when he sent Holt tumbling in midfield.

McInnes's response was to remove Zola from the fray and send on a direct replacement, Scott Vernon.

Hearts, though, gradually pressed the Reds back.

Paterson hit the ball on to the Aberdeen bar and over with his knee and Walker pinged a shot wide, before Aberdeen had a chance of their own, Vernon's first-time shot tipped over the bar by MacDonald.

Hearts manager Gary Locke sent on David Smith and Callum Tapping for Scott Robinson and Jason Holt and drew level when Walker flicked the ball past Langfield from inside the six-yard box.

And they were rewarded for their renewed ambition when Walker cut the ball back and 19-year-old Paterson was there to stroke the ball home.

The Dons, roared on by the home fans in Pittodrie, pushed desperately to pull level but they were caught on the break in the dying seconds and Stevenson smashed in Hearts' third from the edge of the box to make the points secure.

Lineup, Bookings (6) & Substitutions (6)

Aberdeen

  • 01 Langfield
  • 22 Jack
  • 05 Considine
  • 04 Anderson
  • 27 Hector (Smith - 83' )
  • 06 Reynolds
  • 11 Hayes
  • 08 Flood Booked (Robson - 23' Dismissed after an earlier booking )
  • 07 Zola (Vernon - 58' )
  • 16 Pawlett Booked
  • 10 McGinn

Substitutes

  • 02 Shaughnessy
  • 09 Vernon
  • 14 Smith
  • 15 Robson
  • 17 Wylde
  • 18 Low
  • 20 Weaver

Heart of Midlothian

  • 01 MacDonald
  • 30 McGhee
  • 03 McHattie
  • 02 Hamill Booked
  • 05 McGowan Booked
  • 04 Wilson
  • 08 Robinson (Smith - 60' )
  • 15 Holt (Tapping - 61' )
  • 12 Paterson
  • 14 Walker (King - 94' )
  • 07 Stevenson

Substitutes

  • 13 Ridgers
  • 16 McKay
  • 17 Smith
  • 19 King
  • 20 Tapping
  • 28 Nicholson
  • 29 Oliver
Ref: Iain Brines
Att: 13,940

Match Stats

Shots

17 10

On target

4 7

Corners

7 3

Fouls

17 7

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Aberdeen 1, Hearts 3.

90:00 +4:37 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Aberdeen 1, Hearts 3.

90:00 +3:58

Attempt missed. Peter Pawlett (Aberdeen) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.

90:00 +3:04 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Hearts. Billy King replaces Jamie Walker.

90:00 +2:02 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Aberdeen 1, Hearts 3. Ryan Stevenson (Hearts) right footed shot from the right side of the box to the top left corner. Assisted by Callum Paterson.

90:00 +1:23

Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Callum Tapping.

87:53

Attempt missed. Russell Anderson (Aberdeen) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.

87:23

Jonathan Hayes (Aberdeen) wins a free kick on the left wing.

87:23

Foul by Jamie Walker (Hearts).

86:33

Attempt missed. Peter Pawlett (Aberdeen) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left.

85:32

Attempt missed. Callum Paterson (Hearts) right footed shot from very close range is just a bit too high.

84:47

Attempt missed. Mark Reynolds (Aberdeen) header from the centre of the box is too high.

84:25

Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Jamie Hamill.

82:25 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Aberdeen. Cameron Smith replaces Michael Hector.

80:55

Corner, Hearts. Conceded by Russell Anderson.

79:21

Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Dylan McGowan.

77:29

Foul by Russell Anderson (Aberdeen).

77:29

Jamie Walker (Hearts) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

75:36

Jonathan Hayes (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

75:36

Foul by Ryan Stevenson (Hearts).

74:37 Booking

Booking Peter Pawlett (Aberdeen) is shown the yellow card.

73:42 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Aberdeen 1, Hearts 2. Callum Paterson (Hearts) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Jamie Walker.

72:55

Attempt missed. Jonathan Hayes (Aberdeen) right footed shot from the left side of the six yard box is close, but misses to the left.

72:14

Attempt missed. Scott Vernon (Aberdeen) header from the left side of the six yard box is close, but misses to the right.

71:44

Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Dylan McGowan.

68:20

Corner, Hearts. Conceded by Michael Hector.

68:01

Attempt saved. Jordan McGhee (Hearts) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

65:54 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Aberdeen 1, Hearts 1. Jamie Walker (Hearts) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal.

65:05

Foul by Jonathan Hayes (Aberdeen).

65:05

Jordan McGhee (Hearts) wins a free kick on the left wing.

63:55

Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Jamie MacDonald.

63:43

Attempt saved. Scott Vernon (Aberdeen) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

62:39

Attempt missed. Jamie Walker (Hearts) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left.

61:53

David Smith (Hearts) hits the bar with a right footed shot from the centre of the box.

60:05 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Hearts. Callum Tapping replaces Jason Holt.

59:51 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Hearts. David Smith replaces Scott Robinson.

59:02

Foul by Ryan Jack (Aberdeen).

59:02

Jamie Hamill (Hearts) wins a free kick on the left wing.

57:34

Foul by Peter Pawlett (Aberdeen).

57:34

Ryan Stevenson (Hearts) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

57:01 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Aberdeen. Scott Vernon replaces Calvin Zola-Makongo.

56:31

Attempt missed. Andrew Considine (Aberdeen) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right.

56:09

Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Kevin McHattie.

55:15 Booking

Booking Dylan McGowan (Hearts) is shown the yellow card.

55:07

Peter Pawlett (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

55:07

Foul by Dylan McGowan (Hearts).

54:24 Dismissal

Dismissal Second yellow card to Barry Robson (Aberdeen).

54:14

Foul by Barry Robson (Aberdeen).

54:14

Jamie Hamill (Hearts) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

46:47

Calvin Zola-Makongo (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

46:47

Foul by Dylan McGowan (Hearts).

45:51

Attempt missed. Ryan Jack (Aberdeen) right footed shot from outside the box is too high.

45:00

Second Half begins Aberdeen 1, Hearts 0.

45:00 +1:09 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Aberdeen 1, Hearts 0.

45:00 +1:02

Foul by Calvin Zola-Makongo (Aberdeen).

45:00 +1:02

Danny Wilson (Hearts) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

39:13

Attempt missed. Jonathan Hayes (Aberdeen) right footed shot from the right side of the box is too high.

38:14

Penalty saved! Niall McGinn (Aberdeen) fails to capitalise on this great opportunity, right footed shot saved in the bottom left corner.

37:17

Penalty conceded by Jordan McGhee (Hearts) with a hand ball in the penalty area.

36:33

Attempt blocked. Calvin Zola-Makongo (Aberdeen) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

33:42

Attempt missed. Peter Pawlett (Aberdeen) right footed shot from the right side of the box is close, but misses to the left.

32:31

Attempt saved. Niall McGinn (Aberdeen) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

31:08

Hand ball by Calvin Zola-Makongo (Aberdeen).

30:18

Foul by Ryan Jack (Aberdeen).

30:18

Jason Holt (Hearts) wins a free kick on the right wing.

28:50

Corner, Hearts. Conceded by Jonathan Hayes.

27:46 Booking

Booking Barry Robson (Aberdeen) is shown the yellow card.

27:42

Hand ball by Barry Robson (Aberdeen).

27:00

Mark Ridgers (Hearts) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

26:51

Foul by Ryan Jack (Aberdeen).

25:42 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Aberdeen 1, Hearts 0. Niall McGinn (Aberdeen) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the high centre of the goal. Assisted by Barry Robson.

25:15

Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Jordan McGhee.

24:05

Attempt saved. Jason Holt (Hearts) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

22:50 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Aberdeen. Barry Robson replaces Willo Flood because of an injury.

22:12

Foul by Willo Flood (Aberdeen).

22:12

Jason Holt (Hearts) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

20:25 Booking

Booking Willo Flood (Aberdeen) is shown the yellow card.

20:21

Foul by Willo Flood (Aberdeen).

20:21

Kevin McHattie (Hearts) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

20:00

Ryan Stevenson (Hearts) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

19:54

Foul by Willo Flood (Aberdeen).

18:39

Foul by Calvin Zola-Makongo (Aberdeen).

18:39

Jamie Hamill (Hearts) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

17:45

Jonathan Hayes (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

17:45

Foul by Danny Wilson (Hearts).

16:22

Attempt saved. Ryan Stevenson (Hearts) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

15:49

Hand ball by Peter Pawlett (Aberdeen).

15:01

Attempt saved. Ryan Stevenson (Hearts) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

13:54

Attempt missed. Niall McGinn (Aberdeen) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left.

10:17 Booking

Booking Jamie Hamill (Hearts) is shown the yellow card.

10:12

Michael Hector (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

10:07

Foul by Jamie Hamill (Hearts).

7:23

Foul by Russell Anderson (Aberdeen).

7:23

Jamie Hamill (Hearts) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

7:00

Scott Robinson (Hearts) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

6:59

Foul by Andrew Considine (Aberdeen).

4:26

Attempt missed. Ryan Jack (Aberdeen) right footed shot from outside the box is too high.

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

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