Match ends, Heart of Midlothian 1, Aberdeen 0.
A third-minute Callum Paterson goal for Hearts dumped Aberdeen out of the Scottish Cup at Tynecastle.
Paterson headed home from close-range and it proved the pivotal moment of an absorbing cup tie.
The Dons spurned a wonderful opportunity to level midway through the second half when Andrew Considine scooped over from six yards.
In a frantic finale, Aberdeen pushed desperately, piling everybody forward, including goalkeeper, Danny Ward.
Niall McGinn and Ash Taylor had chances during those closing moments but could not execute.
The winner had its origins in a corner, a source of heavy vulnerability for Aberdeen throughout an opening half that Hearts bossed.
You did not need to hear what Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes was saying to know of his horror at watching that early, and ultimately decisive, blow. It was written all over his death stare at his defenders.
Sam Nicholson swung in a corner, Alim Ozturk got the first header and then Paterson got the critical second.
Aberdeen were crazily passive in that moment. For them, it was the ugliest of goals. For Hearts, it was a thing of infinite beauty - their first Scottish Cup goal since Rudi Skacel completed the rout of Hibernian in that tumultuous final of 2012.
Three-and-a-half years is a hell of a wait for a goal, but the way the home team set about the Dons in the minutes after Paterson scored it looked probable that a second was going to arrive in quick order.
They had their visitors surrounded. They hassled and harried them. They put them on the back foot and kept them there for long periods.
Hearts won a succession of corners in that opening spell and from so many of them the Dons had a desperate anxiety.
Blazej Augustyn put one in the side-netting midway through the half, then the defender had a free header, from another corner, and failed to put it away. Aberdeen were alive, but they were offering nothing.
The Dons have too many dangerous players for this torpor to last the entire evening, though.
Eventually they found something. Some urgency, some goal threat. Adam Rooney forced a save from Neil Alexander, the preamble to their golden chance.
Jonny Hayes created it from the left and it was Considine who was on the end of it. From the edge of the six-yard box, and directly in front of the visiting army of almost 3,500 fans, the big defender lofted his strike over the target.
Hearts came again and Osman Sow, an excellent handful that the Dons never got to grips with, fired three attempts on Ward's goal. One flashed by a post, just.
None of them were put away, but Hearts would not regret their profligacy. They are into the fifth round - deservedly.
- 1AlexanderBooked at 90mins
- 2PatersonBooked at 90mins
- 5OzturkBooked at 87mins
- 18RossiBooked at 43mins
- 14Pallardo GonzalezBooked at 17mins
- 11NicholsonSubstituted forKingat 70'minutes
- 10SowSubstituted forMcGheeat 88'minutes
- 20ReillySubstituted forDelgado Lloriaat 80'minutes
- 19Delgado Lloria
- 6ReynoldsBooked at 9mins
- 4ConsidineSubstituted forGoodwillieat 71'minutes
- 8FloodSubstituted forPawlettat 38'minutesBooked at 90mins
- 9RooneyBooked at 43mins
- John Beaton
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Heart of Midlothian 1, Aberdeen 0.
Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Billy King.
Attempt blocked. Shaleum Logan (Aberdeen) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
Neil Alexander (Heart of Midlothian) is shown the yellow card.
Prince Buaben (Heart of Midlothian) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Ash Taylor (Aberdeen).
Callum Paterson (Heart of Midlothian) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Foul by Callum Paterson (Heart of Midlothian).
Jonny Hayes (Aberdeen) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Attempt saved. Ash Taylor (Aberdeen) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.
Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Jordan McGhee.
Igor Rossi (Heart of Midlothian) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Peter Pawlett (Aberdeen) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Foul by Peter Pawlett (Aberdeen).
Attempt saved. Niall McGinn (Aberdeen) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the right is saved in the centre of the goal.
Alim Ozturk (Heart of Midlothian) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by David Goodwillie (Aberdeen).
Substitution, Heart of Midlothian. Jordan McGhee replaces Osman Sow.
Attempt missed. Niall McGinn (Aberdeen) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the left misses to the left.