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AFC - Match Report
match report 2002-03 fixture list
Aberdeen 1 - 0 Dunfermline Athletic
Kick Off:  3:00 PM   Sheerin 10.        
Attendance: 10,030 (Visitors: 394)
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
Sheerin delight once more
Aberdeen made it four games in a row without defeat with a hard fought victory over ten man Dunfermline. Paul Sheerin was the goal hero once again with a sweet strike in the 10th minute. It could have been more in the second half as Brannan's dismissal reduced the visitors to ten men. However the solitary strike proved enough to take all three points as the current team were watched from the stands by the title winning side from 1955.

There was no early drama at Pittodrie this week and after nine minutes neither keeper had been tested and neither side appeared to have broken sweat. This all changed in the 10th minute when Aberdeen took a dramatic lead. Paul Sheerin collected a poor clearance by Skerla on the edge of the Dunfermline box and he hit a fierce half volley that gave Stillie no chance. The ex-Ayr man has surely been the buy of the season as he netted his seventh goal since signing in January.

It has to be said that the action was in short supply and the next incident of note was when the referee took an unscheduled tumble in the 18th minute. A minute later Sheerin released Young on the right, but the ball just wouldn't sit down for the striker and the danger was cleared. The visitors then put the Dons under some pressure and they went close in the 21st minute when Brannan's header was deflected inches over the bar. Three minutes later Young had a chance to extend the lead but chipped the ball over the advancing Stillie and well over the cross bar.

Stillie was down quickly in the 28th minute to deny Tosh after the midfielder latched on to a Young head-flick and fired a low shot from 12 yards. Stillie was lucky to escape a booking a minute later as he clearly prevented a quick throw in after racing from his box to clear an imminent threat. Dunfermline should have equalised in the 34th minute with the Dons slow to get back to cover. Crawford had been released and found McGroarty unmarked in the box. He hit a sweet shot, but was denied by a tremendous save from Kjaer.

Three minutes later a well-worked move by Aberdeen deserved a reward, but Hinds delivery across the face of the goal eluded everyone. The Pars almost levelled in the 40th minute when Bullen scraped the post with a header. It would have been rough justice had they scored as referee Brines awarded the corner when it was clear that Brewster had put the ball out of play. The Dons went close again in the 45th minute when Young latched on to a Sheerin cross only to see his shot deflected wide. Referee Brines of course immediately awarded a goal kick.

One can only guess if the current squad had been inspired by the half-time appearance of the 1954-55 championship winning side, but they made a positive start to the second period and carved out a great chance in the 49th minute when Tiernan worked his way into the area. He pulled the ball back, but Tosh ended up having a swipe at fresh air and when the ball reached Clark his effort was blocked. There followed a five minute period of sustained Pars pressure, but it was Sheerin who almost added to the goal count in the 55th minute with a delicate chip which beat Stillie then agonisingly landed on the roof of the net.

The game erupted in the 59th minute when Derek Young was crudely scythed down outside the Dunfermline box. Incredibly Mr. Brines waved play on and within a minute had booked Tosh and handed Ged Brannan a second yellow to leave the visitors with ten men. Tosh was forced to leave the field in the 65th minute through injury and was replaced by McNaughton. Meanwhile Mr. Brines continued to bemuse both sets of players with some baffling decisions and when Hinds went down in the box in the 69th minute there was little chance of a penalty award following.

The Pars survived a real goalmouth scramble in the 71st minute as the ball was fired back and forth across the face of the goal eluding the Dons strikers. Dunfermline introduced ex-Don Jim Hamilton in the 70th minute as they went looking for an equaliser. Derek Young should have finished the match as a contest in the 80th minute after Payne released McNaughton on the right. His accurate cross found Young in splendid isolation and he controlled the ball before firing wide of the target.

Three minutes later he tried a shot on the turn, which was well held by Stillie. Ten man Dunfermline kept going forward, but were susceptible to the counter attack and Sheerin should have done better in the 87th minute when Young found him with a perfect cross, but the shot was mis-timed and the chance was gone. With the officials finding four minutes of injury time it could have been a nervous close, but the Dons were in control and had the best chance to seal it when Clark was through on Stillie but scooped the ball over the bar.

Aberdeen Teamsheet:  Kjaer, Deloumeaux, Anderson, McGuire, Hart (Payne 78), Tiernan, Tosh (McNaughton 65), Clark, Sheerin, Hinds, Young.

Unused Subs:

Bookings:  Tosh (59).

Dunfermline Athletic Teamsheet:  Stillie, MacPherson, Skerla, Nicholson, Mason, Crawford, Brewster, Brannan, McGroarty, Bullen, Grondin.

Unused Subs: McGarty for MacPherson (65), Hamilton for Brewster (70)

Bookings:  Brannan (21),   Bullen (43)   Brannan (61)

Referee: Iain Brines, Erskine

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