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AFC - Match Report
match report 2002-03 fixture list
Scottish Cup Fourth Round 
Dundee 2 - 0 Aberdeen
Kick Off:  3:00 PM   Lovell (22), Novo (41)        
Attendance: 7,549
Venue: Dens Park, Dundee
Dundee dump Dons from Cup
There's to be no centenary cup run for the Dons this season as they crashed out of the cup at Dens Park this afternoon. Dundee deserved their victory as the pace of their front men caused Aberdeen problems all afternoon. Goals by Lovell and Novo did the damage in the first half and despite resorting to a 4-4-2 system after the break, there was no way through for the Dons. All that remains is for Aberdeen to secure SPL survival and for Steve Paterson to start building for next season.

Both teams showed their attacking intentions from the start with Deloumeaux having to steer Caballero out of play in the opening minute then Aberdeen created the first scoring chance a minute later. A Chris Clark corner was flicked on by Sheerin and headed over by McGuire at the back post. Aberdeen then took control and started to play some delightful football. Derek Young made space for himself inside the box before feeding Sheerin. It took a tremendous challenge on the penalty spot to deny the midfield man a shot.

He did test Speroni a minute later with a low drive, which the keeper did well to hold. Ross O'Donoghue carelessly lost possession in the 9th minute allowing Lovell to get forward. Fortunately his finish was poor and went harmlessly wide. The Aberdeen defence was almost caught out again two minutes later when Novo got beyond them and unleashed a shot from 12 yards, which Preece did well to block.

Novo was causing real problems and in the 13th minute Deloumeaux was deservedly cautioned for body checking the winger on the edge of the penalty area. Preece easily held the resultant Nemsadze free kick. Dundee were enjoying the bulk of the possession now and Khizanishvili went close with a 20-yard drive in the 15th minute.

This dominance was rewarded in the 22nd minute when Dundee took the lead after a mistake by Hart. Caballero fed the ball past Deloumeaux and through to Lovell and he gave Preece no chance with his finish. Aberdeen tried to get back on terms two minutes later, but D'Jaffo's header was easily stopped by Speroni. Then in the 27th minute Speroni had to look lively to prevent Derek Young from turning a Hart cross beyond him.

Dundee almost extended their lead in the 29th minute when Nemsadze turned the Dons defence inside out and delivered a telling cross that was turned over by Caballero. Aberdeen came close to levelling a minute later when McGuire drilled a Clark corner goalward only to see Novo make a goal line clearance. There was controversy seconds later when the referee ignored loud appeals for a hand ball decision. This allowed Novo to break forward and only undue delay by Caballero prevented Dundee from extending their lead.

Aberdeen were getting little luck in front of goal and this was highlighted in the 34th minute when a Deloumeaux free kick took a wicked deflection, yet Speroni managed to turn in mid flight and claw the ball away. He probably won't make a better stop all season. Aberdeen were bombarding the Dundee goal, but the Dens men were holding their ground well. Dundee themselves were dangerous on the break and in the 39th minute Lovell outpaced Deloumeaux for a ball the Frenchman should have won. Fortunately Preece was on hand to make another fine stop.

This pace was also evident in Novo and he managed to run on to a Lovell pass in the 41st minute, outpace Phil McGuire and drill the ball past Preece. Aberdeen now had an uphill battle if they were to remain in the cup for their centenary season. Matters almost got worse in the 44th minute when Preece was forced to tip a Gavin Rae shot over the bar.

Aberdeen reverted to 4-4-2 in the second half as they set about trying to keep their cup dream alive. McAllister replaced Deloumeaux at the back. It was Dundee who carved out the first chance however after McAllister was brutally taken out of the play and Mr. McDonald waved play on, Preece was once again tested and gathered at the second attempt. The home side went close again in the 51st minute when Preece could only parry a Caballero shot and Anderson and Sheerin eventually cleared.

Dundee looked comfortable with their lead and it was the home side who looked more likely to add to their tally. The game looked likely to explode in the 56th minute when Lovell and McGuire had a "handbags at ten paces" showdown, but a quiet word calmed them down. The best the Dons could offer at this stage was a lay off by D'Jaffo, which Chris Clark fired wide.

Sheerin went close in the 62nd minute when he fired in a Hart cut back, but the shot was deflected wide. Paterson then introduced Fabiano in place of Ross O'Donoghue. Five minutes later a Sheerin free kick failed to get beyond the wall and the Dons fine Dens record was beginning to look like it counted for nothing. This was emphasised further as a fingertip save from Preece prevented Novo from adding a third in the 66th minute.

Stephen Payne replaced Clark in the 72nd minute in a final attempt to supply some ammunition to the front men. It was almost all over a minute later when Hart delayed on the ball and was dispossessed allowing Caballero to go through on Preece. Although he beat the keeper, the ball also went beyond the far post. The Dons were having no luck in front of goal and D'Jaffo crashed a header off the bar in the 76th minute as they desperately looked for an opening back into the match.

There was to be no opening and Dundee deservedly marched through to the quarter final and Aberdeen went back up the A90 with their tails between their legs.

Dundee Teamsheet:  Speroni, Smith, Wilkie, MacKay, Caballero, Nemsadze, Rae, Khizanishvili, Mair, Lovell, Novo.

Unused Subs: Milne for Caballero (78), Burchill for Lovell (84)

Bookings:  Smith (43)

Aberdeen Teamsheet:  Preece, Hart, Deloumeaux (McAllister 45), McGuire, Anderson, O'Donoghue (Fabiano 63), Tosh, Sheerin, Clark (Payne 72), D'Jaffo, Young.

Unused Subs:

Bookings:  Deloumeaux (13).

Referee: Doougie McDonald

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