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AFC - Match Report
match report 2003-04 fixture list
Aberdeen 0 - 1 Dundee United
Kick Off:  3:00 PM         McLaren (10)  
Attendance: 11,234 (Visitors: 781)
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
Dons falter at Pittodrie again
Aberdeen suffered another Pittodrie defeat today as they struggled to break down a stuffy United defence. The Dons had the ball in the net in the final minute for what looked to be a deserved equaliser. Unfortunately the goal was chalked off and United went down the A90 with three fortuitous points. The winning goal itself came courtesy of a wicked deflection as the men in black were left to rue their missed chances.

Aberdeen kicked off and Scott Booth forced the first corner in the opening minute, but the set play was comfortably dealt with by the United defence. In the fourth minute Muirhead was released on the left, but despite an early delivery the visitors managed to scramble the ball clear. A minute later United won their first corner and Preece made a comfortable catch. A second corner soon after was not so comfortably dealt with as the game moved from end to end.

Muirhead went close in the 8th minute after bursting into the box. His shot looked to have been tipped wide by the keeper, but a goal kick was awarded. United were handed a fortunate break in the 10th minute following a good run from Wilson. He released McLaren on the left and although Anderson was there to cover, the shot took a wicked deflection off the defender to beat Preece. Zdrilic had the ideal opportunity to level in the 16th minute when a Muirhead cross was headed into his path by a United defender. Unfortunately the Aussie controlled the ball well but then fired over the bar despite having plenty of time.

At this stage the stadium echoed to rustling sweetie papers as the red army were stunned into silence. McNaughton carved out a chance for himself in the 25th minute but once again the effort went high. A minute later Kevin was stretchered off after a collision with Paterson. Chris Clark replaced him. United had a chance to extend their lead in the 32nd minute, but Preece comfortably held the free kick.

The Red Army burst back into life a minute later when Clark appeared to be taken out of the play as he tried to collect a return pass from Booth. Seconds later the crowd were on their feet once more as Gallagher was forced to tip a Tosh effort over the bar. Booth then went close in the 37th minute as the Dons turned up the heat on the visitors. Gallacher came to United's rescue in the 42nd minute palming the ball away for a corner as Muirhead looked set to pounce. The final chance of the half fell to United when Innes got his foot to a dangerous free kick and scooped the ball over.

Aberdeen started the second half positively with a Clark cross eluding Muirhead in the opening minute and McGuire having a fierce drive deflected wide. Good work by Muirhead almost carved out an equaliser in the 55th minute when he ghosted past two defenders and delivered a fine cross. Unfortunately Tosh was unable to steer the ball into the net. Seconds later another dangerous attack was halted when Booth was adjudged to be offside.

Aberdeen went close again on the hour mark when Gallacher let a Zdrilic shot spill and the ball was scrambled for a corner with Booth set to pounce. The resulting corner saw McGuire head inches wide. McGuire went close again two minutes later with a dipping volley that went over the bar. Mr Brines then infuriated the red army as he called play back for a United substitution after the Dons had taken a quick throw. The substitute at this stage wasn't even stripped for action.

United were on the back foot by this stage and Zdrilic should have done better in the 68th minute when he rounded the keeper but couldn't find a Dons player in the centre to convert the chance. Although it was all Aberdeen at this stage United almost stole a second in the 73rd minute courtesy of a defensive blunder. Fortunately Preece was out quickly to block and Anderson mopped up. The Dons went close again in the 78th minute as a melee in front of Gallacher was scrambled clear. Deloumeaux and Booth then had a couple of chances, but it wasn't looking as though it would be the Dons' day.

Aberdeen looked to have saved a point in the final minute when Hinds netted after a storming finish. Despite mass celebrations the goal was chalked off for what appeared to be offside. Thus denying the men in black a deserved point from the match.

Aberdeen Teamsheet:  Preece, Deloumeaux, Anderson, McGuire (Clark 29), McNaughton, Sheerin (Mackie 77), Heikkinen, Tosh, Booth, Zdrilic (Hinds 77), Muirhead.

Unused Subs:

Bookings:  Tosh (59).

Dundee United Teamsheet:  Gallagher, Paterson, McInnes, Archibald, McIntyre, Dodds, Easton, McCracken, McLaren, Wilson, Innes.

Unused Subs: Robson for Paterson (63), Griffin for Dodds (69), Coyle for McLaren (80)

Bookings:  McLaren (35),   Dodds (54),   Easton (70).

Referee: Iain Brines, Erskine

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