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AFC - Match Report
match report 2003-04 fixture list
Rangers 3 - 0 Aberdeen
Kick Off:  3:00 PM   Hughes (77), Lovenkrands (89,90)        
Attendance: 49,962
Venue: Ibrox Stadium, Glasgow
Determined Dons lose out after Diamond sees red.
Don't be fooled by the scoreline as Aberdeen pushed Rangers all the way at Ibrox today. Playing with ten men after Diamond was sent off in the 55th minute the visitors gave Rangers a tough match. They finally cracked in the 77th minute before two goals in the last two minutes made the result look like a hammering. With several youngsters in the team the Dons players can hold their head high and surely the points will come if they can keep this work rate and determination going.

Rangers kicked off and youngsters Morrison and Diamond got an early touch of the ball. Aberdeen were taking a positive approach and forced the first corner of the match in the 3rd minute. However a poor delivery was easily cleared by the Rangers defence. Then three minutes later Booth sent in a looping header that was easily gathered by Klos. Rangers carved out their first chance in the 7th minute when the Dons failed to clear a corner and Emerson fired an effort over the bar.

The game was moving from end to end at this stage and Aberdeen were giving as good they were getting and giving the Rangers defence some problems. Deloumeaux collected the first booking of the game in the 13th minute when he committed his first foul of the match. The resulting free kick was well held by Preece and a minute later the keeper was out again quickly to keep the home side at bay. Hughes went close for Rangers in the 18th minute when he played a 1-2 with Mols and fired his effort wide of the target.

The home side were starting to gain the upper hand, but the visiting defence were looking solid. Preece was the hero again in the 22nd minute when he made a fine stop from Mols. Muirhead then immediately broke with pace and forced a corner at the other end. The Dons pressure was then relieved with a rather soft free kick award to the home side. With half an hour on the clock the home fans were beginning to voice their disapproval at their favourites as the Dons confidence grew by the minute. Rangers had the ball in the net in the 32nd minute, but Stephen Hughes was clearly offside.

Preece was the hero again in the 34th minute with an outstanding save when Ball released Mols and the keeper was at full stretch to turn the ball away for a corner. Two minutes later Aberdeen went forward and after patient build up play Deloumeaux shot wide of the Rangers goal. Preece again saved well in the 38th minute after Rangers were awarded a soft free kick 25 yards from goal. Clark and Deloumeaux broke in the 40th minute, but a misunderstanding gave possession away when it looked as though the Dons could cause some damage.

Scott Booth picked up a knock in the opening minute of the second half when he went down after a challenge with Arteta. The striker returned after treatment and Rangers almost grabbed the lead when substitute Burke was inches from connecting with a Mols pass. Seconds later the Dons goal had another escape as Rangers attempted to up the pace. A disputed offside decision in the 50th minute appeared to wake up the home crowd. Anderson was forced into a fine tackle in the 53rd minute after Hinds had slipped and lost possession.

Disaster struck in the 55th minute when Diamond was handed a straight red card after Anderson was caught in possession forcing the youngster to miss time his challenge on Averladze. Willie Young adjudged the youngster was the last player and showed him red. The resultant free kick saw Ball drill the ball wide and the home side then laid siege to the Dons goal. A ball driven across the face of the Dons goal was missed by everyone as Clark moved back into the full back slot and Rutkiewicz moved into the middle.

Ricksen ran at the Dons defence in the 64th minute then made a theatrical dive that didn't even fool Willie Young. Unbelievably the incident went unpunished and seconds later Preece made a fine save from Burke. Two minutes later Hinds took the pressure off the defence when he broke and won a free kick. The set play produced a header on goal which was deflected wide, forcing Klos to scurry to save the corner. At the other end Preece once again made a fine save. This time from a Ricksen effort.

Aberdeen almost grabbed a priceless goal in the 70th minute when Hinds broke and tested Klos with a fine effort. A minute later Averladze shot wide as the home side searched for a winner. The corner count against the Dons finally told when Rangers took the lead in the 77th minute. An Averladze corner came back to the Georgian and his second delivery was headed home by Hughes. It was cruel luck for the gallant Dons and a minute later Anderson was booked for making a text book tackle on Rangers player.

Preece made another great save before Mackie replaced Hinds in the 82nd minute as Aberdeen gambled in their effort to take something from the match. Mackie got forward in the 86th minute but his cross was too close to Klos. A minute later an Averladze shot was deflected wide and following the corner kick Tiernan replaced Heikkinen. Lovenkrands sealed the win in the 89th minute with a bullet header and the Rangers man grabbed an undeserved third in the final minute when David Preece made his only mistake of the game. He dropped the ball and Lovenkrands pounced to turn the ball into the net.

Rangers Teamsheet:  Klos, Ricksen, Emerson, Berg, Ball, Hughes, Vanoli, Arteta, Lovenkrands, Averladze, Mols.

Unused Subs: Burke for Emerson (45), Ostenstad for Arteta (74)


Aberdeen Teamsheet:  Preece, Morrison, Anderson, Rutkiewicz, Diamond, Clark, Heikkinen (Tiernan 87), Deloumeaux, Booth, Hinds (Mackie 82), Muirhead.

Unused Subs:

Bookings:  Deloumeaux (13),  Anderson (78),  Morrison (85),  Diamond (55).

Referee: Willie Young, Clarkston

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