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AFC - Match Report
match report 2003-04 fixture list
Dundee United 3 - 2 Aberdeen
Kick Off:  3:00 PM   Robson (20), Miller (85), Dodds (93)       Booth 55 (Pen), Clark 64.  
Attendance: 8,888
Venue: Tannadice Park, Dundee
Late strike sinks Dons at Tannadice
Aberdeen lost a Tannadice thriller this afternoon when Dodds fired a penalty winner in the 93rd minute . Trailing 1-0 at half time the Dons turned things round in the second half through a soft penalty goal from Booth and a deflected shot from Chris Clark. The Dons had chances to make it three, but Charlie Miller levelled in the 85th minute and Steve Tosh tripped the same player in the 93rd minute after a stupid challenge. Dodds stepped up to fire the winner and leave the Dons with nothing to take from an entertaining match.

United started the match in front of a healthy crowd helped by a good Aberdeen support. Aberdeen carved out the first chance of the match in the 4th minute when Booth collected the ball wide left and found Scott Muirhead in the middle. Scott should have done better, but headed his effort wide of the target. Aberdeen made a bright start and both teams made their attacking intentions known from the start. In the 9th minute Colin Samuel created an opening for himself, but his shot was sliced well wide.

United went close again in the 13th minute when McLaren swung in a cross and found Billy Dodds. The ex-Don powered in a header and Preece made a great save. Two minutes later Preece was again in action as he made a stop from a McLaren shot. A minute later Aberdeen won a free kick 25 yards out, but Morrison missed the target with his attempt. After a confident start the Dons were beginning to look a bit shaky at the back as the home side started to gain the upper hand.

United took a deserved lead in the 20th minute when Robson finished off a good move. He was in acres of space when he collected Wilson's cross and side footed the ball into the net. The Dons almost hit back immediately when a Leigh Hinds header beat Gallacher and crashed off the post. The Dons won another free kick on the half hour mark as Booth was fouled for the umpteenth time. Morrison fired the ball in but the United defence coped easily. At the other end the Dons defence, who have been looking solid recently, were looking very uncertain every time the home side threatened.

Booth should have levelled in the 33rd minute when Rutkiewicz released the striker and he beat both Gallacher and the post from six yards out as the home side appealed for offside. Three minutes later a snap shot from Heikkinen again missed the target as the Dons desperately looked for an equaliser. The ball did end up in the net in the 37th minute when United looked to have doubled their advantage. McLaren had handled the ball before the goal was scored and he was booked for his troubles.

United almost grabbed a second in the 47th minute when McLaren got the better of Diamond and fired in a shot, which produced another great save from Preece. Two minutes later Muirhead won a corner kick, but Clark's delivery disappointed and the chance was gone. In the 54th minute the Dons were awarded a rather soft spot kick when Booth was adjudged to have been fouled as he headed a Muirhead cross wide of the target. Booth didn't argue with Mr. Dougal's decision and sent Gallacher the wrong way to level the match.

Clark went on a good run in the 58th minute before delivering a pass to Tosh. The midfielder then found Muirhead, but the youngster hit the ball wide to ruin a fine move. United were feeling a sense of injustice at the penalty award and were determined to regain the advantage. In the 61st minute Robson went close with a free kick that scraped past the far post.

It was the Dons who grabbed a sensational lead in the 64th minute after some sustained pressure Clark stepped forward, hit a fierce shot which took a deflection on the way into the net. The red army weren't too bothered how it had entered the net and were ecstatic as the player headed towards them to celebrate. Clark earned himself a yellow card for his celebrations. The Dons were in the driving seat now and almost added a third in the 69th minute when Gallacher made a magnificent save from Hinds before Tosh tried to convert the rebound and watched in dismay as that effort was cleared off the line.

The attack was ended when Dodds upended the ever-dangerous Clark and received a yellow card. Morrison whipped in the free kick and Gallacher did well to punch the ball clear. Aberdeen was a completely different side now and Chris Clark in particular was causing United all sorts of problems. A third goal was still needed to secure the match as United showed they could still be dangerous coming forward. Preece was forced to make another decisive save in the 80th minute and promptly flattened McLaren in the process.

United had by now regained their composure and were threatening to level with a series of corner kicks. The pressure paid off in the 85th minute when substitute Charlie Miller headed a Robson corner into the net. After a wonderful spell in the middle of the second half the Dons were now finding themselves being swamped and hanging on for the point.

Aberdeen almost grabbed a dramatic winner in the 90th minute when Booth set up Clark and his chip over Gallacher scraped hit the post. Then in a dramatic finish United were awarded a penalty in the 93rd minute when Charlie Miller was tripped by Steve Tosh. Dodds stepped up and fired the winner past Preece.

Dundee United Teamsheet:  Gallacher, McCracken, McInnes, Archibald, Wilson, Kerr, Duff, Dodds, Robson, Samuel, McLaren.

Unused Subs: Miller for Samuel (73)

Bookings:  McLaren (37),   Dodds (69)

Aberdeen Teamsheet:  Preece, Rutkiewicz, Morrison, Heikkinen, Anderson, Diamond, Clark, Tosh, Booth, Hinds (Zdrilic 89), Muirhead.

Unused Subs:

Bookings:  Clark (65),  Diamond (82),  Tosh (93).

Referee: Stuart Dougal, Burnside

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