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AFC - Match Report
match report 2005-06 fixture list
Aberdeen 4 - 0 Hibernian
Kick Off:  3:00 PM   Crawford 15, Lovell 30, Lovell 54, Foster 64.        
Attendance: 10,490 (Visitors: 857)
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
Dons keep euro dream alive with four goal rout
Aberdeen moved into fifth place and made a huge impact on Hibs goal difference advantage with a 4-0 win at Pittodrie. Crawford and Lovell gave the home side a comfortable interval lead then when Lovell added a second after the break Pittodrie witnessed some of the finest football of the season. Foster then claimed his first goal of the season to tie up the points. Hibs pushed for a consolation near the end but the Aberdeen defence held firm to set up an interesting end to the season.

Aberdeen kicked off in bright sunshine with both sets of players lining up in an attacking formation. It was Aberdeen who enjoyed the early pressure without threatening the Hibs goal. Hibs managed the first short in the 5th minute when Sproule left Diamond on the seat of his pants and strode forward to fire a poor effort, which was comfortably held by Langfield. Two minutes later Foster found himself on the edge of the box but had his effort blocked. Dempsey then went close in the 10th minute when good build up play saw Malkowski tipping his powerful header over the bar.

The subsequent corner was well defended by the visitor's before another fine passing move ended with Foster drilling a ball across goal that just evaded the two strikers. A second corner followed in the 15th minute and produced the opening goal of the match. Smith's delivery was flicked to the far post by Anderson and turned into the net by Crawford. Crawford threatened again a minute later when Foster created the chance then in the 19th minute Lovell came close when he managed to test Malkowski while lying on the ground.

Anderson also went close in the 23rd minute when he headed a Lovell cross wide then two minutes later Hibs were denied by the wood work. The ball fell to Riordan on the edge of the box and he hit a crisp volley that crashed of the bar before the ball came back to the same player who hit another fine shot that was well held by Langfield. A mistake from Smith almost allowed Sproule to break in the 29th minute but once again it was Russell Anderson who was on hand to sweep up at the back. Aberdeen then extended their lead on the half hour mark when Lovell showed some smart footwork to beat his defender and drill the ball home from 12 yards.

Four minutes later Langfield picked up a nasty knock when Whittaker went in late and unnecessarily on the keeper. Hibs were then awarded a soft free kick in the 37th minute but Langfield made a comfortable save from Riordan's scooped effort. At the other end Diamond broke and set up Nicholson but his shot was easily gathered by the keeper. Caldwell then upended Nicholson on the edge of the box with two minutes of the half remaining but Smith hit the free kick over the bar and wasted the chance. Then in the final minute Hibs turned the ball into the net but were denied by the offside flag.

Hibs threatened first after the break when Dempsey conceded an unfortunate handball in the opening minute but the defence held firm. Jamie Smith then showed remarkable sportsmanship as he played the ball out so Murphy could recover from a knock to the nether regions. It's a pity Hibs didn't return the compliment as they delivered the ball deep into the Aberdeen half when Smith could so easily have delivered a cross into the box if he had a mind. The game then exploded in the 50th minute when Caldwell made a horrific challenge on Gary Dempsey. After everyone had calmed down Caldwell was lucky to get away with a yellow card while Diamond was unlucky to be similarly punished.

Diamond seemed unaffected however as he set up the Dons third goal four minutes later. He delivered a cross to the near post and Steve Lovell did well to hammer the ball past Malkowski. On the hour mark Foster was given a glimpse of goal but his shot was poor and failed to test the keeper. He made no mistake however when he grabbed the fourth goal in the 64th minute after some great play. Crawford had initially hit a terrific volley that was blocked by Malkowski but the Hibs defence failed to clear and Foster was set up to score his first goal of the season.

Two minutes later Lovell broke on the left and cut the ball back before it was scrambled clear by Hibs. Lovell then left the field of play to a rousing reception as John Stewart replaced him. The youngster broke four minutes later and set up McNaughton. Unfortunately the defender scooped the ball over the bar with the goal at his mercy. A minute later Smith almost fed Dempsey in but the ball was again scrambled away for a corner. Then at the other end Langfield was forced to deal with a horrendous back pass and did so admirably with some neat ball control.

Hibs then hit the woodwork again when Dalglish steered a header on target as Langfield looked to be impeded on the goal line. At the other end Smith tested Malkowski before Riordan was presented a chance at the other end. In the meantime Snoyl had replaced Dempsey in midfield. Riordan then had another effort blocked by Anderson in the 81st minute. Hibs looked determined to pull one back and won a series of corners in the closing minutes aware that goal difference might be a factor before the season ends. With two minutes remaining Macaulay replaced Jamie Smith but once again it was Langfield in action as he saved from Fletcher.

Match Stats:

Dons Hibs
Goal Attempts 15 6
On Target 11 3
Corners 4 6
Possession 51% 49%

Aberdeen Teamsheet:  Langfield, Diamond, McNaughton, Severin, Anderson, Nicholson, Smith (Macaulay 88), Dempsey (Snoyl 78), Lovell (Stewart 70), Crawford, Foster.

Unused Subs:

Bookings:  Diamond (52).

Hibernian Teamsheet:  Malkowski, Whittaker, Caldwell, Glass, Hogg, Murphy, Shields, Riordan, Konde, Sproule, Fletcher.

Unused Subs: Benjelloun for Hogg (46), Dalglish for Benjelloun (55), Shields for Sproule (61)

Bookings:  Shields (40),   Caldwell (52)

Referee: Brian Winter, Motherwell

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