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AFC - Match Report
match report 2006-07 fixture list
Aberdeen 1 - 2 Celtic
Kick Off:  12:30 PM   Mackie 90.       Beattie (9), Nakamura (20)  
Attendance: 16,711 (Visitors: 3,645)
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
Dons effort fails to earn points
Craig Thomson was the villain of the piece in the eyes of the red army after watching the Dons dominate the game for long periods only to find themselves on the wrong end of a 2-1 scoreline. After being pinned back for the opening eight minutes Celtic broke and in their first attack Beattie fired the ball low past Langfield. Referee Thomson then put his mark on the game when he failed to award a penalty for the Dons then awarded the softest of free kicks on the edge of the Aberdeen penalty area. Nakamura pulled the free kick back by about three yards as referee Thomson pushed the Dons wall back and the Japanese midfielder fired the ball into the postage stamp corner.

Both incidents incensed the players and Thomson was quite happy to put the names of Foster and Severin into his book. Russell Anderson was to follow them into the book in the second half for alleged back chat before Mackie threw the Dons a lifeline in the 90th minute. In between Aberdeen created many chances but found Artur Boruc in top form. Only two minutes of injury time was played despite five substitutions and lengthy treatment for Pressley and the stand side linesman who bizarrely collided with substitute Kenny Miller, who also required treatment. A late appeal for a penalty kick was once again brushed aside and Aberdeen ended up with nothing from a game they put so much into.

Celtic kicked off but it was Aberdeen who threatened first when Lovell and Miller combined in the opening minute. Miller couldn't get power behind his shot and Borac gathered easily. Aberdeen then won a free kick 35 yards out when Hartley felled Nicholson. Severin went for power, but the effort was blocked before the keeper could be tested. A Hart cross was then defended well two minutes later as Aberdeen continued to hold the early advantage. Mackie should have opened the scoring in the 8th minute when good build up play found him in possession inside the six-yard box. Unfortunately the ball wouldn't sit down for him and they had to settle for the first corner of the match.

After totally dominating the opening spell Aberdeen found themselves a goal down as Celtic scored on the break. Following the Dons corner Celtic moved quickly up field and as the Dons defence claimed for offside Beattie strode down the right and drilled the ball past Langfield. Aberdeen tried to hit back and a long throw from Severin caused problems as Mackie tried to control the ball rather than hit it on the volley and the chance was gone. Another long throw in the 15th minute produced appeals for a spot kick as Pressley handled the ball deep inside the box but referee Thomson was not interested and followed up with a booking of Richard Foster.

Celtic won their first corner a minute later but the Dons defence cleared easily and at the other end Lovell had a sniff at goal, but was denied by Pressley. Craig Thomson then endeared himself further to the red army with a ridiculously soft free kick award on the edge of the box. Then after he pushed the Dons wall back about 11 yards and Nakamura pulled the ball back about three yards before he stepped up to score. The Dons players were furious and Severin was yellow carded by the referee. There was sarcastic applause from the fans a minute later when the Dons were awarded a free kick but after winning their second corner kick the referee intervened once again as Borac dropped the ball under pressure from a fair challenge.

A low drive from Mackie in the 24th minute tested Borac but the keeper gathered at the second attempt. Celtic then had a soft penalty appeal that was surprisingly turned down by referee Thomson. Hartley had a sniff of goal in the 27th minute and Lovell should have done better a minute later with a poor attempt at lobbing the keeper. To be fair he looked well offside before he received the ball. Celtic won a couple of corners in the 32nd minute and Aberdeen broke quickly from the second. Unfortunately Mackie had little support and the chance was gone. Aberdeen then finished the half with a flurry of chances with the first coming in the 42nd minute when a Foster cross was headed inches wide by Lovell.

Two minutes later McManus made a poor clearance and Nicholson hit a great volley from the edge of the box. Borac looked beaten but the ball went inches over the bar. Deep in injury time Chris Clark looked to have grabbed the precious goal only to be denied by a world class save from Artur Borac. The midfielder, who had recovered from an earlier challenger from Lee Naylor, hit a perfect volley that looked to be finding the top corner of the net until Borac tipped it over the bar to leave the Dons frustrated.

Aberdeen were forced into a change in the 49th minute when Clark, who had picked up a knock in the first half, was forced to leave the pitch and was replaced by Maguire. The Dons won the first corner of the half in the 52nd minute and a second quickly followed. Nicholson swung the ball in and Anderson's header was on target but Borac easily held although Lovell could have got a touch. Langfield then kept the Dons in the match in the 55th minute when he stretched out a hand to deny Jarosik.

Aberdeen thought they had won a penalty in the 57th minute but the clear foul by McManus on Miller was adjudged to be made outside the box. McManus was yellow carded and when the free kick was eventually taken Nicholson's goal bound effort was blocked by Anderson before a game of bagatelle ensued but the Celtic defence survived. Lovell fired in a snap shot in the 65th minute that went wide then play was stopped in the 67th minute when substitute Kenny Miller collided with the linesman and both needed treatment. A similar delay as Pressley received treatment appeared to take the rhythm out of the Dons play. Anderson was then booked in the 71st minute for allegedly talking back to referee Thomson. He looked bemused by the decision.

Two minutes later another fine piece of passing play ended with Borac turning a Severin drive wide as Aberdeen continued to try and get back into the game. In the 74th minute a Severin cross caused problems before the Celtic defence scrambled the ball clear then a free kick in the 77th minute resulted in another Dons corner and Miller should have done better but headed wide. Dan Smith replaced Lovell as the Dons continued to try and find a way past the Celtic defence. Maguire had a half chance in the 83rd minute but never really caught the ball. Aberdeen threatened again a minute later but allowed Celtic to break as legs began to tire. Borac was off his line quickly to block Foster and win a corner, but Foster should have done better when he was found unmarked on the edge of the box and failed to do anything with it.

A Foster header in the 87th minute failed to test Borac but they were thrown a lifeline in the 90th minute when Mackie latched on to a ball over the top from Miller and beat Borac with a low drive. Aberdeen went searching for an equaliser but were not helped by only two minutes of injury time despite several substitutions and lengthy treatment for Pressley and the stand side linesman. Mackie had a final chance to get the goal when he went in on Borac, but the keeper gathered and a brave performance went totally unrewarded.

Match Stats:

Dons Celts
Goal Attempts 13 7
On Target 85
Corners 9 4
Possession 51% 49%

Aberdeen Teamsheet:  Langfield, Hart, Foster, Severin, Anderson, Considine, Nicholson, Miller, Mackie, Lovell (Smith 77), Clark (Maguire 49).

Unused Subs:

Bookings:  Foster (19),  Severin (20),  Anderson (71).

Celtic Teamsheet:  Boruc, Naylor, JV of Hesselink, Hartley, Wilson, Pressley, Lennon, Jarosik, Nakamura, Beattie, McManus.

Unused Subs: Sno for Jan Venegoor of Hesselink (64), McGeady for Beattie (73), Telfer for Nakamura (90)

Bookings:  McManus (57)

Referee: Craig Thomson, Paisley

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