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AFC - Match Report
match report 2003-04 fixture list
Scottish Cup Fourth Round 
Falkirk 0 - 2 Aberdeen
Kick Off:  3:00 PM         Zdrilic 61, Booth 64.  
Attendance: 4,747
Venue: Ochilview Park, Stenhousemuir
Dons keep Bairns quiet
Aberdeen had a much happier Scottish cup visit to Ochilview today as they eased into the 5th round of the competition. After a no scoring first half and experiencing four seasons (mainly winter) during the ninety minutes, Aberdeen stepped up a gear after the interval. Two goals in five minutes from Zdrilic and Booth secured the win and the only downside was a nasty looking injury picked up by Kevin McNaughton on the stroke of half time.

Aberdeen made a positive start to the match as both sides tried to make their mark in the opening minutes. The home side had the first shot at goal in the 4th minute when McAnespie hit a tame effort wide of the target. Two minutes later Zdrilic collected a Tosh throw in and turned quickly before firing inches wide as the game moved quickly from one end to another.

Tosh was dominating in the middle of the park at this stage and the Dons were causing the home defence some real problems. In the 14th minute Aberdeen won a couple of free kicks around the Falkirk goal, but Morrison was unable to make a telling delivery. A minute later Clark was in behind the Falkirk defence to win the first corner kick of the match, but the set play was scrambled away in the mud.

Aberdeen were turning up the heat on the home side, but on each occasion the pressure was relieved by a poor final ball. Falkirk were making the occasional break forward but as yet had not threatened the Dons goal. Tosh went close in the 22nd minute when he collected a Zdrilic lay off and fired in a shot, which Ferguson gathered at the second attempt. Two minutes later Morrison broke and found Scott Booth in the penalty area. The striker attempted to chip the keeper, but also lifted the ball over the bar.

Aberdeen were hoping that these missed chances would not come back to haunt them as the snow started to fall heavily. Falkirk went close in the 29th minute when Latapy broke from another Dons attack and forced Preece to concede a corner as his cross almost drifted in to the net. Xausa took an acrobatic dive inside the Dons penalty box in the 33rd minute, as the ball appeared to roll out for a goal kick. Mr. Clark over ruled his assistant and awarded a corner kick and decided not to speak to the Canadian striker.

The snow was getting heavier and Mr. Clark requested a yellow ball for easier identification with 35 minutes on the clock. A minute later Mr Clark penalised Tosh for a perfectly executed tackle. The resulting set play saw Preece make a wonderful save as the home side started to get back into the match. Aberdeen had a couple of chances in the 41st minute, but both Hinds and Tosh dwelled on the ball allowing the home defence to clear. Then in the final minute of the half Colquhoun headed a McAnespie cross over the bar. McNaughton picked up a nasty head knock in the incident and was stretchered off.

As expected McNaughton failed to return after the interval and was replaced by Phil McGuire. Clark had a snap shot at goal in the 50th minute, but the effort was easily collected by Ferguson. A minute later Falkirk won a corner and Preece was forced to make another save as Xausa fired in a low shot. The game immediately broke up the other end to put the home side under pressure as the snow continued to fall heavily.

The conditions were now becoming treacherous as the tie raged from end to end. In the 58th minute Zdrilic hit a decent free kick from distance, but Ferguson made a comfortable save. On the hour mark Hinds beat the offside trap before rounding Ferguson and watching in dismay as McPherson cleared his effort off the line. The Dons only had to wait another minute before they took the lead. Keeper Ferguson made a couple of fine saves from Hinds and Tosh before Zdrilic drilled the ball into the net.

Falkirk almost levelled a minute later when Latapy found substitute Lee in splendid isolation, but the Falkirk player headed against the bar when it looked easier to score. The home side were to regret this miss when Aberdeen doubled their advantage in the 64th minute. Good build up play by Clark ended with the Aberdeen man finding Booth in the centre and the striker side footed the ball past Ferguson to put Aberdeen on easy street. Tosh collected the first card of the game in the 66th minute with Falkirk's Nichols suffering the same fate in the 72nd minute. In between the bookings Preece made a fine save from Lee.

Lee was not having a great day as he missed another guilt edged chance in the 74th minute as he scooped a Latapy cross over the bar. Muirhead replaced Zdrilic in the 74th minute and a minute later McGuire fired over from the edge of the Falkirk penalty area. Then in the 83rd minute Muirhead went on a run downfield before leaving Hughes for dead and firing a fierce shot at goal, which Ferguson held well. With five minutes remaining Prunty replaced Booth and the Dons eased through the remainder of the match.

Falkirk Teamsheet:  Ferguson, Lawrie, McPherson, McKenzie, Hughes, Sharp, O'Neil, Xausa, Colquhoun, Latapy, McAnaspie.

Unused Subs: Lee for Xausa (57), Nichols for McAnespie (57)

Bookings:  Nichols (72)

Aberdeen Teamsheet:  Preece, Morrison, McNaughton (McGuire 46), Heikkinen, Diamond, Anderson, Clark, Tosh, Booth (Prunty 85), Zdrilic (Muirhead 74), Hinds.

Unused Subs:

Bookings:  Tosh (66).

Referee: Kenny Clark

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