A fighting performance from Aberdeen ensured a 1-0 win this afternoon as the red army helped cheer the Dons to victory and the easing of any relegation worries. A noisy crowd witnessed a lot of fight from this Aberdeen side and they scored what proved to be the winner in the 12th minute with a goal worthy of any match. Grassi played a lovely ball over the top and MacLean did well to take it first time as it came over his shoulder and he hit a sweet volley beyond Olejnik. The second half was a nervy affair, but Falkirk never really looked like scoring as Aberdeen held on to their lead and a well deserved three points.
Aberdeen kicked off in front of a noisy crowd as both sides looked to make a positive start. After five minutes neither side had created a chance, but a minute later Moutinho found space, but fortunately he screwed his effort wide. Three minutes later a good ball from Mulgrew was only half cleared and Aberdeen forced the first corner of the match. Unfortunately Young sent the ball high into the air although rumours that it had a film of lava dust on it when it landed are thought to be exaggerated. However the Dons were showing great determination and fight. The deadlock was broken in the 12th minute when Aberdeen went ahead with a spectacular strike. Grassi played a lovely pass over the top and MacLean did well to take the ball first time as it came over his shoulder and he hit a sweet volley beyond Olejnik.
Four minutes later a long ball into the Aberdeen box saw Langfield come well off his line, but unlike last week the keeper punched clear and the danger was averted. In the 20th minute a throw in from Duff was well won by Mackie that in turn forced a second corner. Mulgrew swung the ball in and Diamond looked like he was about to connect with the ball when it was taken from his toes by a Bairns defender. A third corner followed two minutes later, but the ball went deep and was easily cleared. Mackie went close to adding a second in the 23rd minute when he latched on to A Foster ball and attempted to chip Olejnik. The ball cleared the keeper, but landed on the roof of the net.
Aberdeen won a free kick 30 yards out when Kerr was taken out of the play by Arfield, but Falkirk held firm. The game was getting broken up at this stage as stoppages from Mr. Winter began to frustrate the fans. MacLean almost made it 2-0 as he ran on to through ball from Young. He chipped the ball over Olejnik, but he didn't get enough on his chip as a defender raced back to clear. At the other end Ifil climbed well to clear a dangerous delivery. There was controversy six minutes from time when referee Winter blocked Mackie as Flynn raced into the box. The Falkirk man went down in the box, but referee Winter awarded a goal kick.
Falkirk were awarded a soft free kick on the edge of the box and Moutinho played the ball in, but Langfield was quickly out to claim. Another free kick followed on the half way line as MacLean went in hard on Flynn. In the final minute a looping header from Barr had to be clawed over the bar by Langfield, but the assistant had already flagged for offside. At the other end a fierce shot from Foster was blocked as this game continued to hang in the balance. A snapshot from Mackie in the dying seconds went wide as the game winded towards the interval.
Falkirk introduced their tall striker Showunmi into the action at the interval in an attempt to cause problems for the Dons. It had been a scrappy start to the second half and Mackie was booked in the 49th minute for a poor challenge. A minute later Falkirk won the opening corner of the second half, but Duff cleared at the near post. Falkirk had started the second half better and they were again looking for a penalty when they claimed the ball came off of the hand of Ifil. It would have been a very soft award. At the other end there was frantic defending from Falkirk then Duff was booked for obstructing substitute Showunmi as the Bairns tried to break.
Aberdeen were looking nervous now, but Twaddle became the first Falkirk player to be booked in the 62nd minute. The Dons fans were getting frustrated by a serious of strange decisions and four minutes later Duff conceded a corner as Falkirk turned up the pressure. Aberdeen scrambled the ball clear as nails were being bitten throughout the stadium. Foster found some space on the right, but his shot failed to test Olejnik. Substitute Finnigan then appeared to trip Diamond, but referee Winter played on, but the Falkirk man had injured himself badly in the process and his game was over.
Falkirk manager Pressley was spoken to by Mr. Winter as he tried to give the official the benefit of his thoughts. In the 76th minute Foster had a chance to break into the box, but he was halted by McLean. Duff was then caught late, but Mr Winter awarded a throw in to Falkirk. Paton then replaced Mackie in the 80th minute, but Falkirk continued to probe forward looking for the equaliser. A long throw in by Grassi caused problems, but there was no one at the back post to turn the ball into the net. In the final minute Twaddle clearly handled, but a throw in was awarded to Falkirk.
Paton then took the ball for a run on the left and forced a corner as the game moved into injury time. MacLean was scythed in half by Compton deep in injury time and was lucky to escape with only a yellow card. The free kick was the last act of the game and Aberdeen held on for all three points and surely had done enough to keep themselves in the SPL. This was a much better performance by the Dons as they showed real fight to win this match in front of a supportive crowd who helped cheer them on to the victory.