The red army gave Craig and Archie a warm welcome before kick-off and they were still in full voice as the Dons kicked off. Aberdeen made a strong start to the match and probably shaded the first half although neither team had their shooting boots on. United brought on Mackay -Stevens early in the second half and he made a huge difference to the home side. Langfield made some excellent saves to keep the home side at bay and when Nicky Low came on for Aberdeen he also looked lively. With Dundee winning at Rugby Park both sides had the motivation to win and Aberdeen gathered themselves for a strong finish with McGinn forcing a fine save from Cierzniak. Then in the last play of the game Boulding scored to take United into the top six and leave the large support devastated.
McGinn was first to probe in the opening minute, but he couldn't find Magennis in the centre. Josh looked like he might cause the home defence some headaches and McGinn was also giving them a torrid time in the opening five minutes. Following the whirlwind start by the Dons, United started to settle and get their foot on the ball although neither keeper had yet been tested. Aberdeen then won the first corner in the eighth minute and Anderson forced a save from Cierzniak as his header was comfortably claimed.
Both sets of supporters were in full voice as the news of a Dundee goal filtered through and in the 12th minute Langfield made his first save. At the other end a Shaughnessy cross went out of play before coming back over the bye line. Hayes won a second corner in the 15th minute, but the set play came to nothing. However a minute later the Dons won a free kick 30 yards out and Magennis sent a low shot inches wide with the keeper scrambling. A phase of pressure by the home side around the twenty minute mark had the Dons defence on their toes, but they held firm. After an up tempo start the game was becoming scrappy now as both teams looked for the opening.
A Shaughnessy throw in the 25th minute was scrambled clear and at the other end Langfield had to race off his line to deny Daly and clear a short pass from Naysmith. With Dundee leading in Kilmarnock neither Aberdeen nor United looked like breaking the deadlock and giving themselves the chance to move into the top six. Just after the half hour mark Anderson should have opened the scoring, but he headed a Hayes cross wide. At the other end Anderson and Langfield got in a real mix up and were lucky not to concede with Gauld in close attendance. Magennis and Hayes combined well in the 39th minute, but it ended with Hayes firing well over.
At the other end Gardyne had a good chance, but he also failed to find the target. McGinn then went on a great run before being pulled back by Flood. Hayes fired the free kick across the face of the goal, but no one was on hand to turn it into the net. Two minutes before the break Magennis attempted to score from an impossible angle when a pass to McGinn might have been more fruitful. At the other end Daly fired a Gauld cut-back well over. Aberdeen finished powerfully and Magennis looked set to score late on when Dillon made a last gasp challenge to keep the match goalless at the interval.
Aberdeen had a good early chance, but a McGinn header failed to threaten the United goal before United won a free kick on the edge of the box, but it was thankfully wasted by Douglas. At the other end Hayes was equally ineffective as he headed wide. Aberdeen appeared to have been given the instruction to "shoot on sight" and McGinn did just that in the 50th minute, but again the effort was off target. The Dons won a corner kick three minutes later, but before that MacKay-Steven replaced Gardyne. The corner was a let-down as Cierzniak calmly claimed the ball.
MacKay-Steven looked to be about to make the breakthrough before Reynolds made a great tackle to deny the United substitute. The resultant corner found Watson and he headed the ball inches over. The United fans were finally coming to life as the match started to stretch. Aberdeen weathered the storm and at the other end Vernon flicked a Shaughnessy throw in goalwards, but it was a comfortable save for Cierzniak. Mackay Steven was making a real difference and he forced another corner on the hour mark, but Aberdeen eventually scrambled the ball clear.
Hayes then broke on the right, but with several men waiting in the middle the winger failed to make a telling cross and looked disgusted with himself. United forced another corner in the 66th minute and the Dons defence had to charge down a Rankin effort. Jack and McGinn then broke and the United defence blocked Jack's effort equally effectively. United should have scored a minute later when Langfield had his hands stung as he stopped a shot from Gauld before the rebound bounced off Flood and on to the bar. Mackay-Steven then fired the loose ball over the bar. A real let off for the Dons and a minute later Langfield made another terrific save from Watson.
Low replaced Hayes in the 70th minute but Aberdeen needed to turn the tide at this stage and in the 73rd minute Vernon went down in the box, but Craig Thompson was not impressed. Mackay-Steven was running the show at this stage and two minutes later he set up Gauld who fired inches wide. Substitute Low won Aberdeen a corner, but the ball was easily cleared. The youngster was making his own impact on the match and his free kick was headed over by Anderson in the 78th minute. He won another free kick a minute later just as Fallon replaced Magennis. The free kick came to nothing before United broke and forced another fine double save from Langfield.
The Dons then broke from defence and McGinn was set up by Vernon before Souter made a late interception to deny the Irishman. Aberdeen failed to make the corner count as Vernon headed over. With Dundee still leading neither side seemed to want to accept the invitation into the top six. United appealed for a penalty in the 83rd minute as McKay-Steven went down, but again Craig Thomson was unimpressed. Brown took a gamble in the last five minutes as Pawlett replaced Shaughnessy in an attempt to make that top six spot.
A Langfield free kick in the 86th minute was delivered right into the hands of his counterpart at the other end. Aberdeen then broke as McGinn released Low. The youngster fed the ball to substitute Pawlett, but he couldn't finish and had to settle for a corner. Jack swung the ball in, but again it was straight at the keeper. McGinn then went close as Vernon dummied the ball into his path and his shot was blocked by Cierzniak. At the other end United fired over the bar then a Fallon special from distance was deflected for another corner as the game headed towards injury time. Once again the corner was disappointing, but seconds later Rae fired wide as three minutes of injury time was indicated. United then won a free kick in a dangerous position at the edge of the area, but Naysmith cleared before a late attack allowed substitute Boulding to score with the last kick of the game.