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Aberdeen 2 - 1 Southampton

HT Score: Aberdeen 2 - 1 Southampton

Aberdeen scorers: McAllister 7, Hinds 17.
Southampton scorers: Beattie (26)

20/05/2003 | KO: 19:30

Dons get the better of Premiership Saints

Aberdeen defeated Gordon Strachan's cup finalists to lift the friendship cup at Pittodrie tonight. In an entertaining first half the Dons raced into a two goal lead through McAllister and Hinds. Southampton fought back and Beattie grabbed a goal to bring the visitors back into the match. Saints had the better of a disappointing second half, but the Dons defence stood firm to hold on to the lead.

After much handshaking and a "we're not worthy" moment as Gordon Strachan arrived, the game finally got underway. Andy Parkinson looked lively in the early stages, but it was Steve Tosh who had the first pop at goal in the 2nd minute. Unfortunately Blayney was not tested and the midfield player should possibly have released McNaughton instead. Parkinson again impressed in the 5th minute when he broke on the left, but there was no-one in the middle as his cross arrived. The Dons went ahead in the 7th minute when McNaughton went on one of his maisy runs before being up-ended by Michael Svensson 20 yards out.

Jamie McAllister stepped up to take the free kick and bent the ball round the wall and into the net to give himself a memorable goal in his last Pittodrie match. The Dons caused panic in the Saints defence a minute later as the visitors struggled to clear their lines. However Parkinson slipped as he fired in a shot and the effort went over the bar. Parkinson turned provider in the 12th minute when following good play on the left he rolled the ball into the path of Paul Sheerin. Unfortunately the ex-Ayr man screwed the ball wide.

The Premiership side had been restricted to occasional forays into the Dons' half and it was no surprise when Aberdeen went 2-0 ahead in the 17th minute. McGuire collected a free kick on the right wing and fired the ball back across the goal for Hinds to force the ball over the line from close range. The second goal was a wakeup call for the Saints as they snapped out of their post FA Cup lethargy. Preece had to look lively in the 21st minute as he punched an effort clear only for Beattie to fire in the loose ball which Hart somehow headed to safety. The sustained pressure paid off five minutes later when Beattie headed in from close range.

Oakley almost added a second on the half-hour mark as he latched on to a long ball which he lobbed over Preece and the bar. We had a real contest now and Aberdeen came close to adding a third in the 33rd minute when McNaughton was inches from connecting with a Hinds cross. Three minutes later Preece pulled off a magnificent save from Saints captain Chris Marsden, before the ball was back up in the Saints half where Hinds screwed his shot wide. In the final minute Preece made another good stop as Beattie looked to add a second goal in what had been an entertaining opening 45 minutes.

The half time entertainment saw a Gothenburg Greats team earn a 1-1 draw against a Dons Legends team in a 5-a-side match. Gordon Strachan and Duncan Shearer were the scorers.

Southampton should have levelled in the 51st minute when a McAllister back-heel landed at the feet of Fernandes inside the Dons' penalty area. Preece forced the striker wide and he eventually fired into the side netting. A minute later Preece made a good stop from substitute Tessem. McAllister had a chance to add to his tally in the 61st minute, but this time Blayney saved well. A minute later he was applauded from the field when he was replaced by young Alexander Diamond.

Within seconds Saints almost levelled when Tessem's lob went inches over the bar. Southampton had the better of the play now, but the Dons defence was holding firm. The second half was not as incident packed as the first as multiple substitutions broke up the play. Paterson introduced a further two youth players in the 79th minute when Foster and Morrison replaced Hinds and Verhaar. Two minutes earlier McNaughton had set up Hinds but the striker's fierce shot was deflected for a corner kick.

Saints came within a whisker of an equaliser in the 85th minute. Fernandes skipped past Diamond and fired in a cross which Oakley smashed against the Dons upright with Preece beaten. In the final minute Parkinson almost grabbed the goal that his play merited when he fired in a low drive which the keeper held. Seconds later Preece was down quickly to smother an Anders Svensson shot to secure victory for the Dons.

Aberdeen Teamsheet
Preece, Verhaar (Morrison 79), Hart, McNaughton (Payne 82), McGuire, Tiernan, Tosh (Clark 70), McAllister (Diamond 62), Sheerin, Hinds (Foster 79), Parkinson.
Southampton Teamsheet
Blayney, Bridge (Higgenbotham 46), Marsden, Telfer (Baird 75), Williams, Ormerod (Davies 64), Oakley (Anderson 90), Beattie (Teesem 46), Michael Svensson, Anders Svensson (Benali 79), Fernandes.
Attendance: 8,568
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
Referee: Alan Freeland, Aberdeen
Next Match
HJK Helsinki
30 Nov 2023 / 17:45 / Töölö Football Stadium, Helsinki