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Aberdeen 2 - 1 Falkirk

HT Score: Aberdeen 2 - 0 Falkirk

Aberdeen scorers: Mackie 17, Clark 44.
Falkirk scorers: Gow 69

09/12/2006 | KO: 15:00

Dons hang on to collect all three points

This was the ultimate game of two halves as Aberdeen built a comfortable 2-0 lead in the first 45 minutes then proceeded to get totally outplayed after the break and were left hanging on at the end. Mackie opened the scoring before Clark added a second a minute before the break. Falkirk then took control and pulled a goal back through Gow then forced the Dons back as they looked for a second. Earlier Falkirk had replaced their keeper and young Higgins looked extremely nervous, but was never really tested by the Dons. A big improvement is required if Aberdeen are to take anything from the next two matches against the improved Hearts and Rangers, but it's pleasing that the Dons can now grind out results when not at their best.

Falkirk kicked off at Pittodrie but Aberdeen were first to threaten through a weak effort from Jamie Smith in the second minute. Seconds later they won a free kick when Lee Miller was clattered from behind and had to leave the pitch for treatment as the free kick was taken. The ball was played into the box and Lambers comfortably held a Severin header. Aberdeen were then served a warning in the 4th minute when Gow worked his way into the box and fired an effort off the post from a tight angle.

Aberdeen were next to threaten in the 8th minute when Miller flicked the ball on to Nicholson and his cross bobbled in front of Mackie before the striker scooped it over the bar. A minute later Foster made a thirty-yard run before drilling a low shot inches wide from 25 yards out. Falkirk were forced into an early substitution in the 10th minute when Dodd replaced the injured Scobbie. Five minutes later Gow drove forward for the visitor's before Lima drove well wide from distance. Two minutes later Aberdeen went ahead thanks to some quick thinking from Gary Dempsey.

After winning a free kick Dempsey quickly lobbed the ball forward and Mackie showed bravery as he beat Lambers to the ball and lobbed it into the empty net with the defence still sleeping. Falkirk suffered a second injury blow in the 26th minute when Scott Higgins replaced goalkeeper Lambers, who had picked up a knock at the goal. The keeper was straight into action as he had to defend the first corner of the match and made a comfortable catch as Miller threatened. Falkirk should have levelled in the 33rd minute following a poor pass back by Hart that was intercepted by Gow. He in turn pulled the ball back to Stokes who surprisingly pulled his shot wide.

In the 36th minute Clark fired in an effort from 35 yards that drifted wide before Lima had a wild effort at the other end. The Dons were living dangerously at this stage and had yet to test rookie keeper Higgins. With five minutes of the first half remaining Nicholson latched on to a Miller knock down but once again the effort went wide. Aberdeen then extended their lead in the 44th minute with a wonderful strike from Chris Clark. He collected the ball on the left, stepped inside and curled a great effort in at the far post.

Aberdeen threatened in the 51st minute when Jamie Smith broke and found Lee Miller in the middle he attempted to hook the ball over Higgins, but was flagged offside. Three minutes later Smith swung in a fine cross but Mackie scooped his effort over the bar. Falkirk then raced up field and Gow beat a couple of players before unleashing a great shot that Langfield tipped over the bar for the Bairns first corner. Stokes then threatened in the 59th minute before Severin blocked for a corner. Several erratic decisions then upset the red army including a free kick awarded 25 yards out that produced another save from Langfield.

Aberdeen were starting to get forced deeper and had a warning in the 68th minute when first Cregg fired over then Craig testied Langfield. The failed to heed the warning and Gow was given far too much space before curling a fine effort past Langfield in the 69th minute. Aberdeen were finding it difficult to get forward and had failed to put a nervy substitute keeper under any kind of pressure. In the 74th minute Considine replaced Foster as the Dons tried to tighten a shaky looking defence. Aberdeen finally broke out in the 78th minute and won a free kick on the edge of the box but Jamie Smith curled the effort over the bar.

Aberdeen were rocking now and Anderson was forced to concede a corner before Lovell replaced Dempsey in the 80th minute. Lovell was caught in possession two minutes later then tripped his opponent to earn the first yellow card of the match. With six minutes remaining Falkirk won another couple of corners as the Dons were pushed further back. Lee Miller then fell awkwardly and had to be replaced by Touzani. The Dons survived the three minutes of injury time and their was relief around Pittodrie when the final whistle went.

Match Stats:

Dons Bairns
Goal Attempts 12 13
On Target 4 5
Corners 1 5
Possession 53% 47%

Aberdeen Teamsheet
Langfield, Hart, Foster (Considine 74), Severin, Anderson, Clark, Nicholson, Dempsey (Lovell 80), Mackie, Miller (Touzani 87), Smith.

Unused Subs: Maguire, Smith, Diamond, Soutar.
Falkirk Teamsheet
Lambers (Higgins 26), Cregg, Ross, Gow, Latapy, Stokes, Milne, Lima, Barr, Craig, Scobbie (Dodd 10) Unused Subs:

Bookings:  Gow 89
Attendance: 10,594
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
Referee: John Underhill, Fife
Today's match programme.
Gary Dempsey in action at Pittodrie this afternoon.
Lee Miller keeps the pressure on the visiting defence.
Darren Mackie opens the scoring...
...and acknowledges the red army.
Richard Foster in action this afternoon.
Chris Clark adds a second against Falkirk.
Clark is mobbed by his team mates after scoring his first goal of the season.
Russell Anderson steers the ball to safety.
Gow pulls one back for Falkirk with a fine strike.
Sponsors man of the match Chris Clark acknowledges the crowd.
Jimmy Calderwood looks relieved at the end of the game.
Next Match
10 Jul 2024 / 19:00 / Balmoor Stadium, Peterhead