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Aberdeen 2 - 4 Dundee United

HT Score: Aberdeen 2 - 3 Dundee United

Aberdeen scorers: Lovell 8, Mackie 10 (Pen).
Dundee United scorers: Daly 1, Hunt 14, Cameron 17, Cameron 51

07/04/2007 | KO: 15:00

Dons Euro blow in Pittodrie goal rush

A combination of poor defending and some fine goalkeeping from Derek Stillie saw Aberdeen's European ambitions take a big dent. There was a goal feast in the opening 18 minutes as the game swung from one end to the other. The visitor's won a penalty in the opening minute when Hart bundled Samuel to the deck and Daly converted. The Dons bounced back with Lovell steering a Severin shot past Stillie before Foster was upended in the box and Mackie fired the Dons ahead. Poor defending from set plays allowed United to hit back through Hunt and Cameron before the twenty-minute mark. The Dons pressed after the break but were denied by a series of fine saves from Stillie and it was Cameron who claimed the only goal of the second half.

Aberdeen kicked off playing towards the Richard Donald Stand, but it was United who took the lead in the opening minute when Hart, returning from suspension, made a clumsy challenge on Colin Samuel and conceded a penalty. Jon Daly, who scored in the last minute against Celtic last week, stepped up and sent Langfield the wrong way. Aberdeen tried to hit back immediately and won the first corner of the match in the 3rd minute when a Foster strike was deflected wide. The corner was well defended, but Aberdeen levelled three minutes later through Steve Lovell.

United conceded a silly free kick 25 yards out and the ball was rolled into the path of Severin. The midfielder fired in a low shot and Lovell steered the effort past Stillie to level. Two minutes later the Dons turned the match around completely when they were awarded their own penalty. Foster drove into the penalty area and was tripped as he headed for goal and Darren Mackie converted the spot kick. Aberdeen almost added a third in the 10th minute but an important tackle from Dillon denied Severin deep inside the penalty area.

Colin Samuel was causing Aberdeen real problems and Michael Hart was being give a torrid time and conceded a free kick wide on the left after 13 minutes. The free kick was whipped into the box and Hunt rose unchallenged to bullet a header into the net. At the other end Lovell almost latched on to a weak pass back but Stillie was quickly off his line to retrieve the situation. Aberdeen then conceded a third in the 18th minute when they once again poorly defended a set play. The initial free kick was only half cleared by Anderson and Cameron lashed the ball into the net off the cross bar. A minute later Langfield made a fine save from Samuel as the match raged from end to end.

Lovell went close again in the 21st minute when he turned well and shot only to be denied by a fine block from Stillie. Anderson took a bad kick in the face from Noel Hunt, but was able to return after treatment. The Dons went close again in the 27th minute with a well worked free kick that ended with Stillie making another great save from a Mackie header. United went close again on the half hour mark as the Dons struggled against another free kick. A mistake from Byrne in the 34th minute allowed United another scoring chance but fortunately Samuel headed wide.

Aberdeen forced their way back into the match towards the end of the half but United were looking solid at the back and a poor Brewster lob was the closest they came to getting back level There was then an incredible bust up in the final minute when the United players took umbrage to a Brewster challenge. Stillie twice pushed Brewster in the ensuing melee, but incredibly the referee booked Brewster and Kerr and despite Stillie's continuing protestations he wasn't cautioned.

Jimmy replaced Anderson at half time with the skipper obviously struggling after the face knock. The surprise was that Chris Maguire replaced the captain as Aberdeen moved to a back three. Aberdeen should have levelled in the 48th minute when Stillie spilled a Mackie shot and Maguire looked certain to score. Unfortunately McCracken made a magnificent challenge to deny the youngster. The subsequent corner was headed inches over the United bar by Considine as Aberdeen pushed for the equaliser. However it was United who went further ahead in the 51st minute when Considine lost out midway in his own half. The ball was played out wide to Hunt and his shot beat Langfield and crashed off the post. The Dons defence was slow to react and Cameron turned the ball into the net with Considine still standing where he lost the ball.

A minute later Gomis was lucky to stay on the park when he cynically took Brewster out of the play, having been booked earlier. Stillie again made a great save in the 53rd minute this time denying Mackie. At the other end Langfield made a fine stop from Daly as he turned and shot from the edge of the box. Diamond replaced Considine in the 61st minute but four minutes later Stillie once again denied the Dons when he first made a great save from Brewster then held a weak Lovell header.

Miller replaced Brewster in the 69th minute as the Dons looked to try and salvage something from the match. There was a strong claim for a spot kick in the 74th minute when Maguire was bundled to the ground. The referee was not interested but a minute later he awarded Maguire a free kick outside the box for an almost identical challenge. Byrne made an important clearance in the 80th minute to concede United's first corner. The set play came to nothing but as the news of Hearts taking the lead filtered through it was beginning to look grim for the home side.

Miller had the ball in the net in the 87th minute but he was a yard offside as time slowly slipped away for the Dons. Miller went close again in the final minute with a shot that went over the bar then a Maguire free kick in injury time failed to get past the first defender and the Dons were left rueing their missed chances in a match where defensively they were not at their best. With Hearts now breathing down their neck the fight for Europe looks set to go to the wire.

Aberdeen Teamsheet
Langfield, Hart, Byrne, Foster, Anderson (Maguire 46), Considine (Diamond 61), Mackie, Severin, Lovell, Brewster (Miller 69), Clark.

Unused Subs: Soutar, Smith, Paton, Touzani.

Bookings:  Brewster (45),  Severin (83).
Dundee United Teamsheet
Stillie, Samuel, Daly, Dillon, Kerr, Wilkie, Gomis (Duff 65), McCracken, Cameron, Kalvenes, Hunt Unused Subs: McLean, Gardiner, Easton, Goodwillie, Mair, McCord.

Bookings:  Kalvenes 41,   Kerr 45,   Daly 54
Attendance: 12,148
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
Referee: Mike Tumilty, Bonnyrigg
Next Match
10 Jul 2024 / 19:00 / Balmoor Stadium, Peterhead