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Aberdeen 3 - 0 Gretna

HT Score: Aberdeen 1 - 0 Gretna

Aberdeen scorers: Maguire 40, Miller 71 (Pen), Nicholson 73.

15/03/2008 | KO: 15:00

Dons finally overcome plucky Gretna

It wasn't the most entertaining 90 minutes of football, but Aberdeen will be quite happy to have collected three points. In a dire first half it was a Chris Maguire goal five minutes from the break that broke the deadlock. The football improved marginally after the interval but it was mainly Gretna that were showing the improvement until two goals in two minutes sealed the result. A Lee Miller spot kick and a Barry Nicholson half volley put Aberdeen on easy street and the Dons relaxed and played some good football mainly stemming from Sone Aluko. The Dons will have to be sharper on Tuesday night but at least they are back to winning ways in the SPL.

Aberdeen kicked off towards the RDS and carved out the first chance in the 2nd minute when de Visscher played a one-two with Miller and forced the keeper into a fairly comfortable save. Three minutes later Nicholson just failed to connect with a de Visscher cross from the left and in the 8th minute Aberdeen won a soft free kick 20 yards out but Maguire failed to get any curl on the ball and his effort went tamely wide. A good period of possession in the 15th minute ended with a tame ball floating harmlessly through to Krysiak in the Gretna goal.

Foster won a corner for the Dons in the 21st minute but the delivery was easily cleared as Aberdeen struggled to break the visitors down. An ambitious overhead kick from Miller four minutes later caused little problem for Krysiak. A free kick in the 34th minute was floated in by Barry Nicholson but once again the ball was comfortably dealt with as the fans started to get restless.

Soutar kept Aberdeen on level terms in the 37th minute with a point blank reflex save that appeared to finally waken the Dons up as they went ahead three minutes later. The Gretna defence failed to clear the ball for the first time in the game and after de Visscher and Nicholson combined Chris Maguire fired in a good finish from 12 yards to put Aberdeen ahead. There were few chances in the remaining minutes and I'm sure Jimmy will have had plenty to say at the interval despite the score line.

Aluko and Lovell replaced Touzani and Maguire at the interval as Jimmy shuffled his pack. Scott Severin went close in the 48th minute as he fired inches wide from about 25 yards. Diamond had to look sharp two minutes later as he was first to a through ball and cleared for a throw in. Gretna looked more dangerous since the break and Soutar didn't look too clever as he came out to claim a ball that was never going to be his.

At the other end Maybury had a speculative effort that was fumbled by the keeper but there were no Aberdeen forwards chasing in on the keeper. Aberdeen were once again struggling and at this stage Gretna looked more likely to add to the scoring. Aluko hit the bye line in the 65th minute but his cross went out of play and two minutes later a de Visscher corner did exactly the same thing. Aberdeen eventually sealed the win in the 73rd minute when two goals in two minutes ended the Gretna challenge.

The first came when Lee Miller was adjudged to have been brought down by Krysiak who escaped a booking for the offence. Miller himself took the award and sent the keeper the wrong way. In the 73rd minute good hold up play from Lovell set up Barry Nicholson and the midfielder drilled the ball into the net from 25 yards to make it 3-0. The Dons created another couple of half chances soon after but final ball was poor.

Some great work by Aluko in the 81st minute should have produced a fourth but Lovell and Miller appeared to get in each others way and the ball screwed wide of the target. Another great solo run by Aluko two minutes later produced another corner as Aberdeen now looked more comfortable with most of the creativity coming through Aluko. A speculative Foster shot went inches wide then in the final minute Lovell was released by Foster and the Englishman should have made it four but was easily brushed off the ball.

Gretna Teamsheet
A Krysiak, B McGill, R Griffiths, D Hall, R Meynell, R Baldacchino, K Naughton, N Deverdics, A Osman (G Skelton 48), H Makinwa (S Hogg 64), B Wilkinson (N Taylor 77). Unused Subs: C Grant, P Murray, N Fisher, D Schultz-Eklund.

Bookings:  A Osman (6)
Attendance: 9,025
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
Referee: Dougie MacDonald, Edinburgh
Next Match
10 Jul 2024 / 19:00 / Balmoor Stadium, Peterhead