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Falkirk 2 - 2 Aberdeen

HT Score: Falkirk 1 - 2 Aberdeen

Scottish Cup Fourth Round
Falkirk scorers: Barr 5, Riera 73
Aberdeen scorers: Smith 4, Lovell 10.

12/01/2008 | KO: 15:00

Play it again for Dons

The one thing Jimmy Calderwood didn't want was a replay but that's what he ended up with as Falkirk twice came from behind to earn a draw. Aberdeen made a whirlwind start to this cup-tie when Jamie Smith fired them ahead in the 4th minute after Krul could only parry a fierce Nicholson drive. The lead only lasted a minute as Barr steered a header past Langfield to level matters. Steve Lovell restored the Dons lead in the 10th minute when he combined well with Miller before steering the ball past the keeper. Just as Aberdeen were looking comfortable Riera equalised with a diving header after 73 minutes and although both teams looked for the winner it wasn't to be and the two sides will try again at Pittodrie a week on Tuesday.

Aberdeen kicked off and immediately pressed Falkirk as they looked to make a positive start. There was a huge Dons support inside the stadium and they were on their feet in the 4th minute as Aberdeen stormed into an early lead. Richard Foster threaded a great pass through to Nicholson who stepped forward and hit a stinging shot that was parried by Krul and Jamie Smith followed up to fire home. The Dons supporters had barely sat down when Falkirk hit back.

The home side raced up field and won the first corner of the match and as Moutinho swung the ball in Barr steered a header beyond Langfield to level the match within 60 seconds. Aberdeen in turn raced forward from the re-start and Chris Clark clearly won a corner off of Riera, but referee McCurry awarded a goal kick. Smith almost set up Lovell in the 8th minute but Barr intercepted as the striker looked to pounce. Lovell wasn't to be denied though and he combined well with Miller two minutes later and deftly steered the ball past Krul to put the Dons back in front.
Aberdeen were finally awarded their first corner in the 15th minute but Falkirk defended well. Three minutes later Langfield made a magnificent save as he dived full length to parry a deflected Arfield shot as the game raged from end to end. Nicholson then set up Lovell in the 20th minute but the keeper saved his effort. Both sides were giving 100% and it was a real cup cracker at this stage. Foster fired in a cross in the 27th minute but he failed to find a red shirt and seven minutes later Krul was out quickly to claim another cross from the full back.

Foster should have done better in the 39th minute when Miller set up Lovell and the striker laid it back to Foster. Unfortunately the full back took an eternity and the chance was gone. Smith won a free kick four minutes before the break, but the Dons failed to capitalise while at the other end Aberdeen were defending well and denying the home side any sniff at goal. Severin was set to take a free kick in the final seconds but referee McCurry decided there was no time to take it and the Dons went in at the break with a deserved 2-1 lead.

Falkirk started the second half positively as they looked to level for a second time, but the closest they came in the opening spell was a poor effort from Holden. Once again referee McCurry made his mark on the game when an obvious goal kick was adjudged a corner by the referee and Langfield had to punch the ball clear of the danger area. A minute later Lovell was caught offside then an ironic cheer went up from the 2,118 strong red army when the Dons were awarded a free kick. Chris Clark fired in a decent cross but there were no takers inside the danger area.
A Severin free kick in the 58th minute came to nothing then on the hour mark the Dons won a corner and Miller flicked the Nicholson delivery across the face of the goal before it was booted clear. A second corner in the 61st minute should have added to the scoring as Diamond steered the ball goalwards and Lovell managed to miss the target from 4 yards. Nicholson broke from defence and attempted an audacious shot from 50 yards when he noticed the keeper off his line. He missed the target and at the other end Diamond had to make a timely challenge to deny the home side.

Ross was booked in the 65th minute for a poor challenge on Chris Clark and a minute later Foster and Lovell combined well but couldn't produce a finish. Holden had a glancing header easily saved by Langfield in the 68th minute then a minute later Russell Latapay was introduced by the home side to try and unlock the Dons defence. It was Lovell who had the next chance however as he was set up by Jamie Smith but he delayed too long and allowed the ball to roll out of play. At the other end Latapay set up Holden and the Falkirk man fired well over.

Just as Aberdeen were looking comfortable the home side produced a spectacular equaliser as Riera produced a great diving header to beat Langfield. Calderwood immediately replaced Miller with Young then Nicholson was booked for a challenge on the goal scorer in the 75th minute. Aberdeen had a great chance a minute later when Clark raced forward but the ball was cleared before Lovell could get on the end of the cross. At the other end Diamond had to make a timely challenge to keep Moutinho out. Aberdeen had lost their composure at this stage and had to dig deep to keep Falkirk out.

In the 82nd minute Sone Aluko replaced Steve Lovell and two minutes later Clark worked his way wide but Krul smothered his cross before Young or Aluko could pounce. Diamond was booked in the 85th minute and seconds later Langfield had to bundle the ball round the post as Falkirk piled on the pressure. The subsequent corner was cleared but the ball was soon back in the Aberdeen box as the Dons were continually forced back. Aluko had a sniff of goal in the 90th minute but couldn't finish then a free kick in the first minute of injury time was played to Foster and his goal bound shot was deflected wide of the target. The Dons went close again from the corner but the ball was eventually scrambled away and the two have to go through it all again at Pittodrie a week on Tuesday.

Falkirk Teamsheet
Tim Krul, Jack Ross, Dean Holden, Thomas Scobbie, Darren Barr, Scott Arfield (Russell Latapy 69), Arnau Riera, Kevin McBride, Pedro Moutinho, Graham Barrett, Carl Finnigan. Unused Subs: Robert Olejnik, Stephen Bradley, Kenny Milne, Gerard Aafjes.

Bookings:  Ross 65
Aberdeen Teamsheet
Langfield, Mair, Byrne, Severin, Diamond, Foster, Nicholson, Smith, Miller (Young 74), Lovell (Aluko 82), Clark.

Unused Subs: Soutar, Considine, de Visscher.

Bookings:  Nicholson (75),  Diamond (85).
Attendance: 5,798
Venue: Falkirk Stadium, Falkirk
Referee: Michael McCurry