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Aberdeen 3 - 1 Falkirk

HT Score: Aberdeen 2 - 0 Falkirk

Scottish Cup Fourth Round Replay
Aberdeen scorers: Smith 16, de Visscher 43, Smith 55.
Falkirk scorers: Barrett 61

22/01/2008 | KO: 19:45

Smith Double sees Dons through

Aberdeen produced some of their best football of the season to march into the fifth round of the cup where they will face either Hamilton or Brechin. A wonderful Jamie Smith free kick in the 15th minute set the game alive as Aberdeen produced some wonderful passing football and were denied twice by the woodwork. De Visscher added a second before the break and when Smith scored again after the interval it was all over. Falkirk were thrown a lifeline with a soft penalty that Langfield saved and Barrett followed up to score. Scott Severin had his spot kick saved by Krul and the keeper had to be replaced as he picked up a knock in the process. It mattered little at the end of the day as the Dons went through comfortably.

Falkirk kicked off inside a sparse Pittodrie and the early stages were littered with throw in's. Falkirk threatened in the 4th minute when Barrett whipped in a cross from the right and Langfield fumbled before his defence managed to clear the lines. Falkirk won the first corner in the 7th minute after de Visscher slipped and Arfield released Barrett and it took an interception from Considine to save the day. The corner was well defended and three minutes later Smith set up Lovell, but the Englishman was crowded out before he could pull the trigger. Jamie Smith had a crack at goal from 20 yards after good work from Lovell and Considine, but the effort went inches over the bar.

In the 14th minute a half clearance fell to Severin but his shot was charged down then seconds later Lee Miller was taken down 20 yards out. Jamie Smith placed the ball and his free kick was curled round the wall and into the postage stamp corner of Tim Krul's goal. Mr. Brines was being extremely fussy and soft free kicks were being awarded all over the pitch, which frustrated both sets of fans. McNamara fired in a terrific cross in the 22nd minute and Lovell dived in to the danger area and produced a bullet header that Krul held safely.

Lovell had the ball in the net a minute later after collecting a Miller flick but he was clearly offside. Aberdeen then produced some wonderful football in the 25th minute involving more than a dozen passes before Derek Young crashed the ball off the bar with Krul well beaten. The play certainly deserved an end product. Aberdeen were on fire now and in the 28th minute the woodwork once again saved the Bairns as Lee Miller finished another great move with a 20 yard volley that rattled the goal. Falkirk then enjoyed a period of pressure without threatening the Aberdeen goal.

Four minutes from time Jeffrey de Visscher was taken out of the play as he looked to break on the right. Incredibly the officials gave the free kick the other way. Aberdeen kept their composure and doubled their lead a minute later. Another good passing move saw Young play the ball into the penalty area and after Krul blocked Miller's effort, de Visscher followed up to fire the ball into the net. The 8,547 crowd then applauded the Dons off the park.

Falkirk replaced Moutinho at the interval as Patrick Cregg was given his chance. The vistor's created the first chance when Barrett broke on the right but fired tamely wide of the goal. Aberdeen won a soft free kick at the other end but Smith failed to test Krul on this occasion although they did win the first corner of the half. That set play was comfortably dealt with then Aberdeen attempted some intricate passing play on the edge of the box before they were crowded out. Krul kept Falkirk in the tie in the 51st minute when he dived low to block a Lovell shot.

Aberdeen made it 3-0 in the 55th minute as the Falkirk defence failed to clear their lines as a couple of shots were blocked before Jamie Smith drilled the ball into the net. Referee Brines decided to intervene at this stage when first he booked Derek Young for an innocuous challenge then a minute later he award the softest penalty ever when the ball took an awkward bounce on to the arm of Zander Diamond and the referee immediately pointed to the spot even though Diamond had his arms at his side and could do little to avoid the ball.

Barrett stepped up and Langfield made a terrific save but the Falkirk man followed up to fire home and give the visitor's an undeserved lifeline. Krul was the hero again in the 63rd minute as he made a point blank save from Considine who rose to head a Smith free kick. A Falkirk corner in the 67th minute was scrambled clear by the Dons before Dan Smith replaced McNamara a minute later. Aberdeen then won a penalty in the 70th minute when Krul upended Miller. The keeper was booked but dusted himself down and dived full length to save Severin's spot kick. Perhaps they should have let Jamie Smith try for his hat trick.

The keeper injured himself in the process and had to be replaced by Olejnik. Chris Maguire replaced Steve Lovell in the 78th minute and seconds later the Dons won another free kick on the edge of the box. Smith looked to have secured his hat trick but substitute keeper Olejnik made a terrific save before the ball was then booted off the goal line. Aberdeen should have made it four in the 81st minute as Jamie Smith broke and delivered the perfect pass to de Visscher. The Dutchman dithered though and had his shot deflected wide.

From the subsequent corner there were appeals for another penalty when Severin was held down in the box. It looked a louder shout than the Falkirk award but referee Brines was not interested. Falkirk pressed late on but the Aberdeen defence were comfortable and in the final minute Jonathan Smith replaced de Visscher. A Derek Young cross deep in injury time was well gathered by Olejnik with Lee Miller lurking in the middle. A minute later there were appeals for a spot kick when Jamie Smith went down inside the box but it would have been soft had it been awarded. Seconds later the final whistle went to signal the Dons march into the next round.

Aberdeen Teamsheet
Langfield, Considine, McNamara (Smith 68), Young, Diamond, Severin, Smith, Nicholson, Miller, Lovell (Maguire 78), de Visscher (Smith 90).

Unused Subs: Soutar, Aluko.

Bookings:  Young (60).
Falkirk Teamsheet
Tim Krul (Robert Olejnik 73), Jack Ross, Darren Barr, Kenny Milne, Dean Holden, Scott Arfield, Arnau Riera (Stephen Bradley 68), Kevin McBride, Pedro Moutinho (Patrick Cregg 45), Carl Finnigan, Graham Barrett. Unused Subs: Gerard Aafjes, Thomas Scobbie.

Bookings:  Krul 70,   Holden,   Finnigan.
Attendance: 8,547
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
Referee: Iain Brines, Erskine
Next Match
10 Jul 2024 / 19:00 / Balmoor Stadium, Peterhead