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AFC - Match Report
match report 2002-03 fixture list
Hibernian 1 - 2 Aberdeen
Kick Off:  3:00 PM   Luna (32)       Mackie 64, Clark 90.  
Attendance: 13,340
Venue: Easter Road, Edinburgh
Late Late Show Kick Starts New Campaign
Aberdeen once more hit Hibs with a late killer strike as Chris Clark scored six minutes into injury time. Hibs had the better of the opening half and took the lead through Luna. Aberdeen were transformed in the second half and goals from Mackie and Clark gave the Dons all three points in an opening match for only the second time in six seasons. After the boredom of the previous week's friendly, this was a great advert for Scottish Football and not an Old Firm team in sight.

The game started at a tremendous pace as both teams looked eager to make a positive start. O'Connor was first to threaten after collecting a slack pass from Mackie. The youngster made a direct run at the Dons defence, but McGuire cleaned up efficiently at the back. A minute later it was the Dons forcing the play as they won the first corner kick of the match. Thornley's effort being steered well wide by McGuire. The game continued to be played at pace with play moving from end to end. Luna was the first player to get a shot on target when he headed straight at Kjaer in the 7th minute.

Hibs were beginning to threaten, but Aberdeen created a half chance in the 12th minute when Mackie held the ball up well to release Bisconti on the left. Unfortunately Derek Young was unable to control the cross and the chance was cleared. The Dons had their best chance of the match so far when Thornley went close in the 22nd minute. A free kick was worked out to him on the left and he cut inside before hitting his effort inches over the bar. A minute later, Mackie looked to break, but was well offside.

In the 29th minute Kevin McNaughton tried to release Mackie inside the Hibs penalty box, but Caig was quickly off his line to collect. Hibs looked the more likely to score at this stage and they took the lead in the 32nd minute when Darren Young, who was having a fine match, lost out in the middle of the park. Hibs moved forward and O'Neil delivered a pass to Luna who did well to beat Kjaer from 12 yards. The Dons had a chance to pull one back 4 minutes later when Derek Young delivered a fine cross, which Mackie put over the bar from 6 yards. The youngster's blushes were spared however as he was flagged offside.

The Dons created another chance in the 42nd minute when a Thornley corner was played to the near post and McGuire hooked his effort over the bar. The defender then picked up a nasty head knock in the final minute of the second half as the Dons went in at half time trailing 1-0.

McGuire was fit enough to resume the match and Aberdeen started well only to be denied by a very late flag in the opening minute. Once more it was Mackie who was penalised, but this one looked very debatable. Aberdeen should have equalised in the 49th minute when neat passing play set up a chance for Derek Young or Bisconti. The Belgian took the initiative, but drilled the ball wide when it looked easier to score. Two minutes later McAllister tried to net with a 30-yard free kick, but the effort went inches wide. The Dons were now in the ascendancy and Thornley went close again in the 54th minute when he hit a volley over from 15 yards.

The Dons were looking a lot sharper now and in the 57th minute Thornley delivered a perfectly weighted pass to Mackie which had Caig scurrying off his line to clear. Aberdeen were given a warning by Hibs a minute later when O'Connor broke forward and fired in a shot which Kjaer held well. The Dons finally got a deserved equaliser when Mackie scored in the 64th minute after some neat play between Derek Young and McNaughton. Three minutes later O'Connor became the first booking of an exciting match when he kicked the ball at Deloumeaux. Anderson rescued the Dons in the 69th minute when he stole the ball off of Luna's toes as the striker looked set to score.

The game was certainly not one for the faint hearted and a great advert for Scottish football. Luna became the next booking after a shocking challenge on Anderson and worse was to follow for Aberdeen when McNaughton was floored in a challenge with Orman. The youngster was stretchered off and replaced by Clark. Aberdeen went close again in the 78th minute when Bisconti broke on the right and delivered a great cross, which Caig did well to cut out, as Mackie looked set to pounce.

The game seemed to lose some of its bite after the injury to McNaughton, but Hibs went close in the 86th minute when Wiss drilled the ball wide of the goal. With five minutes of injury time to be added the game was still there for the taking. Tiernan was introduced in the closing minutes to replace the injured Mackie. Aberdeen had certainly lost their impetus and Hibs looked to have grabbed the winner until Kjaer pulled off what could be the save of the season from a Tom McManus strike.

The Dons took full advantage of this and grabbed the winner six minutes into injury time when Derek Young rifled in a low cross, which Clark pounced on and drilled beyond Caig. Although a great start to the season, it was tempered by the sight of Kevin McNaughton being stretchered off with a neck brace in place. Thankfully the injury was not as serious as first feared.

Hibernian Teamsheet:  Caig, Orman, Dempsie, Brebner, Smith, Murray, Townsley, O'Neil, Arpinon, Luna, O'Connor.

Unused Subs: Wiss for Brebner (42), McManus for Arpinion (71), Whittaker for Luna (90)

Bookings:  O'Connor (67),   Luna (70),   Dempsie (90)

Aberdeen Teamsheet:  Kjaer, Deloumeaux, Anderson, McGuire, McAllister, Young, Young, Thornley (Mike 67), Bisconti, McNaughton (Clark 74), Mackie (Tiernan 90).

Unused Subs:


Referee: Kevin Toner

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