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AFC - Match Report
match report 2002-03 fixture list
SPL 
01/02/2003
 
Rangers 2 - 1 Aberdeen
Kick Off:  3:00 PM   Mols (37, 77)       Tosh 75.  
Attendance: 49,667
Venue: Ibrox Stadium, Glasgow
Dons go down fighting at Ibrox
Aberdeen may have lost the match today, but they regained a huge amount of respect as Leon Mike lead the line brilliantly.This had to be Aberdeen's finest hour at Ibrox for several years in a match that saw the home side hanging on to their narrow win at the end. The Dons carved out several clear-cut chances, but it was Rangers who went in at half time leading by a Mols goal. Stevie Tosh fired his first goal for the Dons to silence the Ibrox crowd, but Mols added a second minutes later to regain the lead. The Dons looked the likelier side to add to the scoring, but Rangers held out and were glad to hear the final whistle.

Aberdeen kicked off and settled well. Chris Clark carved out the first chance of the match in the 3rd minute when he waltzed through the Rangers defence and hit a 20-yard shot inches wide of the target. Rangers were unflustered and continued with their tried and trusted passing game probing for openings in the Dons rearguard. Increased pressure produced a first Rangers corner in the 10th minute allowing Mols a free header at goal, which Preece collected comfortably.

Space opened up for McNaughton in the 13th minute, but his effort was blocked by Numan and cleared. A minute later Preece made a terrific save at the feet of Mols after the linesman allowed him to continue despite looking yards offside. The home side went close again in the 15th minute when Mols just failed to connect with a dangerous Numan cross. Two minutes later Preece was forced to punch a corner to safety from a crowded area.

 
Rangers continued to probe at Aberdeen, trying to thread the ball through to their lively forwards while Aberdeen were limited to occasional ventures into the Rangers half. McAllister was almost caught out in the 23rd minute but did well to recover and block an effort. Three minutes later Clark managed to work his way down the left and deliver a decent cross, but McNaughton was unable to convert. A minute later Rangers almost took the lead when De Boer was given far too much space and curled the ball on to the post with Preece well beaten.

The Dons then created their best chance of the game to that point when Tosh hit a fierce drive, which Klos could only parry into the path of Mackie. The youngster had the goal at his mercy, but could only steer it into the body of Klos. This gave the Dons a lift and they should have scored in the 32nd minute when Clark was released on the left and delivered a telling cross. Mackie looked to be in the best position to finish, but Mike tried an acrobatic effort, which he steered over.

The Ibrox crowd was incensed in the 33rd minute when Arteta went down under a McAllister challenge and were denied the spot kick by Willie Young. A minute later Ferguson hit a low drive inches wide of the target. Rangers then went ahead in the 37th minute when Mols headed home a Ricksen cross with McAllister unable to stop the effort on the line.

Rangers took control after the goal and Preece had to look lively in the 41st minute to stop another Mols effort. Aberdeen regained their composure however and Mike headed a Clark cross wide before Tosh and Clark were crowded out after a neat interchange on the edge of the Rangers box.

 
Aberdeen started the second half strongly and in the 48th minute Anderson headed a Sheerin cross over. Minutes later two Rangers players collided allowing Mackie to break. Klos was quick out of his goal however and denied the youngster. Rangers were creating their own chances in an entertaining match and in the 55th minute Ferguson bore down on Preece, but Rangers were unable to capitalise on the hurried clearance. Seconds later Preece made a fine save to deny De Boer.

Soon after, Mike was back helping his defence as he cleared a dangerous ball. The resultant corner was headed over by Moore. Mike carved out another chance in the 59th minute when he was released by Rutkiewicz and curled his effort over the goal. The game moved back to the other end as Ricksen fired an Arteta cross over the bar. Both Clark and Mike then had strikes at goal, but both finishes were weak. The Dons then made appeals for a spot kick in the 73rd minute when a McNaughton shot was blocked inside the box. To be fair the award would have been harsh.

The Dons' domination paid off in the 75th minute when Tosh collected the ball on the right, skipped past several players before firing a low shot past Klos for a deserved equaliser. Unfortunately the lead lasted only two minutes when Caniggia collected the ball on the left and cut the ball back to Mols. The Dutchman had the easiest of tasks of tapping in from two yards despite McAllister's attempts to clear.

Aberdeen were not downhearted though and continued to take the game to Rangers. However they had Preece to thank in the 83rd minute when he made a wonderful stop from Ross despite having his view blocked by another Rangers player standing directly in front of him. This was to be the home side's last chance as Aberdeen pinned them back looking for a second equaliser. The best of these chances fell to Mike when he latched on to a weak Klos punch, but fired his shot wide of the target. The Englishman deserved a goal after a great performance, but it wasn't to be.

Rangers Teamsheet:  Klos, Ricksen, Moore, Numan, Malcolm, Ferguson, McCann, Arteta, De Boer, Ross, Mols.

Unused Subs: Canigga for Arteta (68), Bonnissel for McCann (78), McLean for Mols (89)

Bookings:

Aberdeen Teamsheet:  Preece, McNaughton (Young 89), McAllister, McGuire, Anderson, Mackie (Hinds 70), Rutkiewicz, Tosh, Sheerin, Clark, Mike.

Unused Subs:

Bookings:

Referee: Willie Young

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