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AFC - Match Report
match report 1981-82 fixture list
Premier Division 
20/03/1982
 
Aberdeen 2 - 1 Dundee United
Kick Off:  3:00 PM   Hewitt, McLeish.       Dodds 47  
Attendance: 12,056
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
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The arrival of Spring heralded Aberdeen's continuing good form in their battle with Celtic for the league title. Unbeaten in February and March they were to continue this successful run until 17th April, when Morton virtually ended their hopes with a 2-1 win. 12,000 watched this New Firm encounter.

United attacked immediately, and Sturrock sent Dodds clear with an astute pass only for Alex McLeish to clear the danger. Aberdeen responded with a narrow miss by Neil Simpson from a Doug Rougvie header. The home team kept up the pressure and Neale Cooper, Willie Miller and Stuart Kennedy combined to release Andy Watson, who tested McAlpine with a low drive. Next, Gordon Strachan and John Hewitt interpassed for Rougvie and Cooper to have shots but the keeper was not troubled. At the other end Rougvie cleared a dangerous Bannon cross while Sturrock shot weakly at Jim Leighton. Miller and Hewitt set up an opening for Mark McGhee but he firstly miskicked the ball and then wheeled to hit into the side net. The general plav so far did not match the brilliance of the weather.
A few minutes later McGhee almost scored with a strong left-foot shot from a Hewitt head-flick, but McAlpine foiled him with an excellent save. After a sterile period of play the game burst into life when Andy Watson shot wide from a Strachan pass and then Neil Simpson had a first time effort blocked after Hewitt had tried to burst through.
In a United breakaway Leighton was injured when he dived at the feet of Dodds but both men recovered after treatment. Two minutes from the interval Aberdeen deservedly went ahead when McGhee sent over a low cross from the left for Hewitt to sweep the ball into the net.

Any psychological advantage Aberdeen might have derived from scoring just before the break was dissipated in 47 minutes. After McGhee had hit the crossbar, a bouncing ball in the home penalty area was not cleared by the defence and Dodds swivelled neatly to give Leighton no chance. Hegarty was finding McGhee quite a handful and when he conceded a free kick Rougvie's header almost found the net. John McMaster replaced Watson in a bid to pierce the stuffy and uncompromising United defence. He went to left back, with Rougvie moving to centre half and McLeish to midfield. Next, Hewitt had the miss of the match. McLeish knocked the ball down from Miller's cross only for the teenager to completely fluff his shot with just the keeper to beat.

With the result in doubt there was plenty of action, with some hard tackling. Captain Miller was in inspiring form rallying his troops. In 72 minutes Steve Cowan substituted for Hewitt and 2 minutes later the Dons scored what proved to be the winning goal. Kennedy had one of his famous surging runs down the right wing and from his cross McLeish gave McAlpine no chance with a fine header.

Source: Match Programme, 6th May 1995

Aberdeen Teamsheet:  Leighton, Kennedy, Rougvie, Watson (McMaster), McLeish, Miller, Strachan, Cooper, McGhee, Simpson, Hewitt (Cowan).

Unused Subs:

Bookings:

Dundee United Teamsheet:  McAlpine, Holt (Malpas), Stark, Gough, Hegarty, Narey, Bannon, Gibson (Reilly), Kirkwood, Sturrock, Dodds

Bookings:

Referee: K. J. Hope, Clarkston

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