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AFC - Match Report
match report 2002-03 fixture list
SPL 
24/05/2003
 
Dundee United 0 - 2 Aberdeen
Kick Off:  3:00 PM         Mackie 51, Tosh 55.  
Attendance: 8,516
Venue: Tannadice Park, Dundee
Dons end the season on a high
The Aberdeen players might be forgiven for thinking their holidays had already started as the Tannadice playing surface resembled more of a beach than a football pitch. The Dons again lined up in a 3-5-2 formation. Steve Paterson seems to have decided this is how he wants his Aberdeen team to line up and over the summer will look to bring in players who can fit in to the set-up. Despite the game being an end of season affair, the Red Army turned out in good numbers.

The first effort of the game fell to United's Mark Wilson in the first minute but he blasted well over. Two minutes later Aberdeen created a chance for Mackie after fine play on the left involving McNaughton, Sheerin and Morrison but his header was weak and easily dealt with by Alan Combe. Mackie again was in the thick of the action a couple of minutes later and almost got on the end of a Clark cross but the United defence managed to scramble the ball for a corner and Aberdeen wasted the chance.

On 12 minutes, the ever improving Hinds produced a brilliant run which created space in the box, but disappointingly his cross could not find anyone in an Aberdeen shirt. Three minutes later Mackie almost carved out a chance for himsel but Combe was out quickly to thwart the danger. Hinds then had the best chance of the match up to that point when Tosh cut inside from the right and found the striker on the edge of the box. Hinds swivelled and fired in a decent shot, which went just wide of mark.

In the 20th minute United had a rare chance but captain Billy Dodds headed over. Aberdeen by now were in control of the game with Tosh, Ternian and Sheerin dominating the midfield. However they were unable to create much up front. In the 38th minute Hinds again picked up the ball and turned well but his shot went past the post with Combe seeming to have it covered. A minute later Sheerin had a shot from almost an identical position to that of Hinds but the attempt was also tame and went wide of the post.

 
Aberdeen were forced into a change at the interval when McGuire failed to appear. He was replaced by Alexander Diamond who made his first competitive appearance. United also made a change with Stephen McGowan replacing Dodds. In the 51st minute the Dons finally took the lead their play deserved. Young Scott Morrison found space out wide on the left and his superb cross was swung in and met by the unmarked Mackie who rose to plant his header past Combe from close range.

The Dons then made it 2-0 minutes later. Steve Tosh made a powerful run forward and was able to get a shot in from the edge of the box. His effort was straight at the United keeper, but Combe then produced one of the howlers of the season as he let the ball slip through his hands and could only look back in horror as it trundled into the net. Tosh could hardly believe his luck.

On 63 minutes Aberdeen were awarded a free-kick just outside the box. Clark's effort was well struck but it was straight at Combe who this time held on which brought ironic cheers from the Red Army. On 64 minutes the injured Tosh went off to a hero's reception and was replaced by Richard Foster. Despite being a forward, Foster slotted into Tosh's midfield role.

 
Peter Kjaer made his first save on 69 minutes from an Easton shot. Up to that point he could have had a deck chair to sit on. This however finally brought United to life and they pushed forward with a little more confidence. Diamond though had settled in at the back and made a number of good tackles.

Peter Kjaer then produced a brilliant save on 75 minutes. Substitute O'Donnell cleverly lifted the ball over the Dons defence to find Duff who hit the ball first time but the Dane dived to his left to make a superb instinctive stop. O'Donnell then had a chance to score himself, but could only put his header over the bar with Kjaer unable to cut out the cross.

On 79 minutes United replaced Danny Griffin with Aaron Conway and with his first touch he should have scored. After a corner the ball fell to the substitute who had a free shot on goal but somehow blasted wide. After 83 minutes Darren Mackie went off to be replaced by Kevin Souter giving another of the youth team their first team debut.

On the stroke of full time Sheerin missed a golden opportunity when he was put in by Foster. Although his effort was well saved by Combe the midfielder should have added to his impressive goal tally. At the end of the game the Aberdeen team were given a standing ovation with Peter Kjaer receiving an emotional send off. It was only fitting that he should keep a clean sheet on his final appearance.

Once the Aberdeen fans had left the ground the United manger Ian McCall came out to thank the United supporters in what was a rather subdued atmosphere.

Dundee United Teamsheet:  Combe, Griffin (Conway 80), Bollan, Easton, McIntyre, Dodds (McGowan 460, Duff, Tod, McCracken, Wilson (O'Donnell 58), Ogunmade.

Bookings: Caution Tod (60)

Aberdeen Teamsheet:  Kjaer, Hart, McGuire (Diamond 46), McNaughton, Clark, Tosh (Foster 66), Tiernan, Sheerin, Morrison, Mackie (Souter 83), Hinds.

Unused Subs:

Bookings:

Referee: Hugh Dallas, Motherwell

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