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AFC - Match Report
match report 2003-04 fixture list
SPL 
14/02/2004
 
Aberdeen 1 - 1 Rangers
Kick Off:  12:30 PM   Diamond 1.       F de Boer (88)  
Attendance: 15,815 (Visitors: 3,526)
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
Dons denied deserved victory
Aberdeen ripped Rangers apart at Pittodrie but only walked away with one point. If it had been a boxing match the game would have been stopped at half time with Rangers being run ragged. Diamond had opened the scoring in the 1st minute and the Dons went on to carve out chance after chance but were repeatedly denied by Stefan Klos. Rangers eased themselves back into the game in the second period and Frank de Boer grabbed an undeserved equaliser with only two minutes remaining.

Aberdeen made a dream start with Chris Clark winning a free kick wide on the left in the opening minute when Maurice Ross made a tug on his jersey. Scott Morrison made one of his telling deliveries and Zander Diamond managed to steer the ball into the net and send the red army into raptures. The Dons then took control of the game with Sheerin hitting an effort wide in the 5th minute and seconds later Zdrilic had an effort deflected wide as the Rangers defence looked shaky.

The Rangers rearguard were in trouble again in the 7th minute as they scrambled the ball out for a corner. Klos then came to the visitors' rescue twice in the space of a minute. Firstly the keeper did well to block a 20-yard drive from Sheerin in the 9th minute. Then from the resultant corner Klos made a magnificent save from an Anderson header. Rangers finally had their first effort on goal when Emerson hit a shot wide of Preece's goal in the 11th minute.

 
Aberdeen continued to dominate and Zdrilic should have done better in the 18th minute when McNaughton delivered a decent pass into the penalty area. With Booth well positioned for a lay off the Aussie had a crack at goal and sliced his effort wide. A minute later Hinds cut inside and hit a fierce effort inches wide of the target. A minute later Booth rushed an effort and hit the ball over the bar. The woodwork then came to Rangers' rescue in the 21st minute when Hinds 20 yard lob crashed off the bar with Klos beaten.

The Aberdeen pressure was relentless and Zdrilic should have done better a minute later following good work from Heikkinen but the Aussie was unable to control the ball six yards out. Rangers could barely get out of their own half and in the 27th minute Nerlinger was replaced by Namouchi as the visitors looked for a change. It was hard at this stage not to feel that all these missed chances may come back to haunt the Dons. Rangers did look to ease themselves back into things without looking dangerous. It was Aberdeen who almost added to the scoring in the 37th minute when Heikkinen cut into the box and forced another fine save from Klos low to his right.

Two minutes later Sheerin swung in a cross and Hinds headed on to the roof of the net as the Dons looked for a deserved second. With a minute left Hinds whipped in another great cross that was once again scrambled away by a ragged looking Rangers defence. When Willie Young blew his whistle for the break the visitors looked relieved to get back into the dressing room.

 
The second half did not start in the same manner as both sides gave possession away cheaply in the opening minutes. In the 50th minute Hinds broke on the right and cut inside. With Sheerin screaming for the ball on the edge of the box he played it into a crowded area. A minute later Zdrilic looped a shot onto the top of the net as the Dons continued to dominate. Rangers finally won their first corner of the match in the 53rd minute, but the Dons' defence coped comfortably with the threat. Diamond slipped inside the box in the 57th minute to allow Averladze in. Fortunately the striker missed the target. This appeared to give the visitors a bit of hope however and they started to threaten for the first time in the match.

Rangers went close again in the 62nd minute when Capucho steered a Ross cross wide of the target from only six yards. Three minutes later Preece was on hand to stop Capucho again as Rangers threatened to level. Gaps were beginning to appear all over the park now and Preece was unable to hold a swerving effort in the 65th minute, but the Dons were able to clear. In the 72nd minute Prunty replaced an injured Booth as Paterson tried to freshen things up. Within a minute the youngster had a chance to increase the Dons advantage. Clark released him before he pulled his effort wide of the far post.

The Dons had another chance in the 75th minute when McNaughton broke on the right and fired in a low cross, which was scrambled clear as Sheerin threatened. A minute later Klos once again denied Hinds when he was smartly down to hold a fierce shot. Muirhead then replaced Clark, who had put in a power of running, in the 79th minute. Rangers then won a series of corners as they threatened to steal something from the match. Prunty almost grabbed a dramatic goal in the 84th minute when he skipped through the Rangers defence and chipped Klos. Unfortunately the effort also clipped over the bar otherwise it would have gone down as one of the greatest Pittodrie goals ever.

The Dons should have wrapped up the points when Zdrilic fired the ball across the face of the goal before Ricksen blocked a Prunty goalbound shot. The Dons then paid for the missed chances when Rangers grabbed an undeserved equaliser in the 88th minute. A Vanoli free kick was headed into the net by Frank de Boer to deny the Dons what would have been a thoroughly deserved victory.

Aberdeen Teamsheet:  Preece, McNaughton, Morrison, Heikkinen, Anderson, Diamond, Clark (Muirhead 79), Sheerin, Booth (Prunty 72), Zdrilic, Hinds.

Unused Subs:

Bookings:

Rangers Teamsheet:  Klos, Ross, Moore, F de Boer, Ball, Ricksen, Emerson, Nerlinger, Capucho, R De Boer, Arveladze.

Unused Subs: Namouchi for Nerlinger (27), Vanoli for Ball (46) Mols for R de Boer (76)

Bookings:  Emerson (74)

Referee: Willie G. Young, Clarkston

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