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AFC - Match Report
match report 2003-04 fixture list
Dundee 1 - 1 Aberdeen
Kick Off:  3:00 PM   Fotheringham (8)       Hinds 61.  
Attendance: 6,839
Venue: Dens Park, Dundee
Dons share spoils at Dens
Match programmeAberdeen had to settle for a share of the spoils at Dens park after having the better of the SPL tussle with Dundee. The result does little to help their top six ambitions, but it has to be said that they didn't exactly get the rub of the green, especially in the first half. Zdrilic had one shot smash off the post and also forced a wonder save from Speroni after Diamond had seen his effort cleared off the line. It was a good performance however and must give the Dons confidence ahead of the cup replay. On the downside the injury jinx hit again when Phil McGuire was forced to leave the field after collecting a knock in the second period.

Both teams started positively with Muirhead probing on the wings, but it was Dundee who won the first corner via a deflected Milne shot. The Dons defence cleared and a minute later the visitors broke at pace before Heikkinen lost out as he honed in on goal. The match was being played at a terrific pace as both sides looked to grab an early advantage. Dundee grabbed the lead in the 8th minute after Chris Clark had conceded a clumsy free kick on the edge of the Dons box and Fotheringham hit a spectacular effort that gave Preece no chance.

The Dons tried to force their way back into the match and two minutes later Sheerin hit a Zdrilic knock down well wide of the target. In the 12th minute Dundee threatened again as Novo released Hernandez. Despite a dramatic fall by the Dundee man they had to settle for a corner, which the Dons cleared easily. Then two minutes later Muirhead caused chaos again as Hinds forced the Dons first corner of the match. The resultant set play allowed Clark to create a half chance, which forced Speroni into a save.

Aberdeen went close to opening their account in the 19th minute when they won a free kick 25 yards out. Scott Morrison rolled the ball to Zdrilic and the Australian hit a fierce effort inches over the bar. A minute later Muirhead worked his way forward and forced Speroni into another save as the Dons began to force themselves on the game. Dundee were still posing a threat and forced another corner in the 24th minute that once again failed to trouble the Dons defence. The Dons were agonisingly close again in the 26th minute when Zdrilic combined with Hinds and the ex-Clyde man hit a powerful shot, which scraped the post.

The Dons forced their second corner in the 33rd minute and Diamond headed Clark?s delivery wide of the target. Five minutes later McGuire released Chris Clark and once again Speroni was called in to action as he dived low to deny Clark. Novo then hit an ambitious effort in the 39th minute, which Preece held comfortably. Then with four minutes remaining the Dons bad luck in front of goal continued when Zdrilic was again denied by the woodwork after a great turn and shot.

Two minutes later Hinds again tested Speroni, but the keeper saved well as the Dons finished the half on the offensive. A series of corner kicks almost produced the equaliser, but luck does not seem to be on the Dons side. As the final corner was delivered Diamond's effort was cleared off the line and then Speroni somehow made a miraculous save as Zdrilic followed up with a powerful drive.

The opening five minutes only produced an ambitious long-range effort from Milne and a poorly delivered Morrison free kick that troubled neither keeper. The Dons were given another chance in the 54th minute when a free kick was won wide right. Unfortunately Morrison again failed to deliver a dangerous cross and Speroni collected comfortably. He almost redeemed himself a minute later when a goal bound shot was deflected wide by Sancho. The Dons had once again taken the initiative as they probed the Dundee defence for a breakthrough. In the 59th minute Sheerin delivered a great cross, which eluded the Aberdeen forwards.

On the hour mark McNaughton set up Zdrilic, but the Aussie hit a poor effort wide of the target. This was forgotten a minute later when the Dons pressure finally forced a deserved equaliser. Chris Clark managed to get the better of Speroni and the ball broke to Leigh Hinds who had a simple tap in. Two minutes later McGuire collected the first yellow card of the game for a rather crude challenge. Dundee had a little flurry of activity following the goal before Zdrilic tested Speroni again in the 65th minute.

Clark had a chance in the 70th minute, but after good work the finish was poor and went wide of the target. Two minutes later Prunty replaced the unlucky Zdrilic as the Dons looked for a winner. The Dons injury problems were dealt another blow when McGuire picked up a knock and was replaced by Hart. Dundee had now eased themselves back into the game following the Dons earlier dominance. Good play by Milne in the 82nd minute won Dundee their first corner of the second period, but it allowed the Dons to break and Prunty was crowded out allowing Speroni to save his effort.

With seven minutes remaining John Stewart replaced Muirhead for only his second Dons appearance. The dons piled on the pressure in the closing stages but as the game moved into injury time Preece was forced to make a wonderful save to deny Nacho Novo at the death. There were no further chances as both teams settled for a result that did neither any good in their quest for a top six finish.

Dundee Teamsheet:  Speroni, MacKay, Milne, Mair, Hernandez, Sancho, Barret, Brady, Robb, Novo, Fotheringham.

Unused Subs: Linn for Brady (66), Hernandez to Cameron (72)


Aberdeen Teamsheet:  Preece, Morrison, McNaughton, Heikkinen, McGuire (Hart 77), Diamond, Clark, Sheerin, Hinds, Zdrilic (Prunty 72), Muirhead (Stewart 83).

Unused Subs:

Bookings: Caution McGuire (63).

Referee: Stuart Dougal, Burnside

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