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AFC - Match Report
match report 2003-04 fixture list
SPL 
03/04/2004
 
Aberdeen 3 - 0 Dundee United
Kick Off:  3:00 PM   Hinds 21, McGuire 24, Sheerin 43.        
Attendance: 8,449 (Visitors: 1,060)
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
Dons leave united chasing shadows
Match programme Aberdeen produced one of their best displays of the season to record their first win of the season over Dundee United. All the damage was done in the first half as goals from Hinds, McGuire and Sheerin put the Dons on easy street. It wasn't just the goals however, but the manner of the victory that must have pleased manager Steve Paterson. The second half never quite lived up to the first period but both Hinds and Zdrilc hit the woodwork and the game ended with the red army cheering every pass on a day that certainly lifted the spirits. The match ended on a low note when McGuire was stretchered off in the last minute.

United kicked off and enjoyed the early pressure including the first corner of the game in the second minute. Aberdeen finally got forward in the third minute when Tosh collected the ball on the right before cutting inside and hitting a low shot wide of the target from 25 yards out. Aberdeen threatened again in the 6th minute when Muirhead hit the bye line forcing the United defence to scramble the ball clear as McGuire threatened. A minute later Hinds broke and had his shot deflected wide for the Dons first corner of the game.

In the 10th minute the Dons scorned another half chance when Sheerin steered a Muirhead cross wide of the target. Two minutes later Barry Robson was presented with a chance on the edge of the Dons box, but he scooped the effort well over the bar. Sheerin had another good effort in the 14th minute when he hit a fierce volley that was well held by Gallacher. A minute later the keeper spilt a fierce Tosh shot and United had to scramble the ball for a corner as Hinds threatened. The visitors then threatened with a few free kicks and had a soft penalty claim turned down.

 
Innes collected the first yellow card of the match when he held back Zdrilic as he broke. The resultant Morrison free kick was almost steered past Gallacher by Tosh. Aberdeen did make the breakthrough in the 21st minute with a well-taken goal from Hinds. McGuire delivered a delightful pass and the striker held off McCracken before firing the ball past Gallacher. The red army were on their feet again three minutes later when McGuire doubled the advantage by steering a powerful header past Gallacher from a Morrison corner kick. The Dons were well in control at this stage and the United keeper was down smartly in the 27th minute to deny Hinds a second.

The Dons were looking a much better unit this week as they gave United no time to dwell on the ball and looked more threatening coming forward. A lovely move in the 36th minute almost produced a third goal when Zdrilic flicked a header into the path of Hinds and he hit a half volley wide of the target with the United defence chasing shadows. Another great passing move in the 39th minute produced another series of corners for the Dons as the visitors were put under immense pressure. The Dons added a third in the 43rd minute when Sheerin converted a Zdrilic cut back to add the icing on the cake.

 
The Dons started the second half in the same manner that they had competed the opening forty-five minutes. In the 46th minute Zdrilic released Hinds and the striker lobbed the keeper and the crossbar. A minute later Hinds turned provider as he left defenders trailing and delivered a cross that McGuire just failed to connect with. Zdrilic then tested Gallacher in the 49th minute, but the keeper held the shot well. Aberdeen continued to dominate and maintain their passing game. If there could be one criticism aimed at the reds it would be their desire to walk the ball into the net in this second period, but that would be harsh.

United introduced three substitutes in the opening twenty minutes and they did threaten more. The closest they came was a Scotland header in the 61st minute that Preece easily held. There were claims for a Dons spot kick in the 69th minute when Tosh appeared to be impeded inside the penalty area. United were awarded the free kick and made a mess of the clearance allowing Hinds to step forward and crash the ball off the woodwork from the edge of the box. Aberdeen went close again in the 75th minute when Morrison rolled a free kick into the path of Zdrilic and he fired the ball onto the woodwork from 25 yards with Gallacher beaten.

The game ended in a flurry with the red army cheering every Dons pass as the United fans left in droves. Diamond went close in the 86th minute when he headed the ball into the side netting then a minute later United should have grabbed a consolation when Samuel had a chance from 4 yards, which Preece managed to smother. Seconds later Gallacher was in action again to save from Hinds. The match ended on a low when Phil McGuire went off on a stretcher after a challenge from Samuel.

Aberdeen Teamsheet:  Preece, McGuire (Prunty 90), Morrison, Heikkinen, Diamond, Rutkiewicz (Buckley 74), Tosh (Souter 89), Sheerin, Hinds, Zdrilic, Muirhead.

Unused Subs:

Bookings: Caution McGuire (80), Caution Sheerin (83).

Dundee United Teamsheet:  Gallagher, Kerr, McInnes, Archibald, McIntyre, Miller, Robson, McCracken, McLaren, Wilson, Innes.

Unused Subs: Scotland for McLaren (50), Dodds for Kerr (60), Samuel for McIntyre (66)

Bookings: Caution Innes (19)

Referee: Ian Fyfe, Linlithgow

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