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AFC - Match Report
match report 2007-08 fixture list
SPL 
05/01/2008
 
Falkirk 0 - 0 Aberdeen
Kick Off:  3:00 PM          
Attendance: 5,457
Venue: Falkirk Stadium, Falkirk
Dons have to settle for a draw

Diamond steers the ball towards goal against FalkirkFor the second time in two weeks Aberdeen failed to get the better of ten men and Falkirk deservedly earned a draw. Falkirk had all the possession in the first 40 minutes without really threatening before Aberdeen had a couple of chances through Severin and Nicholson. After the break Aberdeen looked to take control until Arfield was shown a second yellow card and went for an early bath. Falkirk appeared to take a lift from this while referee Eddie Smith went through a spell of booking everything in a red shirt as Mair, Miller, Clark and de Visscher all ended up with their name in his book. Falkirk defended well and the closest Aberdeen went was a de Visscher header that was cleared off the line while Falkirk almost stole it with a break that released Higdon and required a finger tip save from Jamie Langfield to keep Aberdeen in the frame.

After some serious doubts to whether this game would go ahead, Aberdeen kicked off and within the first minute Foster took a bad knock after a hefty challenge from Riera. Falkirk started positively and enjoyed early possession, but the Dons defended resolutely and in the 4th minute Severin played in a free kick and as the ball fell to the edge of the box Mair drilled in a shot that was comfortably held by Olejnik. A minute later Jamie Smith collected a poor clearance from the keeper but was unable to produce a shot on target.

Diamond threatened in the 9th minute as Severin played in another free kick and a minute later Riera conceded another nasty foul when he left his foot in late on Lee Miller. Finnigan had a chance in the 13th minute as he beat Mair and had a pot at goal. At the other end Young looked set to score when Ross made a last gasp challenge and the keeper let the ball through his legs although no Aberdeen player was on hand to take advantage. The game was opening up now and Higdon beat Diamond on the 15-minute mark but fired the ball into the side netting.

Chris Clark has a shot on goal against FalkirkA minute later the assistant referee awarded a soft free kick against Byrne but fortunately Langfield managed to pluck the ball from the air as it was delivered into the box. Falkirk won the first corner of the match in the 20th minute and when the ball fell to Riera he sliced his effort wide of the target after an initial blocked shot. Two minutes later Aberdeen were slow to clear their lines and Langfield had to look lively to block a Ross effort as the home side started to take control. At this stage Aberdeen looked to be happy enough to let Falkirk hold on to the ball and try to hit them on the break.

Severin was forced to block a shot from Higdon in the 33rd minute allowing Byrne to break before he lost control of the ball. Lee Miller was making the Falkirk defence work for every ball and he almost got a break in the 36th minute but had strayed offside. Higdon then had the ball in the net three minutes later but was flagged offside as he raced past Lee Mair. At the other end Arfield became the first player to be booked for a foul on Nicholson and from the resultant free kick Severin headed inches wide of the target.

Arfield was lucky to escape a second yellow when he brought Derek Young down in full flight. Nicholson took the free kick and curled the effort round the wall and into the side netting. Aberdeen then won their first corner in the final minute of the half but Diamond was unable to steer Nicholson's delivery on goal.

Aberdeen created the first real chance of the second half when Jamie Smith did well and played the ball into the box where Miller eventually spun and pulled his shot wide of the target. Jamie Smith then fired wide under pressure in the 52nd minute as they started to show more of a threat. Falkirk were then reduced to ten men in the 54th minute when Arfield collected a second yellow card for a poor challenge on Lee Mair. Lee Mair in turn collected a stupid yellow card a minute later for a tug on a Falkirk jersey. The ten men charged forward and Langfield was forced into a save before Lee Miller collected a yellow card for another stupid challenge.

Nicholson in action against FalkirkLatapay then replaced Finnigan as Falkirk withdrew one of their three strikers, as the home side appeared to take control again. The referee had gone card crazy now and Chris Clark followed the others into the book in the 62nd minute for an innocuous challenge. Two minutes later Falkirk were awarded a free kick six inches outside the penalty box and Scobbie sent the ball inches over the bar. Steve Lovell then replaced Derek Young as Calderwood looked for a winning goal. Clark burst into the Falkirk box but was forced wide then a minute later Foster was quickly closed down as he looked to pull the trigger.

Riera committed his umpteenth foul in the 70th minute and again the referee took no action. Seconds later Lovell went close then great passing play by Falkirk almost broke the deadlock. Aberdeen won a free kick in the 72nd minute and Lee Miller headed wide. Three minutes later Ross made a great block as Jamie Smith looked to fire the Dons ahead then the ball fell to Byrne and the keeper saved his effort. Aberdeen tried to up the tempo and won a corner in the 78th minute and as the ball was delivered for a second time another great bit of defending denied Severin and seconds later Diamond headed over the bar.

Mair was then replaced by de Visscher as the Dons looked to grab a late winner, but as Aberdeen pressed forward Barr broke and released Higdon on goal and Jamie Langfield was forced into a finger tip save to deny the home side. A Severin free kick was easily cleared in the 83rd minute before Smith went on a great run but once again couldn't find a way past the Falkirk defence. A minute later a Nicholson shot was deflected wide by Cregg but before the corner could be taken the referee produced another yellow card and booked de Visscher. When the corner came in de Visscher almost had the last laugh but Latapay cleared his powerful header off the line.

Jonathan Smith then made his debut for the Dons when he replaced Miller in the 86th minute. Clark should have scored in the 88th minute when the Falkirk keeper parried a de Visscher shot into his path but the midfielder screwed the effort wide of the target. Smith burst forward a minute later and released Lovell, but the ball was intercepted allowing Falkirk to clear their lines. In the final minute Latapay raced forward and Nicholson had to block the effort for a corner. Aberdeen eventually cleared their lines before Higdon went down late on and had to be replaced. As the Dons played the ball into the box in the dying embers of the game Jonathan Smith showed his inexperience by conceding a foul.

Falkirk Teamsheet:  R Olejnik, P Cregg, M Higdon (G Aafjes 90), J Ross, S Arfield, D Holden, A Riera, T Scobbie, C Finnigan (R Latapy 57), D Barr, G Barrett (K Milne 67).

Unused Subs: J Barclay, K McBride, C Mitchell, S Bradley.

Bookings:  S Arfield (39).  S Arfield (53).

Aberdeen Teamsheet:  Langfield, Foster, Byrne, Severin, Diamond, Mair (de Visscher 79), Nicholson, Young (Lovell 64), Miller (Smith 86), Smith, Clark.

Unused Subs: Soutar, Smith, Aluko, Touzani.

Bookings:  Mair (54),  Smith (56),  Clark (61),  de Visscher (84).

Referee: Eddie Smith

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