It was not pretty. At times it was not very good. Falkirk missed a number of great opportunities. But who cares. The Dons have their first victory in six matches and move off the bottom of the table. After a poor first half where the Dons showed little going forward, Jimmy brought on Sone Aluko at half time and the effect was immediate. Within three minutes of coming on Aluko had helped the ball out to Considine. The big centre half swung in a superb cross and Lee Miller from six yards bulleted the ball home. Lee Bullen was sent off in the final minutes for a professional foul after Severin broke forward. There were some nervy moments in the final stages but Aberdeen defended well and held on for the vital win.
Jimmy Calderwood made a number of personnel and tactical changes. Stuart Duff, Andrew Considine and Derek Young all came in. Jared Hodgkiss can consider himself unlucky not to be involved. He dropped to the bench along with Sone Aluko. Charlie Mulgrew was suspended after the Dons failed to get his red card against Hibs overturned.
Jamie Smith is back. He was on the substitutes bench, the first time he has been involved since the St Mirren game on the 30th August. Tommy Wright withdraw from the squad due to illness. The Dons lined up in a 1-3-4-2 formation. Scott Severin playing as sweeper. The back three were Considine, Diamond and Mair. Derek Young played wide right, Foster the left wing back role with Kerr and Duff in centre midfield. Miller and Mackie were partnered up front. Falkirk had the better of the early play as the Dons settled into their new formation. On 6 minutes Neil McCann beat Lee Mair comfortably and put in a superb cross and Lovell, unmarked at the back post put his header across the face of goal but wide. A major let off for the Dons. 10 minutes and Aberdeen finally mount their first attack. Miller cleverly flicked the ball onto Mackie whose cross field pass found Foster. His shot was deflected for a corner but nothing came from the set-piece. A minute later Falkirk had their first corner which Zander Diamond did very well to head away under pressure.
15 minutes and a major penalty shout for Aberdeen. Miller battled well to put the Falkirk defence under pressure. The pass back was short and Mackie appeared to get to the ball ahead of Scott Flinders. It looked as though the keeper brought down Darren without getting any of the ball. Minutes later more controversy, this time at the other end. Lovell put the ball into the Aberdeen net after a through ball but was adjudged to have fouled Scott Severin. After 20 minutes Zander Diamond had another superb defensive header after Arfield had put in a great ball from the right. At this point the Dons were just about doing enough to keep Falkirk out but showing little in attacking play. 29 minutes and Aberdeen had a rare attack. A long ball and poor defensive header was picked up by Duff who played in Miller who flicked the ball wide. Stuart might have been better having a shot himself. The Dons fans at this point were clearly unhappy with what they are seeing. Andrew Considine had a long shot which went just wide. At least it gave the Red Army some encouragement.
40 minutes and Higdon was booked for a late tackle on Kerr, although he committed a number of fouls before that. Late in the half Aberdeen did get themselves in some decent positions but once again the final ball let them down - something that has been a problem all season. The final action of the first half saw a looping Mair header from the free kick go comfortably into the keepers arms.
Jimmy obviously agreed with me at half time and Sone Aluko was put on to replace Stuart Duff. Stuart was actually one of the better Aberdeen players but the change was needed. And the change made an immediate impact. Three minutes into the second half Aluko was caught but the ref waved play on. The ball fell to Considine who unmarked swung in a superb cross and Lee Miller from 6 yards bulleted in a header.
55 minutes and the home side should have been level. From a free kick to Falkirk Higdon turned in box with no one near him. He dragged his shot wide and thankfully just out of the reach of Lovell. A real let off for the Dons after really poor defending. On the hour mark Aluko messed up a great chance. Mackie did superbly well to play the ball into space for Sone to run onto. The substitute left Barr for dead but a horrible first touch allowed the keeper the chance to come out and collect the ball. Lee Miller would have had a tap in. 65 minutes gone. At this stage the Dons were restricting Falkirk to long shots and looking good on the break. With this in mind Jimmy Calderwood replaced Mark Kerr with Gary McDonald. McCann them set up Lovell who from the edge of the box. Steve tried to curl the ball into the net but thankfully the shot just went wide. Another let off. 73 minutes and another lucky escape. Aberdeen were looking to break but Mackie gave the ball away in a really bad area. The ball was played through to Steve Lovell who put the ball over from about 8 yards. A bad miss.
At this point you were beginning to think it might be our day. On 74 minutes a welcome return for Jamie Smith who replaced Lee Miller. The travelling fans were not happy with the move but Lee had run himself into the ground. Shortly after coming on Smith took a free kick which just went over. Decent effort. The game near the end got untidy as Falkirk tried to throw everything at Aberdeen. Barr was booked for a foul on Aluko, Cregg for a tackle on McDonald. Aluko then booked for kicking the ball away from the ball boy. Not very sensible. Credit to Dons defence who actually did very well in the closing stages and Aberdeen actually looked the more likely to score. Aluko broke forward again. This time he got a shot away but blasted high and wide. He might have been better trying to find Jamie Smith. The Dons system, with five across the back at this stage meant Falkirk were struggling to get in behind the Dons. And then in added on time Jamie Smith played Severin through. Lee Bullen's last ditch tackle was adjudged to be a foul and he was sent off for a professional foul.
Team: Langfield, Foster, Diamond, Severin, Kerr (McDonald), Miller (J Smith), Mackie, Young, Duff (Aluko), Mair, Considine
Subs: Bateman, Hodgkiss, de Visscher, Maguire,
Falkirk U19s 1 Aberdeen U19s 3 Report