The Dons cling on to their Scottish Cup dream, but only just after Gary McDonald popped up to grab an equaliser in the 5th minute of injury time. Raith Rovers went ahead against the run of play in the 31st minute of a first half that Aberdeen had totally controlled. However the Dons second half performance was poor and they had Jamie Langfield to thank for keeping them in the tie. Raith keeper McGurn had made a string of great saves before the break, but had little to do after the interval until the last five minutes when an Aluko inspired revival produced the equaliser. Raith will be feeling very hard done by after this match, but the Dons live to fight another day.
The match kicked off inside a packed Starks Park as the game was played on a surface that hardly matched the occasion. Raith created the first chance when Simmons fired wide from the edge of the box. At the other end MacLean was set up by Paton, but he also fired wide of the target. Paton won a free kick in the 5th minute, but their progress was halted by an offside flag. The play was raging from end to end at this stage and we had a real cup tie atmosphere inside the ground.
Raith won a free kick in the 8th minute, but the delivery went straight to Langfield and he quickly released Mackie. The striker showed Ellis a clean pair of heels and forced a fine save from McGurn who was at full stretch to turn the effort round the post. The corner was cleared, but the Dons were quickly back on the attack. Raith then won their first corner in the 12th minute, but the delivery was poor and the Dons were able to break, but the final ball failed to create a chance.
Raith went close again in the 14th minute when Smith hit and effort inches wide after being set up by Tade. A minute later Mackie was inches away from connecting with a Foster cross. MacLean then made a good run, but there was little support for him and seconds later Mackie and Young combined well. Aberdeen were now pinning the home side back and in the 17th minute a McDonald effort was deflected wide, but the corner failed to threaten. The pitch was cutting up badly at this stage as Aberdeen looked for the goal their pressure deserved.
Aberdeen won a free kick in a dangerous area in the 23rd minute and Mulgrew's whipped cross was met by Young and he forced a save from the keeper. Three minutes later the home side won a corner after a misunderstanding between Mulgrew and Ifil. Aberdeen broke quickly from the home attack, but good defending kept the Dons at bay. MacLean then won a foul on the edge of the box on the half hour mark, but the Mulgrew delivery was well gathered by McGurn. Seconds later Paton did well to win another corner.
Once again the ball was cleared and Rovers looked to break quickly and then against the run of play and from nothing Raith Rovers took the lead. Williamson hit a sweet volley that gave Langfield no chance. Aberdeen now needed to show what they were made of after this surprise loss. They quickly won a corner, but the home side were gifted a simple free kick when Mulgrew went up to challenge the keeper. Aberdeen looked to have equalised in the 36th minute, but McGurn somehow tipped Mackie's net bound effort over the bar.
McGurn came to the rescue for Raith again in the 40th minute as he palmed away a Foster shot and McDonald didn't react quickly enough to turn the ball into the net. At the other end Langfield did well to deny Wilson as he held a shot at the second attempt, but he must have seen it late. MacLean failed to threaten McGurn at the other end and the half ended with the home side a goal ahead and the Dons with a lot of questions to answer.
Aberdeen's luck was completely out when a fierce Paton shot in the opening minute went wide with McDonald inches from converting. At the other end Aberdeen conceded a free kick and Williamson was close to doubling his tally as he won the second ball. Hill replaced the injured Ellis in the 51st minute after a lengthy delay and a minute after the restart Langfield had to look smart to gather after a poor clearance from Ifil. Aberdeen had not made the dominant start that was required and had failed to test McGurn since the opening minute.
Paton was lucky to escape a yellow card in the 57th minute after a petulant kick at Simmons as Pawlett and Aluko started to warm up. Raith won a corner a minute later and Langfield dropped the ball amid complaints that he was impeded. A second corner quickly followed, but Aberdeen were able to clear as the home side continued to look comfortable. Another home corner followed on the hour mark as Aberdeen failed to make any in roads. Aluko then replaced Derek Young as McGhee looked to turn things round.
A Mulgrew free kick failed to threaten in the 63rd minute and a minute later a Paton cross was blocked as Raith defended well. Pawlett then replaced Mackie in the 65th minute as Pawlett, Paton and MacLean led the attack. Ifil was having a difficult afternoon and another error gave the home side a chance. Seconds later Langfield made a wonder save to keep Aberdeen in the cup as he turned the ball round the post. Aberdeen were struggling to retain any possession at this stage and after a promising opening minute of the half they had created very little.
The referee had failed to caution anyone, but Aluko and Wilson were lucky to escape yellow in the 76th minute after a wee standoff. A free kick a minute later was headed on by Paton then went wide of the target. Paton then won the Dons first corner of the second half in the 78th minute, but Pawlett was only able to steer the ball wide. With ten minutes remaining Simmons collected the first yellow of the day when he halted Aluko who was looking to break.
Tade then went on a great run and won the home side's sixth corner of the second half. The ball was cleared to Aluko and he tried to break, but Raith were able to halt his progress. Ifil then collected a caution as the home side looked increasingly comfortable. Wilson then went into the book as Aluko was once again pulled back, but the subsequent free kick was easily cleared. A Paterson shot was blocked in the 86th minute as Diamond got ready to come on. Diamond replaced Kerr for the final three minutes as he was thrown up front to try and grab an equaliser.
An Ifil shot was wide and not very handsome then in the final minute Aberdeen won a corner as the fourth official held up five minutes of injury time. Paton was then unlucky as his effort was deflected for another corner. Tade cleared before Langfield returned the ball into the Raith half, but nothing was happening. In the dying minutes a Mulgrew shot was blocked then McGurn saved from Ifil as time slipped away for the Dons. In the final seconds of stoppage time Aberdeen collected a 'Get out of jail' card as McDonald forced the ball home after Aluko had fired in a cross that was steered forward by Mulgrew.