Craig Brown was forced to make three changes to the side that lost last week against Motherwell. Scott Vernon pulled out of training on Friday with an injury and was replaced by Josh Magennis. Ryan Jack and Rory Fallon returned after suspension and replaced Mohamed Chalali, who is away on Olympic duty and Rory McArdle. Kari Arnason is still injured and did not travel with the squad. As well as personal changes, there was a tactical change with Chris Clark moving to right back and Ryan Jack filled the right sided midfield spot,a position that has so far been a problematic area for the Dons this season.
The visitors kicked off in wet and windy conditions which made the pitch heavy. The strong wind had a big influence throughout the game.
The Dons stated well and on 3 minutes Foster played in Milson down the left. He crossed but the ball just went beyond all the red shirts and one of those shirts was also offside. On 5 minutes Willis skipped past Foster down the left. His cross deflected off Considine and Gonzalez did well to touch the ball to safety.Although the Dons then conceded the first corner of the game Fallon headed the ball away from danger.
On 7 minutes Megennis turned his man brilliantly to create an opening. The ball was fed back to Fyvie who played it wide to Ryan Jack but his cross was poor. It was encouraging though to see how easily Josh managed to beat his man. On 9 minutes Fyvie gave away a free kick in a dangerous area but Andrew Considine did well to block then clear his lines.
Willis then given too much space to cross but again the Dons were able to head clear. Then more good defending from Considine when he held off Barrowman after the ball held up in the wind. The Dons hit back with a good passing move but Fyvie's cross sailed over the bar. Conditions were making it difficult for both teams to settle.
The first real chance of the game came after good possession from the Dons. They knocked the ball about across the pitch before Foster put in a great cross to the back post. Fallon managed to get a touch on it and put the ball across the face of goal and Magennis was only inches away from getting a touch. The ball seemed to hold up in the wind and Magennis appeared to clash with Paul Gallacher as both went for the ball. Both players got to their feet and continued their pushing match. Magennis was the only person who was going to win that battle but was booked for his efforts. The home side felt the striker should have been sent off for lifting his hands. It really was handbags though.
On 16 minutes a good opening for Barrowman but despite being given plenty of space for the shot by the Dons defenders he rushed his chance and put it well over the bar. The Dons then missed a golden opportunity. After more good possession the ball was played to Ryan Jack and he picked out the overlapping Chris Clark. The right back put in a fantastic cross onto the head of Fallon. The striker should maybe have scored but headed the ball down and Magennis was again only inches away from getting a touch.
Dunfermline hit back though. Kirk beat Mawene. His cross found Barrowman at the back post unmarked but the striker put his header into the side netting. Another let off for the Dons.
On 25 minutes Aberdeen won their first corner. And a second, third and fourth in the space of a minute. These proved to be a challenge as the ball kept moving. Fyvie was having to hold the ball for Milsom to take it as the wind was so strong. Then they swapped over! Milsom held the ball for Fyvie to take it.Finally the pair gave up trying to put the ball in the box and played a short one to Foster but the captain blasted high and wide. On the half hour mark Dons won another corner. Came to nothing. Dunfermline then won a corner but could not even get the ball past the near post.
The Dons finished the half well on top but the conditions more than anything was stopping them. The wind was playing a big part in this game. Again though the final ball was poor. Dunfermline were sitting very deep and Aberdeen were struggling to get anyone in behind them. The midfielders needed to get beyond the strikers to create openings.
On 39 minutes Milson put in another good cross from the left. Magennis appeared to be pushed in the back as he went for the ball. The striker could probably though have thrown himself at it. Then concern for the Dons when Fyvie went down. He looked in trouble but thankfully after treatment was able to carry on. Fyvie had a much better game in the centre of midfield today.
Then in the last action of the half the Dons finally managed to play in a good ball from a corner. Fyvie it was who swung the ball in at pace across the face of goal. The ball was missed by everyone and Considine came in at back post to power the ball home. His third goal of the season. The goal was deserved as Aberdeen had dominated the half.
At the break Fallon was taken off with an injury. It was major blow as he had won everything in the air. Rory was replaced by Darren Mackie. Mackie did give the Dons some pace up front.
In the second half Dunfermline were quick out of the blocks and Mawene was forced to play the ball behind.
The home side were pushing Aberdeen back at it was vital the Dons weathered the storm. After a couple of poor tackles which led to some bookings, including one for Osbourne Dunfermline equalised. The goal was almost identical to the Aberdeen goal. A corner was played in and went across the face of goal without anyone attacking the ball. Although Gonzalez appeared to make a very good save Barrowman was quickest to follow up and hammer the ball home.
Aberdeen had it all to do again. They slowly started to assert their authority back on the game. On 55 minutes youngsters Fyvie and Jack linked up well. Fyvie put in a superb ball that beat all the defenders but unfortunately it also beat all the Aberdeen players. Aberdeen seemed to have weathered the storm and were back on top. Jack and Fyvie linked up well again to win a corner. Mawene made a good run to the near post but his header went over. He actually got too good a contact on it.
Then just after the hour mark disaster. The Dons were hit on the break. David Graham picked the ball up about 25 yards out. He beat Mawene and then put a shot low past Gonzalez at his near post. A really bad goal to lose. Aberdeen responded straight away. Foster picked out Mawene. The defender did really well to keep the ball in play and with Gallagher completely out of position the ball was played back to Megennis. The striker though blasted high and wide when he almost had an empty net to aim at. A really bad miss.
And the Dons were made to pay. Osbourne was beat too easily in the box. Although Gonzalez parried the shot he could only put the ball back into the middle of the penalty box and Buchanan played the ball low into the net. It was the substitutes first touch of the ball.
Straight from the kick off Magennis was played in by Mackie and although his shot beat Gallagher the ball went just wide. Magennis then created space for himself in the box but his low shot was well saved by Gallagher. There seemed no way back for the Dons at this stage. Peter Pawlett came on to replace Ryan Jack.
Aberdeen were then ripped apart at the back but Gonzalez produced an unbelievable save from Barrowman. From point blank range he pushed the ball onto the post. The visitors should have been four down and it should have been game over. The Dons raced up the other end and won a corner. The ball was played in by Milsom and headed into his own net by Keddie to give Aberdeen a life line. The Dons should have been four down but instead they were back in the game. The home side started getting very nervous as Aberdeen pushed for an equaliser. From corner number 12 another defender headed the ball onto the post. Dunfermline had struggled to deal with the set plays all afternoon.
Then Magennis finally got the goal he deserved. Foster played in a long throw. Considine flicked the ball on. Again the home defence failed to deal with it and Magennis pounced. It was a really good finish, hammering the ball from the edge of the area past Gallagher.
The Dons then could and maybe should have won the game. From another corner Mawene headed just past the post. The big defender could not believe he had missed. The Aberdeen fans were magnificent today. They were almost trying to suck the ball into the net at the end and although the Dons had all the play in the final minutes they were unable to find a winner.