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AFC - Match Report
match report 1997-98 fixture list
Premier Division 
Aberdeen 1 - 0 Dundee United
Kick Off:    Windass 26.        
Attendance: 17,025
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
Final Score Aberdeen 1 Dundee United 0

Alex Miller is begining to make his mark at Aberdeen as the club head for Premier Division safety. The former Coventry assistant manager replaced Roy Aitken as Pittodrie boss at the end of November after a 5-0 grubbing by Dundee United had hastened his departure. This was Miller's sixth match in charge and, for only the second time this season, the Dons have chalked up back to back league victories. Miller has good reason to smile and so has striker Dean Windass. He was sent off in that 5-0 drubbing by United which saw him serve a six match suspension. Windass followed his goal in the 3-0 victory against Motherwell with a 26th minute winner in today's game. It was his seventh goal of the season and he was always a threat to a hesitant United defence.

Miller would have been just as pleased at getting the three points with keeping a clean sheet for the second successive week and this latest shut out gave Jim Leighton good cause for celebration following the award of an MBE in this week's honours list. Aberdeen are now four points clear of bottom club Hibs but United could well get trapped in the relegation quicksand. Manager Tommy McLean made four changes to the side that lost to Rangers last week but they looked second rate all afternoon. Miller was unable to play Michael O'Neill, signed on a three month loan deal from Coventry, because his clearance did not come through in time.

But Aberdeen dominated and the only time Leighton was troubled just before half time when he did superbly well to turn away a thumping 25 yard shot, hit with the outside of his boot, come back off the bar after a mix up between Magnus Skoldmark and keeper Sieb Dykstra. Windass made the breakthrough with Jess starting the move. He fed the ball to Stephen Glass on the left and his pass across the face of the penalty evaded the United defence. Windass was left in the clear to tuck the ball beyond Dykstra and leave United deflated. Billy Dodds should have added a second seven minutes before the break but delivered a free header onto the bar after the impressive Glass had supplied a cross.

United manager Tommy McLean brought on strikers Andy McLaren and Gary McSwegan in the second half for Ray McKinnon and Dave Bowman in a bid to try and turn things round. But Aberdeen always looked likely to add to their lead with Ilian Kiriakov finding the side netting after a good run and Dodds directing a header straight into keeper Dykstra's arms after a fine cross from Jess. Dodds almost got a second right on the stroke of full time when he got away from Mark Perry only to steer a 25 yard shot marginally past the post.

Aberdeen Teamsheet:  Leighton, Anderson, Kiriakov, O'Neil, Inglis, Smith, Bernard, Jess, Windass, Dodds, Glass.

Unused Subs: Newell, Rowson, Gillies.

Bookings:  Kiriakov.

Dundee United Teamsheet:  Dykstra, Johnsson, Malpas, Pressley, Perry, Skoldmark, Olofsson, Zetterlund (Duffy 83), Winters, Bowman (McSweggan 67), McKinnon (McLaren 46)


Referee: K. W. Clark, Paisley

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