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Aberdeen 1 - 0 Dunfermline Athletic

HT Score: Aberdeen 1 - 0 Dunfermline Athletic

Aberdeen scorers: Mike 7.

16/03/2002 | KO: 15:00

Dons move into Euro slot.

Aberdeen played some of their best football of the season in the opening 25 minutes then struggled to hang on to their slender 1-0 lead. The visitors had the better of the second half, but were unable to penetrate the Dons defence. With Kilmarnock and Livingston sharing the points at Rugby Park the Dons have hit third spot for the first time this season and now head to Almondvale next week to try and consolidate their European place.

Aberdeen kicked off, but the visitors had the first opportunity inside the opening minute when Hampshire scooped over the bar from 15 yards. The Pars almost gifted the Dons a goal a minute later when Thomson attempted to cushion the ball back to his keeper, blissfully unaware that the keeper had come off his line to collect the ball. Fortunately for the pair Skerla was on hand to clear the danger. Aberdeen then took control and had chances when McNaughton tried his luck from distance, then Mike and Mackie combined well, only for Ruitenbeek to save from Mackie's drive.

The Dons pressure paid off in the 7th minute when Mike grabbed his second goal for the club. Winters did well wide left and turned Mason inside out before delivering a cross that Mike turned into the net from close range. Two minutes later the keeper had to look lively as Anderson threatened to get on the end of a Darren Young knock back. The 11th minute saw a Mike cross taken off the head of Winters as the Dons continued to dominate. The Englishman should have added a second in the 12th minute, but screwed a Winters cross wide of the target when it looked easier to score. The only venture forward the visitors had was a strong run by N'Diaye which brought a fine save from Kjaer in the 13th minute.

Mike went close again in the 18th minute when he held off a defender, turned and hit a fierce drive inches beyond the far post. The Dons were playing some sublime football and Mike was involved again a minute later when he ran on to a defence splitting past from Darren Young only to be denied once more by Ruitenbeek in the Pars goal. The Dons should have gone further ahead in the 25th minute, but were denied by the woodwork. Mackie and Mike had combined well again and as Mackie drilled over a cross, Winters stuck his foot out and watched in agony as it crashed off the cross bar.

The visitors were restricted to the occasional venture forward and Ferguson went close in the 27th minute. A corner kick broke to him on the edge of the box and the head of Derek Young blocked his wicked shot. After what had been a whirlwind 25 minutes for the Dons the visitors started to gain a foothold on the match. Bullen brought out a fine save from Kjaer in the 37th minute and a minute later N'Diaye headed wide and curiously earned himself a corner. Mike had a chance in the final minute, but hit his effort well wide.

Dunfermline started the second half a lot more positively than the Dons and they went close in the 48th minute when an instinctive save by Kjaer denied Crawford. Two minutes later the Pars were awarded a controversial free kick on the edge of the box, but they squandered the chance as Thomson sliced the ball wide of the target. The 52nd minute saw Kjaer plucking the ball out of the air as N'Diaye threatened and all the Dons had to offer at this stage was a weak effort by Mike. Skovdahl decide to change things at this point and Clark was brought on for Derek Young.

The Dons slowly started to get back into the match and Winters sent in a teasing cross in the 59th minute which was bundled clear for a corner. From the resulting set play, McGuire headed straight into the arms of Ruitenbeek. Two minutes later Mackie had a great chance as Mike put him through. The youngster was unable to get the ball under control and took a rather theatrical fall which did not impress referee Orr. The official was not endearing himself to the home crowd with few decisions going the home side's way. This was highlighted in the 67th minute when Mike was bundled of the ball at the edge of the Pars box. Mr. Orr waved play on then 30 seconds later awarded the visitors a free kick in exactly the same position for a similar foul at the other end. Fortunately for the Dons the chance was wasted.

Aberdeen were unable to reproduce their first half form although Winters went close when he spotted Ruitenbeek off his line and attempted to chip the ball into the net. His attempt cleared the keeper, but also the cross bar. Dunfermline were looking the more likely and Mason had a great chance in the 73rd minute, but slipped when he only had Kjaer to beat. The closest the Dons came was a Darren Young volley in the 82nd minute that never threatened Ruitenbeek. Dunfermline threw everything into attack in the closing minutes and goalkeeper Ruitenbeek even ventured forward for a corner in the last minute. This produced an action replay of the Hibs match earlier in the season as the Dons almost grabbed a second as Clark chased a clearance. On this occasion the Pars defence was able to get back and clear.

Aberdeen Teamsheet
Kjaer, McNaughton, McAllister, Bisconti, McGuire, Anderson, Young (Clark 54), Young, Mike (Tiernan 79), Mackie, Winters.

Unused Subs: Preece, Whyte, Thornley.

Bookings:  McAllister (64).
Dunfermline Athletic Teamsheet
Ruitenbeek, Bullen (Kilgannon 77), Skerla, Thomson, Nicholson, Ferguson (McPherson  38), Crawford, N'Diaye, Hampshire (Dair 46), Mason, McGroarty. Unused Subs: Thomson, Nicholls
Attendance: 13,764
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
Referee: Mr. Bobby Orr
Next Match
20 Apr 2024 / 15:00 / Hampden Park, Glasgow