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Aberdeen 1 - 2 Rangers

HT Score: Aberdeen 0 - 0 Rangers

SPL Under 21
Aberdeen scorers: Carella 80.
Rangers scorers: Dodds 55, Lovenkrands 75

05/11/2001 | KO: 19:00

Experience Tells In The End

The Dons U21's put in a fine display this evening, but it was Rangers who found the net twice through experienced duo, Dodds and Lovenkrands. The Dons had the better of the first half but an early goal in the second period set up the visitors win.

Both sides fielded senior players for this Guy Fawkes extravaganza and Rachid Belabed was first to test the keeper with a fierce 25-yard drive in the 2nd minute. Michael Mols then showed his skills in the 5th minute as he wriggled his way into the Dons penalty area only to be denied by some dogged defending. A well worked free kick on the left produced a chance for Clark, but his powerful drive was deflected wide. Aberdeen were in control at this stage and put the Rangers back four under severe pressure with Belabed having two efforts blocked.

The Dons went close again in the 20th minute when Young and Thornley combined well. Thornley tried to squeeze the ball in at the near post, but Christiansen saved well. Rangers finally had their first shot at goal when McHale sliced the ball well wide of the target in the 24th minute. A minute later Mols should have netted when he was given plenty of time and space inside the penalty area. Peat did will and held the strikers 12 yard shot. Belabed went close in the 29th minute when he fired a fierce shot off the post with the keeper well beaten. Thornley then tested the keeper with a couple of well placed shots and in the 32nd minute Peat once again pulled off a magnificent save when it looked like Dodds would score.

The match at this stage was fairly even and Steven Payne, who was having another fine game at right back, unleashed a terrific drive from 30 yards, which had Christiansen scurrying across his line. With a minute left Mols went close with an effort from the edge of the box. Aberdeen were leading the way in chances with 12 shots at goal to Rangers 6, but neither side had yet broken through.

Peat was called into action early when he denied Mols in the 47th minute with Bett responding three minutes later with a deflected shot. From the resultant corner kick Hedderman headed straight at the keeper. Rangers took the lead in the 53rd minute when Dodds drilled a Mols cut back beyond Peat. Mols went close again a minute later, but his effort went wide.

Payne once more showed his quality in the 62nd minute when he made a saving tackle on Mols as the striker looked set to score. Thornley delivered a fine cross three minutes later, which the keeper fumbled. Unfortunately Derek Young was unable to capitalise. A minute later Thornley went close again as the Dons stepped up their efforts for an equaliser. Chris Clark was booked in the 68th minute for his first infringement in the game. Rangers extended their lead in the 74th minute. Lovenkrands scoring after playing a one-two with Dodds. A game that had looked there for the taking was now slipping away from the Dons.

Alan Carella replaced Bett in the 77th minute and made an immediate impact when he netted a minute later, beating Christiansen from 9 yards. It wasn't enough though and Rangers left with all three points.

Aberdeen Teamsheet
Peat, Payne, Duncan (Morrison 81), Rutkiewicz, Hedderman, Thór Bett (Carella 77), Belabed (Michie 66), O'Donoghue, Clark, Young, Thornley.

Unused Subs: Kidd, Hutton.

Bookings:  Rutkiewicz (36),  Clark (76).
Rangers Teamsheet
Christiansen, Malcolm, Ball, Dowie, Wilson (Dobbie 71), Kauppila, McHale, McLean, Dodds, Mols (Russell 82), Lovenkrands. Unused Subs: Dobbie for Wilson (68), Russell for Mols (79)

Bookings:  Malcolm 20
Venue: ,
Referee: Crawford Allan