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Aberdeen 0 - 1 Partick Thistle

HT Score: Aberdeen 0 - 1 Partick Thistle

Partick Thistle scorers: Lilley 31

01/09/2002 | KO: 15:00

Depleted Dons Dumped

A poor first half performance cost the Dons dearly today at Pittodrie. A first half strike by ex-Don David Lilley was enough to give the visitors all three points. Already missing Bisconti, McNaughton and Mackie, the dismissal of new signing Nicolas Fabiano didn't help the Dons' cause. Ebbe threw on youngsters Michie and O'Donoghue in the second period and both went close to rescuing a point for the Dons, but at the end of the day the slow start proved costly.

Partick Thistle made a positive start to the match without threatening the Dons goal. Fabiano looked busy in the early stages and was not scared to mix it in the middle. Burns almost escaped the attentions of McGuire in the 8th minute, but the defender recovered well to mop up any danger. There were ironic cheers from the home support a minute later as referee Rowbotham awarded the Dons their first free kick of the match.

There was panic in the Jags defence in the 11th minute when D'Jaffo flicked on a Deloumeaux throw in, but Thistle eventually managed to clear their lines. A mistake by Darren Young in the middle of the park resulted in Thistle winning the first corner of the match. Fortunately the delivery was poor and the danger cleared easily, but a second corner a minute later had Kjaer scrambling to claim the ball. At this stage the Dons were struggling to create anything up front and a poor delivery by Clark in the 23rd minute summed up the Dons play.

A minute later Partick threw in another dangerous corner. Once more it looked as though Kjaer was impeded, but nothing was given and the danger was cleared. The Dons created their first real chance of the match on the half-hour mark when Mike collected a throw in and turned his defender. He attempted to lob the keeper, but also lobbed the ball over the bar. Thistle then took a deserved lead a minute later when Waddell drilled in a cross which eluded the defence and found David Lilley lurking at the back post to slam the ball into the net.

One would have hoped this would be the wake up call that the lethargic Dons needed, but it was Thistle who almost added a second a minute later when Kjaer had to get down quickly to smother an Archibald drive. Fabiano, rather harshly, collected his first yellow card in Scottish football after tripping Hardie seconds after D'Jaffo had been dumped on the floor. Thistle continued to dictate the play as the Dons struggled to get into the game and committed a string of basic errors. Aberdeen could have had the ball in the net in the closing seconds, but D'Jaffo's challenge on Arthur was penalised.

Partick Thistle started the second half in the same way as they had ended the first, with Kjaer having to tip a header over the bar in the first minute. Aberdeen then appeared to waken up and had a sustained spell of pressure for the first time in the match. In the 49th minute Anderson headed a Clark free kick into the danger area, but there were no takers. A minute later the Dons forced another free kick, but Thornley's effort was easily held by Arthur. The Dons went close again in the 52nd minute when McAllister was inches from connecting with a McGuire cross.

Mayhem broke out in the next ten minutes as Mr. Rowbotham went card happy. Hardie collected a yellow in the 53rd minute and then Fabiano who had looked impressive, had his debut ruined when he was penalised for a challenge on Hardie. His second harsh yellow card left the Dons supporters raging. You had to feel sorry for the lad who put a lot into the game. Whyte and McAllister followed and then David Lilley was fortunate to stay on the park following a horrific challenge on Ben Thornley. In between the mayhem, the Dons had taken control of the match with efforts from Clark and McAllister being easily held by Arthur.

Youth was then given the chance to retrieve the situation as Michie and O'Donoghue replaced Mike and Thornley. The Dons almost gave it away in the 70th minute when Burns dispossessed McGuire on the edge of the box. Fortunately the Jags man pulled his shot wide of a gaping goal. Ebbe had given youth a chance and they were grabbing it with both hands. Michie almost became the hero in the 76th minute when he controlled the ball, turned and hit a thunderous strike which had Arthur at full stretch to parry wide. A minute later O'Donoghue had a pot at goal from distance as Thistle were forced further back. Minutes later, D'Jaffo should have done better when he broke clear on the right. With Michie in space in the middle, D'Jaffo failed to find him and the chance and the points were gone.

Aberdeen Teamsheet
Kjaer, Deloumeaux, Anderson, McGuire, McAllister, Young, Thornley (O'Donoghue 65), D'Jaffo, Mike (Michie 60), Fabiano, Clark.

Unused Subs: Preece, Duncan, Payne.

Bookings:  Fabiano (39),  Fabiano (56),  McAllister (63),  Fabiano (56).
Partick Thistle Teamsheet
Arthur, Lilley, Archibald, Craigan, Paterson, Whyte, Mitchell (Gibson 33 (Briton 86)), Buchan, Burns, Hardie (Lennon 83), Waddell. Unused Subs: Budinauckas, McKinstry

Bookings:  Hardie 53,   Whyte 61,   Lilley 64,   Briton 90
Attendance: 12,591
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
Referee: John Rowbotham, Kirkcaldy