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Aberdeen 3 - 1 Dunfermline Athletic

HT Score: Aberdeen 1 - 1 Dunfermline Athletic

Aberdeen scorers: Billio 44, D'Jaffo 57, Young 64.
Dunfermline Athletic scorers: Bullen 41

28/09/2002 | KO: 15:00

Dons rousing Euro send off

The Aberdeen revival continues with an excellent second half performance securing all three points. After a stuttering start the Dons eased their way into the match, but fell behind in the 41st minute to a Lee Bullen strike. A quick response from Billio set the foundations for a second half revival, which saw a brilliant strike by D'Jaffo and a goal from Derek Young seal the win. The only dark cloud from today was the sight of McAllister and D'Jaffo limping off. Add to this McNaughton's absence and the physios have their work cut out ahead of the Hertha tie.

A tentative start by the home side saw Dunfermline take the early initiative. Fortunately the Dons defence were playing with more purpose and the closest the visitors came was a Mason shot from 18 yards which McGuire deflected wide. Aberdeen created their first half-chance in the 9th minute when D'Jaffo headed a Derek Young cross goalwards amid loud penalty claims from the Richard Donald Stand for a hand ball.

Neat play by Mackie in the 11th minute caused panic in the Pars defence, but his cross was too strong and the danger was averted. The youngster combined well with Derek Young three minutes later, but alert defending kept the Dons at bay. A minute later Bullen headed over for the visitors. The Dons had played themselves back into contention, but at this stage the final ball was lacking.

Nicholson went close for the Pars in the 21st minute as once more a defender's block averted the danger. A minute later a last gasp challenge by Wilson halted a dangerous run by Derek Young. On the half-hour mark Darren Young worked his way along the edge of the box avoiding tackles but the final shot caused Ruitenbeek no problems. D'Jaffo went close in the 34th minute when he collected a Mackie head flick and beat Ruitenbeek only for his shot to scrape inches wide of the upright.

The Dons now had the upper hand and five minutes later Billio was crowded out in a busy Pars penalty area. Two minutes later Dunfermline took the lead when Bullen turned a Kilgannon free kick into the Dons net as the Dons failed to clear their lines. It was all level once more in the 44th minute when Billio scored his first goal for the club. He collected a Derek Young head flick, strode forward and hit a sweet left foot volley from 20 yards, which Ruitenbeek could only help, into the net.

There were loud appeals for a penalty from the visiting support in the 48th minute when a Crawford effort was blocked. Mr Somers was not impressed however and play continued. A minute later the official upset the home fans when he penalised Bisconti for a handball as he threatened the Dunfermline goal. The game then burst into life in the 57th minute when the Dons went ahead. D'Jaffo turned Bullen inside the box and fired a tremendous shot into the top corner of the net. Unfortunately the striker went down injured and was replaced by Mike a minute later.

The Dons almost extended their lead in the 63rd minute when Anderson flicked a free kick into the path of Derek Young. Ruitenbeek pulled off a tremendous block to deny the Don. Young had the last say however as the resultant corner saw McGuire provide the same service and this time Young made no mistake with a diving header from about six inches out. Deloumeaux almost threw Dunfermline a lifeline in the 66th minute when he headed a Dunfermline free kick on to his own crossbar with Kjaer well beaten.

The Dons had a valid penalty appeal turned down in the 69th minute when Mackie looked to have been tripped inside the box. To his credit Darren was back on his feet quickly and fed the ball to Deloumeaux. The Frenchman then whipped in a cross that Mike could only turn wide as the Dons continued to turn the screw. The pars then mounted a challenge forcing Kjaer into a double save in the 71st minute. This was to be the last real resistance from the visitors as the Dons took control. Derek Young should have added a fourth in the 82nd minute when he blazed over from ten yards out.

The game ended in dramatic fashion when Brewster was red-carded in the 90th minute following a second yellow card. Mr Somers had gone card happy in the second half with eight yellow's and one red shown in a game that was far from dirty. One yellow was dished out to Peter Kjaer for not taking a free-kick immediately. The final seconds had the Dons playing "shootie-in" in the Pars box, but they failed to produce another goal.

Aberdeen Teamsheet
Kjaer, Deloumeaux, Anderson, McGuire, McAllister (Rutkiewicz 76), Young, Bisconti (Fabiano 82), Billio, Young, D'Jaffo (Mike 58), Mackie.

Unused Subs: Payne, Preece.

Bookings:  Deloumeaux (65),  Young (76),  Bisconti (80).
Dunfermline Athletic Teamsheet
Ruitenbeek, Skerla, Thomson, Nicholson, Mason, Crawford, Brewster, Walker (McGroarty 73), Kilgannon, Bullen, Wilson (Hampshire 26 (Dempsy 46)) Unused Subs: Stillie, Nichols

Bookings:  Brewster 60,   Thomson 62,   Nicholson 67,   Brewster 90   Brewster 90
Attendance: 11,678
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
Referee: David Somers