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Aberdeen 2 - 3 Rangers

HT Score: Aberdeen 1 - 1 Rangers

SPL Under 21
Aberdeen scorers: D'Jaffo 2, Morrison 59.
Rangers scorers: McLean 22, McLean 81, Dobbie 63

14/04/2003 | KO: 19:00

Gers spoil dons birthday bash

Rangers travelled north and spoiled the Dons Birthday bash with a 3-2 win at Pittodrie. A big crowd turned up and was entertained with a fiercely fought encounter. Aberdeen had taken the lead twice and deserved to take more from the match. Goals from D'Jaffo and Morrison were not enough to earn the points, but on the positive side Darren Mackie returned from injury and played the full 90 minutes.

Aberdeen made a dream start with a well worked goal in the second minute. Stephen Payne delivered a precision pass to Leon Mike on the edge of the penalty area. The Englishman controlled the ball on his chest and found D'Jaffo on the edge of the box. The striker then hit a sweet volley, which left McGregor helpless. Aberdeen drew a lot of confidence from this and started to put together some good moves. Mackie showed a fine bit of skill in the 13th minute as he turned his defender on the edge of the box and fired in a low drive, which McGregor held well.

Rangers eventually settled and came back into the game and after decent efforts from Smith and Levein the visitors drew level when a hesitant Dons defence were punished as McLean prodded the ball home from close in. The game threatened to flare up near the close of the half when referee Brown produced four yellow cards. Smith, Gibson and Dowie were booked for Rangers and Leon Mike was cautioned after retaliating to a Dowie challenge.

Aberdeen went ahead for a second time on the hour mark. Good build up play by Mackie and Mike set up Morrison and the youngster made no mistake with a low rifled shot. Unfortunately the lead was only held for three minutes as Dobbie levelled with a well executed strike. D'Jaffo went close in the 75th minute, but his shot scraped the post. The Dons were to regret this five minutes later when McLean beat Esson from 8 yards out to clinch the points.

Weather: Drry
Aberdeen Teamsheet
Esson, Payne, Morrison, McNaughton, Hedderman, McCulloch, Mackie, Souter, Mike, D'Jaffo, Michie (Foster 87).

Unused Subs: Muirhead, Tarditi, McKenzie, Hutton.

Bookings:  Mike (44),  Hedderman (85).
Rangers Teamsheet
McGregor, Gibson, Ball (McKenzie 74), Dowie, McLeod, Walker, Leveia, Nerlinger, McLean, Dobbie (Duffy 79), Smith.

Bookings:  Smith 39,   Gibson 42,   Dowie 45,   McGregor 74,   Leveia 82,   Nerlinger 87,   McLean 90
Attendance: 2,500
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
Referee: Colin Brown