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Aberdeen 3 - 0 Dunfermline

HT Score: Aberdeen 1 - 0 Dunfermline

SPL Under 21
Aberdeen scorers: Mike 37, Michie 73, Payne 88.

01/04/2003 | KO: 19:00

Mike makes it five in a row

Leon Mike scored in his fifth consecutive U21 match tonight as the Dons beat Dunfermline at Pittodrie. Mike gave the Dons an interval lead and was impressive throughout. His striking partner Scott Michie added a second and Payne scored a cracker late on to seal the win, but credit must also go to David Preece who made a string of fine saves to keep the Pars, and Jim Hamilton in particular, at bay.

In a lively opening both sides carved out chances in front of goal. Foster headed a Mike cross on to the post in the opening minute and Mike hit a half volley over the top five minutes later. In between Preece made two fine saves to deny ex Don Jim Hamilton. The Dons had Preece to thank again in the 20th minute when he was at full stretch to turn a Hamilton drive round the post.

Both sides were carving out chances and the Dons should have gone ahead in the 35th minute following an excellent turn by Michie that left his defender in isolation. He then delivered a perfect pass into the path of Mike, but the Englishman steered the ball wide of goal. Mike made no mistake two minutes later when he ran on to a long ball from Jones, outpaced the Pars defence and rolled the ball past the advancing Ruitenbeek to give the Dons a half time lead.

Aberdeen thought they had doubled their advantage in the opening minutes when Michie turned the ball into the net, but the assistant referee flagged him offside. Preece once again showed his class in the 54th minute when he clawed away a Nish effort after some slack defending, Ten minutes later Hamilton was allowed a free header at goal but pulled his effort wide. At the other end Ruitenbeek produced a fingertip save to deny Foster.

The Dons doubled their advantage in the 74th minute when Michie capitalised on a mistake from Ruitenbeek. Good grafting by Mike on the right saw the Englishmen win possession and as the keeper fumbled his cross Michie was on hand to turn the ball into the net. Preece saved the best to last when he topped off a marvellous performance with a point blank save in the 82nd minute to once more deny Hamilton. In the 88th minute Payne spotted the keeper off his line and from the bye line he audaciously chipped Ruitenbeek to earn the biggest cheer of the night.

Weather: Dry and Cold
Dunfermline Teamsheet
Ruitenbeek, Dair, Karnebeek (Carson 66), Blair, Walker, McGarty, Hampshire (Fleming 66), McGroarty, Nish, Hamilton, Kilgannon (Findlay 74)
Attendance: 150
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
Referee: Gary Sweeney