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Aberdeen 1 - 0 Celtic

HT Score: Aberdeen 0 - 0 Celtic

Premier Division
Aberdeen scorers: Irvine 63.

14/03/1987 | KO: 15:00


Former bank employee, Brian Irvine, picked the important game with Celtic to score his first goal of the season. During his decade with the Dons the big defender has scored a number of valuable goals. A victory over Celtic was essential if the home team hoped to re-enter the race for the champi¬onship. A crowd of 20,000 attended the game.

The game exploded into action when the Dons had the ball in the net after 30 seconds. Paul Wright's header was signalled as a goal by the referee only for the linesman's flag for offside to nullify it. Celtic were stung into action and McClair struck a free kick into the defensive wall. What a fiery opening to this "crunch" league match! Aberdeen's £600,000 signings, David Dodds and Bobby Connor, were missing from the line-up, but teenager Joe Miller was prominent as he latched on to several long balls from his defenders. The pace was hectic and Bonner looked far from secure as he dropped a Peter Weir corner. On the other hand, Jim Leighton looked impressive as he moved from his line to clutch a high Burns cross under pressure.
The defending champions had not lost to the Dons in any of their previous seven encounters that season and danger man McClair almost put the Celts ahead when he slammed his shot into the side netting. Miller was proving rather lively for Celtic's often static back four and McGrain came to the rescue when two other team mates were beaten by the young winger. The game was becoming rather physical but the referee seemed reluctant to produce a yellow card. McClair and Jim Bett both missed narrowly as the game continued at a frantic pace. Bonner had been the busier keeper and, just before the interval, he had to be at his best to deny Willie Miller who unleashed a tremendous shot.

Half Time 0-0

Joe Miller was still a menace when play resumed and he proved too fast for the Celtic rearguard. Whyte's strength retrieved the situation. Aberdeen fans and players were furious when Brian Irvine was sent sprawling, with no penalty awarded. To add insult to injury Rogan's hand clearly made contact with the ball a few seconds later - again no penalty! With tension rising the referee belatedly started to reach for the yellow card. After Burns was cautioned, he was replaced by MacLeod, after committing a bad foul on Irvine. In 63 minutes Irvine gained full revenge when he headed the Dons into a dramatic lead. Rogan had given away a free kick for another lunge at Joe Miller and Willie Miller's free kick was powered home from eight yards. Then Archdeacon replaced Shepherd.
Aberdeen's dominance and confidence grew after this important strike. Bonner had to stretch to clutch Bett's cross and Billy Stark narrowly missed when he dived full length for a Peter Weir cross. Leighton still had to show his agility to grab headers from McGugan and Johnston. In the last minute Ian Porteous and Willie Falconer replaced the injured pair. Wright and Irvine, as the Dons held on for a narrow but important victory.

Source: Match Programme, 14th January 1996

Aberdeen Teamsheet
Leighton, Irvine (Falconer 90), Robertson, Stark, McLeish, Miller, Miller, Bett, Wright (Porteous 89), Simpson, Weir.

Bookings:  Robertson,  Simpson,  Robertson (83),  Simpson (86).
Celtic Teamsheet
Bonner, McGrain, Rogan, Aitken, McGugan, Whyte, McClair, McStay, Johnston, Shepherd (Archdeacon 67), Burns (MacLeod 59)

Bookings:  Aitken 44,   Burns 58
Attendance: 20,000
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
Referee: W. Crombie, Edinburgh
Next Match
20 Apr 2024 / 15:00 / Hampden Park, Glasgow