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Aberdeen 2 - 3 Hibernian

HT Score: Aberdeen 1 - 1 Hibernian

SPL Under 21
Aberdeen scorers: Mackie, Tiernan 10.
Hibernian scorers: Riordan 35, Bailie 69, Dobbie 89

01/09/2003 | KO: 19:00

Late strike sinks Dons

The Under 21 side almost mirrored the pattern of Saturday's senior encounter at Pittodrie tonight. Aberdeen made a bright start and grabbed a well deserved lead in the 10th minute when good build up play allowed Tiernan a simple tap in. The home side then lost their way and allowed Hibs to dominate the remainder of the half, which saw them grab a deserved equaliser in the 35th minute. The visitors edged the second half and grabbed a second in the 69th minute before Mackie grabbed a well taken goal four minutes from time. Unfortunately the visitors grabbed a winner at the death to collect all three points.
Aberdeen made a strong start and forced the visitors on to the back foot from the first whistle. The Dons had a great chance to take the lead in the 5th minute when Jones delivered a delightful ball into the path of Muirhead on the left. The youngster skipped past his defender, but spoiled the good build up play when he blasted over from 10 yards. The Dons pressure paid off in the 10th minute in another move built from the back. This time McGuire released Hinds on the left and he played a short pass infield to Muirhead. This time Scott showed more composure and fired the ball across the face of the goal leaving Tiernan with a simple tap in for a 1-0 lead.

Aberdeen then lost the initiative and the visitors came more into the game. The Dons were given a warning in the 24th minute when a speculative 20 yard effort from Thomson crashed off the Dons cross bar. The inevitable equaliser arrived in the 35th minute when Riordan evaded two defenders and fired in a low shot, which Esson managed to block. Unfortunately he was quickest to react and fired home the rebound.

Both sides made a positive start to the second half with McCulloch starting to make dangerous runs at the Hibs back line. Darren Mackie replaced Hinds in the 55th minute as the home side added a sense of urgency to their play. It was sad to see how tame football has become when Darren Mackie was penalised and spoken to for the heinous crime of blocking the goalkeeper's kick. Gone are the days of forcing the keeper over the line with a well executed shoulder charge.

It was Hibernian who were to grab the lead in the second half. Riordan had been troubling the Dons defence all game with some dangerous set play deliveries and in the 69th minute he fired in a free kick and Baillie rose to head the ball past Esson. Aberdeen brought Foster on for Deloumeaux, and they were rewarded with an equaliser in the 86th minute when Mackie took advantage of a defenders slip on the left, cut inside and curled the ball beyond the keeper for a well executed strike.It was all to no avail however as Dobbie looped a header past Esson in the last minute to secure all three points.

Weather: Dry
Aberdeen Teamsheet
Esson, Payne, Morrison, Deloumeaux (Foster 67), McGuire (Higgins 38), Jones, McCulloch, Tiernan, Bird, Hinds (Mackie 50), Muirhead.

Unused Subs: Tarditi, Hutton.
Hibernian Teamsheet
Hyldgaard, Orman, Edge, Cruickshank, Baillie, Shields, Whittaker, Nicol (Reid 72), Dobbie, Riordan, Thomson.

Bookings:  Orman 75,   Shields 85
Attendance: 280
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
Referee: Craig Marshall