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Dunfermline Athletic 2 - 1 Aberdeen

HT Score: Dunfermline Athletic 0 - 0 Aberdeen

Dunfermline Athletic scorers: Mehmet 53 , Donnelly 82
Aberdeen scorers: Diamond 72.

12/02/2005 | KO: 15:00

Dons make it four defeats in a row.

Aberdeen's passport into Europe through the league looks to have taken a severe blow today as Jimmy Calderwood lost to his old team for the first time. Having gone behind to a Billy Mehmet goal the Dons came back strongly and levelled through Zander Diamond. The Dons then took control and looked as if they would go on to collect the points. However the Pars broke quickly from defence and as Byrne misjudged the ball Donnelly pounced and despite a fine block from Esson, the striker bundled the rebound in to the net to secure all three points.

Aberdeen started the match in a 4-4-2 formation with a strong wind at their back but it was Dunfermline who made a whirlwind start and Noel Hunt should have scored with a header in the opening minute but Ryan Esson made a fantastic reflex save to deny the striker from six yards out. The home side were on top in the early stages and they won the first corner in the 3rd minute as Heikkinen was forced to clear a Thomson effort off the line. The Dons were struggling to get out of their own half and Diamond appeared to be at the heart of everything as they repelled the Pars onslaught.

Aberdeen finally got forward in the 9th minute when Stewart broke wide, but after some sustained pressure Mackie was penalised as he forced himself forward to win the ball. A minute later McGuire replaced the injured Hart then in the 11th minute Stewart set up Mackie inside the box and it took a great block from Campbell to deny the striker his eleventh goal of the season. Aberdeen had settled now and captain for the day, Kevin McNaughton, went close in the 14th minute when he burst forward and forced a save from Stillie after his shot was deflected. Seconds later Mason had the Dons defence scrambling the ball clear as the home side threatened.

Stewart was starting to cause the Pars defence problems and he won a free kick in the 20th minute. The resulting set play saw Stillie scramble a Winter effort round the post as the Dons forced a series of corners, which they failed to capitalise on. A Winter free kick in the 28th minute was wasted and three minutes later Dunfermline went close when Christiansen crashed an effort off the bar from the edge of the area. Mackie set up Winter again in the 34th minute but his long range effort missed the target as the promise of the early play failed to be sustained by either team.

However four minutes later Nicholson threaded a great ball through to Makel but fortunately the ball bobbled away on the plastic surface and Esson was able to collect. Diamond dithered a minute later allowing Dunfermline to win a corner. Esson failed to come and collect the delivery but fortunately the ball went harmlessly out of play. The home side finished the half strongly and Scott Thompson went close in the 43rd minute as he forced a save from Esson when he headed a corner goalward. In the final minute Christiansen forced another save from Esson as the Dons defence stood static waiting for an offside decision.

Dunfermline were first to show after the break when Mehmet fired a shot across the face of the goal in the 48th minute. Four minutes later Aberdeen put the home side under pressure but Darren Mackie was closed down in numbers before he had the chance to shoot. Dunfermline then grabbed a deserved lead when the Aberdeen defence failed to close down Mehmet in the 53rd minute when he held off McGuire, turned and hit a shot past Esson. Stewart did well in the 58th minute as Stillie spilled his effort round the post. The resulting corner ended with McGuire firing well wide of the target. Another corner a minute was well handled by Stillie as Aberdeen tried to get back into the match.

Ryan Esson then kept the Dons in the game with a great double save in the 61st minute. He parried a Nicholson shot then reacted quickly to deny Noel Hunt in the follow up. Morrison then replaced Winter in the 63rd minute with Heikkinen moving back into the midfield to try and get some control of that area. Good work from Mackie won a corner for the Dons in the 67th minute but McGuire headed Morrison's corner well over the bar. An Adams free kick was then charged down in the 69th minute and three minutes later Clark forced another corner that led to the Dons equaliser. Morrison swung in the corner and Zander Diamond was on hand to bundle the ball into the net.

Aberdeen were lifted by the goal and in the 75th minute McGuire steered the ball wide as he latched on to another Morrison delivery. Two minutes later another Morrison corner was scrambled clear as Aberdeen went looking for the winner. Dunfermline managed a quick break in the 79th minute but in general Aberdeen were laying siege on the Pars goal with Morrison causing all sorts of problems for the home side. A long throw then found Diamond but again Dunfermline scrambled the ball clear and then against the run of play Donnelly grabbed the winner for Dunfermline in the 82nd minute. Pars broke quickly from defence and as Byrne misjudged the ball Donnelly pounced and despite a fine block from Esson, the striker bundled the rebound in to the net.

Darren Young could have sewn it up a minute later but stumbled as he looked to pull the trigger. In a final roll of the dice Craig replaced McGuire in the 87th minute and in the dying seconds a Morrison free kick was half cleared and McNaughton fired wide of the target to leave the Dons looking at a fourth straight league defeat and leave the early promise now in tatters.

Dunfermline Athletic Teamsheet
Stillie, Ross, Todd, Thomson, Campbell, Nicholson, Mason, Makel, Hunt (Dn Young 81), Mehmet (Donnelly 75), Christiansen (Hristov 81)

Bookings:  Nicholson 86
Attendance: 5,579
Venue: East End Park, Dunfermline
Referee: Dougie McDonald, Edinburgh