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Dundee United 1 - 2 Aberdeen

HT Score: Dundee United 0 - 2 Aberdeen

SPL
Dundee United scorers: Scotland 60
Aberdeen scorers: Diamond 40, Stewart 45.

02/03/2005 | KO: 19:45

Ten men Dons exact revenge on United

After taking a comfortable two goal lead in the first half Aberdeen endured a nervous second 45 minutes before holding out for a 2-1 win and a vital three points on a night that both Hearts and Hibs lost. Diamond and Stewart had found the net before the break then when Diamond was sent off in the 56th minute the game was completely changed. Scotland pulled one back and the Aberdeen goal was put under siege until Ritchie was sent off three minutes from the end to make it ten aside allowing Aberdeen to hold on for the win.

United started strongly but Aberdeen almost grabbed the lead in the 5th minute when Clark collected a quick free kick from Winter and tested Bullock with a fierce shot that saw the keeper tipping the effort over the bar. Then four minutes later the Dons grabbed the lead when Diamond fired the ball into the net from 10 yards after United failed to clear their lines following another Winter free kick. Unlike Sunday the opening strike didn't trigger a goal rush and the two teams started to cancel each other out, as neither were able to create chances in and around the opposition box.

Winter tried his luck from distance in 22nd minute but Bullock saw it from well out and made a comfortable save. Two minutes later another Winter free kick produced a corner, which was easily cleared then seconds later Whelan limped off to be replaced by Stewart. On the half hour mark Mackie had an effort deflected for a corner before United broke quickly and Grady pulled his shot wide. There was controversy in the 35th minute when Diamond appeared to catch an elbow in his face as he challenged Jason Scotland. Play was allowed to continue and United went close when a shot was deflected wide of the target. United went close again a minute later when a free kick caused problems and Anderson was forced to concede a corner under pressure.

United were finishing the half the stronger but Aberdeen were holding firm at this stage without creating too much themselves. Diamond collected the first yellow of the game in the 40th minute for nothing more than a mistimed tackle on Barry Robson. A minute later a Scotland shot was deflected for another corner then the same player created another good chance as the home side looked to level before the break. However United fell further behind in the 45th minute when a Dons corner was only half cleared and Chris Clark delivered the ball back into the danger area where Stewart fired a deflected shot past Bullock to give Aberdeen a 2-0 lead. The Dons almost made it three in injury time when McGuire headed over from another corner kick.

United started the half strongly and Scotland set up Crawford in the 49th minute but fortunately the Scottish International was slow to react. A minute later Stewart broke into the home penalty area and it required a well-timed challenge from Archibald to stop the youngster. Scotland and Crawford combined well again in the 53rd minute with the Trinidad player having his shot blocked before Crawford fired the loose ball over the bar. Two minutes later Clark had a shot blocked as the game moved from end to end. Then in the 56th minute Diamond was punished for his harsh yellow in the first half when a late challenge on Robson produced a second yellow and sent him packing. The subsequent free kick was deflected wide of the target.

Calderwood quickly reorganised things when Morrison replaced Stewart on the hour mark meaning both goal scorers were now off the park. Seconds later United equalised when the Dons lost possession and Kerr fed Scotland allowing the striker to beat Esson. A minute later Hart turned the ball on to his own post then hacked the ball clear as United took advantage of the extra man. The sending off had completely changed the make up of the game as Aberdeen found themselves on the back foot as United laid siege on the Dons goal. Aberdeen were unable to break out at this stage and were starting to defend deeper.

In the 78th minute Robson had a double effort when his first shot was blocked and the second screwed wide of the target. A minute later Aberdeen managed to get forward and win a free kick to relieve the pressure for a short while before United went back on the attack as they tried to force the elusive equaliser. With four minutes remaining Esson was forced to tip a Robson shot over the bar as the pressure mounted on the Dons. The numbers were evened up in the 87th minute when Ritchie was yellow carded twice in the space of two minutes. With the numbers even the Dons comfortably held on through the three minutes of injury time to seal the win.

Dundee United Teamsheet
Bullock, Duff, Wilson, Ritchie, Archibald, Kerr (Dodds 76), Brebner (Callaghan 85), Scotland (Samuel 80), Crawford, Robson, Grady. Unused Subs:

Bookings:  Ritchie 85   Ritchie 87
Aberdeen Teamsheet
Esson, Hart, Byrne, McNaughton, Anderson, Diamond, Winter, McGuire, Mackie, Whelan (Stewart 25), Clark.

Unused Subs: Craig, Foster, Stewart, Ilic.

Bookings:  Diamond (40),  Diamond (56),  Winter (89),  Diamond (56).
Attendance: 6,688
Venue: Tannadice Park, Dundee
Referee: Craig Thomson
Chris Clark challenges for the ball at Tannadice.
1/13
Zander Diamond fires the Dons into the lead this evening.
2/13
Diamond can't hide his joy as he celebrates the opener.
3/13
Phil McGuire is quick to join the celebrations.
4/13
Russell Anderson keeps a close watch on Crawford.
5/13
Chris Clark can hardly believe Diamond's first yellow card.
6/13
Byrne and Diamond celebrate the second goal with scorer John Stewart.
7/13
Anderson pleads the case as Diamond is controversially red carded.
8/13
It falls on deaf ears as referee Thomson points to the dressing room.
9/13
United are quick to take advantage as Scotland pulls a goal back.
10/13
Hart and Grady get in a tangle.
11/13
Referee Thomson dismisses Ritchie with minutes remaining.
12/13
Jimmy Calderwood can't hide his joy at the end of the match.
13/13