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Fraserburgh 1 - 4 Aberdeen

HT Score: Fraserburgh 0 - 0 Aberdeen

Aberdeenshire Cup
After extra time
Fraserburgh scorers: O'Leary og (73)
Aberdeen scorers: Stewart 85 (Pen), Stewart 97, Muirhead 103, Stewart 119.

01/09/2004 | KO: 20:00

Stewart hat trick wins silverware

Aberdeen retained the bmi Aberdeenshire Cup tonight, but it took a late controversial penalty award to force the match into extra time after Fraserburgh had taken a deserved lead in the 73rd minute. Stewart converted the spot kick and when the game moved into extra time the fitness of the SPL side showed and they went on to a comfortable 4-1 win with John Stewart grabbing a hat trick.

The Dons fans in the crowd were pleased to see Darren Mackie make his return after the striker's promising pre season form. The pace of Mackie, Foster and Muirhead were causing the Fraserburgh side problems in the opening spell, but they then settled and took the game to Aberdeen. McBride had two chances in the opening ten minutes when he first headed wide and then steered his second header on target but safely into the hands of Ryan Esson. A minute later Considine put Hart in trouble and Wemyess capitalised and fired a low cross across the face of the goal. Fortunately for the Dons there were no takers.

Aberdeen carved out their first real chance in the 15th minute when Hart broke from defence, ran the length of the pitch and hit a powerful shot inches over the bar. Five minutes later Esson caused a few flutters when he dropped the ball, but quickly recovered. In the 21st minute Foster hit a free straight at the keeper as the Dons began to take control. However Fraserburgh stuck to their task and ended the half strongly.

After the break the Dons started brightly, but lacked creativity up front and failed to really threaten the home goal. At the other end man of the match, Main was causing problems and it took a last gasp tackle from O'Leary to deny the Fraserburgh man. Then in the 73rd minute the home side grabbed a deserved lead when the unfortunate O'Leary turned a cross into his own goal. Aberdeen then made a double substitution bringing on Bruce and Donald for Mackie and Buckley.

Fraserburgh looked to be heading for a famous win when referee, Steven Duff threw the Dons a sensational lifeline. The ball was played into the penalty area and flicked on and as the defender rose he was adjudged to have handled and Duff pointed to the spot. John Stewart remained calm and showed great composure as he fired the ball into the net to take the match to extra time.

Fitness began to tell in the extra period and Stewart set up Tiernan in the opening minutes and the midfielder should have scored. Fraserburgh then forced a smart save from Esson before Aberdeen took the lead for the first time in the 99th minute. Donald released Foster down the right and his cross found Stewart at the back post and the young striker fired the ball past the helpless keeper. Just before the break Muirhead made it three when he collected a cross turned and drilled the ball into the net.

After the interval Stewart blasted the ball over the bar but he wasn't to be denied his hat trick. With a minute remaining Esson found Muirhead with a quick throw out. The Winger ran the length of the park and found Stewart with his cross. The hat trick hero buried his header in the rigging to cap a fine performance and ensure that the famous old trophy returned to the Aberdeen Board Room.

Weather: Dry
Fraserburgh Teamsheet
Gordon, Milne, Geddes, McBride, Christie, Wemyss (McLaren 65), Norris, Mackie, Murray (Cowie 91), Main (Johnston 83), Stephen

Bookings:  Christie 101
Aberdeen Teamsheet
Esson, Buckley (Donald 77), Considine, Tiernan, O'Leary, Hart, McInnes (John Kiely 46), Foster, Mackie (Bruce 77), Stewart, Muirhead.

Unused Subs: Thomson, Kelly.

Bookings:  Tiernan (98).
Attendance: 1,821
Venue: Bellslea Park, Fraserburgh
Referee: Steven Duff