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Falkirk 1 - 2 Aberdeen

HT Score: Falkirk 0 - 1 Aberdeen

Falkirk scorers: McBreen 83
Aberdeen scorers: Ireland (OG) 45, Anderson 52.

26/11/2005 | KO: 15:00

Dons grind out three points at Falkirk

Aberdeen grinded out a victory at the Falkirk stadium today after a shocker of a first half. Despite the poor display in the opening 45 minutes Aberdeen grabbed the lead in the 45th minute when a Chris Clark shot was deflected past Glennon. It was an improved performance after the break and Russell Anderson added a second in the 52nd minute. Crawford and Smith missed chances to seal the win and substitute McBreen's goal in the 84th minute made it a nervous finish for the Dons, but they held on to claim all three points.

After a one-minute applause in memory of George Best, Falkirk kicked off and McPherson forced Ryan Esson into action with only twenty seconds on the clock. The home side continued to look the more positive, keeping the Dons on the back foot for the opening ten minutes. In the 11th minute Diamond conceded a free kick in a dangerous area and Esson was forced into a fine save from Gow. Falkirk then won the first corner of the match a minute later, but the Dons defended the set play well before Falkirk pressed again seconds later as Gow drilled a shot wide of the target. At this stage Aberdeen had yet to threaten Glennon in the Falkirk goal.

Aberdeen were presented a half chance in the 17th minute when Falkirk gave the ball away, but the build up was slow and Falkirk had plenty time to clear. A minute later a Muirhead free kick was headed clear for the Dons first corner. Once again Falkirk were first to the ball and cleared Muirhead's delivery quite easily. At the other end Duffy attempted a long-range effort in the 20th minute but it failed to test Esson. Aberdeen were losing the midfield battle at this stage and were getting closed down quickly by the home side.

Mackie ventured forward on the half hour mark but was too long with his final pass allowing Glennon to collect. Then in the 33rd minute a Clark shot was deflected wide for a corner, but that set play was wasted as the delivery missed everyone and floated out for a goal kick. Richie Byrne collected the first yellow card of the match for handball outside the penalty area. Fortunately O'Donnell fired the free kick straight at the wall and the danger was cleared. Aberdeen then grabbed an undeserved lead in the 45th minute when Smith set up Chris Clark and his shot looked to be going wide until it deflected off Ireland and into the net. This was the Dons first shot on goal.

Aberdeen started the second half more positively with first Nicholson then Smith carving out a couple of chances in the first three minutes. Then in the 50th minute an Aberdeen corner was cleared off the line as Aberdeen looked for a second. That second goal came two minutes later when a Smith free kick was fed to Nicholson and Russell Anderson headed his cross towards goal. Glennon spilled the ball and the Dons skipper followed up to bundle it into the net. In the 55th minute Mackie was hauled back and Glennon didn't look to clever again with Smith's chip, but this time the Falkirk defence cleared their lines.

A couple of minutes later Gow almost punished Diamond for a mistake as Esson was forced into a fine block before the loose ball was scooped over the bar. Crawford then went close in the 59th minute as he fired an effort wide. Aberdeen were looking a much better prospect now and Jamie Smith was instrumental in tormenting the home defence. Crawford went close again in the 66th minute when he attempted to lob Glennon but the ball drifted wide of the target. Then two minutes later Ryan Esson easily held a McBreen header before Smith went close at the other end.

Aberdeen should have made it three in the 71st minute when Crawford missed the target from six yards. He made a great run to get on the end of a Jamie Smith cross but steered the ball over the bar. Foster then replaced Darren Mackie in the 77th minute and was involved in a move two minutes later that almost produced a third goal. He released Muirhead and Smith should have finished off the move. Falkirk were then thrown a lifeline in the 83rd minute when McBreen fired in a decent shot to cut the deficit. Aberdeen were now hoping that they wouldn't rue the earlier missed chances. Falkirk had a weak penalty claim turned down before Crawford collected a yellow card in the 87th minute and Foster collected one in injury time.

Match Stats:

Bairns Dons
Goal Attempts 8 6
On Target 5 2
Corners 3 4
Possession 48% 52%

Falkirk Teamsheet
Glennon, Lawrie, Ireland, McPherson (Mcbreen 65), Milne (Latapy 72), Rodrigues, Thomson, Scally, Gow (Moutinho 82), O'Donnell, Duffy Unused Subs:
Aberdeen Teamsheet
Esson, McNaughton (Considine), Clark, Byrne, Anderson, Diamond, Nicholson, Muirhead, Mackie (Foster), Crawford, Smith.

Unused Subs: Dempsey, Stewart, Winter, Baas, Langfield.

Bookings:  Byrne (42),  Crawford (87),  Foster (90).
Attendance: 5,826
Venue: Falkirk Stadium, Falkirk
Referee: John Underhill, Fife
Both sets of players remember George Best before kick off.
Chris Clark keeps a close eye on the ball at Falkirk.
Darren Mackie in action this afternoon.
Chris Clark fires in the shot that was deflected into the net for the opener.
Russell Anderson congratulates Clark on the opener.
Russell gets in among the goals as he adds the Dons second after the break.
Congratulations is the order of the day for Anderson.
Steve Crawford in action this afternoon.
McBreen celebrates his goal late in the game.
Russell ensures Falkirk don't grab a late equaliser.