Dons rally but see run extended

Aberdeen equalled their worst ever run of 11 games without a win but did come from two goals down to draw 2-2 with Dundee United at Pittodrie.

Last Updated: 20/03/10 at 17:19 Post Comment

Diamond: Started Dons' fightback

Diamond: Started Dons' fightback

The Dons have only twice previously gone on such a dire run, back in 1917 and 1927.

But they can take some solace from this performance as they came from two goals down to earn a point.

A Jon Daly double had given Dundee United an early lead but the Dons fought back with a Zander Diamond header and a Michael Paton penalty in first-half stoppage time.

Some stubborn defending in the second half meant both sides had to be happy to take a point in an entertaining match.

Aberdeen made four changes to the side that lost to St Johnstone in midweek with Gary McDonald missing out through injury, while Jerel Ifil, Steve MacLean and Fraser Fyvie dropped to the bench.

In their place came Darren Mackie, Derek Young, Sone Aluko and Stuart Duff to face his former club.

United also adjusted their personnel with David Goodwillie replacing the injured Damian Casalinuovo and Andy Webster preferred to Darren Dods after missing last weekend's Active Nation Scottish Cup draw with his parent club Rangers under the terms of the deal which took him to Tannadice on loan.

The hosts made a bright start with United's Slovakian goalkeeper Dusan Pernis called upon to punch clear a Young free-kick inside four minutes.

However, some careless Aberdeen defending gifted United the lead after only eight minutes.

Irishman Daly took advantage of some hesitant play between Zander Diamond and Charlie Mulgrew to advance on goal before thrashing the ball high past Jamie Langfield.

The visitors could have doubled their advantage after 17 minutes but Craig Conway dragged his shot from the edge of the area wide before Danny Swanson fired wildly over a minute later.

But the visitors did get a second after 24 minutes when Daly out-jumped a static Dons defence to head home Swanson's free-kick.

The Dons looked shell-shocked after their poor start, although Mulgrew could have pulled a goal back with a curling free-kick from 35 yards that just missed the target.

But Mulgrew's next set-piece did create a goal for the home side when Diamond rose to head in the former Dundee United's enticing delivery into the area after 32 minutes.

Mark McGhee was forced to make a change after 35 minutes when Jim Paterson limped off to be replaced by Davide Grassi.

The Dons had a chance to level the match in first-half stoppage time when Stuart Duff was felled in the box by Sean Dillon and Michael Paton duly converted the spot-kick.

The Dons almost took the lead within three minutes of the re-start when Mihael Kovacevic almost diverted the ball past his own goalkeeper as he attempted to clear a Young cross.

United could have netted a third after 55 minutes when Daly and Webster both had headers cleared off the line before Morgaro Gomis' acrobatic volley finished inches wide.

United made their first change three minutes later when Swanson was replaced by David Robertson with the substitute caught by a late tackle by Diamond after 62 minutes that earned the Dons defender a booking.

Daly was prevented a hat-trick by an excellent save from Langfield before Garry Kenneth had a goal ruled out for offside as United looked to restore their advantage.

MacLean and Fyvie were called into the action for the Dons in place of the tiring Paton and Aluko, while the visitors introduced the lively Jennison Myrie-Williams and Francisco Sandaza for Buaben and Goodwillie.

Both sides pressed for a winning third goal in the closing stages but some poor finishing and resolute defending ensured they had to settle for a share of the spoils.

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2 Aberdeen 34 17 64
3 Motherwell 34 5 61
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5 Inverness 34 5 53
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