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Sunday, 21 May, 2000, 19:40 GMT 20:40 UK
Dons shape up for final test

Aberdeen spoiled Jocky Scott's final game at Dundee
Dundee 0-2 Aberdeen

Aberdeen prepared for their Scottish Cup final date against Rangers with a comfortable win at Dens Park.

A first half opener from Arild Stavrum and a second half clincher from Eoin Jess gave the visitors only their ninth league victory of the season.

Dundee, on the other hand, put up little fight and looked like a team looking forward to the close season.

Aberdeen will hope to repeat the success next week
And the result was something of a disappointment for outgoing Dens manager Jocky Scott.

It was the home side who had the first attempt on goal in the fourth minute when Hugh Robertson tried his luck from the edge of the box.

But he pulled his shot and Aberdeen keeper Jim Leighton watched the ball trundle wide.

At the other end, an Andy Dow effort from 30 yards was accurate but lacked the power to trouble Dens keeper Rab Douglas.

The opening period was low key and the game had a real end-of-season feel about it.

Midfield battle

Most of the play was confined to the midfield area, with neither keeper seeing much of the play.

Leighton had to wait until the 20th minute before he was called into action again.

A Barry Smith cross from the right-hand side nearly went in under the bar but the veteran keeper reacted quickly to tip it over for a corner.

But in the 25th minute, against the run of play, the visitors took the lead.

When a Dow corner came over, Thomas Solberg flicked the ball on and it fell at the feet of Stavrum at the back post.

The big Norwegian was first to react and stabbed the ball home from two yards for his 12th goal of the season.

Jocky Scott: Disappointed
The home side fought back and on the half-hour mark they had a penalty claim turned down after Solberg appeared to block a Steven Boyack cross with his hand.

Despite the claims of the Dundee players, the referee waved play on.

The second half started slowly with neither side showing any great enthusiasm for the task in hand.

The first attempt on goal in the second period came in 52 minutes but Jess' shot from the edge of the box was easily saved by Douglas.

Three minutes later there was panic in the Dons defence when Leighton fumbled a Lee Maddison cross but the keeper recovered before Luna could pounce.

Leighton redeemed

Moments later the Dons keeper redeemed himself with a great reaction save after Solberg had deflected a Smith cross towards goal.

In 61 minutes Aberdeen tied the points up with a goal of supreme quality.

Jess picked up a Robbie Winters header at the edge of the box and drove a glorious low shot past Douglas and into the corner of the net.

The visitors took control of the game from then on with Dundee showing no signs of clawing themselves back into the game.

Only a great save from Douglas in injury time prevented Stavrum making it 3-0.

In the end it was a comfortable victory for the Dons who can now look forward to next week's cup final clash with Rangers.

Skovdahl played down reports of a row
Aberdeen boss Ebbe Skovdahl was anxious to play down reports of a bust-up with Moroccan striker Hicham Zerouali who appeared to be angered by a decision to sub him before half-time.

The Dons boss said: "I was told that he had some problem with his ankle but I haven't spoken to him yet because I'm not that good at Arabic.

"I agree he didn't look happy when he came off but I don't know why. I will talk to him tomorrow if I can get an interpreter.

"I thought he was injured and he made a gesture with his hands to indicate he wanted off.

"So for whatever reason he wanted to come off. There are others sitting on the outside who want to play."

A disappointed Jocky Scott did not wish to dwell on his impending departure.

"I have known for weeks that I was going to get the sack so it's not as if it was a surprise. These things happen in football but it would be nice to know why," he said.


Dundee: Douglas, Smith, Tweed, Wilkie, Maddison, Boyack, Billio, Rae, Robertson, Grady, Falconer.
Subs: Langfield, Miller, Sharp, Bayne, Luna.

Aberdeen: Leighton, Lilley, Solberg, Anderson, McAllister, Guntveit, Bernard, Dow, Jess, Stavrum, Zerouali.
Subs: Esson, Perry, Winters, Rowson, Belabed.

Referee: D McDonald (Scotland)

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