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Tuesday, 18 February, 2003, 17:38 GMT
Dons dump United
Aberdeen's Paul Sheerin scored from the penalty spot
Aberdeen 3-0 Dundee United

Steve Paterson got his first home win as Aberdeen manager with a rare flurry of goals against a dismal Dundee United.

Paul Sheerin bagged two and Phil McGuire pitched in with a header in a contest full of grit and determination but bereft of much quality play.

The Dons were worthy winners, having contributed more in the way of attacking intent but United's hapless defending was a telling factor.

The victory lifts the Dons into ninth place, while United remain on the foot of the SPL table.

Paterson, furious with his team after last week's defeat to Partick Thistle, made sweeping changes to his line-up.

Billy Dodds fires in a rare shot
United offered little up front
Among five alterations, Steven Payne and Ross O'Donoghue made their first starts for Aberdeen and both youngsters turned in impressive displays.

United boss Ian McCall gave the nod to goalkeeper Paul Gallacher, having dropped him in previous weeks and the Scotland international had to look lively after 27 minutes to prevent an errant header from defender Gary Bollan ending up in his own net.

Aberdeen were enjoying the bulk of possession but neither side could muster anything in the way of a goal threat.

United were relying on high balls to Andy Tod, who was partnering Billy Dodds up front, but Russell Anderson marshalled the former Dunfermline man well.

Seven minutes from half time the home side were gifted a penalty when United's Jim McIntyre recklessly bundled into Sheerin with no apparent danger to Gallacher's goal.

Sheerin picked himself up to calmly convert the spot kick for his first Aberdeen goal.

The Dons were given an obvious lift and finished the first period knocking the ball around with renewed confidence.

However, after the restart both teams reverted to the hopeful long balls and woeful passing that had marred the first 45 minutes.

Phil McGuire scored Aberdeen's third goal
Laurent D'Jaffo was given a rare glimpse of goal after good work from Steve Tosh in midfield but the Dons striker could only scuff a weak effort in the direction of Gallacher.

Dodds was denied a 65th minute equaliser when Dons keeper David Preece managed to smother the veteran's close range effort following a croner kick.

Sheerin grabbed his second goal of the day after 71 minutes after a good interchange between D'Jaffo and Leigh Hinds.

The former Ayr United man was completely unmarked ten yards from goal and allowed time to compose himself before stylishly rolling the ball home.

Three minutes later Aberdeen sealed the victory when McGuire was allowed a free header at the back post to nod in a deep free kick from Payne.

Aberdeen: Preece, Deloumeaux, Anderson, McGuire, Payne, Tosh, O'Donoghue (Fabiano 77), Sheerin, Clark, D'Jaffo (Derek Young 76), Hinds (Mackie 82).
Subs Not Used: Kjaer, Rutkiewicz.

Dundee United: Gallacher, McCracken, Wilson, Bollan, Duff, Easton, Lilley (Smart 67), McIntyre, Paterson (Carson 53), Dodds, Tod (Chiarini 75).
Subs Not Used: Combe, McCunnie.

Attendance: 9,146
Referee: K Clark

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