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Last Updated: Saturday, 1 April 2006, 15:52 GMT 16:52 UK
Inverness CT 0-1 Aberdeen
Steve Lovell celebrates his late winner at Inverness
Lovell grabbed his fourth goal of the season
A late goal from striker Stevie Lovell edged Aberdeen closer to a top-six finish as they leapfrogged Inverness.

Dennis Wyness went close with two first half efforts for the home side, while Dons defender Zander Diamond made a fine clearance to deny Craig Dargo.

Aberdeen posed more threat after the interval, with Jamie Smith and Scott Severin drawing saves from Mark Brown.

And the visitors' pressure paid off when Lovell capitalised on a defensive mix-up to lob home a neat finish.

With one match remaining before the SPL split, Aberdeen are one point clear of Motherwell, with Inverness one point further adrift.

Aberdeen entertain Hibs next weekend, while Inverness are away to Livingston and Motherwell travel to face Rangers.

The Dons started brightly with wingers Smith and Ferne Snoyl both looking sharp and it was the Dutchman who had the first sight of goal, flashing a fifth-minute shot just past Mark Brown's far post.

But Caley Thistle soon found their rhythm and, from Richie Hart's cross, former Aberdeen striker Wyness clipped an effort from six yards just over the bar.

The on-loan Hearts player then capitalised on some slack play from Kevin McNaughton but, after shuffling inside the Dons' defender, Wyness curled his shot from the edge of the penalty area too high.

Dargo went close to opening the scoring on the half hour when he beat Dons' goalkeeper Jamie Langfield to a long ball.

Craig Dargo spins away from Aberdeen defender Chris Clark
The Dons now lead Inverness in the race for the top-six

The Inverness striker was, however, denied by the recovering Diamond - who made a crucial clearance.

Aberdeen, who had faded in the first period, began the second-half in impressive form and had the hosts pinned back for long spells.

Smith curled in a neat free-kick but Brown moved smartly to fist the ball away to safety.

Scott Severin then tried his luck from long range but Brown was on hand to thwart the Dons again.

Brown later enjoyed a touch of fourtune when a Smith free-kick took a wicked bounce off a defender in the congested penalty area and flew straight into the keeper's arms.

However, luck was shine on the Dons after 83 minutes when Lovell nipped in between a hesitant Brown and Grant Munro to lift the ball over the keeper and seal maximum points.


Inverness CT: Brown, Tokely, Dods, Munro, Hastings (McAllister 86), Wilson, Duncan, Black (Morgan 90), Hart, Wyness, Dargo (Bayne 74). Subs Not Used: Fraser, Golabek, McCaffrey, Fox.

Booked: Dargo, Wilson.

Aberdeen: Langfield, Clark, Anderson, Diamond (Stewart 84), McNaughton, Smith, Severin, Dempsey, Snoyl (Foster 63), Lovell, Crawford (MacFarlane 88). Subs Not Used: Kelly, Mackie, Macauley, Griffin.

Booked: Severin, Clark, Lovell, Smith. Goal: Lovell 83.

Att: 7,368

Ref: C MacKay


SEE ALSO
Calderwood happy with split race
01 Apr 06 |  Aberdeen
Christie rues Inverness home form
01 Apr 06 |  Inverness CT


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