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Last Updated: Saturday, 13 January 2007, 16:58 GMT
Aberdeen 1-1 Inverness CT
Lovell celebrates his late leveller
Steve Lovell is mobbed following his last gasp equaliser
Steve Lovell leapt off the bench to save Aberdeen with a last minute equaliser just as it looked as though John Rankin had won it for Inverness.

Rankin's 18 yard strike with three minutes to go put the visitors within touching distance of a first ever victory over the Dons.

But Lovell smashed the home side back on terms with practically the last kick of the ball.

It was a cruel blow for the Highlanders who deserved all three points.

Aberdeen went with the same team that started the second half against Hibernian in the Scottish Cup tie in midweek with former Inverness manager Craig Brewster getting his first start and 17-year-old Chris Maguire also on from the beginning.

Charlie Christie dropped Craig Dargo to the bench despite his cup brace last week and brought in Richard Hastings with their Dundee United bound captain Darren Dods retaining his usual berth in defence.

The weather - as with most of the country - threatened to ruin the match as a spectacle and the opening stages seemed to back this theory up.

In a pretty tortuous first half it was the Highlanders that settled first with Jamie Langfield called into action to push a Barry Wilson 16 yard effort wide and Graham Bayne saw a snap shot flash over the bar.

Wilson felt he should have had a penalty when he appeared to be chopped down by Langfield following a defensive blunder by the Dons goalkeeper and Michael Hart but referee McCurry waved play on.

The Dons failed to get anything on target in the opening period with the visitors having the best of the poor chances and a half time scoreline of 0-0 was hardly a surprise.

Brewster was struggling to get into the match and his afternoon went from bad to worse when just before half time, he was forced off with a dislocated shoulder.

The injury suffered by the forty-year-old may see him ruled out for two months.

Rankin slams Inverness in front
John Rankin puts Inverness in front with three minutes to go

The Dons brought Gary Dempsey on for Maguire after the break and reverted to a more conventional 4-4-2.

Despite the football improving after half time the quality was still missing.

In fact, the match was heading for stalemate when John Rankin found space on the edge of the box and fired Inverness in front and a first win over Aberdeen looked almost certain.

As the home supporters made for the exits substitute Lovell was played through on Caley Thistle goalkeeper Mark Brown by Dempsey.

With what was to be almost the last kick of the ball he lobbed the ball passed Brown and rescued Dons for the second time against the Highlanders with his fifth of the season - all from the bench.

It was also the second time he has hit a last minute equaliser against Inverness having done similar in November the last time the sides met.

It was a bitter pill for Inverness to swallow and they will wonder why they left Pittodrie with just the one point when they deserved all three.

All three matches between the sides this season have now ended 1-1 with late goals in each ensuring the points have been shared.


Aberdeen: Langfield, Hart, Anderson, Foster, Nicholson, Severin, Brewster (Considine 45), Clark, Maguire (Dempsey 45), Miller (Lovell 79), Mackie.

Subs not used: Soutar, Touzani, Daniel Smith, Donald.

Goal: Lovell 90.

Inverness CT: Brown, Tokely, Dods, Munro, Hastings, Wilson (McCaffrey 90),Duncan, McBain, Rankin, Bayne, Wyness (Dargo 80).

Subs not used: Fraser, Black, Morgan, Soane, McAllister.

Goal: Rankin 86.

Att: 10,300

Referee: M McCurry



SEE ALSO
Brewster injury shocker for Dons
13 Jan 07 |  Aberdeen
Christie fearing Dods departure
13 Jan 07 |  Inverness CT


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