Aberdeen 1 Glasgow Rangers 2

Last updated : 23 January 2005 By Footymad Previewer
Heavy rain and a tricky wind greeted the players as they left the Pittodrie tunnel for the encounter between Aberdeen and Rangers.

The Dons made two changes to the side that went down to Celtic last week with Phil McGuire and Derek Adams dropping out of the starting line-up and being replaced by Richard Foster and Jamie Winter, who made his first start for the home side following his recent move from Leeds United.

Rangers boss Alex McLeish also made two changes to his starting eleven by bringing back first-choice strikers Dado Prso and Nacho Novo at the expense of Steven Thompson and Hamed Namouchi.

The first action of the match came after four minutes when a mistake by Russell Anderson allowed Prso a sight of goal, but the big striker was crowded out by Alexander Diamond.

This warning was not heeded by the home side and when Bojan Djordjic found Prso after eight minutes on the edge of the box he managed to muscle his way past Kevin McNaughton before firing a low shot under Ryan Esson and in off the foot of the post.

Things went from bad to worse for the home side in 15 minutes when Rangers won a corner on the left. Fernando Ricksen swung in a high looking cross which looked to be posing no danger to the home defence until goalkeeper Esson palmed the ball on to the head of McNaughton and into the back of the net.

This stung the home side into action and two minutes later Markus Heikkinen should have done better with a headed effort from eight yards that went way over the top, but after 19 minutes the Dons did get themselves back into the match.

A clever back heel by Noel Whelan inside the box found McNaughton on the byline, he then cut the ball back to Darren Mackie who fired it home off the underside of the bar from eight yards.

After 43 minutes Whelan almost gifted the visitors a third goal when he was short with a pass back which Novo latched on to before rounding the keeper and rolling the ball goalwards from the angle, but much to the relief of Whelan the ball came back off the foot of the post and Russell Anderson cleared.

Rangers were forced to make a change after 55 minutes when Djordjic was carried off with what looked to be a bad knock to his knee. Thompson was the player who was introduced.

The second half was a scrappy affair with two shots by Prso the best the visitors could conjure up and a Foster free-kick which was easily held by Stefan Klos the only real effort the Dons could master in the opening 35 minutes.

With three minutes left Thompson sent Namouchi clear on goal, it looked as if he would wrap up the points for the visitors, but he could only pull his shot wide with just the keeper to beat.