Dodds and Shearer end Aberdeen's wait

Football: Aberdeen 2 Dundee 0
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The Independent Online
DAVID MCKINNEY

reports from Hampden Park

Aberdeen 2 Dundee 0

Aberdeen became the last team to leave the old ground with a trophy after goals from Billy Dodds and Duncan Shearer had secured victory in the Coca-Cola Cup final against First Division Dundee yesterday.

The famous ground will undergo the final phase of redevelopment in the new year with the demolition of the South Stand and as it made a final bow in its current configuration the national stadium bore witness to the rebuilding job which has been performed by Roy Aitken, the Aberdeen manager.

It took a play-off victory six months ago against Dunfermline for Aberdeen to retain their Premier Division status, an indignity which has ensured greater determination this season. Aitken has brought with him the will to win which characterised his career as a player with Celtic, Newcastle, St Mirren and Aberdeen.

He has been able to bring out the best in young players and although they rarely looked troubled against a disappointing Dundee side, they will feel their semi-final win over Rangers was worthy of winning the Cup.

The final rarely reached any heights, but after Raith Rovers' victory against Celtic 12 months ago, few in Aberdeen will worry about that. They will prefer to look to the example of Celtic when they won the Scottish Cup at the end of last season. Like the Glasgow club, Aberdeen have ended five barren years and will look for this victory to herald the dawn of a successful new era.

With the loss of Scott Booth, the forward, to injury beforehand, Aitken would have been pleased that both goals came from his strike force of Dodds and Shearer. Stephen Glass was instrumental in both, providing the crosses, a contribution which earned him the man of the match award.

His ball from the left in the 33rd minute was deflected goalward before being pushed out by Michel Pageaud, the Dundee goalkeeper, into the path of Dodds who displayed his poaching instincts by bundling the ball over the line.

The killer goal was delivered 42 seconds after the restart, Glass picking out Shearer inside the area with a high cross which was headed powerfully into the top corner of the net.

Aberdeen might have won by a greater margin, but for bad finishing and bad luck. A minute before the break a well worked one-two unlocked the Dundee defence, but Eoin Jess shot against the foot of Pageaud. At 2-0 ahead, the Dons came close with a Shearer header and a Miller shot which scraped wide.

However, the final 20 minutes belonged to Dundee - though they rarely troubled the Aberdeen goalkeeper Michael Watt. Ultimately, Dundee had run out of steam, leaving Aberdeen to pick up the rewards which include qualification for next year's Uefa Cup.

Aberdeen: (4-4-2) Watt; Grant, Inglis, Smith, McKimmie; Miller (Robertson, 79), Jess (Hetherston, 85), Bernard, Glass; Shearer, Dodds.

Dundee: (4-4-2) Pageaud; Vrto (Farningham, 82), Manley, J Duffy, McQueen; Tosh (Britton, 61), N Duffy, Wieghorst, McCann (Anderson, 69); Shaw, Hamilton.

Referee: L W Mottram (Forth).

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