Dons' lifeline

Aberdeen2 Dodds 38, Shearer 68 Dundee United1 Winters 85 Attendance: 21,000
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NO ONE could have guessed it at the start of the season, but Aberdeen and Dundee United, two of Scotland's most influential clubs, are still facing, at this 11th hour, the drop to the First Division. Everything hangs in the balance after yesterday's anxiety-ridden match at Pittodrie.

Eventually Aberdeen got the result they needed, but they will have to wait until the final whistle of next week's away game against Falkirk to see if they can survive in the Premier League. As for United, they are at home to Scottish Cup finalists Celtic and they too must place every significance on the result of that one.

Aberdeen took the lead in 38 minutes when Billy Dodds headed past United keeper Kelham O'Hanlon after he had taken full advantage of a Joe Miller cross.

Aberdeen went 2-0 ahead after 68 minutes through the Scotland striker Duncan Shearer, and that really looked like the end of the matter as far as United were concerned.

Their substitute Robbie Winters pulled one back three minutes from time and gave his team a glimmer of hope. But that is all it was; this was Aberdeen's day, though nothing will be settled until next week.

It looks very much as though one of these clubs will go down but which one remains to be seen. In its way, this situation is an indictment against Scottish football at the moment. There is no way that two such prestigious clubs, who have done so much for the game in Scotland, should be in this situation. But that's the way it is, and Roy Aitken and Billy Kirkwood, respective managers of Aberdeen and Dundee United, have much to ponder over the next seven days.