Football: Jess' final touch lifts Aberdeen
Aberdeen. . .1
ABERDEEN tamed a Celtic whirlwind to confirm their appointment with Rangers at Hampden Park on Sunday 25 October in the Skol Cup final, the fourth time in six years the two clubs have contested the final.
In the early exchanges, Celtic looked to have the drive and enthusiasm for the task, while Aberdeen seemed content to defend and attack on the break.
Paul McStay, John Collins and Stuart Slater buzzed effectively in midfield for Celtic, but they consistently failed to execute an effective final pass.
The Dons weathered the early storm and progressively encroached into Celtic's half. Mixu Paatelainen missed a chance to score in the 22nd minute, but Celtic's defence, which has conceded nine goals in three matches, was eventually found wanting in the 40th minute.
Paatelainen's header from a corner was cleared off the line but the ball ran loose to the unmarked Eoin Jess who had a simple task in scoring.
The second half started furiously with first Duncan Shearer shooting over from a free-kick and then Theo Snelders saving Gerry Creaney's firm header. There was more purpose about Aberdeen's game now and Jess was only denied a second goal by Gary Gillespie's superb tackle.
In a dramatic final few minutes Celtic's Mike Galloway headed wide from a good position and Creaney struck a powerful shot against the underside of the bar.
Celtic: Bonner; Boyd, Wdowczyk (McNally, 45), Grant, Galloway, Gillespie (Miller, 68), Slater, McStay, Payton, Creaney, Collins.
Aberdeen: Snelders; Wright, Winnie, B Grant, McLeish, Smith, Mason, Aitken, Jess, Shearer (Richardson, 67), Paatelainen. Substitute not used: Ten Caat.
Referee: B McGinlay (Balfron).
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