Football: Miller falls to old hex

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The Independent Online
Aberdeen . . . . .0

Dundee United. . .1

A SMASH and grab last-minute strike secured Dundee United their fourth successive Premier Division victory at Pittodrie yesterday. The game had been evenly contested but the points swung the way of Tannadice with a header by the Scotland Under-21 striker, Duncan Ferguson, from a Dave Bowman cross. The jinx which Aberdeen's north-east rivals hold over them had reared its head again.

Looking very solid at the back, with their young goalkeeper, Alan Main, ably supported by captain Maurice Malpas, pulling off some outstanding saves, the visitors never, however, seriously troubled the Aberdeen goal. John Clark had threatened to open the scoring with a powerful free-kick early on, but they did not look like taking the full points.

This was a disappointing result for Willy Miller's men, striving to keep in touch with League leaders Rangers. Despite an outstanding performance by the former United striker, Mixu Paatelainen, who dispatched some powerful headers, they could not make the final breakthrough. Substitutes Paul Kane and Paul Mason were introduced to the fray but made little impact as their opponents grew in confidence.

In a match which was not dirty but at times threatened to get out of hand, there were six bookings: Shearer, Winnie and Smith, of Aberdeen, and O'Neil, McInally and Bowman, of the visitors.

Aberdeen have now failed to score against United in their last six encounters.

Aberdeen: T Snelders; S Wright, D Winnie, B Grant, B Irvine, G Smith, P Ten Caat (P Kane, 51 min), L Richardson (P Mason, 73 min), E Jess, D Shearer, M-M Paatelainen. Manager: W Miller.

Dundee United: A Main; J Clark, M Malpas, J McInally, F Van der Hoorn, A Cleland, W McKinlay, D Bowman, S Crabbe (P Connolly, 82 min), D Ferguson, M O'Neil. Sub not used: M Perry. Manager: J McLean.

Goal: Ferguson (90 min, 0-1).

Referee: W Crombie (Edinburgh).

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