Aberdeen 2 Falkirk 1: Maguire lifts Dons into top six

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The Independent Football

Chris Maguire was once again the hero for Aberdeen, scoring a crucial double against Falkirk to ensure his side leapfrogged their opponents and qualified for the top six of the SPL last night.

Maguire scored a dramatic injury-time winner in Aberdeen's 4-3 victory over Inverness last time out and the striker handed the Dons a 21st-minute lead in this match, diverting the ball into the net after Zander Diamond had flicked on Scott Severin's throw-in.

The better opportunities fell to Falkirk most of the night but they failed to make Aberdeen pay for their slackness at the back. A mis-hit shot by Graham Barrett landed at the feet of Carl Finnigan, but he made an equally poor connection allowing Dons' goalkeeper Derek Soutar to make an easy save.

However, Falkirk did make the breakthrough, equalising shortly after the restart when Soutar found Scott Arfield's cross too hard to grasp allowing Finnigan to pounce.

With time running out for Aberdeen, Jeffrey de Visscher replaced full-back Alan Maybury in an attacking move and the Dons were rewarded with the winner with eight minutes remaining. Sone Aluko did extremely well to keep the ball in play and Maguire controlled the winger's centre to score from the tightest of angles to lift his team into the top half of the League.

Aberdeen (4-4-2): Soutar; Maybury (De Visscher, 78), Diamond, Considine, McNamara (Mackie, 45); Foster, Nicholson, Severin, Aluko; Miller, Maguire (Duff, 85). Substitutes not used: Langfield (gk), Touzani, Bus, Walker.

Falkirk (4-4-2): Olejnik; Ross (Latapy, 88), Aafjes, Barr, Milne (Higdon, 86); Scobbie, McBride, Finnigan (Moutinho, 81), Cregg; Arfield, Barrett. Substitutes not used: Supple (gk), Riera, Clarke, Bradley.

Referee: M McCurry.