Shearer's double

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The Independent Online
Aberdeen 3

Dunfermline Athletic 1

Duncan Shearer made the difference between the sides in the first play- off match in Scottish football history with a double strike which looks to have preserved Aberdeen's Premier Division status, although the Dons have still to visit East End Park for the second leg on Thursday.

Shearer scored his first 11 minutes into the second half, stooping to head a Stewart McKimmie cross past several defenders and over the line. He followed that up four minutes from time with the type of goal which has become his trade mark. Collecting a diagonal ball midway inside the Dunfermline half, he strode forward into the penalty area before shooting powerfully into the bottom corner of the net.

Aberdeen had taken the lead after 40 minutes through a Stephen Glass free-kick, and until Shearer's second goal there had been little to choose between the sides, although Aberdeen had carved out better chances than the First Division side.

However, Dunfermline were back in the game four minutes after the interval when Craig Robertson, the former Aberdeen defender, scored with a header following a short corner.

Roy Aitken, confirmed as the Aberdeen manager prior to the game, said: "This is only half-time and I will be stressing that to the players, although I am delighted with the two-goal cushion."

His opposite number, Bert Paton, warned: "It'll be one hell of a game at Dunfermline. We are formidable at home with only two teams having beaten us there this season, and we will come out with all guns blazing."

Aberdeen (4-4-2): Snelders; Wright, Irvine, G Smith, McKimmie; Miller, Grant, Hetherston, Glass; Shearer, Thomson. Substitutes not used: Inglis, McKinnon, Watt (gk).

Dunfermline Athletic (3-5-2): Van de Kamp; Tod, McCathie, Robertson; Den Bieman, McNamara, P Smith, McCulloch (Hawkins, 88), Fleming; Moore (Shaw, 75) Petrie. Substitute not used: Westwater (gk).

Referee: L W Mottram (Forth).