Date: 8th January 2006 at 12:05am
Written by:

After being 2 goals down and looking out of the Tennent’s Scottish Cup by half-time,Aberdeen showed all the qualities that have been missing in recent weeks to pull off the most amazing of second half comeback !

The Dons had the best of the early opening to the match and went about their business in determined fashion with Barry Nicholson just shooting over the crossbar from 10 yards out.As both teams fought for the opening goal it would again be the Dons who would come close,this time contract rebel Kevin McNaughton shot over from the edge of the box after Crawford had his shot saved by Stillie and Lovell’s follow up fell to the Dons defender.This stung the home side into action and they caught the Dons with a classic sucker punch as they took the lead with a scrappy goal by David Fernandez as he met a Colin Samuel cross and he bundled the ball into the net past the bewildered Jamie Langfield.

This seemed to lift United and they had no sooner got one goal when they quickly caught the Dons out again with another goal from the same player ! Russell Anderson played Chris Clark into trouble and his miss hit pass landed right at the feet of the quick Colin Samuel,who split the Dons defence with a great through ball and Fernandez beat Langfield with a left foot shot.Two down inside the first half hour,Jimmy Calderwood and his troops must have feared the worse especially after they were humbled 4-1 against United at Tannadice last year in the Cup!It could have been so much worse for the Dons,Fernandez was on fire and tried for a first half hat-trick but was denied by a fantastic save from Langfield.The Dons would go in at half time 2-0 down but thankful it was only two !

United knew if they scored early in the second half the tie would be over,Stuart Duff tried to give Colin Samuel the chance to kill the tie when he gave him a free header at goal from a perfect cross but from six yards and with no marker the striker headed wide,the Dons knew they could not afford to let United get that kind of chance again.Two minutes later Stillie fumbled a Richie Byrne cross leaving Stevie Crawford with an easy tap in, game on! The Dons could sense they had been given a life-line and they were happy to except !

Just as United had done in the first half,Aberdeen would do in the second,they hit them again with another goal and against one of his former club’s again,Stevie Crawford came up with the goods.Byrne crossed from the left and Crawford sidefooted home his second and Aberdeen’s second to level the match at 2-2!United could not believe it the Dons fans could feel this was to be their day,their tails were up now and it was time to push for the winner!And with ten minutes to go they would get it!Again Crawford would be involved not on the score sheet this time,his good work set up sub Richie Foster to find Barry Nicholson to hit the winner with ten minutes to go,the comeback was complete,the Dons who looked dead and buried at half-time had given the fans and gaffer Jimmy Calderwood the win and second half performance atleast they needed.

They had got to the fourth round of the Scottish Cup the hard way but that was not the end of the drama as former Dons hero now United assistant Manager,Billy Dodds and Jimmy Calderwood had a few words,shall we say and it is said that punches were exchanged ! As they say,all the drama of the Cup !
By Sean Graham

Player Ratings

Jamie Langfield
A couple of errors but pulled off a fantastic save to deny Fernandez his hat-trick and this turned the game .

Kevin McNaughton
Still put in a shift,despite being in dispute with the club

Danny Griffen
Good to see the new boy get off to a winning start

Russell Anderson
Missed his defensive pal Zander but still helped the club get a result

Richie Byrne
Great work involved with two of the goals

Jamie Smith
Solid performer

Barry Nicholson
took his goal really well,after great work from Crawford

Gary Dempsey
Solid,helped the team get result

Chris Clark
Showed nice early play but tired later

Stevie Crawford
The main man ! What is it about going back and scoring against his old club,he just loves it !

Steve Lovell
Great worker,nice touch

Ryan Esson
Darren Mackie
good contribution when asked to come on,linked well with Crawford for winner

Manager Rating
Jimmy Calderwood-What a man,what a tan,what a result !

Opponent Rating
Gordon Chisholm-feel sorry for him as he seems like a genuine and nice person,hope United don’t sack him as a result of this result !