Saturday, January 8, 2011

It was always going to be a hard ask for East Fife to do something at Pittodrie this afternoon, especially with their lack of match practice and losing their loan players. And so it came to pass, as Aberdeen comfortably cruised into the Fifth Round of the Scottish Cup.

To everyone's joy, the weather didn't put pay to the game like it did two years ago and a healthy 600 strong travelling support made the trip up North for this afternoon Fourth Round Scottish Cup tie, more out of hope than expectations.

East Fife have both the tendency to score a barrel-load of goals or concede them and unfortunately for the Fife faithful, this afternoon saw the latter.

It was a slow start to the game and East Fife were holding their own, even managing the first shot on target after 11 minutes when Robert Sloan fired wide.

Then 13 minutes and 16 seconds in to the game, the Premier side took the lead almost out of the blue. Chris Maguire, who was always going to be the Dons dangerman of the afternoon, got on the end of a David MacNamee cross from the right and rifled it home from six yards out.

East Fife were forced into a change moments later with Steven Campbell having to go off injured and was replaced by Scott Durie. The change and the goal didn't see East Fife heads go down and they forced a corner on 16 minutes.

Sloan's inswinging corner was met unmarked by Div Muir and the big man headed just wide to the left. They may have gone one down but they were keen to show that they were still in the game.

East Fife were causing the SPL side some concerns at set pieces. Another corner was met by Dylan McGowan and his mishit shot was saved well by Jamie Langfield in the Aberdeen goal.

This didn't last for much longer though unfortunately as Aberdeen twisted the knife in and took complete control of the game.

Maguire went on a great run from his own half and forced Michael Brown into a great save for a corner. Scott Vernon almost doubled the Dons advantage with 22 minutes gone, but headed Paul Hartley's corner wide.

Aberdeen continued to press though and did get their second after 24 minutes. McGowan tried to pass back but was short and Vernon pounced on the mistake. His pace down the right left the Fife defence for dead and his cross into the box saw Maguire hit his, and the Dons' second, high into the net from six yards out.

And it was three on the half hour mark, Scott Vernon this time netting himself from close range after a cross in from Ryan Jack.

Vernon nearly added a second for himself on 33 minutes when he managed to somehow clear the ball from the goal-line instead of putting it into the back of the net. The same player had another great effort on 41 minutes, hitting his 18 yard effort just wide.

Aberdeen were to make it four though with three minutes of the half remaining, with Maguire netting his hat trick with a low effort from 12 yards out.

As half time approached, Bobby Linn at least let the Aberdeen defence know that we were still there, forcing Langfield into a fine save for a corner with a shot from 20 yards out.

That was the last action of the first half. Four goals down, no way back and a long journey home for the travelling black and gold army. Hopefully they could shut up shop for the second forty-five and maybe nick a consolation goal (or two) to at least give us something to take from the game.

Well they did manage to shut up shop for most of what was to be a woeful second half, full of lulls and a lack of action.

To East Fife's credit though they didn’t just sit back and had a few shots on goal, without really ever threatening the Aberdeen net too much. Muir, Sloan, Linn and Crawford all had efforts though.

As the game reached the 81 minute mark, it was looking like the Fife may keep the score down to a semi-respectable four, but Scott Vernon wasn’t finished for the afternoon just yet, hitting home his second from a Josh Magennis cross from the right from 12 yards out.

He almost completed his hat-trick and Aberdeen's sixth a minute later but hit over from six yards out when it looked easier to score. Nikola Vujadinovic also had a great chance with five minutes remaining but weakly headed Peter Pawlett’s cross wide from a good position.

As the game drifted into stoppage time, Vernon had another great chance for his hat-trick but it wasn’t to be, with Michael Brown saving well in the Fife goal.

The action wasn't over yet though and the SPL side did make it six when Josh Magennis got on the end of a Maguire through ball, rounded Brown and easily tapped home in the third minute of stoppage time for 6-0 Aberdeen.

So a rout in the end. The scoreline doesn’t lie about Aberdeen’s dominance and East Fife just simply weren’t at the races. Outclassed, it will be interesting to see how they bounce back in the League in these coming weeks.

All we are left to wonder is what might have been if McGhee had still been in charge and we’d had some games under our belts recently.

So another Scottish Cup campaign bites the dust and we have to focus now on the League and not only avoiding the relegation playoffs but making the promotion ones.

C'mon the Fife.

FINAL SCORE: Aberdeen 6 – 0 East Fife

East Fife: Michael Brown, Dylan McGowan, Jonathan Smart, Steven Campbell (Scott Durie 15), John Ovenstone, Bobby Linn, David Muir, Robert Sloan, Craig Johnstone (Lloyd Young 69), Stevie Crawford (Steven Weir 85), Stevie Hislop. [Subs Not Used: Andrew Collier and Stuart Cargill]

Aberdeen: Jamie Langfield, David McNamee (Nikola Vujadinovic 69), Rory McArdle, Zander Diamond, Andrew Considine, Ryan Jack, Paul Hartley, Derek Young (Josh Magennis 68), Sone Aluko (Peter Pawlett 51), Chris Maguire, Scott Vernon. [Subs Not Used: Mark Howard and Jerel Ifil]

Att: 6,918

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