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1996-08-10: Aberdeen 2-2 Celtic, Premier Division
| Match Pictures | Matches 1996 - 1997 | 1996-97 Pictures |
- Roy Aitken was the manager of Aberdeen.
- Tosh McKinlay got into a bust up with Rowson at the end which drew Dallas’ attention and inclusion in his match report. He received a 1 match suspension for violent conduct.
- In the papers at the time John Collins, who had transferred on a Bosman free to Monaco at the end of the previous season, launched a scathing attack on Fergus McCann for dragging the transfer through the European courts in an attempt to get a fee from Monaco.
ReviewFirst League game of a new season. Stubbs was back fit but managed to get himself sent off and give away a penalty for a last man foul on Duncan Shearer. What should have been a comfortable win following following van Hooijdonk’s first half goal proved to be an injury time struggle for the equaliser from Andy Thom. This was 2 points dropped rather than a point gained.
Watt, Buchanan, Woodthorpe, Tzvetanov (Shearer, 62), Irvine, Inglis, Miller (Rowson, 89), Windass, Bernard, Kiriakov, Glass.
Unused Sub:- Stillie.
Goals:- Windass 74 pen, Shearer 80.
Marshall, Boyd, McKinlay, McNamara, Stubbs, O’Donnell, McStay, Van Hooijdonk, Thom, Cadete (O’Neil).
Unused Subs:- Wieghorst, Donnelly.
Goals:- Van Hooijdonk 28, thom 90.
Ref:- H. Dallas (Motherwell)
- Match Report (see end of page below)
Match ReportNew boy Stubbs Celtic toes
Scotland on Sunday 11/08/1996
Aberdeen 2 - 2 Celtic
THE scoreline might suggest an absolute rabble of wiles and skills, but the truth was something nearer a plain old rabble. For so long this game seemed an inauspicious start to the new season until Celtic's redoubtable first-half lead got swept up and mangled in a maelstrom of a finish. That Aberdeen took a point from this, and were seconds away from taking three, was the least of the day's surprises.
Aberdeen played a quite obscure tactic here. They thrust Dean Windass in attack without a trace of a striking partner, the result of which was that they played for an hour and achieved nothing. If he was toying with the lot of us, Roy Aitken sprang a solution. Like a big ploughman, on came Duncan Shearer in the 62nd minute, and the remainder was a midden of incident and goals. Shearer was never out of the thick of it.
There are always noises in the Granite City that this big fellow is nearing the end of his reign, and certainly last season Shearer had the look of one who had gorged at a few banquets. Yesterday, he banished these notions, at least for another week.
Alan Stubbs dragged him down, which won him a red card and Aberdeen a penalty in the 73rd minute, and Shearer himself hoofed what we thought was the Dons' winner minutes later. From being incompetent, Aberdeen were suddenly staring at a gorgeous start to their season.
All that ended in tears when the match was dying on its feet. The referee, Hugh Dallas, was already checking the progress of injury time when Jackie McNamara's cross came over and Andreas Thom drove the ball home at the far post.
There was confusion at the end as to which side should be celebrating, but at least the game had aroused itself after some miserable passages of play.
Aberdeen's fans don't exactly bawl and squeal, but they did their damnedest to give their new Bulgarian a warm welcome.
Aitken hasn't half been cooing about Tzanko Tzvetanov to the press: a European, an internationalist, the kind of performer that Big Roy sums up in the phrase "bringing in quality". On the back of yesterday's Press & Journal there was even a picture of Tzvetanov arriving at Aberdeen Airport and bearing a clenched fist. Not since Davie Robb can there have been such feverish expectancy in that main stand.
Denied the services of Billy Dodds through suspension, Aitken made us goggle-eyed playing the ample chunks of Windass in attack. This may or may not be one of the manager's ploys for the season. With Dodds out and Scott Booth owning a season ticket to the physio's room, it may come to Aitken having little alternative. Wiindass is one of the wonders of the Scottish game: lacking pace, lacking height and a firm favourite with the fans. Towards the close of this match, you began to see why.
The faultline running through this Aberdeen side tends to traverse their defence, fracture its way through the middle of their midfield and come to rest in their attack where, allegedly, Joe Miller partnered Windass. Miller is another for whom the word "enigmatic" might have been born. He drifted so far wide here he left Windass quite exposed, and when he did pop inside, he and the ball appeared unacquainted.
One of the first real moments of foreboding for the Dons came about as early as it could - in the first minute - when Ilian Kiriakov's free-kick planted itself somewhere near row M in the stand. It wouldn't do, whatever the nagging feelings, to pre-judge Aitken's plundering of these Bulgarians. They will require time to settle, a period to acclimatise to the Scottish game, but one only hopes the tabloids won't soon be referring to useless Bulgars at Pittodrie.
Celtic's goal, courtesy of Pierre van Hooijdonk's right boot, was about as fine a thing as we're likely to see here all season. He took one look at that 28th-minute free-kick, espied a distance of 26 yards between the ball and a sweet spot over Michael Watt's right shoulder, and fairly thumped his shot in a dipping arc into the rigging. Poor Watt groped with a hand, but he was powerless to prevent the goal.
It scarcely had the makings of a comeback for Aberdeen, but that's what it amounted to.
Little Miller never quite aspired to guile but some of his crosses started arriving, and before you could blink Aberdeen were stealing back into contention.
Costing Celtic 3.5m, Stubbs isn't supposed to make the kind of mistake he made yesterday. Windass' pass simply dribbled over his toes. With Shearer penetrating behind him, Stubbs hauled him down and was sent packing. Windass shot home a finely-placed penalty to Gordon Marshall's left.
Shearer then whacked a Glass cross into the roof of the net before Celtic made their escape with Thom's drive at the finish. At that moment, Tommy Burns was clenching his fists in delight. Roy Aitken beat a path to the dressing-room like a man suffering acute diarrhoea.
"If we'd lost I'd have sent the fans a public apology!"
"I'll have to watch it on TV, but as far as I'm concerned I got a lot of the ball. The referee was looking from behind me so it might have looked worse than it was. It was my first offence but when the referee turned away I felt it would be a red card.
"It was a horrible feeling and it was the longest walk of my life."
"I got to the dressing room and I sat there dejected.
"It was even worse when I heard a massive cheer and knew Aberdeen had scored again.
"Then I heard another roar right on full time and I feared they had netted another.
"But when I saw their reserve keeper Derek Stillie come in and throw a ball down in disgust I knew we'd nicked a point.
"If Andy Thom hadn't scored we'd have started on a downer and I'd have been sending that public apology to the fans.
"My debut dream went out the window but it would have been even worse if we'd lost."
Bad boy Tosh is canned for cup
Daily Record 13/08/1996
Bad Bhoy Tosh McKinlay was last night canned from the Coca-Cola Cup after his Pittodrie bust-up.
The Celtic ace is out of tomorrow's clash against Clyde after ref Hugh Dallas reported him to the SFA for violent conduct.
McKinlay appeared to aim a kick at Aberdeen rookie David Rowson as tempers flared after the final whistle on Saturday.
Then he aimed a volley of abuse at Dallas as the whistler tried to calm the players down.
McKinlay WASN'T red carded but Dallas' report has fingered the Scotland ace as the guilty party.
And he's been hammered with 12 disciplinary points and a one-match ban.
That will infuriate boss Tommy Burns, who earlier yesterday insisted that Mac would not be hit with a ban.
He said: "The referee told us on Saturday that Tosh would be reported for violent conduct but there was no indication that he received an ordering off."
McKinlay joins big Alan Stubbs on the sidelines after the Englishman was sent off on his competitive debut on Saturday - but he's not interested in a sympathy vote.
He said: "I don't want to hear people saying it's a good thing we are only playing Clyde and that at least I'm not going to miss a Premier League match.
"As far as I'm concerned, I want to play in every game."
Meanwhile, Peter Grant is facing a race against time to win a Coca-Cola Cup medal.
The Parkhead battler reckons Scotland's second cup competition will be axed sooner or later - and he's desperate to complete his domestic medal collection before it happens.
He said: "I've got three losers medals and it's the only Scottish trophy I've not won so I'd love to get my hands on it.
"Eventually, we might have only one cup competiton - and the Coca-Cola Cup is the one that would go.
"Before that happens, I want to win it.
"There is talk that the winners might not get into Europe in the future but that doesn't matter to me so much. "It's all about winning trophies."
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