Aberdeen 1 Dundee United 0

Aberdeen withstood a late Dundee United onslaught in the second half to claim a deserved three points at Pittodrie.

Both sides made changes to their starting line-ups with Phil McGuire and Steven Tosh replacing the suspended Russell Anderson and the injured Chris Clark for the home side.

Dundee United brought in Stuart Duff and James Grady with Jason Scotland dropping to the bench and Billy Dodds failing to make the squad.

In the first period Aberdeen were very much in the ascendancy but only had a one-goal lead to show for their supremacy during the opening 45 minutes.

The opening 20 minutes of the match was a pretty tame affair, with neither side able to get to grips with the awful conditions, and chances were few and far between as the rain hammered down.

After 23 minutes the home side did fashion their first effort on goal when a cross by Steve Tosh fell to Noel Whelan ten yards out. The big striker spun but his fierce effort went just over the crossbar.

This was a warning United did not heed and just three minutes later Aberdeen were rewarded with the opening goal.

Midfielder Tosh picked up a loose ball on the left, played a lovely one-two with Ricky Foster before curling a wonderful right-foot shot from 15 yards out on the angle of the box beyond a despairing Paul Jarvie.

United had a chance to get back on terms in the 28th minute with their best chance of the first half, but Grady headed over the bar when in a good position.

A driving run from Markus Heikkinen could have produced a second goal for the home side, however his 20-yard effort flew the wrong side of the upright.

United made a brighter start to the second period and almost got themselves back into the match when a Barry Robson cross was headed goalwards by Grady - fortunately for the home side it hit the back of Phil McGuire and rebounded to safety.

Minutes later the visitors again threatened when some good play between Robson and Derek McInnes ended with McInnes neatly side-stepping Zander Diamond 18 yards from goal, before firing in a right-foot shot that Preece well to beat away.

At 68 minutes Whelan almost doubled the home side's advantage with a clever lob, but his effort drifted just over the top.

United came close on 73 minutes when a low cross from Wilson caused problems at the heart of the Dons defence, Diamond making a timely interception ahead of Jim McIntyre with Preece slow to react to the danger.

United were looking the more likely at this stage, Karim Kerkar and Scotland combined to open up the home defence with Scotland driving the ball across the face of goal but somehow the Dons managed to scramble it away.

Aberdeen almost made the points safe with two minutes remaining of the match, when following a driving run by Darren Mackie the ball was cut back to Steven Craig whose weak effort was easily dealt with by Jarvie.