Hoops held in Dons draw

PA Sport
Gavin Rae (second right)
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Gavin Rae (second right)

Celtic's winning run came to an end with a 1-1 draw at Pittodrie against a well-organised Aberdeen side.

Anthony Stokes looked to have put the Hoops on course for a 21st consecutive win in domestic competitions when he rounded Jason Brown and slotted the ball home from an acute angle after 28 minutes.

Celtic had not conceded in their previous six matches, but Aberdeen levelled when Gavin Rae's shot took a wicked deflection off Celtic debutant Andre Blackman and flew past Fraser Forster a minute before the break.

Celtic had the first chance of a frantic opening period when Rory McArdle upended James Forrest on the edge of the area and Charlie Mulgrew, who earned his first Scotland cap against Slovenia in midweek, hit the woodwork with a well-struck free-kick.

The hosts carved out their first opening after 11 minutes when Rae found Fallon at the back post, but his header drifted wide as the flag went up for offside.

The visitors opened the scoring after 28 minutes when Mulgrew, who was enjoying a rare outing in the centre of midfield, threaded the ball to Kris Commons who in turn fed Stokes to round Brown before turning the ball home from an acute angle.

Aberdeen had Brown to thank 10 minutes later when he had to be alert to keep out Stokes' low free-kick after Blackman had been fouled on the edge of the box.

Tempers began to flare in the second half when Aberdeen opted not to give the visitors the ball back after Gary Hooper had received treatment for a head knock, before Stokes was fortunate to avoid punishment for catching Ryan Jack with a late challenge.

Celtic brought on Dylan McGeouch and Cha Du-ri for Mikael Lustig and Commons as they pushed for a second, while Aberdeen were forced to bring on Peter Pawlett after Fraser Fyvie limped off with an injury.

Dons goalkeeper Brown was equal to Stokes' drilled effort and easily held a Hooper header as Neil Lennon's side looked to preserve their winning run. But the Dons held firm in the closing stages to take a well-earned point and end Celtic's winning run which had stretched back to October, and extend their own unbeaten run to 12 games.

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