The Dons made the short journey to the City of Discovery to face Dundee under the lights at Dens Park. After a week of uncertainty regarding the position of the management team, everyone was given a massive lift yesterday when it was announced they were staying on at Pittodrie. Aberdeen made two changes to the defeat against Rangers with Frank Ross, who scored his first goal for the club last week, replacing Scott Wright on the left for his first ever start. And Ryan Christie in for the injured Stevie May.
It was a decent atmosphere inside Dens Park and the Aberdeen support were once against out in their numbers. The visitors started the better side and the captain Graeme Shinnie had an early effort which sailed just wide of the post as he dispossessed the Dundee midfield.
The last time the sides met at Dens the Dons ran out 7-0 winners, but Neil McCann had steered his side to two wins in a row prior to tonight?s meeting and you could see this was going to be a much tighter affair.
Greg Stewart was an integral part of the Dundee team before his move to Birmingham last summer and made a couple of excellent runs down the right, forcing two corners that would lead to a half chance for Considine, the man who bagged a treble in that hammering back in March. Greg would go on and put in another strong performance ? he is slowly getting back to his best form.
Graeme Shinnie was dictating the midfield at this stage and forced his way into a shooting position after a run deep into Dundee territory, but his effort this time was weak. Dundee then went straight up the park and if it wasn?t for the outstretched leg of Joe Lewis, Deacon would have had the hosts 1-0 up. It was a smart block from Joe.
The Dons were passing the ball about well on an excellent looking pitch and continued to ask questions of the Dundee defence. Ryan Christie found himself unmarked in the middle of the park. His close control made it difficult for the opposition to get near him as he made his way into the box after a really good run. Unfortunately, his effort went over the bar, but encouraging Ryan was getting more involved in the game.
Deacon then forced Joe Lewis into a fantastic save. He turned Considine at the edge of the box and unleashed an effort that looked certain to nestle into the top corner, but Joe tipped the ball over for the corner. This livened up Dundee who had started slow and from the corner a McGowan shot had to be headed off the line by Shinnie. Ryan Christie once again drove into the box and his low effort could have ended up anywhere, but it was hooked out for another corner, which would come to nothing. The Dundee defence were looking at lot more solid than they did at the start of the season, with young Jack Henry in particular impressing.
Aberdeen had plenty of possession but were struggling to create whilst the host were looking dangerous on the break anytime a Dons move broke down.
Shay Logan was booked in the 43rd minute for pulling down El Bakhtaoui after the forward got away down the right. The last opportunity of the first half went to the hosts as they forced a corner. The Dons cleared at the front post and referee Nick Walsh brought the first period to an end.
Half time: Dundee 0-0 Aberdeen
Derek McInnes made one change at half time with Frank Ross being replaced by Kari Arnason.
Within three minutes of the restart Aberdeen were in the lead. A free kick was cleared to the edge of the area and picked up by McLean. His low ball was met by the stretched leg of Scott McKenna who forced the ball into the far corner past the despairing Parish in the Dundee net. Scott?s first goal for the club (despite the announcer awarding the goal to Considine) and Aberdeen were in front.
The Dons were playing with a swagger again with Stewart and Logan linking up well on the right and Shinnie continuing to dictate the midfield. Dundee forced the first corner of the second half on 54 minutes and nearly got the equaliser. Lewis dived brilliantly to his right after Meekings rose above The Dons defence to get a downward header on target. Dundee were then appealing for a penalty after Aurtenetxe lost his balance in the box, Nick Walsh waved away the protests.
Kenny McLean picked up a booking for a foul on Cammy Kerr. Scott Allan then replaced Paul McGowan in the 63rd minute as Dundee went in search for the equaliser. Shay Logan then committed two fouls in the space of a few minutes and the referee had to have a word with him as he was already on a booking.
The tempo of the game slowed up for a period after that and Aberdeen defended well as Dundee tried to force the issue. For the first time in the game the visitors were enjoying a spell of control.
There was a lovely piece of passing between Christie and Rooney. Adam?s flick sent Ryan on another run towards goal, but unfortunately nothing materialised from a good passage of play.
Adam Rooney worked tirelessly all evening and the striker?s hold up play was bring others into the game. On this occasion he linked up with Shinnie. His superb pass through to Graeme saw the captain through on goal and he tried to find the far corner, but the goalkeeper saved easily. Ryan Christie was also unmarked in the area and would almost certainly have scored had the ball been squared.
Back came the Dons with more excellent passing. Shinnie switched to the advancing Logan who fired over, despite making space in a good position.
With ten minutes to go and only one goal in it Dundee were not out of this as the home side used all their subs and went for it. The Dons were defending really well with Joe Lewis taking control of his six-yard box.
Three minutes were added on by the officials and Dundee forced a corner after Considine headed it out. Lewis was calm and collected with ease. The last attack of the game saw another corner. Everyone was in the box including both goalkeepers, and although it was hearts in mouths stuff when Lewis was unable to gather, a sea of red shirts blocked the ball on the line and cleared as Nick Walsh brought the game to a close.
Tonight was about the result and the gritty performance merited the victory. In many ways similar to the performance last season at Fir Park at a similar stage in the campaign which turned the season around. The team and manager Derek McInnes, who enjoyed his 100th league win, were rightly cheered off by the 2,034 strong Red Army.
Full time: Dundee 0-1 Aberdeen