It was retro day at Pittodrie and the Dons put in a vintage performance in the second half to earn the three points. Ross County scored early on through Craig Curran. He produced a good finish but it was a poor goal from the Dons point of view. The rest of the first half was a struggle but the players deserve enormous credit for brilliantly turning the match around in the second period with Niall McGinn the main catalyst. Niall set up Adam Rooney five minutes into the second half. Then minutes later Jonny Hayes, who also had a very good game, saw his looping cross land up in the back of the net. With fifteen minutes to go County had a chance to equalise when substitute Alex Schalk's close range header was brilliantly turned away by Danny Ward. In the closing stages Niall McGinn got the goal he deserved when he converting a clever pass from Kenny McLean.
Aberdeen started with Ward in goal, a back four of Considine, Reynolds, Quinn and Logan. Shinnie and Flood were in central midfield with Hayes on the left, McLean on the right and McGinn played in a central role in behind Rooney.
In the early stages Ross County forced a corner in the first minute. The game was quite frantic and never really settled down throughout the first half. There was very little pattern to the play. After 5 minutes a good attacking move by County allowed full back Marcus Fraser to get into the box but captain for the day Mark Reynolds dis well to come across and cover. The Dons first opening came after 10 minutes. McGinn flicked the ball on but just failed to find Rooney.
On 11 minutes a free kick to County in a dangerous area but the Dons defence cleared. Then a minute later a free kick to Aberdeen in a good area; the ball broke off Quinn and fell to Rooney but his snap shot went over. A half chance for Adam. On 14 minutes the Dons lost the ball in the middle of the park when Flood and Reynolds seemed to get in each other's way. The visitors broke and Craig Curran was then played. He was in a position wide of the target when he collected the ball so had to produce a good finish to beat Ward and Logan who was trying to get back to cover. A disappointing goal from the Dons point of view as they had chances to stop the attack.
On 16 minutes the Dons went very close to an equaliser. Good play by Hayes saw the ball being played across the face of goal and Considine just failed to connect properly at the back post and keeper Woods was able to gather. On 19 minutes a McGinn free kick was met by Rooney but the striker could not direct his header on target. Again another half chance for Adam.
The visitors then started to frustrate the Dons and won a dangerous free kick 20 yards out after 25 minutes. Jackson Irvine pulled his shot wide though. On the half hour mark County produced a good break. Curran had plenty of space and time but over hits his cross.
Aberdeen changed it tactically on the half hour mark and put Niall wide and McLean into the middle. On 34 minutes better from Aberdeen. McGinn did well down the left and weaved past a few defenders. He cut inside but his ball to the back post failed to find anyone.
36 minutes in and a strange moment when Willo Flood was fouled just outside the area. Willo handled the ball as he went to ground so referee Beaton awarded County the free kick in a very good centre area. Martin Woods hammered the ball in but his effort was poor, hit the wall and Aberdeen cleared.
On 44 minutes Aberdeen gave the ball away again and Reynolds did well in the end to put the ball behind. It
was a frustrating first 45 from the Dons who never got going. At the other end the movement of Boyce was causing problems.
County had a good opening at the start of the second half and a very dangerous cross from the left went right across the six yard box and Reynolds was well positioned to knock the ball behind. From the resulting corner the ball fell to captain Andrew Davies and his effort just went wide.
The fans were getting anxious but the players then brilliantly turned the game around with a superb second half display. On 50 minutes Niall McGinn produced a great turn and run down the left. His cross was just behind Hayes but the ball came through to Adam Rooney. Adam was completely unmarked but still produced a good finish, firing high into the net which gave the keeper absolutely no chance. Pittodrie then erupted again a couple of minutes later when the Dons took the lead. Jonny Hayes was played in by a good pass from McGinn. Jonny chipped in a cross which looped over the keeper, hit the back post and went in. Jonny's reaction immediately let you know it was a cross and not a shot, but no one cared! The Dons were suddenly 2-1 up.
On the hour mark County, who looked a bit shell-shocked, had a good little spell of pressure but Aberdeen were defending with more confidence. The tempo of their play was also a lot better. They looked a different team. On 72 minutes Boyce went down and County had another free kick in a good area. Substitute Schalk took it but fired well over. As the visitors put more bodies forward there was more space for McGinn, Hayes and co to run into. On 74 minutes Hayes played in McGinn who had a shot from close range but keeper Woods made a good save.
With fifteen to go a big moment. An quite outstanding stop from Danny Ward. Liam Boyce met a cross from the right and his header was on target from close range but the keeper kept it out with a great reflex save.
A minute later back came the Dons with a good spell of pressure. They had a couple of half chances before a McLean header at the near post from a corner just went over. On 79 minutes Aberdeen went close again. Great play by Hayes who left his marker for dead from a standing start but his shot hit the outside of the post and the side netting.
Then on 80 minutes man of the match McGinn scored a third. Rooney started the move on the half way line, he played it to McLean who played a clever pass towards Niall. The striker got to the ball ahead of Foster and produced a good low finish across the keeper to make the game save. Three very good goals and all from open play.
On 83 minutes Rooney almost grabbed his second, after good play by Shinnie down the left. On 85 minutes Craig Storie replaced Willo Flood who got a great reception from the fans as he left the field. Craig has had a really tough time with injuries over the last couple of years but he is a midfielder with huge talent and deserved a run out today for his performances recently with the U20s. With virtually his first touch Craig had to clear the ball off the line. Apart from that moment the Dons saw the game out comfortably.