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Aberdeen 0 - 4 Ross County

HT Score: Aberdeen 0 - 2 Ross County

Scottish Premiership
Ross County scorers: B Graham 23(p), A Schalk 45, L Boyce 68, M Woods 78.

15/05/2016 | KO: 12:30

End of Season Woes as Dons Crash to County

The match started with news that Barry Robson would be hanging up his boots after a career spanning almost two decades. Barry's shown real class in his three years at the club and played a pivotal role in bringing home the League Cup back in 2014.

Derek McInnes shook things up with his starting line, choosing to showcase some players who have done well in the U20s. Aberdeen lined up with goalkeeper Aaron Lennox making his debut and Scott Wright came into the side. Graeme Shinnie, Adam Collin and Ryan Jack were rested.

The Dons got off to a quick start with Scott Wright looking to use his pace to cause problems in the County defence. Kenny McLean unleashed a shot from outside the box that slipped wide of the post, and Niall McGinn had a shot saved after a nice run from Jonny Hayes. McGinn and Hayes linked up again minutes later with Jonny crossing from the left, but Niall's header was easily held by Scott Fox.

The Dons were undid their good work on 24 minutes after dominating the early stages. The visitors found space in the middle of the pitch and Liam Boyce bared down on goal from the right hand side. Lennox was forced to come out to narrow the angle but when the striker cut inside he had no option but to try and clear the danger, but couldn't get a touch and landed up bringing down Schalk. Referee Willie Collum blew for a penalty and Lennox was shown a yellow card. Brian Graham's penalty was perfectly struck to the left of goal sending Aaron the wrong way. ABERDEEN 0 - 1 ROSS COUNTY (GRAHAM PEN)

Aberdeen played some good attacking football as they tried to get back into the game, but the County defence held firm as they looked to hold onto their lead. Paul Quinn had a fine game. Plenty of free kick and corner opportunities were opening up giving Robson the chance to swing the ball into the box. Jonny Hayes had a snap shot that went high over the bar, but was unable to get the ball onto his lethal left foot.

Ross County doubled their advantage just before half time as Michael Gardyne's quick corner was crossed high into the box. Jackson Irvine's header was half cleared by Ash Taylor who could only get the ball as far as Schalk, who showed wonderful technique to spin round and strike the ball on the volley. His shot sailed into the top corner giving Lennox no chance. It was a really good finish.

It looked like it was going to be a long way back for Aberdeen who seemed shocked at the way the half had unfolded. ABERDEEN 0 - 2 ROSS COUNTY (SCHALK)

Schalk's goal was to be the last action of the first half.

HALF TIME ABERDEEN 0 - 2 ROSS COUNTY

Ross County got the second half underway looking to build on what had so far been a very satisfying afternoon for them. The Staggies had a couple of chances to make it three with a training ground free kick that Martin Woods put over the bar. Michael Gardyne had a fresh air swipe roughly 15 yards from goal that rolled harmlessly through to Lennox. The Dons were finding it difficult to stop County from finding ways through, Jackson Irvine was dominating the middle of the pitch and almost played in Liam Boyce who was ruled to be offside.

On the hour mark Derek McInnes freshened things up, bringing on Cammy Smith and Joe Nuttall for Niall McGinn and Barry Robson. Barry walked off to an enormous ovation that marked the end of his playing career.
Aberdeen were pushing hard to try and get back into the game but County looked dangerous on the break.
Nuttall made an immediate impact starting a move that gave Willo Flood the chance to get a goal back for the Dons. Hayes crossed the ball into the box which Willo managed to get his head onto. Scott Fox did very well to tip the ball onto the bar, but Flood was too close to the ball and couldn't make the rebound count.

At the other end of the pitch Ash Taylor was caught in possession by Schalk giving County a three on one showdown with Lennox. The ball fell to Boyce who made a mess of the shot, failing to even find the target.
Boyce made amends for his lack of composure minutes later when the Dons were once again caught on the break. Schalk put a perfectly weighted ball into the box for the midfielder to head into the net at the back post. It appeared to be game over. ABERDEEN 0 - 3 ROSS COUNTY (BOYCE)

Scott McKenna was substituted after 71 minutes for young left back Daniel Harvie. McKenna had featured from the start against Hearts on Thursday and looks like he'll feature much more next season.

Ross County continued to pressure the Dons goal and produced another top class finish. Martin Woods was given space to run and from 30 yards unleashed a shot into the top right corner. Lennox had no chance of getting a hand to the ball. It looked like the length of the season was catching up with Aberdeen who were struggling to build any real momentum and looked well beaten. ABERDEEN 0 - 4 ROSS COUNTY (WOODS)

Similar to the St Johnstone game in October, everything County hit seemed to go in.
The reds had a very strong penalty shout waved away when Cammy Smith had his legs swiped from underneath him in the middle of a penalty box scramble. Replays show that De Vita got nowhere near the ball, but the Dons were awarded with a corner for their troubles.

With five minutes to go Aberdeen did everything they could to try and give the Red Army something to cheer about. Kenny McLean's acrobatic effort failed to hit the target with his back to goal. Kenny deserves huge credit for leading the line over the last couple of games, playing out of position as the Dons battle injury problems.

After a couple of minutes of added time Willie Collum blew full time on Aberdeen's season. It was to be no happy ending for the Red Army but they applauded their team off the park in spite of the result in what has been a thoroughly entertaining season.
Aberdeen Teamsheet
Lennox, Logan, Considine, Taylor, McKenna (Harvie 71), Flood, McGinn (Nuttall 59), Hayes, Robson (Smith 59), McLean, Wright.

Unused Subs: Reynolds, Storie, Ross, Brown.

Bookings:  Lennox (23).
Ross County Teamsheet
01.Scott Fox, 05.Scott Boyd, 06.Chris Robertson, 43.Paul Quinn, 07.Michael Gardyne (17.Jonathan Franks 83), 10.Liam Boyce, 23.Alex Schalk, 24.Raffaele De Vita, 36.Jackson Irvine (18.Stewart Murdoch 81), 09.Brian Graham, 26.Martin Woods. Unused Subs: 08.Ian McShane, 12.Richard Foster, 19.Tony Dingwall, 21.Gary Woods, 44.Christopher McLaughlin.

Bookings:  05.Scott Boyd (29),   07.Michael Gardyne (37).
Attendance: 10,003
Visitors:264
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
Referee: Willie Collum