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Hamilton 3 - 2 Aberdeen

HT Score: Hamilton 1 - 1 Aberdeen

SPFL Development League
Hamilton scorers: McMann 15, Tierney 46, 51
Aberdeen scorers: Nuttall 18, Goodwillie 53.

27/10/2015 | KO: 18:00

The young Dons lost narrowly to Hamilton this evening. It was a game they deserved to get something from but conceded some soft goals. The Accies took the lead against the run of play but Joe Nuttall scored his fifth goal in five goals to equaliser five minutes later. The first half was very even but just like on Sunday, the U20s had a horror ten minute spell at the start of the second period and conceded two goals. However to their credit they struck back immediately when David Goodwillie produced a good finish. Aberdeen then dominated the rest of the game but were left frustrated when the Hamilton keeper produced two great to saves to deny Nuttall and also Goodwillie.
The Dons lined up with Mutch in goal, Robertson was at right back with Rose and Culjak in central defence and Henry was the left back. The midfield four were Anderson, Thomas, Ross, and Wright with Nutall and Goodwillie upfront. After the massive disappointment of Sunday this was going to be a very tough test this evening against the only side to beat the Dons twice last season.
Paul Sheerin's side made a positive start. After four minutes, Sam Robertson did well to make for the by-line and his cross was not far away from Nuttall. Then on five minutes Robertson won Aberdeen a corner which was only just cleared and then on 12 minutes it was Robertson again who won another corner. The delivery was just over the head of Culjak and then after good battling from Thomas on the edge of the area Nuttall had a half chance on the turn but his shot was just too high. Paul Sheerin would have been happy with the positive start his side had made. So when the home side opened the scoring it was very much against the run of play. A deep cross to the back post was not dealt with. The ball fell to full back McMann who still had a lot to do but he too easily got past the Dons defence before slotting past Mutch from very close range. A soft goal for Aberdeen to lose and they had undone all their hard work in the opening stages. But four minutes later they were level. Scott Wright did really well to create the chance. He showed good anticipation to intercept a diagonal ball and showed good vision to set up Joe Nuttall who produced a great low finish to beat keeper Alan Martin from the edge of the area.
Hamilton almost returned the favour of gifting a goal when keeper Martin came racing out of his area when trying to deal with a bouncing through ball and Nuttall very nearly tackled him. A few minutes later Thomas gave away a free kick in dangerous area. Steven Boyd curled the ball over the wall but Mutch was well positioned to push the ball over. On 27 minutes a good break from the Dons. Goodwillie played it back to Nuttall. Joe hammered a shot straight at the keeper and the power almost beat Martin who only just manged to deflect the ball onto the roof of the net. A minute later Wright produced a piece of great skill to leave his marker for dead but he just ran the ball out of play. The first half hour was very open and both teams were knocking the ball about well on the plastic surface. On 35 minutes another Dons corner caused problems. Michael Rose is so good at attacking the ball in the air, it means Aberdeen are a constant threat from set-pieces. On 41 minutes Anderson made a good run beyond the strikers and he was found by Thomas. His shot was on target but Martin saved at his near post. On 43 minutes Darian MacKinnon was booked for pulling Frank Ross back when he was bursting clear. He was fortunate there were other players back as it was a very promising Aberdeen attack. Then on the stroke of half time Wright hit a superb first time shot which produced an excellent save by Martin. The keeper did well to get right across his goal as the ball was heading into the corner.
Aberdeen made a disastrous start to the second half when they suddenly found themselves 3-1 down. Within second of the restart Michael Rose gave the ball away. Ryan Tierney pounced and produced a good finish. Aberdeen very nearly equalised again when Goodwillie looked to be through but the last defender made a very good tackle. But then Hamilton scored again. A great through ball by MacKinnon released Tierney. He beat Culjak and curled the ball past Mutch. A very good finish but again a very poor goal from the Dons point of view.
Just like Sunday, the Dons were punished for making mistakes and found themselves with a mountain to climb. They did however pull a goal back a couple of minutes later through David Goodwillie. He showed real quality to shield the ball before creating an angle for the shot and then firing it past the keeper who did not move. Credit to the Dons as each time they conceded it did not knock them of their stride and for the final half hour Aberdeen were the stronger side. They forced a number of corners but could not create a clear cut opening from them. On 71 minutes Wright made a break after great play by Thomas. His cross was half charged down which allowed the keeper to gather. They had a number of other half breaks which looked promising but the final pass went astray. On 75 minutes a great move involving Wright and substitute Norris set up Nuttall but unfortunately from close range he could not beat Martin who did well to make a very good block. The big striker could not quite get the ball out of his feet. Then a few minutes later an even better chance and save. Wright played it to Nuttall who squared it for Goodwillie but again Martin got out quickly to make the block. In the final minute Goodwillie hooked the ball over his shoulder but his ball across the box could not quite find Nuttall. Real frustration for the Dons who deserved something from the game.
As Aberdeen pushed hard for an equaliser the Lanarkshire side should have added a fourth when Tierney raced clear. His shot was half blocked by Mutch and Thomas did exceptionally well to chase back and clear the ball of the line. Dylan has been in really good form recently and was again the pick of the Aberdeen players tonight. There should still have been four or five minutes left to play as there had been three changes and Hamilton had resorted to trying to run down the clock but referee Lloyd Wilson decided to only play a minute and a half of added time. Even then Aberdeen had a final chance when the ball went right across the area and fell to Michael Rose but he blasted a shot over.
Hamilton Teamsheet
Martin, Reilly, McMann, Want, C Granger, Hughes, Mackinnon, Cunningham, Kelly (Scullion 87), Boyd, Tierney Subs Marshall, Simpson, S Granger, R Quitongo, Connelly, Smith

Bookings:  Mackinnon 43
Aberdeen Teamsheet
Mutch, Robertson (MacPherson 85), Henry, Thomas, Culjak, Rose, Wright, Ross, Nuttall, Goodwillie, Anderson (Norris 65).

Unused Subs: Mair, Norris, Hynes.
Venue: New Douglas Park, Hamilton