Aberdeen and Ross County this evening drew 0-0 in Dingwall. Despite the lack of goals and torrential rain throughout it was a very entertaining game played at high tempo as both sets of players showed good commitment. A year and a half into the job Paul Sheerin experienced his first goalless draw as the Aberdeen U20 coach. It was his first share of the spoils this season, only his fourth in total. It was also one of the very rare occasions his side did not score - the third time this season, last season they scored at least once in every game. However Paul will have been very pleased with the clean sheet and way his young side performed. Against an experienced Ross County side, the home team had the better of the opening exchanges and created some good chances but they failed to find a way past Scott Brown who had another very good game. The best chance of the half actually fell to Joe Nuttall but for the first time in seven games he failed to find the net. Aberdeen slowly started to get the better of their opponents and started winning their personal battles all over the park as the game wore on. After the hour mark were the better team as Storie and Smith started to have a major influence on proceedings. Craig Storie was probably the pick of the Aberdeen players tonight. The young Dons went close to finding a winner and Bruce Anderson missed a good chance after fine play by the aforementioned duo. With Storie, McKenna and Harvie all back from long term injuries the U20s will be looking to push on now over the next couple of months.
The game kicked off in warmish conditions for this time of year however there was a downpour which left the surface very slick. The Dons were without Frank Ross, Scott Wright and Dylan Thomas who are all away on international duty. Kalvin Orsi, Robbie Mutch, David Craddock, Stuart Rennie, Connor McLennan and Liam Lambert are still on the injured list. Michael Rose is on loan at Forfar but Craig Storie and Cammy Smith came in to bolster the line-up. So the Dons lined up with Brown in goal, Robertson was at right back with Culjak and McKenna in central defence and Harvie was at left back. Storie and Henry anchored the midfield with Anderson, Norris and Smith ahead of them, supporting Nuttall upfront.A strong looking home side, with a number of first team players included, started brightly. On four minutes a quick free kick caught out the Aberdeen defence and Alex Schalk got to the by-line but Scott McKenna did very well to cut the ball out. Seconds later Schalk very nearly got in between the Dons central defenders but again McKenna did well to recover the situation. On nine minutes a quick break saw Holden square the ball for Rocco Quinn, make his comeback from injury this evening, and he forced Brown into a smart stop, Scott having to tip the ball over the bar at the expense of the first corner of the evening. Schalk then raced into the area to create a decent chance for Curran from his cutback but he miskicked with the goal right in front of him. Aberdeen slowly started to come into the game. Nuttall almost created a chance for himself but the ball just ran away on the quick surface and then a neat passing move almost gave Norris an opening. On 18 minutes the home side went close again when a cross from the right was only just out of the reach of Curran. On 20 minutes Aberdeen very nearly opened the scoring against the run of play. After good link up play by Smith, Jamie Henry played a perfect low cross into 'the corridor of uncertainty' which went all the way through to Anderson coming in at the back post but he could only put the ball wide. On 24 minutes Schalk went close when he curled a shot inches wide, although Brown's dive appeared to have it covered. On 29 minutes Curran did find the target but Brown did well to push the shot away. On the half hour mark Storie had an effort from the edge of the area blocked.
After 33 minutes a great chance. County keeper Mark Foden dropped a deep cross. Nuttall picked up the loose ball but his shot was very well blocked on the line by Ross. Excellent defending. A minute later Holden got in behind the defence down the Dons left. He was clean through but pulled his shot wide when confronted by Brown. The rain was now torrential and making life very difficult for both sets of players. On 41 minutes Schalk again caused problems with his pace but again his shot was just off target.
The rain finally stopped at the start of the second half. On 51 minutes the lively Schalk once more had an opening but his shot was straight at Brown. On the hour mark Aberdeen enjoyed a really good spell. Storie won the ball well in the middle of the park, an area he was now dominating, and tried to play in Nuttall but big Joe had just gone too early and was flagged offside. Then a minute later Norris played in Smith and from a tight angle Cammy tested the keeper who made a good block. The Dons first corner was followed by the keeper making another good save, this time doing well to cut out a Harvie cross. County did have a couple of shots on target in the second half and Brown did very well to keep out De Vita. Scott read exactly where he was putting it. Aberdeen though were now getting on top. Smith and Storie were starting to influence proceedings and you felt a goal was coming. On 63 minutes the best chance of the game. It fell to Bruce Anderson after a great Aberdeen move involving Storie and Smith but from close range Bruce failed to connect properly with Cammy's cutback and his shot spun wide.
In the final ten minutes both teams pushed hard for a winner. There were bookings for De Vita, Harvie and Storie as the game continued to be a battle for the entire 90. County had a chance deep into added time but Brown pushed away a shot from full back McLaughlin. In the end a draw was probably a fair result as both sides deserved something from this game.