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Aberdeen 1 - 0 Ross County

HT Score: Aberdeen 1 - 0 Ross County

SPFL Development League
Aberdeen scorers: Norris 12.

05/05/2016 | KO: 18:00

The youngest ever Dons development side, by quite some distance, finished the season off on a really really positive note with an impressive 1-0 win over Ross County this evening in Brechin. Youth Academy players Sam Robertson, Joe MacPherson, Terry Taylor, Dean Campbell, David Dangana, Lewis Hutchison, Nathan Meres and Ethan Ross were all involved, some of them are as young as 14.

RedTV | reaction and match action to follow shortly

match report

Aberdeen went into the final game of the Development League knowing any result other than a defeat to Ross County would see them clinch third place in the table. For the visitors, victory would see them move four places up the table to eleventh.

Coach Paul Sheerin made six changes to the side which drew 1-1 with Celtic on Monday as Craddock, Robertson, Taylor, Campbell, Dangana and Norris all started.

Aberdeen started the game on the front foot and Norris won an early free kick. Thomas’ delivery found its way to MacPherson but he couldn’t find the target with his 18 yard shot.

Sam Robertson was pushing forward at every opportunity and his right wing cross was nudged into the path of Norris by Dangana but he couldn’t make a clean connection with the ball and Foden saved.

However Norris was not to be denied and on twelve minutes he picked up a great through ball from Dean Campbell and raced clear of the County defence to slip the ball into the bottom right hand corner of the net with Foden helpless.

The goal lifted Aberdeen and they were knocking the ball around nicely with Thomas, Taylor and Campbell prominent in the middle of the park. Norris and Thomas combined well to create a shooting chance for the Welsh midfielder but Dylan’s shot slipped past the right hand post.

David Craddock was having a quiet evening but he showed bravery and safe hands as he gathered a dangerous Dingwall cross as County made a rare foray into the Dons box.

Aberdeen were playing at a high tempo with the pacy wide men Norris and Hutchison a real threat to the County rearguard but the visitors showed they were still very much in the match as Moffat dragged a shot just wide.
Two minutes before the break Hutchison set Robertson free down the right and he showed terrific pace to race clear of McLaughlin before firing in a cross which was inches out of the reach of Terry Taylor sliding in at the near post.

A very solid first half from easily the youngest Dons side to appear in the Under 20 League this season and who probably deserved to be more than one up at the interval.

The Dons were quickly out of the traps after the break and Scott McKenna found himself in uncharted territory down the left wing to win an early corner. The ball was worked back to Dylan Thomas and his curling effort from wide on the left drifted just wide.

Some slack defensive play by the Dons created a shooting opportunity for County but Craddock produced a fine flying save to deny MacLennan.

The visitors threw on their only outfield sub just past the hour mark when Malcolm replaced Moffat.

Fourteen year old Terry Taylor was having an excellent game and was always in the heart pf the action. His clever chipped pass put David Dangana into space but he couldn’t quite get his shot on target as Foden charged off his line.

The Dons created a great chance on 72 minutes when Taylor and Hutchison combined down the right, the latter’s cutback being fired over by Campbell. Seconds later Foden was forced to dive full length to his left to keep out Norris’ powerful 20 yard shot.

Aberdeen brought on young Nathan Meres after 80 minutes to replace David Dangana who had taken a knock.
Christopher McLaughlin must have thought he had scored the equaliser on 83 minutes when his left foot rocket seemed destined for the top corner but Craddock produced a save of the highest quality to tip the ball over the bar.

Paul Sheerin withdrew Aaron Norris in the 88th minute, his replacement Ethan Ross, younger brother of Seb Ross who has appeared in a number of Under 20 games this season.

Ross County threw everything at the Dons in the closing few minutes but the defence, marshalled superbly by Scott McKenna, held firm to notch a deserved victory which sees us finish the season in third place in the Development League.

Aberdeen Teamsheet
Craddock, Robertson, Harvie, Thomas, McKenna, MacPherson, Taylor, Campbell, Dangana (Meres 80), Hutchison, Norris (Ross 88).

Unused Subs: Mutch.
Ross County Teamsheet
Foden, Miller, McLaughlin, S Morrison, Ross, R Dingwall, Moffat (Malcolm 61), MacLennan, G Morrison, Beeston, MacIver

Unused sub: Tait (Gk)
Venue: Glebe Park, Brechin
Referee: Liam Duncan