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Aberdeen 2 - 3 Kilmarnock

HT Score: Aberdeen 1 - 1 Kilmarnock

Youth Cup Third Round
Aberdeen scorers: Nuttall 9, Anderson 81.
Kilmarnock scorers: Hawkshaw 45, 51, Frizzell 59

25/10/2015 | KO: 14:00

Aberdeen crashed out of the SFA Youth Cup this afternoon after a hugely controversial 90 minutes at Pittodrie. The young Dons took an early lead when a superb Harvie long ball found Nuttall who coolly slotted home. Aberdeen had the better of the play for the majority of the first half but conceded right on the stroke of half time when Hawkshaw scored from a tight angle. The goal gave the visitors a massive lift and they started the second half very strongly. Killie took advantage of some poor defending to make it 2-1 when Hawkshaw added a second and when Frizzell hammered home a third it look as if was game over. Paul Sheerin's side though never gave up and got a lifeline with ten minutes to go when Anderson produced a good finish to score from a knockdown. Then a moment of major controversy when Frank Ross produced a great piece of skill and as he raced towards goal was clearly taken out by a Kilmarnock defender. However instead of awarding a penalty referee Graham Beaton decided Frank had dived, gave him a second yellow card and he was sent off. Before then Aberdeen had two other strong shouts for penalties turned away in the second half. Even with 10 men the Dons continued to throw everything at the visitors but they were unable to take the game to extra time. Credit to Kilmarnock who played well and they are the side that move into the 4th Round. The Dons were far from at their best today but can still feel extremely hard done by.

Aberdeen lined up with Robertson at right back, Culjak and Harvie were in central defence with Henry captaining the side from left back. There was a midfield four of Wright, Ross, Thomas and Norris with Anderson playing just in behind Nuttall. The Dons were still without McKenna, Storie, Orsi, Lambert, Rennie and McLennan. The opening stages were frenetic and you could see how much this game meant to both teams. In fact the entire first half was a real scrap as both teams showed a lot of spirit. After 7 minutes the first opening for either side. Great battling in the middle of the park saw the Dons advance up the field. Dylan Thomas played a one two before hitting a shot from the edge of the area which beat the keeper but hit the bottom of the post. Bruce Anderson was following up but could not get enough on his effort to beat Ryan Millar in the Killie goal.
Then out of nothing Aberdeen took the lead. Daniel Harvie played a superb weighted ball over the top which found Nuttall and the striker did the rest. He was completely unmarked but still showed good composure to set himself before slotting past the keeper. Although Aberdeen had more possession it was not all one way traffic and on 11 minutes Jamie Henry had to make a vital tackle on Arron Splaine. Then five minutes later at the other end a chance for the captain when he met a free kick perfectly but his header was too close to the keeper. On 20 minutes Norris picked up a loose ball and his shot was not far away. On 28 minutes Thomas tried his luck from distance and again his shot was just off target. On the half hour mark Joe Nuttall went even closer when his free kick clipped the top of the cross bar.
On 42 minutes Frank Ross picked up a booking. Then right on the stroke of half time McLean flashed the ball across the area and Hawkshaw was not far away from getting on the end of it. Kilmarnock kept the pressure on and from a corner they equalised. The Dons cleared the initial danger but the ball was played to Hawkshaw who managed to get in behind the defence and from a tight angle he found the far corner of the net despite Mutch getting a touch. It was a really bad time for the Dons to lose a goal.

At the start of the second half Aberdeen appealed for a penalty when a Sam Robertson cross struck the arm of Iain Wilson however referee Graham Beaton felt his arm was down by his side and waved play on. The Ayrshire side then enjoyed their best spell of the game and on 52 minutes they were gifted a goal. The Dons tried to take a short goal kick but got themselves in trouble and when a clearance only landed inside their own half Kilmarnock pounced whilst the defence were out of position. The ball was worked wide to McLean who crossed for Hawkshaw and he beat Mutch from close range. Things got worse on the hour mark when again Aberdeen were punished for not clearing their lines. The ball fell to striker Adam Frizzell and hit a sweat shot from outside the area past Mutch. From a game the Dons appeared to be controlling they were suddenly 3-1 down and heading out of the competition.
With nothing to lose Aberdeen finally increased the tempo and were unlucky not to get a penalty when Scott Wright appeared to be tripped inside the area after a strong burst into the box. On 76 minutes a Harvie cross was headed just wide by substitute Hutchison. Aberdeen were pushing hard but could not break down a well organised Killie defence. However on 81 minutes they got a lifeline. A Thomas free kick from deep was lofted into the area. The ball was knocked down to Anderson and he controlled the ball on his knee before volleying it low into the corner of the net. A really good finish and the bit of quality that the young Dons desperately needed.
That goal visibly lifted them and they went in search of an equaliser. A few minutes later Frank Ross did superbly to pick up the ball on the right hand side, beat a defender and when he raced into the area he was brought down by Wilson who made a clumsy challenge as he came across the Aberdeen man. It looked a clear penalty as the Scotland U19 Internationalist went flying but referee Beaton saw the incident differently and he booked Frank for diving. As he had already been booked he was then shown a red card. The finally ten minutes or so became a real battle and the referee struggled to keep control of the game. He started handing out a number of yellow cards as tempers became frayed. The ten men of Aberdeen pushed hard for an equaliser and although they were a few goalmouth 'stramashes' they could not force the game into extra time. At full time the Aberdeen players looked distraught and the Kilmarnock players celebrated.
Aberdeen Teamsheet
Mutch, Robertson, Henry, Thomas, Culjak, Harvie, Wright, Ross, Nuttall, Anderson, Norris (Hutchison 73).

Unused Subs: Craddock, Hynes, Dangana, MacPherson.

Bookings:  Robertson,  Henry,  Thomas,  Harvie,  Anderson,  Ross (83).
Kilmarnock Teamsheet
Millar, Clark, Dempster, Wilson, Hodge, Syme, Spaine, Hawkshaw (Sibbald 68), Frizzell, Taylor, McLean Subs: Cowan, Wilson, Dempsie, Graham

Bookings:  Clark,   Syme,   McLean
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
Next Match
Ross County
A
19 May 2024 / 15:00 / Victoria Park, Dingwall