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Aberdeen 1 - 0 Ross County

HT Score: Aberdeen 0 - 0 Ross County

Scottish Premiership
Aberdeen scorers: Rooney 69.

25/02/2017 | KO: 15:00

Stuffy Staggies Sunk by 'Shinned' Rooney Strike

Derek McInnes was left with some tough decisions following the match against Kilmarnock, where two brilliantly timed substitutions helped the Dons grind out the win late in the game. The manager decided to make just one change, with Graeme Shinnie coming back in for Ryan Christie. Jayden Stockley missed out due to injury.
Aberdeen were in great form coming into the game, with 9 wins from 10 matches. With Rangers dropping points in the Highlands the night before, it was a great chance to widen the gap between second and third to 9 points.

The Dons started very well and showed great composure on the ball in the opening stages of the game. They enjoyed a lot of possession, spreading it around looking for gaps in the County defence. Adam Rooney headed over the bar after Shay Logan's cross into the box. However there weren't many chances following that with the next effort coming 10 minutes later when Niall McGinn's soft header from inside the box was easily held by Fox. It was a nice move on the break with Hayes and Shinnie combining on the left wing, giving Niall the chance to have a go.

Ross County's first chance of the game came from a corner, with Davies unlucky not to open the scoring after 25 minutes. The Dingwall side were growing into the match and could have taken the lead from a free header. In hindsight, it was a big moment in the game as the County captain probably should have scored.
In recent matches, Adam Rooney has fancied his chances at overhead kicks, this game was no different. The striker had a go from 18 yards, which was on target and well struck. Fox was in a good position and held the ball comfortably.

Kenny McLean was next to ask questions of the County defence, but his driving run came to very little with another easy save. Kenny was having another superb game showing off his ability in the air and his wide variety of passing.

The visitors' best chance of the game came from a free kick when Alex Schalk lifted a powerful shot over the wall forcing Joe Lewis to move his feet quickly and palm the ball back into the danger zone. Curran's effort from the rebound was poor and went over the bar from 10 yards out. Schalk's technique was superb and could very easily have punished the Dons.

The very last action of the first half saw Jonny Hayes bundle Marcus Fraser off the ball, allowing him to run at goal. He squared the ball for Rooney who couldn't get his foot on the ball to give Aberdeen a lead at the break. It looked a bad miss but the ball from Jonny was just slightly behind Adam. The ball ran harmlessly out of play as Willie Collum blew for half time.

HT: Aberdeen 0-0 Ross County

After two relatively quiet games, Joe Lewis was called upon once again early in the second half making another save from a deflected Alex Schalk shot. It was on target and Lewis at full stretch did very well to touch the ball away.

Jim McIntyre would have been delighted with what he was seeing as his team continued to threaten the Aberdeen goal. It was Davies this time with a header from the corner which Lewis managed to save. Once again, great reflexes from Lewis.

The game was becoming a real battle and Aberdeen were struggling with their passing on a difficult surface.

An hour Aberdeen were still struggling so the manager decided to change the shape by taking off Mark Reynolds for Miles Storey. Storey's energy would no doubt create space going forward and his pace forced County to sit deeper. Again it was a very good tactical change from the manager.

Storey was causing problems and the Dons were looking dangerous again. After enjoying a good spell they took the lead, although the goal certainly had a touch of fortune about it.

Kenny McLean crossed a ball into the box from the right. The ball deflected of Davies into the path of Adam Rooney who on the run knocked the ball into the net with his shin. A really ugly goal, but they all count!

Not long after Rooney was once again trying to score from an overhead kick. It was his closest one yet as he beautifully chested the ball up and directed it low towards the left corner. Fox did really well to get across and fingertip the ball wide. Adam looks determined to grab and acrobatic goal. Should one drop soon, it may make the club's "Goal of the Season" competition even tougher than it currently looks!

Niall McGinn's last action of the game was a neat volley at the back post, which Fox managed to save after Storey had put over a great cross. Niall made way 10 minutes to go for Anthony O'Connor as Derek McInnes looked to see out the game. O'Connor went into central defence and Shinnie back into midfield.

With 5 minutes to go Peter Pawlett came on, looking for his third goal in 3 substitute appearances. Pawlett looked lively as he helped the Dons up the pitch. His driving run paved the way for Shinnie to hit the line, crossing the ball to the back post. Storey couldn't quite reach the ball in the air.

The Dons were looking dangerous on the break and wasted a couple of half chances but it was getting nervy as full time approached, despite Aberdeen looking comfortable at the back. Davies went up front and County were launching it long.

In added time some nice hold up play from Adam Rooney allowed him to slip Miles Storey in on goal. He fired over from wide inside the box. There was one moment of concern when from a long throw the ball bounced about inside the area but thankfully it ran harmlessly through to Lewis.

The Dons had answers for everything County threw at them after that and managed to see the game out fairly comfortably. Not a classic but a good win and one which moved Aberdeen 9 points ahead in second place.
Aberdeen Teamsheet
Lewis, Logan, Considine, Taylor, Reynolds (Storey 58), Shinnie, McGinn (O'Connor 79), Hayes (Pawlett 86), Jack, McLean, Rooney.

Unused Subs: Christie, Wright, Ross, Alexander.

Bookings:  Reynolds (27).
Ross County Teamsheet
01.Scott Fox, 02.Marcus Fraser, 03.Jason Naismith, 15.Andrew Davies, 43.Paul Quinn (28.Kenny van der Weg 46), 07.Michael Gardyne, 08.Martin Woods, 12.Tim Chow (06.James O'Brien 75), 23.Alex Schalk, 10.Liam Boyce, 11.Craig Curran (27.Milan Lalkovic 76). Unused Subs: 09.Ryan Dow, 19.Oscar Gobern, 31.Aaron McCarey, 52.Reghan Tumility.

Bookings:  07.Michael Gardyne (23).
Attendance: 11,774
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
Referee: Willie Collum
Next Match
East Kilbride
20 Jul 2024 / 15:00 / K-Park Training Academy, East Kilbride