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Aberdeen 2 - 2 Ross County

HT Score: Aberdeen 0 - 1 Ross County

SPFL Development League
Aberdeen scorers: Munro (OG) 74, Dangana 93.
Ross County scorers: McKay 3, Keillor-Dunn 90+1

22/08/2017 | KO: 18:00

U20s begin Development League campaign

The opening fixture of the new season in the SPFL Development League saw Paul Sheerin's Aberdeen take on last term's champions Ross County at Glebe Park and with both sides having won their first round Irn Bru Cup ties they went into the match in confident mood. Dons skipper Dean Campbell was on Scotland Under 17 duty so Harlain Mbayo took the armband in a line up which included Scott Wright and Danny Rogers who were on the first team bench on Saturday. County fielded former Inverness Caley Thistle striker Billy McKay as one of five over age players in their starting eleven.

The game kicked off in foggy conditions which necessitated the floodlights being switched on from the start. Only in Scotland in August! County took the lead in the third minute when Ashmore's inswinging free kick from the right rebounded off McKay into the net. The striker knew nothing about it but was happy to claim the goal. MacIver almost doubled County's lead on seven minutes when he was picked out at the far post from a corner but he couldn't keep his shot down. Scott Wright showed great close control to create half a yard for a shot at goal but his ten yard effort was well blocked by the County defence.
A quick break saw Ross find Anderson in the inside left channel and his powerful shot was deflected over for a corner. Wright appeared to be impeded as he went for the corner but the referee was unmoved by Aberdeen claims for a penalty. The Dons were coming more into the game as we reached the mid point of the half and Wright managed to get a shot away in a tight situation but it lacked the pace to trouble keeper Munro. County looked dangerous when they moved forward with pace but Dingwall broke too quickly onto Keillor-Dunn's clever through ball and was flagged offside. A fine run from Harrington saw him deliver a great cross from the right but it was tantalisingly out of the reach of the inrushing Anderson and McLennan. Craig Storie was booked for a clumsy foul on Morrison on 30 minutes. On 35 minutes a fine Keillor-Dunn free kick from 30 yards flashed just wide but Danny Rogers looked to have it covered. A good effort from the County winger nonetheless.
Aberdeen had the ball in the net in the 38th minute when Anderson fired home after a neat Wright pass but was correctly flagged offside. It was a very tight decision. Then good work on the left from Danny Harvie saw the full back deliver a teasing cross into the box but it was just too high for Wright. On the stroke of half time there was a goal mouth scramble but three Aberdeen players failed to get a clean shot away. The HT whistle blew with County having their noses in front after McKay's fortuitous strike but the game was still very much in the balance.

Half time Aberdeen 0 Ross County 1

Neither side made any changes at the interval and fortunately the fog seemed to have eased a little. Aberdeen were first to threaten and keeper Munro needed two attempts to clutch a fiercely struck free kick from Toby Wells. Craig Storie came close to an equaliser, firing a powerful shot wide from an acute angle just over, following a Frank Ross corner. On 54 minutes Billy McKay found space but fired over when well positioned. Harlain Mbayo was stretchered off after having received lengthy treatment following a serious injury. Sam Roscoe coming on to replace the unfortunate skipper. After going up for a header there was a clash of heads but it may also have been the way Harlain landed that caused the problem. Everyone wishes Harlain a speedy recovery.
Scott Wright flashed a left foot effort just wide of the keeper's right hand post as the Dons stepped up their efforts for an equaliser which their pressing merited. It was great effort from Scott. Then McKenna's powerful header from Ross's corner looked a goal all the way until Ashmore knocked it off the line. But the goal came on 74 minutes when the unfortunate keeper Munro punched a Frank Ross corner into his own net. The second fortunate goal of the night but no more than Aberdeen deserved after an improved second half showing. A minute a later the keeper redeemed himself when Frank Ross was put in on the left, his shot was well saved by the legs of Munro. Keillor-Dunn fashioned a decent opening for himself on 79 minutes but lacked composure as he blazed his shot high over. Paul Sheerin made a second change as Lewis Hutchison took over from Scott Wright with ten minutes remaining.
MacIver shot just over from twenty yards as County came more into it, the game becoming quite stretched as it moved towards what was certain to be a long period of injury time. Ashmore was given too much space to meet a left wing corner but his powerful shot was just wide. Aberdeen's final switch saw Dangana come on for McLennan in the 89th minute. McKenna came close again from a Ross corner, his header going just wide.
County snatched the lead a minute into stoppage time when Keillor-Dunn found space in the box to drill a left foot shot past Rogers. Turner then replaced Morrison for County. Two minutes later it was all square again as David Dangana smashed a great shot into the corner of the net from 12 yards. With 12 minutes of injury time to be played a grandstand finish was on the cards!Anderson saw a shot blocked then fine defending from Morrison prevented Dangana breaking clear as Aberdeen pushed forward. County left back Malcolm, booked earlier for a tackle on Wright, paid the price for one foul too many, seeing red seven minutes into added time. Aberdeen were now in the ascendancy looking for the winner. Munro saved brilliantly from Anderson as the added period went beyond ten minutes but no more goals came and the match ended with honours even after a highly entertaining tussle. The Dons had a good number of goalmouth scrambles when they just could not force the ball over the line, but a draw was probably a fair result between two really committed sides.
Aberdeen Teamsheet
Rogers, Harrington, Harvie, Storie, Mbayo (Roscoe 68), McKenna, Wright (Hutchison 80), McLennan (Dangana 89), Anderson, Ross, Wells.

Bookings:  Storie (30).
Ross County Teamsheet
Munro. Tumilty, Malcolm, S Morrison (c), Grivosti, Ashmore, G Morrison (Turner 90+2), Dingwall, McKay, MacIver, Keillor-Dunn Unused substitutes - Lee (GK), Turner, Johnstone, Kelly, Murray, Johnson, Wallace

Bookings:  Malcolm 71  Malcolm 90+7.
Venue: Glebe Park, Brechin
Referee: Liam Duncan
Next Match
St. Johnstone
28 Feb 2024 / 19:45 / Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen