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Falkirk 0 - 2 Aberdeen

HT Score: Falkirk 0 - 1 Aberdeen

SPFL Development League
Aberdeen scorers: Maynard 27 (Pen), Ross 83.

21/11/2017 | KO: 19:00

Aberdeen travelled to Falkirk in buoyant mood having won each of their last four Development League matches, a run of success which has seen them move up to second place in the League table two points behind pacesetters Hibernian having played a game less than the Easter Road team. The home side have enjoyed mixed success so far this term but are always a dangerous team on their own patch. Greg Tansey, celebrating his 29th birthday, joined Nicky Maynard and Greg Stewart in the Aberdeen side while Dominic Ball was once again in the back four. Ex Don Robbie Mutch was in the Falkirk starting eleven.

The Dons created the first opening after two minutes as Greg Stewart played Nicky Maynard in but the striker's shot flew about a foot too high. Frank Ross was next to threaten but his curling effort was easily held by Mutch. A fine through ball from Tansey had Maynard racing in on goal but his progress was halted by a fine tackle from Jonny Mitchell. Maynard's persistence won the Dons a corner on 14 minutes but Robbie Mutch flew off his line to punch Toby Wells' cross to safety.
Maxwell had the Bairns first shot at goal shortly after he evaded a challenge from Harrington but Danny Rogers was happy to watch it sail harmlessly over. It had largely been cat and mouse in the opening quarter of an hour with neither keeper tested although Tansey's intelligent probing from midfield looked like it could pay dividends for the Dons. A driving run from Seb Ross nearly fashioned an opener for Greg Stewart but a combination of Finlayson and Mutch rescued the Bairns. Moments later Mutch rushed from his box to thwart Maynard handling in the process for which he received a yellow card. Tansey's shot from the resulting free kick was just too high.
The Dons were awarded a penalty on 27 minutes when Maynard, after a great run, was bundled over in the box. The experienced striker took the spot kick and found the net, making it two goals in two games at this level, although Mutch dived the right way and very nearly saved it. Robbie made a couple of really crucial penalty saves the season Aberdeen won the Development League. The lively Maynard fired an excellent ball across the face of the six-yard box but Frank Ross didn't get a clean connection on the shot and Mutch saved comfortably. Aberdeen were beginning to dominate the match and the youthful home side were rarely seen as an attacking force.
A quick attack saw Maynard send Frank Ross down the left and the midfielder will feel he should have done better than shoot high over although the angle was tight. Two minutes from the break Ball was unlucky to see his header from a Wells corner crash back off the post, then Mutch produced a fine save to deny Seb Ross. A very professional first forty five from the Dons who perhaps should have been further in front given their dominance.

Half time Falkirk 0 Aberdeen 1

Neither coach made any changes at the interval. Rogers saved well from a Kidd cross as the home side battled for an equaliser then Maxwell shot wide from a great position. It had been a good opening to the half from the Bairns. Greg Stewart had the Dons first attempt at goal in the second half when he cut in from the right but the shot didn't trouble Mutch. Just before the hour mark Ryan Harrington was booked for a foul on Maxwell although the winger went to ground very easily and the decision looked harsh on the Dons full back.
A jinking run from Stewart almost saw a second goal for the Dons but Greg's shot slipped just wide. Harlain Mbayo replaced Harrington after 61 minutes and he slotted into central defence with Ball moving to right back. The Dons made a second change on 69 minutes as Ethan Ross took the place of older brother Seb. Falkirk continued to push hard for an equaliser but the Aberdeen defence stood firm as the weather conditions worsened. Falkirk introduced Kyle Mitchell for Kidd as the wind and rain howled round the stadium. Ball was forced to clear off the line after Stowe lifted the ball over Rogers as the Bairns grew in confidence. From looking totally in control, the Dons were now having to dig deep to hold onto their lead. Frank Ross had a great chance to make the game safe when Stewart picked him out in the middle of the box but Robbie Mutch produced a terrific block to deny his former team-mate. Mutch ten produced an even better save to tip a deflected Stewart shot over the bar as the game went into its final ten minutes. Sweeney replaced Maxwell just before a fine run by Ethan Ross set Stewart up for a shot which was brilliantly parried by Mutch. However the rebound fell nicely for Frank Ross who rifled the ball into the net to make it 2-0 for the Dons. Rough luck on the keeper.
Mutch was again in action on 86 tipping a Toby Wells free kick on to the bar and over. The final switches came on 87 minutes with Virtanen replacing Tansey for Aberdeen while Hussain came on for Finlayson in the home ranks. Robbie Mutch continued to impress saving well again from Frank Ross before the referee blew the final whistle on a well merited victory for Aberdeen which sees them proudly sit atop the Development League table. A tougher second half against a battling Bairns side but another win chalked up on the road.
Falkirk Teamsheet
Mutch, Kidd (K Mitchell 74), Finlayson (Hussain 87), J Mitchell, Girdwood, Peggie, Langton, Jarvis, McBride, Maxwell (Sweeney 82), Stowe. Unused substitutes: Young (GK), Laverty, Lavelle

Bookings:  Mutch 19
Aberdeen Teamsheet
Rogers, Harrington (Mbayo 61), Wells, Campbell, Ball, Roscoe, Tansey (Virtanen 87), Ross (Ross 69), Maynard, Ross, Stewart.

Unused Subs: Antoniazzi, MacPherson, Dangana, Mair.

Bookings:  Harrington (59).
Venue: Falkirk Stadium, Falkirk
Referee: Ross Anderson
Next Match
Kilmarnock
H
09 Mar 2024 / 12:30 / Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen