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Aberdeen 2 - 4 Inverness CT

HT Score: Aberdeen 0 - 3 Inverness CT

Challenge Cup
Aberdeen scorers: Ross 51, Anderson 89.
Inverness CT scorers: Calder 3, Polworth 25, Raven 40, Tremarco 83

02/09/2017 | KO: 15:00

Battling Performance by the Young Dons

After draws with Ross County and Motherwell in their opening two Development League games, the Young Dons faced a step up in quality of opposition when they welcomed John Robertson's Inverness Caledonian Thistle to Glebe Park for the second round tie in the Irn Bru Cup. With Scott McKenna away on Scotland Under 21 duty and Danny Harvie injured, coach Paul Sheerin drafted Harlain Mbayo and Toby Wells into his back four while there were also places in the starting eleven for Dean Campbell and Lewis Hutchison.

The game started at a fierce pace and the young Dons were giving as good as they got but in three minutes they fell behind when Riccardo Calder nipped in front of Archie Mair to head a long ball from Brad McKay into an empty net. The Championship side showed their intent attacking at every opportunity and Vigurs came close to doubling their lead in the 9th minute firing a fierce left footed effort just over. A superb run from Frank Ross set Bruce Anderson up for a shot in 12 minutes and Ridgers was forced into making a magnificent save to deny the Elgin-bound striker. A good response from the Dons who weren't seeing too much possession.
Archie Mair was forced to make a smart one handed save from Baird, then Trafford headed wide from the resulting corner. Paul Sheerin's boys had reacted well to the early setback of Inverness scoring. Bruce Anderson broke brilliantly after an Inverness corner but Ridgers blocked his 15 yard effort. Lewis Hutchison couldn't convert the rebound then the keeper made another fine stop to deny Anderson. Mair was in action again to deny Vigurs but had no chance in 25 minutes when Polworth slid home Cooper's cross. Although they were two behind the youthful Aberdeen side had shown their danger as an attacking force and Ridgers had been at his best to keep his goal intact.
Aberdeen again broke at pace following an Inverness corner but Hutchison shot narrowly wide after fine set up work from the impressive Frank Ross. Five minutes from the break, David Raven made it 3-0 firing home from the edge of the box after a clever Polworth corner. Caley Thistle continued to pass the ball quickly but the Dons stood firm to reach the half time three down - a scoreline which was rather harsh given how much effort had been put into the opening 45.

Half time Aberdeen 0 Inverness CT 3

A fine ball forward from the impressive Trafford gave Baird a chance in the 46th minute but he screwed the bell wide. Frank and Seb Ross combined well as they broke forward but Ridgers again saved well from the latter, the Inverurie teenager's shot not quite powerful enough. On 50 minutes, a poor backpass from Donaldson saw Ridgers attempted clearance rebound off the inrushing Seb Ross into the net. Not the classiest goal Seb will ever score, but great reward for the midfielder's persistence and determination.
Seconds later Brad McKay was booked for a pull on Anderson as the striker tried to break clear. On 62 minutes Mair saved well again from Baird as Thistle pressed for a fourth goal, forcing a succession of corners which the Aberdeen defence did well to repel. Charlie Trafford was the game's second booking following a pull on Frank Ross, but the Dons couldn't profit from the free kick.
Carl Tremarco replaced Vigurs on 71 minutes, the new man going to left back and Chalmers moving forward to midfield. Shortly afterwards, Alex Cooper, son of Gothenburg Great Neale, was inches wide with a powerful left foot shot. Connor McLennan was booked for a late challenge on McKay but the Aberdeen man could legitimately claim his focus was on the loose ball for which both were challenging. Goalscorer Seb Ross came off in 79 minutes as Chris Antoniazzi was introduced to the battle.
George Oakley replaced Baird for the final ten and he produced a great cross from the right for fellow sub Tremarco head home from close range. The Dons were aggrieved as the striker appeared to have fouled Roscoe in the build up to the goal but referee Newlands saw nothing amiss. Raven was withdrawn as Elsdon came on for the visitors just before a flashpoint. Frank Ross was sent off for a late tackle on Chalmers, prompting retaliation from Trafford who was also dismissed when he received a second yellow. Harlain Mbayo also saw yellow for his part in the pushing and shoving which followed Frank's challenge.
After an outstanding save from Mair which saw the keeper tip a fierce Calder effort on to the post, Bruce Anderson got his rewards when he beat Ridgers from 18 yards to make it 4-2 in the 89th minute.

The greater experience of Inverness eventually won the day but the Dons can be proud of their efforts against a team which was in last season's top flight. Next up for Paul Sheerin's side is a home clash with Hibs in the Development League at Glebe Park on Tuesday, kick off is at 6pm.
Aberdeen Teamsheet
Mair, Harrington, Wells, Campbell, Mbayo, Roscoe, Hutchison, Ross (Antoniazzi 79), Anderson, Ross, McLennan.

Unused Subs: Dangana, MacPherson, MacKenzie, Ross, Craddock.

Bookings:  McLennan (77),  Mbayo (87),  Ross (88).
Inverness CT Teamsheet
Ridgers, Raven (Elsdon 84), Chalmers, Polworth, Baird (Oakley 81), Vigurs (C) (Tremarco 71), Calder, Cooper, McKay, Donaldson, Trafford. Unused substitutes: Esson (GK), Foy.

Bookings:  McKay 51,   Trafford 69,   Trafford 88  Trafford 88
Venue: Glebe Park, Brechin
Referee: Alan Newlands