Less than twenty-four hours after their respective first teams battled it out at Hampden Park, Aberdeen and Rangers again locked horns this time in the Reserve League. The Ibrox second string currently sit top of the table while the Dons look to get back to winning ways after a couple of reversals at the hands of Celtic and Kilmarnock.
Greg Tansey made a welcome return to action after long-term injury while veteran former English Premier League defender Gareth McAuley featured in the visitors' ranks.
The Dons lined up with David Craddock in goal behind a back four of Miko Virtanen, Jordan McGregor, Luke Turner and Jack MacKenzie. Skipper Dean Campbell, Greg Tansey and Chris Forrester were in the engine room while Connor McLennan and Ethan Ross were the wide men flanking Bruce Anderson.
Rangers were on the attack straight away and Craddock made a smart save from Dallas within the opening twenty seconds. Both sides were zipping the ball around at a good tempo, but openings were scarce. Fine interplay between MacKenzie and Ethan Ross saw the full back race forward before testing McCrorie with a decent right-footed effort.
On twelve minutes the deadlock was broken in bizarre fashion. A neat through ball aimed at Dallas was intercepted by Jordan McGregor but his touch diverted the ball wide of the outrushing Craddock and into his own net.
Forrester engineered a yard of space for himself at the edge of the box, but his left-footed effort was pulled wide of the target. On 23 minutes Greg Tansey came within a whisker of grabbing an equaliser, curling a delightful 20-yard free kick past McCrorie but on to the keeper's right-hand post, Virtanen's effort from the rebound going just wide.
A fine break by the Dons on 29 minutes ended with MacKenzie shooting wide as the home side exerted more pressure but the visitors still posed a threat with a snapshot from Dallas coming close.
A lightning break by Rangers full back Shiels saw the number three play a dangerous ball into the six-yard box, but a fine clearance by Turner averted the danger. McLennan picked up a yellow card on 44 minutes after a clumsy challenge on Shiels.
A fairly even first half sees the Dons trail after McGregor's unfortunate own goal, Tansey's free kick which hit the post being the closest the home side have come to an equaliser.
Half time: Aberdeen Reserves 0 Rangers Reserves 1
Paul Sheerin made a switch at the interval bringing on Seb Ross in place of McLennan. Craddock saved well from Dallas as the visitors again started on the front foot. A clever ball from Virtanen sent Ethan Ross scampering down the right. The winger's cutback was hit powerfully goalward by Forrester but a great block from Mayo prevented an Aberdeen equaliser.
On the hour the Dons made a triple substitution as Harrington, Brown and Dangana replaced Virtanen, Campbell and Anderson. Minutes later Craddock was again called into action as Dallas tried to curl one into his left-hand corner. Atakayi was then booked on 65 minutes after disputing a decision, being followed into the book seconds later by team-mate Mebude. Atakayi was then replaced by Gray.
The Rangers sub tried his luck with an angled free-kick but his effort drifted wide. But Rangers did double their lead on 74 minutes when a good cross from the right was thumped past Craddock by the ever-dangerous Dallas.
It was nearly three a minute later but a fantastic goal-line clearance from MacKenzie denied McPake. Gray became the third Rangers booking after a challenge on Harrington with 13 minutes left.
The Dons were putting plenty of effort into the game but just couldn't find any openings against a stuffy Rangers defence.
Sixteen-year-old James Maxwell replaced McPake for the last eight minutes of the game while Lewis Duncan took over from Tansey in the home ranks. The Dons had a shout for a penalty when Seb Ross was bundled over in the box, but the referee wasn't interested.
As the clock ran down O'Connor replaced Mebude just before star man Dallas made it three nil, breaking clear of the Dons defence before slipping the ball past a helpless Craddock.
A disappointing afternoon for the young Dons as they slipped to a third Reserve League defeat.