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Queen of the South 1 - 3 Aberdeen

HT Score: Queen of the South 1 - 1 Aberdeen

Scottish Premier Reserve League
Queen of the South scorers: White 44
Aberdeen scorers: Dangana 18, Antoniazzi 58, Ross 83.

18/03/2019 | KO: 14:00

The young Dons were on the road again as they made the two hundred and eleven mile trek south to face Queen of the South's second string. The Dumfries side have endured a torrid season, picking up only two points from their eleven games so far.

For reserve team boss Paul Sheerin, it was a return to the ground where he made his Dons debut in a cup tie against the Doonhamers back in January 2003.

Aberdeen almost took the lead in the fifth minute when Lewis Duncan cut in from the left to crash a fine angled drive off the bar with the keeper beaten all ends up. Really unlucky for the youngster from Fraserburgh.

On thirteen minutes a moment of real controversy. Chasing a through ball Declan Tremble and our trialist centre back tangled just inside the box with the Queens' striker going to ground. The collision looked accidental, but referee Wilson deemed it denying a goal-scoring opportunity, sending the trialist off and giving the home side a spot kick. However, David Craddock guessed White's intentions and dived to his right to make a splendid save.

Lloyd Robertson moved to centre back with Miko Virtanen switching to right back. On eighteen minutes a fine run by Miko down the right saw him play the ball into the middle for David Dangana to take a touch then fire past Gibson for the opening goal. David's seventh goal in all competitions for the youngsters this season.

Despite having a man advantage, Queens were finding a well-drilled Dons back division tough to get past. The visitors hit the woodwork for a second time on twenty-six minutes when Gibson pushed a powerful shot from Chris Antoniazzi on to his left-hand post and away to safety.

Aberdeen were making all the play and not allowing Queens into the game and Virtanen came close to making it 2-0 on 33 minutes, his header being deflected just past the post.

Harrington headed a corner just over as the Dons maintained the pressure with the half drawing towards a close. Then, with a minute to go until half-time, disaster struck for the Dons as a long ball from Pearson found its way through to White who managed to get the better of Craddock to slide the ball into the net.

The goal had come completely against the run of play as, in spite of the sending-off, it had been a dominant first half showing by the Dons who will feel they really should have been in front at the break.

Half time - Queen of the South Reserves 1 Aberdeen Reserves 1

Queens were on to the front foot quickly in the second half and a cross-cum-shot from Gardiner flew across the face of goal. Pearson was next to have an effort on goal, but his long-range strike didn't trouble Craddock.

McMahon replaced goal-scorer White for Queens in the 54th minute just before the Dons had a strong shout for a penalty as Ethan Ross went down in the box but the referee signalled for a corner rather than a spot-kick.

Aberdeen regained the lead on 58 minutes. A strong run by Ross saw him drive into the box before playing in Chris Antoniazzi who showed great composure to set himself up before slotting the ball past Gibson.

Antoniazzi almost made it 3-1 five minutes later, curling a 25-yard free-kick inches wide. Both sides made changes on 65 minutes, Danny Strachan replacing Duncan for the Dons while Douglas took the place of Newbould in the home ranks.

Danny slotted in at right back to let Virtanen return to midfield. Dangana was cautioned after a challenge on Gourlay as the pair pursued a slack back-pass with 69 minutes on the clock, swiftly followed by Douglas after a clash with Dons skipper Mackenzie.

A barn-storming run from Harrington set up Antoniazzi but the keeper made a fine save to deny the Dons. It was the last action for Antoniazzi who was taken off along with Morgan Brown, Tyler Mykyta and Kieran Shanks taking their places.

A clumsy foul on Ross earned Ivison a booking as the game moved into its final phase with the Dons still looking comfortable despite being a man light. Potts for Pearson was Queens' final change on 81 minutes.

With seven minutes left, Ethan Ross fired a wonderful free-kick beyond Gibson to make it 3-1 to the 10-man Dons, another example of the ability of one of Pittodrie's brightest and most promising young stars.

On 88 minutes, the Dons made their final changes as Conor Power and Max Barry came on for Dangana and Ross.

Potts forced a save from Craddock with a header, but it was too late for Queens to mount any kind of fightback as the Dons, despite playing with ten men for all but 13 minutes of the game, ran out worthy winners.

Paul Sheerin: "The players were a credit to themselves this afternoon.

"I think the penalty save after the sending off is massive.
"That was pivotal as it was so early in the game. If they score then it is a double whammy and a real up hill struggle from then on in."

"We managed to get our noses in front and it could have two or three at the break but we end up, with last kick of the half, losing a sloppy goal and it gives them a lift going in at the interval all square, when we could and probably should have been a few goals ahead.

"Before the sending off Lewis Duncan hit the bar and then after then Chris hit the post. Also there were a couple of times when we got into good areas and could have hit it a bit earlier instead of taking the extra touch.

"The third goal was a great free kick from Ethan. At that stage we were 2-1 up and doing ok in the game but there is always that concern that you may concede so to get the two goal cushion at that stage was huge.

"I think our response to going down to ten men was great.

"The players application, their work ethic was brilliant and within that they incorporated some really good play in terms of possession and opportunities created. So really please for the players because it could have been a long afternoon for them, but they did really well within the game considering we were down to ten men for so long.

"Our movement ahead of the ball was really bright. We were brave with the shape, we would normally look at a 4-4-1 but they were playing quite a high line, so I wanted to keep the two up top as it allowed us to get in behind and play the game in their half.

"But the work ethic still had to be good and it was. It was brilliant. To earn the result, that was the biggest part. When you go down to ten men you really have to concentrate.
"Sometimes when the other team goes down to ten men subconsciously you think it is going to be easier than it is, and we would sure it was not easier for them.

"It was a long trip down which does make it difficult for the players, but we managed to split it with the pre match meal which helped break up the journey.

"That is three wins in a row in the league. There is no doubt getting a run of games helps. Although the St Mirren game was off last week, we have managed to get three games in the past the four weeks and that helps, playing regularly as opposed to the first part of the season when it was very stop start and you don't get any rhythm into your play."

Queen of the South Teamsheet
Gibson, Irving, Newbould (Douglas 65), Gardiner, Harvey, Gourlay (C), Ivison, Williams, Tremble, Pearson (Potts 81), White (McMahon 54).
Unused substitutes - Wallace (GK), Thomson, Sheppard

Bookings:  Douglas 71,   ivison 77
Aberdeen Teamsheet
Craddock, Robertson, MacKenzie, Virtanen, Trialist, Harrington, Duncan (Strachan 65), Brown (Mykyta 74), Dangana (Barry 88), Ross (Power 88), Antoniazzi (Shanks 74).

Unused Subs: Ritchie.

Bookings:  Dangana (69),  Trialist (13).
Venue: Palmerston Park, Dumfries
Referee: Lloyd Wilson
Next Match
Ross County
19 May 2024 / 15:00 / Victoria Park, Dingwall