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Huntly 0 - 4 Aberdeen

HT Score: Huntly 0 - 4 Aberdeen

Huntly scorers: Storrier (Reid 45), Johnston, Trialist A (Jack 62), Johnstone, Murison (Trialist B 73), Still, Ross (Davidson 66), Booth (Gray 62), McDonald (McKeown 39), Manson, Thoirs (MacDonald 51)

Unused substitute:- Hay
Aberdeen scorers: Antoniazzi 11, Ruth 22, Ruth 30, Hanratty 39.

23/07/2019 | KO: 19:45

The Aberdeen development squad continued their pre-season preparations with a visit to Christie Park to face Huntly. Having seen off the challenges of Inverurie Locos and Keith on their previous trips up the A96 over the last eight days, the Pittodrie kids were hunting down a hat-trick of successes.

Martin Skinner's side have played junior sides in their friendlies to date, so this would be a step up in opposition for the Highland League team who kick off their competitive season at Lossiemouth on Saturday.

Both sides took time to settle into the game and the only moment of anxiety for the Huntly defence in the opening few minutes was a Hanratty shot which went wide. Aberdeen took the lead in the eleventh minute when Chris Antoniazzi curled a delightful left-footed shot into the keeper's right hand corner. A classy finish from the midfielder.

Huntly responded well and McDonald's cross had Sam Jackson scrambling, but there were no takers at the far post to profit.

On 22 minutes it was 2-0 to the Dons as Kevin Hanratty played a neat ball through for Michael Ruth to roll past the keeper. Clinical from the former Queens Park man.

The pace of the Dons front men was a constant problem for the home defence, and it was no surprise when Ruth made it 3-0 on the half hour. Once again Hanratty was the provider as he fed the ball in for Ruth to swivel and smash an unstoppable left-foot shot past Storrier.

Six minutes later it was four as Hanratty latched on to a defence-splitting pass from Seb Ross then rounded the keeper to score the goal his first half play richly deserved. Given the chances scorned in previous matches it was inevitable someone would take a drubbing from the Dons and Huntly were being made to suffer.

Half time - Huntly 0 Aberdeen XI 4

The second half was a slow burner, the 250 strong crowd having to wait until the hour mark for the first real attempt at goal, Jackson saving well from a Ross free kick.

Huntly sub Gray shot wide as the home side looked to get themselves on the scoresheet but Antoniazzi came closest to grabbing a goal firing a free-kick inches wide. Hanratty then came even closer, crashing a shot off the bar.

Sub Lewis Duncan was inches away from turning in Robertson's cross, but the football wasn't as free-flowing as it had been during the first half.

Reid tipped Shanks' header over and Dangana felt he should have had a penalty when he was tumbled in the box, but a second half goal still wouldn't come as the game went into its final ten minutes.

A comfortable win for the young Dons but Huntly will be pleased to have kept the second half scoreline blank, all the damage having been done in the first period. Next up for Aberdeen is the trip to England to face Blyth Spartans with the Texo Challenge Trophy at stake in Sunday's clash at Croft Park.

Full time - Huntly 0 Aberdeen XI 4

After the game the Aberdeen Coach spoke to Andrew Shinie:

"In fairness to Huntly, in the second half they put two strikers up top and gave us more issues and they were more direct. For the first fifteen to twenty minutes of the second half they changed the dynamics of the game and our response to that was not overly great.

"But once the half wore on we started to dominate again. Connor Barron and Max Barry came on and started to get on the ball.

The pleasing aspect to tonight was the clean sheet.

"I mentioned that again at half time. It can be difficult when you are 4-0 up and you come out and subconsciously you are not quite at it. And that showed but once we got going again and got on the ball we started to show our quality.

"Lewis Duncan was very close to getting on the end of a few things, Dangana should score, Hanratty had a great effort which hit the bar.

"Again we are creating a lot of chances which was pleasing. We were clinical in the first half and we gave ourselves a cushion.

"So pleased we overcame a difficult spell at the start of the second half, pleased with the clean sheet and pleased with the four goals and some of the football we played during that first half period."

There were some very good goals. Chris Antoniazzi showed the class he has when he netted the first. Michael Ruth produced a composed finish for his first and a great left footed shot for his second whilst Kevin Hanratty deserved to get his name on the scoresheet.

"Kevin has done great and I was very pleased with Michael Ruth.

?In previous games he has been playing off Bruce rather than straight up top, so it was good to see him tonight right in the thick of it and getting in good areas and getting on the scoresheet.

"From his point of view it is really pleasing as well."

Next up for Aberdeen is the trip to England to face Blyth Spartans with the Texo Challenge Trophy at stake in Sunday's clash at Croft Park. (1500 KO)

On Wednesday 31st July 2019 (2000 KO) they travel to play Deveronvale in the First Round of the Evening Express Aberdeenshire Cup, their first competitive outing.

Then an Aberdeen Colts side will play Brora Rangers at Dudgeon Park on Tuesday 6th August in their Tunnock's Caramel Wafer Cup first-round tie (1945 KO)

Looking ahead to Sunday's game, Paul knows how good a challenge and preparation it will be for his boys.

"We know a fair bit about them with Blyth being stronger opposition. We have been able to do our research and we can get a look at certain bits of their play, so we know what they are all about and we know physically it is going to be tough for us, depending on the team we take down.

"Hopefully we will get a couple from the first team squad that go away to Georgia. That will help.

"It will be tough though.

"The physicality will be tough, dealing with that.

"If we are able to deal with that, then hopefully we should be ok.

"This will be a proper learning experience, no disrespect to the Highland League teams that we have played in the last couple of weeks. A proper test, similar to the Elgin one. It will get us a chance to see how far we have come since our first game.

"I keep asking for improvement and I believe every game there has been that.

"That is pleasing.

"But this is a proper test and a really tough game."

Huntly Teamsheet
Aberdeen Teamsheet
Jackson, Robertson (Dangana 77), Ngwenya (Booth 66), Chesser (Shanks 58), Bollan (Duncan 66), Turner, Linden, Ross (Barry 66), Ruth (Barron 58), Antoniazzi, Hanratty (Dalling 66).
Attendance: 250
Venue: Christie Park, Huntly
Referee: Will Smith