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Ross County 1 - 3 Aberdeen

HT Score: Ross County 1 - 1 Aberdeen

Scottish Premiership
Ross County scorers: Mullin (pen) 5
Aberdeen scorers: McGinn 10, Hedges 52, Considine 70.

09/11/2019 | KO: 15:00

The Dons Make It Three Wins From Three

Derek McInnes made two changes to the side that beat Kilmarnock last week. Zak Vyner missed out with a shoulder injury whilst Curtis Main dropped to the bench. Craig Bryson returned to the side after injury and Andrew Considine came back into the starting XI after missing last week through illness.

Ashton Taylor, who has not been involved in any domestic games this season, was added to what was a strong looking bench. Ross County included former Don Callum Morris in their team, whilst Richard Foster was also on the bench.

Aberdeen lined up with Lewis in goal, a back four of Logan, Devlin, McKenna and Considine. Leigh sat in midfield alongside Ferguson with Bryson, McGinn and Hedges the three behind Cosgrove.

Conditions in the Highlands were dry but extremely cold - perfect for playing football but not ideal for the large crowd packed into the Global Energy Stadium. Aberdeen won the coin toss and switched ends so the home side's defence were looking into the low setting winter sun.

Just like the game down at Motherwell Joe Lewis had to face an early penalty. In the fourth minute a ball in by Michael Gardyne struck Lewis Ferguson and referee Alan Newlands pointed to the spot. It was certainly not a clear hand ball decision. Josh Mullin took it and rolled the ball into the net to give County the lead.

Despite the loss of the early goal Aberdeen did not panic.

On seven minutes Logan crossed for Leigh but his header was straight at Laidlaw. Two minutes later Bryson led another promising break before Aberdeen won a free kick for hand ball on the edge of the area when Fontaine knocked down a Cosgrove flick. Bryson dummied the ball and McGinn then whipped it round the wall into the net past a flatfooted Ross Laidlaw.

Ten minutes in, it was 1-1 and the game was so open.

On 14 minutes Niall McGinn forced the first corner the game. Hedges and McGinn played it short but the ball back from Cosgrove failed to find any of the runners.

Aberdeen were now enjoying some possession. It was very noticeable how hard Bryson was working off the ball to create space for his team-mates. After about 20 minutes County had a promising break but Lee Erwin had strayed just offside. The Dingwall side did look good going forward and were very quick to get bodies into the area.

On 22 minutes Callum Morris was yellow carded for foul on Bryson. Again, it was in a very promising position, about 25 yards out on the left of the area. Hedges took it but his shot was always rising. Five minutes later McGinn won a free kick out on the touchline but his ball in was headed clear by the first defender.

After the hectic start the game settled down. County seemed happy to let Aberdeen have possession and looked to hit on the break. After half an hour Hedges and McGinn swapped wings as the Dons tried to break down a defence that was sitting deep.

On 35 minutes a Logan cross led to a third Aberdeen corner. The ball was cleared on a couple of occasions, McGinn kept putting it back in, but the County defence held firm. Disappointingly he could not put one of them on the head of Cosgrove who was being very closely marshalled by Fontaine and Morris. Five minutes before half time Cosgrove appeared to get the better of final defender Morris but the referee blew for a foul. Sam was not happy as he felt there had not been any contact.

Before the break Aberdeen had to do some defending as the home side won their first corner. Ross County produced a well worked move that almost gave Morris a chance, but McKenna did extremely well to do just enough to stop him getting a decent contact. Then at the other end Logan found Cosgrove and his header just went wide. Morris this time deserves credit as he just did enough to put Sam off.

An entertaining first forty-five minutes.

Half-time: Ross County 1 Aberdeen 1

At the start of the second half Logan and then Gardyne both found themselves in good areas, but their crosses were poor. Hedges then put over a really teasing ball but no one in a red shirt had made a forward run into the six-yard box.

Five minutes into the second half Curtis Main replaced Bryson.

The change made an immediate impact.

A minute later Cosgrove won a free kick on the corner of the area. Hedges took it and played the ball towards the far post. Greg Leigh and Scott McKenna could not get a touch, but the ball nestled into the corner of the net. It was a horrible one for the keeper because he could not react till the ball had gone past Leigh and McKenna. Two goals and both direct from free kicks.

On 57 minutes Ross Stewart replaced Lee Erwin.

Considine then did very well to deal with a dangerous Gardyne cross which looked as if it was going to find Brian Graham.

On the hour mark Hedges danced through the defence and nearly set up Cosgrove at the near post. Aberdeen then won two corners a few minutes apart. Considine went down in the area and as Aberdeen appealed for a penalty Ferguson had a shot charged down. County broke and Ferguson took one for the team by breaking up the attack illegally. It was a two on two so Lewis was right to take the yellow card for what can best be described as a decent rugby tackle.

Gaps were appearing in the County defence, but they were also offering more of an attacking threat with Stewart on. A goal was coming but at which end?

Lewis saved from a Kelly shot after he had played a neat one two with Graham. The home side then had the ball in the net when Ross Stewart slid in, but the offside flag went up straight away.

Just before the 70-minute mark a promising Main shot was blocked by Cosgrove. As the ball came back into the area Cosgrove turned and was clearly brought down. Both sets of players stopped as it looked a stonewall penalty, but the referee waved play on. Thankfully Andrew Considine did play on and he thundered a shot into the top corner. What a superb strike. Game number 499 for Andy and he certainly enjoyed that one, sprinting towards the Red Army as if it was game number one!

A few minutes later Lewis Ferguson from 30 yards clipped the junction of post and bar and then a Niall McGinn free kick was pushed over by Laidlaw.

On 77 minutes Dean Campbell replaced Ryan Hedges. A minute later Sam Cosgrove, who was outstanding in the second half, pulled a shot just wide on the turn. The County defence had curtailed Sam in the first half but as the game opened up the striker led the line really well.

The home might have got a goal back after Logan was wrongly penalised for hand ball. The ball clearly hit Shay on the leg. Justice was done but the free kick broke off the defence and could have gone anywhere. Thankfully Joe Lewis was able to flop on it.

At the other end Fontaine was booked for pulling down Cosgrove just outside the box. McGinn went close again, but his shot took a slight deflection and went wide of the goal.

With a minute to go Considine produced another excellent bit of defending to prevent Stewart getting on the end of a cross from Kelly. Then Bruce Anderson replaced Sam Cosgrove who was given a standing ovation by the Aberdeen fans.

Aberdeen got their pressing game spot on in the second half and fully deserved yet another victory on the road.

Ross County Teamsheet
Laidlaw, Fraser, Kelly, Fontaine, Morris, Gardyne, Erwin (Stewart 58), Mullin, Spence (Chalmers 78), Henderson, Graham (McKay 78)

Subs: Baxter, Watson, Foster, Spittal, Stewart

Bookings:  Morris 21
Aberdeen Teamsheet
Lewis, Logan, Leigh, Considine, McKenna, Devlin, Bryson (Main 51), McGinn, Hedges (Campbell 78), Cosgrove (Anderson 90), Ferguson.

Unused Subs: Taylor, McLennan, Gallagher, Cerny.

Bookings:  Ferguson (63).
Attendance: 6,510
Venue: Victoria Park, Dingwall
Referee: Alan Newlands
Next Match
East Kilbride
20 Jul 2024 / 15:00 / K-Park Training Academy, East Kilbride