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Aberdeen 4 - 1 Ross County

HT Score: Aberdeen 1 - 0 Ross County

Scottish Second XI Cup
Aberdeen scorers: Anderson 20, Wright 60, Anderson 66, Anderson 71.
Ross County scorers: Wallace (pen) 71

27/08/2019 | KO: 14:00

Drawn in a group with Kilmarnock, Queen of the South, Ross County and St Johnstone the young Dons kicked off their Reserve Cup campaign at Balmoor Stadium with a good win in the sunshine as they saw off a determined Dingwall outfit.

An experienced looking Dons team lined up with Cerny in goal, behind a back four of Robertson, Devlin, Bollan and MacKenzie. Skipper Seb Ross joined Virtanen in the engine room while McLennan and Wright occupied the wide berths flanking Main and Anderson.

The match kicked off ten minutes late, due to referee Greg Soutar being delayed en route for Peterhead.

The home side were first to threaten on five minutes as Scott Wright and Curtis Main combined well on the left before the County defence cleared at the expense of a corner. At the other end good defending by Jack MacKenzie snuffed out the danger as MacBeath tried to race through on goal after good work from Keillor-Dunn.

On 12 minutes a magnificent ball from Michael Devlin sent Wright racing down the left before cutting in to fire a deflected shot into the side net. As County tried to break clear from the corner, Lloyd Robertson picked up a yellow card for a foul in the middle of the park.

Games between these sides at this level have in the past been very tight affairs and the opening quarter of an hour of this one looked like fitting that template.

Main got his head on to a deep cross from Devlin but his effort was well wide of the keeper's left hand post. On twenty minutes, Aberdeen broke the deadlock. County defender Murray was caught in possession by Main, whose tackle released the ball for Bruce Anderson to coolly roll the ball past Dixon-Hodge into the net. Excellent battling from Curtis and Bruce doing what he does best as he notched his seventh goal of the season.

Ross County Reserves 02

Keillor-Dunn fired a free kick just over as County tried to get back into the match before Dixon-Hodge saved smartly from Seb Ross.

County were battling hard but were not able to create anything clear-cut in front of goal, while the Dons looked a danger going forward as was shown when Anderson broke to create an opening for Main, the striker's left-footed effort drawing another decent save from Dixon-Hodge.

Wallace had a dig from distance for the Staggies, but the shot was always arcing away from Cerny's goal.

The interval came with Aberdeen holding an advantage they deserved on the balance of play, but County were still very much in the contest.

Half time - Aberdeen Reserves 1 Ross County Reserves 0

Luke Turner took the place of Michael Devlin for the second period. Tomas Cerny pulled off a fabulous save to deny Keillor-Dunn within seconds of the restart, the County midfielder the main dangerman for the Dingwall outfit.

Gallagher then fired wide from twenty yards as the visitors continued to press, before Cerny made another good save from the same player. The opening minutes of the second half had certainly seen the visitors on the front foot. The experienced coaching duo Don Cowie and Richie Brittain were getting an excellent response from their young team.

Main fired wide on a rare foray forward from the Dons who were being penned back in their own half for long periods.

On the hour mark, Aberdeen broke away and Main slipped the ball through for Scott Wright to double the Dons' advantage as he calmly stroked the ball past the left hand of Dixon-Hodge.

This was to be Main's final contribution as he came off to be replaced by Connor Barron.

Five minutes later it was 3-0 to the Dons as Anderson raced on to a fine ball from Seb Ross before caslmly lifting the ball over the keeper into the net.

On 69 minutes, a challenge by Bollan on MacBeath saw the ref point to the spot and Wallace fired the ball into the net despite Cerny getting a hand to it.

Aberdeen's response was almost instant as Wright squared for Anderson to fire a right-foot shot into the bottom corner to complete his second hat-trick in six days and restore his team's three goal advantage.

County continued to push forward at every opportunity and came close to adding to their tally when a corner fizzed across the face of the Aberdeen goal, but there was no-one in blue to apply the finishing touch.

There was no further scoring as Aberdeen ran out 4-1 winners in a very competitive and sporting encounter.

The scoreline suggests a comfortable victory, but the Dons had to work very hard to achieve it.

Next up in the Reserve Cup is a trip to Queen of the South next month.

Full time - Aberdeen Reserves 4 Ross County Reserves 1

Paul Sheerin Post Match

"Ross County made us work hard without overly working Tomas. He had one save to make at the start of the second half.

"We also did not create too much, but were clinical with the chances that we did create.

"It was not comfortable.

"It was not overly enjoyable - not as enjoyable as a 4-1 win should be.

"There are plenty of negatives but in terms of the positives - Bruce Anderson's finishing is so clinical when he gets the opportunities. Scott Wright produced a good finish and played well. The goals we score are all good goals. For the first one Curtis does very well and plays a good through ball.

"When we were put on the back foot, I do think we could have dealt with that situation a bit better than we did.

"But when we did get the ball forward, as I say we were really really clinical.

"We know that finishing comes naturally to Bruce and when he is in those positions you more often than not know the outcome.

"All his finishes are really accomplished and once you start scoring as a striker it seems like it gets easier and easier. His three last week meant his confidence was very high going into the game today.

"We had a number of first team players involved and they all played their part.

"We never expect anything less when they come in. Their attitude is always second to none. So that was never going to be in question. Today was more about fitness for them and getting minutes that they are not getting at first team level at the moment. For them it is about running about and trying to get or create goals or doing their defensive part properly. And they did that.

"Next up is Formartine in the Aberdeenshire Cup next Tuesday.

"It is tough for us as they are one of the favourites for the Highland League. We played against one of the other favourites Brora recently and up there we had a 15 minute spell where we capitulated.

"So we will go and see if we have learned from that and try and be a bit more solid.
"When you have got that talented at the top end of the pitch you have always got opportunities to win football matches if you can tighten up at the back.

"The Reserve Cup and the Aberdeenshire Cup will give us good competition. We have plenty of games to look forward to over the next couple of weeks."

Aberdeen Teamsheet
Cerny, Robertson, MacKenzie, Virtanen, Devlin (Turner 46), Bollan, McLennan (Antoniazzi 66), Ross, Main (Barron 60), Anderson, Wright.

Unused Subs: Dangana, Chesser, Duncan, Jackson.

Bookings:  Robertson (13).
Ross County Teamsheet
Dixon-Hodge, Williamson, Reid, Fraser, Murray (C), Hughes, Keillor-Dunn, Gallagher, MacBeath, Wallace, MacDonald (Wright 61)

Unused Substitutes - Grant, MacKenzie, Goodall, Stephen.
Venue: Balmoor Stadium, Peterhead
Referee: Greg Soutar
Next Match
East Kilbride
20 Jul 2024 / 15:00 / K-Park Training Academy, East Kilbride