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Aberdeen 5 - 0 Cove Rangers

HT Score: Aberdeen 2 - 0 Cove Rangers

Aberdeenshire Shield
Aberdeen scorers: Ruth 13, Anderson 24, Anderson 47, Ruth 65, Ross 76.

05/11/2019 | KO: 19:45

Doubles from Michael Ruth and Bruce Anderson along with a sublime Ethan Ross goal saw Aberdeen comfortably beat Cove Rangers to win through to a second round clash at home to Inverurie Loco Works.

The Aberdeen Eleven fielded a side featuring four players with first team experience in the shape of Stephen Gleeson, Bruce Anderson, Ethan Ross and Dean Campbell, while a young Cove team was bolstered by the experience of McCafferty, Redman, Redford, Scott and Brown.

Ethan Ross forced the first save of the match from McCafferty after just two minutes, the keeper doing well to parry Ross's angled drive away for a corner.

Aberdeen were enjoying the bulk of possession, but Cove were well organised and skipper Alan Redford was marshalling his defence well. On the break the pace of Adam Joji looked a danger for the men in blue.

The Dons broke the deadlock in the 13th minute when a wonderful through ball from Bruce Anderson split the Cove defence allowing Michael Ruth to take a touch before firing the ball past McCafferty from twelve yards.

Two minutes later Cove almost drew level when Jordon Brown was allowed too much space in the box to meet a left wing cross, but his header flew over.

A quick break down the right from Ruth should have led to a second Aberdeen goal, but his cutback eluded Anderson.

Cove were still a danger on the break and Liam Duncan's cross from the right was just too high for the inrushing Yunus. The irrepressible Bruce Anderson made it 2-0 for Aberdeen in the 24th minute. Luke Turner's ball found Seb Ross in the clear and the skipper drew McCafferty from his goal before slipping the ball to Anderson who had the simplest of task to roll the ball into an empty net.

The same pair combined to good effect just after the half hour but a terrific block from Critchard prevented Anderson making it three. Ninety seconds later, Ruth's header crashed off the bar but wouldn't have counted as the former Queens Park man was marginally offside.

Despite it being Guy Fawkes night, there hadn't been too many fireworks from Aberdeen, but it had been a solid first half showing against a gutsy Cove team and the Pittodrie side reached the interval in a comfortable lead.

Half time - Aberdeen XI 2 Cove Rangers 0

Connor Wood replaced Reigan Thomson at the interval for Cove. Two minutes into the second period, Bruce Anderson made it three nil, firing home from 18 yards after Ethan Ross pulled the ball back from the bye line.

Great play from the younger Ross brother created an opening for Dean Campbell, but McCafferty dealt competently with his rising shot. Martin Scott thought he'd pulled a goal back for Cove on 50 minutes when he fired past Jackson from ten yards, but the flag was up for offside.

A fine run from Lyall Booth saw him lay the ball on a plate for Campbell to score, but the midfielder lifted the ball too high.

Campbell's corner was flicked on by Anderson to Ruth at the far post, but his hurried shot flew high over as the Dons pushed to add to their tally. Stephen Gleeson's experience was there for all to see this evening as he bossed the midfield, never wasting a ball and constantly encouraging his younger colleagues.

Michael Ruth notched his second goal and his team's fourth on 65 minutes, heading in sponsors' man of the match Lloyd Robertson's cross from close range.

Calvin Ramsay took over from Gleeson immediately after the goal, the Irishman having benefitted from another hour plus of action.

Matthew Tough replaced Joji shortly after the winger had forced a good save from Jackson, while at the other end McCafferty saved well from Seb Ross.

Ethan Ross showed all his class and skill in 76 minutes when he shimmied past several defenders as he raced thirty yards before placing a delightful shot from eighteen yards into the keeper's bottom left hand corner. A wonderful goal from one of the brightest young talents at Pittodrie.

That was to be the final action from Ross as Kevin Hanratty came on to replace him for the final 13 minutes.

McCafferty saved brilliantly from Seb Ross after he had combined skilfully with Anderson in a swift counter-attack. Cove's commitment could not be questioned, but the greater quality of the Aberdeen side was very evident in a game which was played in a very sporting manner by both sets of players.

A good victory for Aberdeen, the highlight being Ethan Ross's wonderful goal.

Aberdeen Teamsheet
Jackson, Robertson, Booth, Gleeson (Ramsay 65), Bollan, Turner, Ruth, Ross, Anderson, Ross (Hanratty 77), Campbell.

Unused Subs: Barron, Dangana, Chesser, Linden, Ritchie.
Cove Rangers Teamsheet
McCafferty, Thomas, Critchard, Redman, Redford (C), Yunus, Duncan (Forsyth 82), Thomson (Wood 45), Scott, Brown, Joji (Tough 69)

Unused substitutes:- Corthals, Wilson, Kennedy, Demus
Attendance: 250
Venue: Balmoral Stadium, Cove
Referee: Graham Beaton
Next Match
24 Feb 2024 / 15:00 / Rugby Park, Kilmarnock