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Aberdeen 1 - 0 Rangers

HT Score: Aberdeen 0 - 0 Rangers

Aberdeen scorers: Ruth 83.

02/03/2020 | KO: 14:00

Ruth's Strike The Difference as Development Side Beat Rangers

An 83rd minute Michael Ruth strike was enough to see Aberdeen get the better of Rangers to avenge a 2-1 defeat at Auchenhowie back in December.

A young Dons side lined up with Tom Ritchie in goal behind a back division of Lloyd Robertson, Luc Bollan, Luke Turner and Lyall Booth. Seb Ross and Mark Gallagher joined Calvin Ramsay and Frank Ross in the engine room with Michael Ruth and David Dangana ahead of them in the front line.

The home side were first to threaten as Dangana saw a shot deflected wide before Bollan fired over from the resulting corner. Aberdeen forced a couple of free-kicks in dangerous areas but couldn?t find a man with the set-piece delivery.

Rangers responded with a fine ball picking out Patterson in space on the right, but the full back?s cross lacked the accuracy required.

Tom Ritchie saw his first action on 11 minutes, but Maxwell?s shot was soft and easily saved. A neat flick at the edge of the box from Seb Ross created an opening for Dangana, the striker?s shot carrying over as the angle became more acute.

As Rangers grew into the game Kennedy then tested Ritchie with a 25 yard free-kick, the keeper diving to his right to clutch the ball. On 24 minutes a cross from the right found its way to McPake lurking at the far post, however the winger?s shot hit the side-netting.

The very evenly contested opening half hour had seen plenty of effort from both sides, but neither had been able to fashion a clear-cut opening.

Ritchie dealt well with a snap-shot from Hastie as Rangers enjoyed a good spell while Aberdeen had a good shout for a penalty when Seb Ross was bundled over in the box, but referee Kennedy turned a deaf ear to the claims.

As the interval approached Hastie saw a shot deflected over, Kennedy?s dangerous corner bouncing off the top of the bar to safety although Ritchie had it covered. At the other end, Ruth and Dangana combined well but the latter?s shot went wide.

A swift counter-attack from Aberdeen saw Ruth break down the right before squaring the ball for the supporting runner Seb Ross, but his effort was deflected wide.

Half time ? Aberdeen Reserves 0 Rangers Reserves 0

The highly-rated Leon King replaced Breen at the interval in the Rangers ranks. Skipper Thomson had the first effort on goal in the second period, but his shot arced well wide of Ritchie?s left-hand post.

Good interplay between Kennedy and McPake created an opening for Thomson, but again the shot didn?t force a save from Ritchie. The keeper was called into action though on 55 minutes, plunging to his left to keep out Maxwell?s shot after some enterprising play from the full-back.

The home side had not been seen as an offensive unit in the second half until a powerful run from Dangana saw the striker force a fine diving save from Kinnear in the 58th minute.

A second change from Graeme Murty saw Miller come on for Thomson just past the hour mark. Excellent work from Lloyd Robertson saw the full back whip a cross into the near post, the Rangers back division doing well to snuff out the danger.

A dangerous run by McPake ended with the winger?s shot being blocked before Michael Ruth missed the best chance of the match, wheeling to shoot wide after a well-worked corner had freed Frank Ross to deliver a cross which was nodded on by Dangana creating the chance.

On 75 minutes Paul Sheerin freshened things up introducing Michael Dangana, Max Barry and Lewis Duncan to the fray.

A long ball forward from Robertson sent Ruth in for a shot at goal, the striker?s powerful effort rising just a foot too high. Gallagher was next to have a shot after winning the ball in midfield, the former Ross County man?s going just wide.

His next attempt was even closer, a delightful free kick crashing off the bar before being cleared for a corner. From the set-piece, Seb Ross did well to win the ball before crossing for Michael Ruth to smash the ball home from close range. A real poacher?s finish from the striker.

Young-Coombes limped off with a hamstring problem, leaving Rangers, who had used their allocation of subs, to see out the remaining time a man light.

McPake passed up a great chance to equalise as the game went into stoppage time, firing into the side-net from close range.

That was the last opportunity of the match as the Dons saw off the four minutes of stoppage time with some comfort to notch a fine win.

Aberdeen Teamsheet
Ritchie, Robertson, Booth, Ramsay (Duncan 75), Bollan, Turner, Gallagher, Ross, Dangana (Barry 75), Ruth, Ross (Dangana 75).

Unused Subs: Barron, Paterson, Jackson.
Rangers Teamsheet
Kinnear, Patterson (Butterworth 74), Maxwell, McClelland, Breen (King 46), Dickson (McKechnie 81), Hastie, Thomson (C) (Miller 61), Young-Coombes, Kennedy, McPake

Unused Substitutes:- Hogarth (GK), Balde, Devine

Bookings:  Kennedy 92
Venue: Balmoral Stadium, Cove
Referee: Joel Kennedy