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Aberdeen 1 - 1 Arbroath

HT Score: Aberdeen 0 - 0 Arbroath

Challenge Cup
Aberdeen Win 4-1- on Penalties
Aberdeen scorers: Ruth 74.
Arbroath scorers: Henderson 94

04/09/2021 | KO: 15:00

Brilliant Young Dons win on penalties

Aberdeen B 1 Arbroath 1 - Aberdeen B win 4-1 on penalties

Two Tom Ritchie saves in the penalty shoot out and ice-cool nerves from the Dons marksmen saw them win a famous victory against Arbroath to progress to the last eight of the SPFL Trust Trophy.

Aberdeen, who beat Brora Rangers to claim their second round spot, were able to call on the services of Jack Gurr for this tie, while Evan Towler and Liam Harvey also made first appearances in the competition. Arbroath's starting eleven was much changed from the side who lined up against Dunfermline last week - Liam Henderson, David Gold and Nicky Low, captaining the team on his return to Pittodrie, the only men who began the 3-0 win against the Pars.

The visitors were first to threaten, winning a corner in the fourth minute which Aberdeen defended well. When Nicky Low played the second ball in towards the back post, Tom Ritchie's handling was sure.

Seven minutes later Clark's excellent cross was cleared only as far as Low at the edge of the area, but he pulled his left-footed effort well wide.
Aberdeen were not able to get much possession of the ball, but they were keeping their shape well defensively to prevent Arbroath getting sight of goal. A break by Kevin Hanratty created a glimmer of an opening for Jack MacIver but the midfielder's shot was too high and wide to concern Antell.

Anton Dowds got his head on to Chris Hamilton's right wing cross on 19 minutes but couldn't get his effort on target. A terrific dipping shot from Dylan Paterson flew inches too high as the Lichties pushed for an opener then seconds later Donnelly drew a fine save from Ritchie before a spell of sustained attacking from the Championship saw some great defending from the young Aberdeen side to keep the scoreline blank.

Evan Towler took a sore one when he collided with Tom Ritchie as the keeper claimed Low's corner kick, the 16 year old youngster was able to resume after lengthy treatment. Just after the half hour, Ryan Duncan cut in from the right and fired in a dangerous cross-cum-shot which was inches away from being turned into the net by Liam Harvey.

David Gold should have opened the scoring on 40 minutes when Paterson's cross picked him out at the far post, his header flying over when a better contact would surely have seen him finding the net.

Seconds before the break a deft chip from the impressive Paterson rebounded to safety off the face of the bar to ensure the scoreline at the interval was all square. Some solid defending from the Dons in the face of almost incessant Arbroath attacking while there was the odd foray forward to keep the visiting defence on their toes.

Half time - Aberdeen B 0 Arbroath 0

A magnificent cross field ball from Duncan sent Hanratty scampering in behind the Arbroath defence, but they closed ranks quickly enough to prevent the rangy winger getting a shot at goal. At the other end Dowds got a glimpse of goal but Ritchie again handled the shot well.

Hanratty again delved into his box of tricks to leave Hamilton in his wake, his cutback sadly eluding any team-mate as it flashed across the face of goal. The Dons came close again on 58 minutes when Hanratty played Ngwenya in, Kieran's powerful shot inches wide of the far post.
Arbroath suddenly looked rattled, Hamilton and Henderson being booked in quick succession. A MacIver free kick drew a brilliant save from Antell then at the other end Nicky Low's left-footed drive crashed against the junction of post and bar.

The visitors brought on top score McKenna and Colin Hamilton as they looked to take a grip of the game again. Barry Robson withdrew Liam Harvey and sent Michael Ruth on against the team for whom he played on loan last season.

Dick Campbell had vacated his stand seat and was now running things from the touchline and made a triple switch bringing on O'Brien, Stewart and Craigen.

On 74 minutes, the Dons scored and it was a thing of beauty! Mykyta floated a delightful ball over the full back for Ngwenya to run on to and he played in a perfect cross for Michael Ruth to smash into the net. A great moment for the team.

A stramash in the Dons box ended with the ball coming off the woodwork for a third time before loud shouts for an Arbroath penalty fell on deaf ears. It was now just like a game of attack v defence as the Dons were encamped deep in their own half but every man in red was giving his all to preserve their hard-won lead. Arbroath's efforts were becoming ever more frantic and try as they might they just could not fashion a clear cut opportunity.

As the clock ticked deep into stoppage time would there be last minute drama? Well, another effort came back off the woodwork and was cleared for yet another corner. When the flag kick came in it was only cleared as far as Henderson who floated the ball past Ritchie into the net. Despair for the Dons but delight for the noisy band of travelling supporters.

The final whistle sounded shortly after and it was straight to penalties to see who would play away to Hamilton in the quarter finals.
Mykyta scored then Ritchie plunged to his left to save from Henderson, Ruth and Hamilton both netted followed by Duncan to make it 2-1. Ritchie saved again from Craigen then Hanratty stepped up to fire the Dons into the next round. What a game and what a performance from Barry's boys!

A real backs to the wall effort against a high-flying Championship side but make no mistake the Dons deserved this victory although the visitors had no luck hitting woodwork four times.

Full time - Aberdeen B 1 Arbroath 1 (Aberdeen B win 4-1 on penalties)

Aberdeen Teamsheet
Ritchie, Gurr, Ngwenya, Hancock, Towler, Milne, Hanratty, Mykyta, Harvey (Ruth 66), MacIver, Duncan.

Unused Subs: Shingler, Findlay, McKenzie, Duncalf, Mason.

Bookings:  MacIver (62),  Hanratty (94).
Arbroath Teamsheet
Antell, Chr. Hamilton (O'Brien 72), Thomson, Henderson, Gold (Col. Hamilton 63), Hilson, Paterson, Low (Craigen 71, Clark (Stewart72), Donnelly (McKenna 64), Dowds

Unused Substitutes: Gaston

Bookings:  Chr. Hamilton 58,   Henderson 59,   McKenna 90
Attendance: 650
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
Referee: Chris Graham
Next Match
East Kilbride
20 Jul 2024 / 15:00 / K-Park Training Academy, East Kilbride