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Aberdeen 3 - 3 Rangers

HT Score: Aberdeen 2 - 2 Rangers

SPL Youth 18
Aberdeen scorers: Yeats 20, Fatona 42, Emslie 52.
Rangers scorers: Allen 17, Harkness 41, Wilson 49

15/10/2021 | KO: 13:00

Aberdeen U18s show fighting spirit

Aberdeen and Rangers shared six goals at a sunny but windy Cormack Park as they served up an exciting match which saw the visitors take the lead three times only to be pegged back by a determined home side who equalised on each occasion within four minutes of going behind.

The Dons lined up with Blessing Oluyemi in goal behind a back division of Timi Fatona, Finlay Murray, Blair McKenzie, skipper Evan Towler and Taylor Mason with Finn Yeats, Ethan Duncalf and Dylan Lobban in the engine room while Adam Emslie supported Liam Harvey up top.

And it was centre back McKenzie who had the game's first scoring opportunity in the fourth minute turning Lobban's corner wide. Rangers, aided in the first period by a strong wind responded well, Ure and Allen both coming close.

Pasnik saw a shot deflected wide on 17 minutes and, from the resultant corner, the visitors took the lead, Allen forcing the ball in from around ten yards.

Rather than being deflated, the young Dons responded brilliantly.

Harvey raced up the right leaving Allen trailing in his wake and, when his cross was only half cleared, Finn Yeats strode on to the loose ball to fire an unstoppable twenty-five yard shot past McConnell into the keeper's top left hand corner.

Rangers looked dangerous going forward and Wilson was only inches away from connecting with Ure's clever forward ball. Fatona looked good going forward and a couple of fine runs from the full back caused the visiting defence a few problems.

Just beyond the half hour, the Light Blues missed a trio of good chances as Ure and Wilson both sot wife then Oluyemi saved superbly from Pasnik after the Dons defence had been carved open.

On 41 minutes, it was 2-1 to Rangers as full back Jack Harkness cut in from the right, evaded a couple of challenges, then coolly placed the ball into the corner past a helpless Oluyemi.

The lead this time didn't even last a minute as Timi Fatona galloped up the right before cutting into the box and firing past McConnell - anything one right back could do, the other could do just as well.

An excellent first half, four goals and some fine football from both sides and the promise of an exciting second forty five.

Half time - Aberdeen 2 Rangers 2

The crowd only had four minutes to wait for another goal to arrive and once again it was Rangers who took the lead, a quick break seeing Wilson lift a fine twenty yard effort past Oluyemi.

Three minutes later it was all square for a third time as Adam Emslie battled his way into the box and despite the efforts of the advancing keeper and a couple of defenders the Dons front man forced the ball into the net to make it 3-3.

McKenzie had the chance to give his team the lead for the first time when he met Lobban's corner nicely, but his powerful header carried over the bar. Lobban then fired over as the Dons enjoyed the elements being in their favour and having more possession.

With quarter of an hour to play a fine cross from the impressive Mason was only just out of the reach of the tireless Harvey then Oluyemi saved magnificently from substitute Roberts after fine work from Harkness and Allan.

Emslie had a good effort well saved before Duncan fired over for the visitors then with four minutes to go clever work from Harvey created a shooting opportunity for Emslie, but McConnell had his angles spot on and denied the striker a second and probably match-winning goal.

Both sides gave their utmost in search of a winner, but the full time whistle sounded with them level at three apiece, probably a fair reflection on a game which showcased the talent at this age group really well.

This Aberdeen side was quite a bit younger than their Rangers counterparts so another very encouraging performance from Barry Robson's side.

Aberdeen Teamsheet
Oluyemi, Duncalf, Yeats, Mason (Marshall 83), Towler, Murray, Emslie, Lobban, Harvey (Zimmerman 95), Fatona, McKenzie.

Unused Subs: Shingler, Wilson, Ochmanski.

Bookings:  Murray (45),  Lobban (67).
Rangers Teamsheet
McConnell, Harkness, Semple (McKay 51), Allen, K Ewen, Dunlop, Strachan, Allan, Wilson (Duncan 73), Ure, Pasnik (Roberts 58)

Unused substitutes: Webster, H Ewen, McInally, Pazikas

Bookings:  Wilson 34,   Roberts 66
Venue: Cormack Park, Aberdeen
Referee: Scott Donohoe
Next Match
10 Jul 2024 / 19:00 / Balmoor Stadium, Peterhead