Aberdeen U18s began a double header this week with Motherwell at Cormack Park. The visitors had beaten the young Dons 5-3 and 3-0 already this season, and with another very young side on show, it was going to be a tough encounter for Barry Robson's side.
And things did not start well.
After only 70 seconds Motherwell won a corner which was played in by Bailey Rice. Logan Dunachie attacked the ball and although he did not initially make clean contact, the central defender reacted quickest and poked the ball past Oluyemi from about five yards out.
Aberdeen looked stunned and two more dangerous corners followed in the opening 5 minutes. David Clarkson's side had a big height advantage and were going to be a threat all night from set plays. Thankfully on this occasion Aberdeen avoided any more damage.
The Dons slowly worked their way into the game and on 12 minutes a good move saw Harvey cut the ball back to Emslie and his shot was pushed inches wide. At the other end Daniel Hunter found space in the box on the left, he had the option of going for goal but unselfishly looked for a teammate and the Dons were able to clear his cutback.
The visitors were maybe enjoying more of the possession but Aberdeen were starting to move the ball quickly and a decent break on 23 minutes involving Dylan Lobban and Liam Harvey very nearly set Adam Emslie free on the left but the last defender just managed to get a vital interception.
Harvey then had the ball in the net after a cross from the right but the flag had gone up early for offside.
On the half hour mark Cameron Wilson won Aberdeen a first corner. Lobban's ball over was knocked down by McKenzie into the path of Alfie Stewart but his snap shot from the edge of the area went just over.
Ten minutes later Harvey showed good strength to hold off his marker and from a tight angle got a powerful shot away but keeper Matty Connolly was well positioned and palmed it to safety. And then on the stroke of half time Wilson looked like he would equalise but his shot was blocked on the line.
HT: Aberdeen 0 Motherwell 1
During the interval Milosz Ochmanski replaced Taylor Masson and went to left back, Timi Fatona went to right back and Findlay Marshall was pushed into midfield.
A minute into the second half Fatona got the by-line and whipped in a dangerous low cross, the ball eventually came back out to Lobban and his curling effort just went over.
On 51 minutes the visitors put together a good move which resulted in the ball being played across the face of the goal and landing at the feet of Luca Ross, he seemed certainly to score but somehow Findlay Murray was able to get across and make a block.
Great defending from Finn who appeared from nowhere.
An hour gone and by now it was a very even game with some good quality on show from both teams.
Hunter tried his luck from a free kick 30 yards out but there was not enough power in the shot to trouble Oluyemi whist at the other end Fatona again did well down the right and put over a good cross. Emslie and Marshall both then had shots but were unable to hit the target.
Five minutes later a freekick in a dangerous area allowed Lobban to put over a cross. The ball was then recycled by Aberdeen before Emslie was slipped in and he forced Connolly into a very good block.
With fifteen minutes to go a moment of controversy as it looked like Aberdeen had scored a deserved equaliser.
Another good shift of play found Marshall who had time on the left. He delivered a great cross to the back post area which was met brilliantly by Harvey who headed home. The linesman raised his flag for offside. It was a tight call but it looked on first viewing as if the Aberdeen striker had timed his run perfectly before finding the net.
Despite the number of games that they have had recently the Aberdeen players found some extra energy from somewhere to really put some pressure on during the final ten minutes. Similar to the goal that wasn't a goal, an Emslie cross was just missed by Harvey at the back post.
Motherwell still had a few chances and Ross played the ball back to substitute Kasongo and his effort was deflected just wide.
It was a really good entertaining game in the closing stages as Aberdeen again went close to an equaliser.
With a minute to go substitute Ally Gould was booked for a foul on Emslie just on the edge of the area over on the left.
From a tight angle Lobban shaped to put the ball into the area but cleverly went for goal instead and clipped the top of the bar. The ball then looped up and Finlay Murray was very unlucky to see his header land on the roof of the net. Both Lobban and Murray were inches away from finding the net, although keeper Connolly deserves enormous credit for reacting very quickly from the free kick and get enough of a hand on it to keep the ball out.
As Aberdeen continued to push for an equaliser a Motherwell break saw Mo Adam get the better of Ochmanski down the right and the striker showed good composure to round the Dons keeper before slotting home.
A very harsh ending for the Aberdeen youngsters who deserved to take something from the game. The Dons travel to play the North Lanarkshire side on Friday evening. After that they still have another six games to play over the next three weeks.