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Formartine United 4 - 3 Aberdeen

HT Score: Formartine United 2 - 3 Aberdeen

Stuart Smith Testimonial
Formartine United scorers: Crawford 23, Rodger 44, Lisle 86, 91
Aberdeen scorers: Hanratty, Bavidge, Harvey.

14/07/2022 | KO: 19:45

A very young Dons side were beaten narrowly in a really entertaining game this evening against Highland League side Formartine United in a testimonial for former Dons youngster Don Stuart Smith. There was some good quality on show from both sides and some excellent goals.

The Aberdeen line up was made of Barry Robson's U18 squad, who head to Portugal on Saturday for their pre-season trip. Tom Ritchie and Kevin Hanratty added some experience. Liam Harvey also started after being on the bench last night at Pittodrie.

There is a strong ex Dons connection at North Lodge Park. Managed by Scott Anderson's brother Stuart, he is assisted by Martin Skinner. Stuart Smith was joined on the field by fellow long timer Jonathan Crawford. Recent arrivals Tyler Mykyta and Mark Gallagher were in midfield along with Aaron Norris and Russell Anderson's son Cole was also in the starting XI.

The first shot of the game came from Mykyta but it was straight at Tom Ritchie. Aberdeen had a couple of promising breaks before the first corner on 8 minutes was well taken by Ritchie. The Dons then broke quickly and Bavidge produced a clever lob which keeper Ewen Macdonald tipped over.

With quarter of an hour gone, a good cross from Harvey couldn't find a white shirt and then the striker almost got on the end of a long ball over the top but the keeper read it well.

Aberdeen took the lead on 18 minutes. Good pressing from Dylan Lobban high up the pitch saw possession turned over to the visitors. Hanratty picked it up, beat a couple of defenders before firing it low across the keeper into the far corner. An excellent finish.

On 23 minutes the home side equalised. A long throw was flicked on by Jonathan Crawford and an excellent header found the bottom corner of the net. Then on the half hour mark Aberdeen regained the lead. Fine wing play by Adam Emslie and his excellent cross was headed home by Alfie Bavidge.

The home side almost equalised again but Gallagher's powerful shot produced a flying save from Ritchie.

It was a game of good quality at this stage.

A great run by Hanratty down the left side deserved better but eventually he was crowded out. Then at the other end, the ball was laid back to Rodger but his shot was always on the rise. Nice play by Gallagher almost set up Mykyta but Brendan Hamilton had read the move and came over to make a good tackle. The Northern Ireland left back impressed throughout.

On 39 minutes a third goal arrived for Aberdeen. Hamilton won a good tackle on the halfway line, Bavidge spread it wide to Hanratty who ran in on goal before squaring it to Harvey who slotted home. A really slick goal.

On the stroke of half time Formartine United pulled one back. Aberdeen failed to clear their lines from a free kick which was chipped into the box. As the ball bounced about, it fell to Graeme Rodger who hit a first time shot low into the corner.

A really entertaining first forty-five minutes.

HALF TIME - Formartine United 2 Aberdeen 3

During the interval Alfie Stewart replaced Hanratty. There was an early chance for Cole Anderson at the start of the second half, but Ritchie was alert to the danger. A Myketa free kick was then deflected just wide. Another soft free kick was awarded a few minutes later and this time Gallacher forced Ritchie into a smart stop, diving low to his left. It had been a strong spell from the home side, but Aberdeen survived. Centre half Blair McKenzie continued the fine form he showed at the end of last season and was probably the pick of the Dons youngsters this evening.

On the hour mark Hamilton had a low shot from distance which was well hit but blocked by a sea of legs. Harvey then had a couple of openings, first from a Marshall ball down the line and then a cross to the back post which he headed against a defender. From the resulting corner Harvey and Stewart both had shots from inside the area, but both were blocked.

On 63 minutes Hamilton clipped the top of the cross bar with a curling free kick. A fine hit. A minute later Bavidge was replaced by Cammy Wilson. Within seconds of coming on he had outpaced the last defender but as he tried to hit an early shot past the advancing keeper, he forced the ball over.

It was a tighter second half, but still a lot of good football on show.

On 68 minutes a Gallagher cross was brilliantly headed clear by McKenzie, the follow up shot from Rodger was well handled by Ritchie. The keeper did equally well a few minutes later to keep out Lisle as the home side enjoyed another good spell with a number of dangerous crosses going in but again, Aberdeen were defending well.

On 79 minutes Kai Watson was replaced by 14-year-old Jamie Mercer.

After 84 minutes the Dons defence was finally broken when a through ball found the run of Scott Lisle and his shot gave Ritchie no chance.

With a couple of minutes to go Formartine took the lead for the first time. The impressive Tyler Mykyta played in an excellent ball which found Lisle, his shot produced a superb save at point blank range from Ritchie but Lisle showed good reactions to prod home the rebound.

Despite the lost of the late goals, a very encouraging performance from Barry Robson's side and good preparation ahead of the Challenge Cup game against Brora Rangers next month.

Formartine United Teamsheet
Macdonald, Crawford, Smith, Norris, McLean, Adams, Rodger, Gallagher, Park, Mykyta, Anderson

Unused substitutes: Addison, Spink, Lisle, Wade, Mackay
Attendance: 266
Venue: North Lodge Park, Pitmedden
Referee: Duncan Nicolson
Next Match
06 Dec 2023 / 19:45 / Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen