Aberdeen came through to the Scottish Cup quarter-finals, getting the job done in workmanlike fashion against a gutsy Bonnyrigg Rose, Bojan Miovski the goalscoring hero once more as the Dons started a big week with an important win.
There were five changes for Aberdeen from the side that lost 2-1 at Ibrox on Tuesday. In came Ross Doohan for his Aberdeen debut, along with Angus MacDonald, Duk, Shayden Morris and Dante Polvara, with Kelle Roos, Stefan Gartenmann, Connor Barron, Jamie McGrath and Jonny Hayes all on the bench.
Bonnyrigg Rose beat Elgin City 2-0 at home on Tuesday night and make two changes for their trip to Pittodrie with Callum Connolly and Smart Osadolor replacing Scott Mercer and Declan Byrne, both of whom were cup-tied.
The visitors were lively in the opening minutes, first winning a corner and then breaking quickly a few moments later, reminding the Dons that they weren’t at Pittodrie just to defend in depth but were going to make a real game of it when they could. Osadolor had the first shot of the game on seven minutes, Richard Jensen getting in a block, the ball looping into Doohan’s hands. Aberdeen’s first effort came five minutes later, a 20 yarder from MacDonald from a half cleared corner – Mailer was booked for a late tackle on Graeme Shinnie in the move that led up to the corner.
On 17, any Aberdeen nerves were settled by Miovski who clipped in goal number 21 for the season. Leighton Clarkson found Morris on the corner of the box. He delayed his pass nicely before rolling it to Miovski who took one touch to control with the left foot and then deposited the ball into the net with his right.
Bonnyrigg were not daunted though, breaking down their right two minutes later, Gray squaring for Osadolor who made a good connection from eight yards out, only to find Nicky Devlin perfectly placed to clear off the line.
It was 2-0 on 25 minutes, Miovski the man on the spot again to complete a well worked move. A deep cross came in from Clarkson on the Dons’ right, Polvara well up to cushion a header back across goal that Miovski met on the volley, the ball taking a deflection off Young on its way into the roof of the net.
Osadolor was clearly the dangerman for Bonnyrigg and he wasn’t far away on the half hour, running across the box before hitting the ball back across the face on the swivel, the ball running just wide of the post. Polvara and Duk combined four minutes later, Duk’s pull-back through the box looking threatening before it was scrambled clear by the visitors.
On 37, Doohan was called into sharp action, diving in front of Osadolor to punch a dangerous looking cross from Connolly to safety. It was part of another flurry from Bonnyrigg as they looked to grab a lifeline in the game before the break. Connolly shot straight at Doohan after 41 minutes, before Currie curled a free-kick straight into the goalkeeper’s hands a minute later. Shinnie was booked in the final minute of the half as Osadolor went to ground.
HALF-TIME: ABERDEEN 2 BONNYRIGG ROSE 0
Killian Phillips came on for the Dons at the break, replacing Shinnie after his first half yellow card, Polvara taking the captain’s armband.
Miovski produced a fine save from Martin on 49, his low free-kick from 20 yards out tipped around the post by the Bonnyrigg goalkeeper. The number nine was only a fraction away from collecting a probing pass forward from halfway by Phillips seven minutes later.
A triple change for the Dons came just past the hour, Sokler, Barron and Duncan replacing Clarkson, Miovski and Morris. Barron was soon in the book for a foul on Gray. Bonnyrigg made their first substitutions on 64 minutes, Connolly and Osadolor replaced by Stewart and McGachie.
Bonnyrigg weren’t out of it yet, Gray twisting inside before unleashing a fierce shot on 66 minutes, Doohan up well to push the effort over the bar before punching the corner clear moments later. Jensen need treatment after falling heavily after 68 minutes but he was able to continue. Bonnyrigg then brought on Watson and McGale for Doan and Barrett.
Devlin looked like he was going to make it 3-0 in the 73rd minute, firing at goal from a tight angle, only to see his effort deflected over the bar as the Dons tried to finally put the game to bed.
Bonnyrigg made their last change on 75, Jarvis coming on for Gray. Jensen made way for Gartenmann at the same time. Duk was booked three minutes later for a foul on Mailer.
Gartenmann had to be alert to turn a clever Young lob forward behind for a corner as McGachie tried to close in on the ball. A Martyniuk effort from the resulting corner was comfortably held by Doohan at the near post.
The visitors continued to offer a threat, Watson making a strong run down their left before squaring, his cross going through the box without a yellow shirt being able to get on the end of it.
Polvara was booked on 86 minutes, kicking the ball away in frustration after committing a foul on losing possession., the Dons running down the clock from there to advance into the last eight.
0 minutes added at end 1st half.
3 minutes added at end 2nd half.