Aberdeen's pre-season plans took a major dent tonight as a strong side were beaten 4-0 by Peterhead. The home side, which contained four ex Aberdeen players, plus a former Dons in the Community coach, thoroughly deserved their victory. 2-0 down at half time the Dons did improve a bit after the break when Lee Miller and Derek Young came on but two late goals gave the Blue Toon an impressive victory. Worryingly for the Dons they have still yet to score in three pre-season games.
Jimmy Calderwood as expected shuffled his pack and made a number of chances from the game at Dens. Mair and Considine former the central defensive partnership. Duff went to right back and Foster to left. Once again Mark Kerr and Gary McDonald lined up in the centre of midfield. It is the third time they have done so, suggesting they will be Jimmy's preferred central midfield partnership. Maguire was wide left with de Visscher wide right. Darren Mackie came back into the side and was partnered with captain for the night Jamie Smith.
The Dons new big keeper was in action as early as the first minute when Peterhead had a great chance to score. New signing Craig Gunn linked with Martin Bavidge. The striker was put clean through and his powerful shot would have found the net if it had not been for an excellent save from Bossu, who tipped the ball over the bar. The keeper was in action again a few minutes later when he elected to come to the edge of his box and try and punch the ball. Although the defence got in a mess the ball was eventually cleared. On 7 minutes there was an injury scare for Stuart Duff after what appeared an innocuous challenge. After some treatment though Stuart was able to continue.9 minutes gone and Aberdeen had their first sniff at goal. Chris Maguire was put down the right but just as it appeared he was clean through his former room mate David Donald put in a superb saving tackle. A minute later Maguire then had a powerful shot at goal but it went just wide.12 minutes and Aberdeen win their first corner which de Visscher puts straight out of play - at that point we should have known it was not going to be our night.
Especially when after 15 minutes Peterhead took the lead. Neil McVitie dispossessed de Visscher on the edge of the Peterhead box. He did superbly well to beat a couple of players and play a magnificent long raking pass for Gunn to run onto. He calmly turned Mair and fired his low shot under Bossu. Three minutes later and another glorious chance as Gunn once again found himself in acres of space in the box. His shot was blocked and Duff just managed to clear the ball to safety with Bavidge ready to pounce.
Aberdeen eventually came into the game but the experienced Bobby Mann in the centre of the Peterhead defence was doing a good job marshalling the younger players round about him. His central defensive partner was Martin Skinner, who was the Dons U19 skipper last season. Martin put in a great performance all night.
27 minutes gone and Aberdeen should have equalised - a long clearance was cleverly flicked on Jamie Smith. Darren Mackie ran on and found space. He held the ball up for Maguire who was free but the youngster blasted over when he really should have hit the target. That miss was to prove costly. On the half hour mark Graham Sharp flew down the left wing and after a superb run which left a number of Aberdeen players for dead, he put in a dangerous low cross which was well finished by the unmarked Bavidge, leaving Bossu no chance.On 35 minutes Mackie should have scored but the keeper did well to block with his foot. A couple of minutes later de Visscher was warned for a strong challenge. The frustrations of the Aberdeen players was beginning to show. On 40 minutes Peterhead had a free kick in a dangerous area which Mann took. He blasted it straight at the wall who were brave. Aberdeen then had a couple of half chances just before the break. A de Visscher through ball found Smith. He had a nice first touch but showed his rustiness when he could only chip the ball over the bar. Then on the stroke of half time McDonald and de Visscher linked up well. There was a great reverse pass by McDonald which put Mackie one on one with the keeper. He put his shot through the keepers legs but agonisingly the ball stopped just short of the line.
Even although it is only a pre-season friendly Jimmy Calderwood would have had a few words to say at half time. He also rang the changes with Lee Miller replacing Maguire, Young coming for on Jamie Smith and Stuart Smith on for Duff. Stuart Smith moved to left back with Foster coming over to the right. Derek Young went to left midfield and Miller, who was handed the captains armband, went to his usual position up top with Mackie.
The changes almost worked straight away when Miller knocked down a Considine cross but Mair blazed over. On 51 minutes de Visscher shot straight at keeper when in a good position and after 58 minutes McDonald linked up well with Young, who found McDonald with his cross but the midfield curled the ball just wide. Aberdeen were beginning to take control of possession and pass the ball about but Peterhead continued to look dangerous on the break, former Dons in the Community Coach Sharp in particular causing problems down the left.
On 68 minutes a good passing move set up Mackie but he dithered on the ball to long and his shot was blocked away for a corner. Jimmy Calderwood then took off McDonald and de Visscher, and replaced them with youngsters Peter Pawlett and Sammy Stewart. Stewart made an immediate impression when he was put through on goal. Substitute keeper Kula came well out of his box and cleared with his head. Foster picked up the ball and went for goal. His shot was almost acrobatically put in by Miller but hit the head of Munro. It just wasn't the Dons night.
80 minutes and the goal the game. Stewart gave away a free kick. Although it was well out Bobby Mann went for goal and hit an unbelievable shot past Bossu. He must have been at least 35 yards out and the ball rocketed into the right hand corner of the net.A minute later and the Dons should have had a penalty when Miller jinked his way through and was brought down in the box. In the final stages the Dons had a couple of late corners but Peterhead held firm. Andrew Bagshaw came on to take the number of ex players up to four, it would have been five had David Ross not been injured. Bagshaw then played his part in the final goal in the final minute when the Dons defence, not for the first time tonight, was posted missing. Both Bagshaw and Kozminski were through on goal, and the Polish striker finished well.