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Aberdeen 1 - 0 Ross County

HT Score: Aberdeen 1 - 0 Ross County

Scottish Premiership
Aberdeen scorers: Low 3.

29/12/2013 | KO: 19:45

Low Hits a High Note with First Goal

Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes made two changes to the side that were beaten 1-0 by Motherwell 4 days previous. Russell Anderson and Barry Robson dropped to the bench to be replaced by Nicky Low and Mark Reynolds.

Having never beaten Ross County in competitive action, The Dons made the perfect start when Pawlett was found by Ketllewell on the edge of the box. Referee Calum Murray awarded a free kick and McGinn, Jack and Low all stood round it before McGinn and Jack moved away and Nicky curled the free kick into the back of the net after just 2 minutes.

Dominating play, The Dons continued to push for another goal and they had an ideal opportunity to double their advantage when Pawlett was fouled again, this time in the box by Marc Klok. Scott Vernon stepped up but saw his penalty well saved by Michael Fraser.

Ross County were offering very little in the way of an attacking threat- allowing the Dons to dominate possession. They were doing so with some vigour and on one occasion a clearance from the County defence fell to Michael Hector who neatly chipped back over the defender but Ben Gordon recovered enough to deny Vernon when he swivelled and shot at goal.

On 22 minutes, Pawlett played a delightful ball to Vernon who turned the defender and managed to get a powerful shot away. Unfortunately it swerved at the last minute and drifted wide of the right hand post.

Pawlett then found himself on the receiving end of yet another poor challenge, this time on the half way line. Klok received a booking for what was his multiple offence of the opening stages. The home side continued to hold on to the ball well and occasionally threatened but on the whole were content to retain possession.

6 minutes before half time Willo Flood cut the County defence open with a sublime pass for Niall McGinn who ran on to the pass and drove into the box but the County player recovered and blocked his cross

On 43 minutes, Jonny Hayes advanced forward with the ball and as he drove towards the by-line appeared to be fouled on the edge of the box. This time, referee Murray didn't blow for a foul and Hayes won only a corner.

Seconds later, The Dons could have added a second goal thanks to a County defender who nearly diverted a McGinn cross past his own keeper. Unfortunately for the Red Army, Fraser managed to avert the danger by reacting well to palm the ball out for a corner.

HT 1-0

The second half began in a similar manner to the first with Aberdeen continuing to see most of the ball and very little threat from County.

Early on a super ball from Hector found Hayes wandering down the left and he drove into the box before unleashing a decent cross but no one was there to capitalise for the home side. That would be the story of the half- lots of possession but few clear cut chances created.

A short time later, after a good spell of possession, Hayes played in another good cross which was well defended by Gordon but the ball landed nicely for Low to try another effort- though this time he blasted over the bar.

There were some cries for another penalty from sections of the home support when Michael Hector went on a surging run into the visitor's penalty box but again the referee saw no foul on this occasion.

Minutes later, a fantastic ball released Shaughnessy down the right, he cut into the box and played the ball to McGinn who curled a shot wide of the far post. On 70 minutes, another rampaging run by Shaughnessy down the right was brought to a halt by Ben Gordon. The resultant free kick was taken by Low but a County player managed to get a head on it before Carey picked up and cleared.

Derek McInnes made his first change of the afternoon on 73 minutes when Barry Robson replaced Ryan Jack and followed that change by replacing Peter Pawlett with Cammy Smith on 76 minutes.

Mark Reynolds then picked up the ball just over the half way line and passed to Flood who turned well and shot from 30 yards but the effort drifted wide of the left hand post. Magennis replaced Vernon on 84 minutes and just a minute later, Cammy Smith tried to lob the ball over Michael Fraser but couldn't get enough height on it and Fraser grasped the ball comfortably.

The final attack from the Dons saw Magennis pick the ball up wide right and he played in another inviting cross low into the box but no one was there and County eventually cleared.

In the end this was another welcome three points for The Dons who now travel to Tannadice for a much anticipated match with Dundee United on New Years Day.

N.B. The Match programme was issued to cover both this and the preceding Motherwell match
Aberdeen Teamsheet
Langfield, Shaughnessy, Hector, Reynolds, Low, Pawlett (Smith 77), Flood, Jack (Robson 73), Hayes, Vernon (Magennis 84), McGinn.

Unused Subs: Weaver, Wylde, Shankland, Anderson.
Ross County Teamsheet
Michael Fraser, Steven Saunders (Melvin De Leeuw 66), Scott Boyd Brian McLean Ben Gordon Richard Brittain Alex Cooper (Darren Maatsen 80), Stuart Kettlewell, Marc Klok, Graham Carey, Orhan Mustafi (Gary Glen 46). Unused Subs: Kevin Luckassen, Branislav Micic, Rocco Quinn, Mark Brown.

Bookings:  Marc Klok (25).
Attendance: 11,602
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
Referee: Calum Murray
Next Match
10 Jul 2024 / 19:00 / Balmoor Stadium, Peterhead