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Aberdeen 2 - 3 Partick Thistle

HT Score: Aberdeen 0 - 1 Partick Thistle

SPFL U20 League
Aberdeen scorers: Shankland 69, Shankland 84.
Partick Thistle scorers: Duggan 42, 86, Layden 67

01/10/2013 | KO: 18:00

After their impressive win over Rangers two weeks previously, the young Dons were back in action tonight in Peterhead against Partick Thistle. Thistle have had a similar season to the Dons so far with some mixed results but they did beat Celtic.
The Dons lined up with Rogers in goal, Campanile at right back, Rose and Gibbons in central defence with McKenna at left back. In midfield Masson was the sitting midfielder with Storie to one side and Murray to the other. Stephen O'Neill was back in the side after an impressive loan spell at Peterhead and played just off the front men - Shankland and O'Sullivan. The Partick Thistle side included ex Don Jamie Hamilton.
Aberdeen U20s The game kicked off in very difficult conditions. There was a very strong wind sweeping from one end to the park to the other. The first shot on goal came after six minutes. A fine run by O'Sullivan down the left gave him an opening. He cut inside and got a shot away but his effort was too close to Basalaj in goal. In the opening stages very little happened as both teams struggled to get used to the wind. The visitors had the wind behind them so they were putting in some dangerous balls but Rogers handling was very good as always. After 20 minutes they won a couple of corners and from the second Michael Rose was forced to make a good block inside the box.
The Dons were playing into the wind and on 24 minutes Campanile played a clever long ball which hung up beautifully. Lawrence Shankland got on the end of it but he failed to trouble the keeper. Aberdeen were still trying to play football on the deck and on the half hour mark Masson and Shankland combined well, Shankland almost got on the end of it but the ball was just overrun. A minute later it needed a brilliant tackle at the near post by Rose to prevent Duggan from getting on the end of a cross. From the corner Mackleer headed a good opportunity over. Back came the Dons in what was a very even first half. Great play by Craig Murray down the right, he beat a couple of players and put in a good cross but the strikers were unable to get on the end of it. On 37 minutes the Dons first real opening at goal. Masson, who was probably Aberdeen's best player this evening, played a delightful ball over the top. O'Neill timed his run perfectly but the ball held up in the wind taking the pace out of the attack. He was unable to go direct for goal so tried to pick out a team mate but could not find O'Sullivan in the middle.
Then on 42 minutes Partick took the lead. Michael Rose, who was the best player on the park in the first half, went to make a challenge midway inside the Dons half but he twisted awkwardly and was unable to get up. Partick took advantage of the situation and with the defence out of position the ball was played into striker Chris Duggan by Layden who slotted home. It was a poor goal from the Dons point of view because they had a chance to clear the danger. Rose was unable to continue so Scott Ferries replaced him. Scott went into midfield and Craig Murray went to right back and Campanile went over to centre half.

Aberdeen regrouped at half time but the visitors wasted a good opportunity on 47 minutes. The ball was played across the face of goal but Duggan was unable to connect properly. In the end Storie made a good block. A few moments later another cross caused the Dons problems and Layden has space at the back post but misses the target. The Dons makeshift defence was looking shaky.
On 49 minutes Masson's chipped ball forward found Storie who hit it first time. He does not catch his volley flush on but still forced the keeper into a smart save. The game then became a battle. Aberdeen were starting to enjoy the majority of possession but Partick were fighting for every tackle and not letting the Dons settle. There were a few lively tackles going in and Storie and Campanile found themselves going into the referee's book.
Aberdeen U20s On 67 minutes Partick were rewarded for their battling when they hit the Dons on the break. The impressive Duggan cleverly left his marker and found space on the edge of the box. He played in Layden who was unmarked in the box and he picked his spot. Rogers got a hand on it but could not stop the low shot going in. Credit to the Dons though who pulled a goal back only two minutes later. The ball was cleverly worked at the edge of the box and Shankland showed good composure to round the keeper and score. On 70 minutes from a corner Shankland had a half chance but he could not get enough on his header. Aberdeen were now well on top but credit to Partick who held their shape well and never let the Dons get in behind.
On 79 minutes Thistle wasted a good opportunity on the break. The ball was worked to McDaid who was the extra man and although he had lots of time he took the wrong option and his final pass was over hit. He might have been better have a shot himself. On 80 minutes Storie shot from 20 yards out but pulled it wide. The Dons were struggling to get any clear chances but then on 84 minutes they managed to grab an equaliser after superb play by Alan O'Sullivan. O'Neill played a ball forward but the wind caught it and the ball appeared to be going out of play. O'Sullivan did not give it up and somehow kept it in play. On the by-line he then brilliantly beat his man and headed towards goal. He then showed great awareness to look up and pick out Shankland who fired into the empty net.
At that stage you thought the Dons would go on and win the game but the Glasgow side had other ideas. Two minutes later the Dons gave away a silly free kick about 35 yards out. The ball was played into the box. None of the Aberdeen defenders reacted and Duggan, who was completely unmarked had all the time in the world to put the ball into the net. A really poor goal for the Dons to lose, especially after they had just got themselves back into the game.
On 90 minutes Aberdeen had one final chance. From a corner Campanile won the header but the keeper did just enough to keep it out and the ball fell safe inside the box. Although the conditions did not suit the Dons tonight, it was still a poor performance. Partick deserve credit for the way they fought throughout.

Partick Thistle Teamsheet
Basalaj, Meechan, Keenan, Brownie, Lindsay, Wilson, Mackleer, Hamilton, Duggan, Leyden, McDaid
Venue: Balmoor Stadium, Peterhead
Next Match
27 Jul 2024 / 15:00 / Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen