The Dons lined up with Rogers in goal, Clark at right back, Rose and McKenna in central defence and Kelly at left back. Masson and Low were the sitting midfielders with Smith playing in the hole. Murray was on the right with Wright on the left and Shankland up top. Inverness, who have been top of the Youth League for long spells this season, fielded a strong side which included Esson, Raven and Sutherland. Both teams started the game slowly but then on five minutes the Dons won a corner. Low swung in a good ball which was half cleared and picked up by Shankland. On the turn he fired a great shot which rocketed off the bar and landed at the feet of Rose about 8 yards out. The defender showed good technique to lash the ball home and give Aberdeen an early lead. The goal settled the visitors who started to get their passing game going and they went on to play some excellent football during the first 45 minutes. Murray, Smith and Low were all superb in their movement and Inverness could not get near them. After about 20 minutes The Dons put together another good move at pace which gave Shankland a sighting at goal. He fired in a good shot which Esson did well save. Inverness by now were coming into the game and enjoyed some possession but were not causing many problems and on the break the Dons looked dangerous. On 26 minutes Kelly played a good ball down the line for Smith. Cammy did really well to put over a good ball to the near post area where Shankland was lurking. The striker's shot was initially blocked but he reacted quickly and on the turn fired the ball home. Neil Cooper's side then really dominated the game and played some of the best football they have played all season. The Dons were rewarded with a third on 37 minutes. Scott Wright did well to put in a good challenge and play the ball to Craig Murray. The midfielder was a good distance out but he sprinted forward and then curled a delightful shot past Esson into the corner of the net from about 25 yards out. A superb goal.
As expected Duncan Shearer's side came out strongly after the break and the Dons again started the half slowly. Inverness were well on top and Rogers made a couple of good saves and again showed excellent handing. On 55 minutes the lively Ryan Christie pulled a shot just wide of the post and at that point you thought the Dons had weathered the storm. Neil Cooper made a double substitution with McMahon coming on Wright and Campanile replaced Kelly. McMahon played wide right and Campanile wide left with Jamie Masson went back to left back. There was a brief rest bite for the Dons defence but back came ICT and Rogers on the hour mark was forced to make a brilliant double save to keep out Christie. Credit to Duncan Shearer's side who kept going at the Dons and on 67 minutes they got their rewards when Christie finished after the Dons failed to clear their lines. Four minutes later it really was game on. Inverness worked the ball down the left and put over a great cross and Christie was able to head home from close range. Credit to the Dons though as they showed real character and fight to try and get a foothold in the game again. Nicky Low led by example and the skipper was all over the park as the Dons tried to keep the home side at bay. The 20s have lost at least five points this season after losing last minute goals and you were concerned history was going to repeat itself and a goal did come but thankfully it was at the other end. Skipper Low showed his intent on a number of occasions when he picked the ball up on the edge of the area. He could have been excused for launching it into the Moray Firth but was always keen to drive forward and push the Dons players out. As he did that in the final minute Murray did well to win the ball on the half way line and then play in Low. It was only a half chance at best but Nicky produced a tremendous finish to place the ball into the top corner of the net from the corner of the box.
Inverness CT Teamsheet
Esson, Raven, Gorman, Devine, Brown, Pepper, Sutherland, Polworth, Evens, Christie, Greenhalgh Subs: MacKay, Ferguson, Brown, Rennie
Aberdeen Teamsheet Rogers
62).Unused Subs: Burns, O'Sullivan, Duguid, Petrie.
Venue: Caledonian Stadium, Inverness