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Airdrieonians 3 - 1 Aberdeen

HT Score: Airdrieonians 1 - 1 Aberdeen

Scottish Reserve League Cup Third Round
Aberdeen scorers: Jones (Pen).

16/02/1988 | KO: 19:30

Young Dons Out

Inactivity through the mid¬winter close-down of the Premier Reserve League fixtures has been a major problem in the first two months of 1988 for the second team players which include those on the fringe of the first team. With only a limited number of the East Reserve League fixtures, mostly for the youngsters, and no second team match for several weeks it has been a problem for Teddy Scott and assistant manager Jimmy Mullen in terms of trying to keep players match fit.
'However hard you work players in training during the week there is no substitute for actual games,' said Mullen. 'All footballers need to be in action to keep them sharp and at their peak.'
It was this situation which possibly lost Dons their place in the Reserve League Cup because of a 3-1 defeat in the rearranged away tie against Airdrie. In order to give first team squad players a much-needed game Davie Dodds, Tom Jones, Brian Grant and Paul Wright were all played in the team but out of position. Jones played at right-back, Brian Grant was centre-half and Davie Dodds in midfield along with Paul Wright.
'The pitch was very boggy, a very difficult surface to attempt to play on after the postponements.' He added 'That, and the fact that we had such an unusual line-up meant that as a team we simply never got going.'
Dons went a goal down and although Jones equalised from the penalty spot Airdrie knocked in two more late on. By this time Aberdeen had been thoroughly disrupted by injuries, losing Dodds with a knock on the knee and John Hewitt (calf). It was a particularly sickening experience for Dodds who was, of course, using the game in his search for first team fitness after his knee injury. The absence of Dodds from the first team for two spells after his particularly encouraging start to the season in the scoring stakes could have been a major factor in the first team picking up fewer points that they would have liked in the title chase.
Grant is also seeking fitness after his back injury and would have preferred a more useful outing than playing at centre-half on an unsuitable pitch. One benefit from the lack of games is that most of the squad are injury-free with the exception of young striker Andrew McLeod.

Source: Match Programme, 27th February 1988

Airdrieonians Teamsheet
Aberdeen Teamsheet
Watt, Jones, McRobb, Irvine, Grant, Gray, Wright, Dodds (Porteous 23), Edwards, Hackett, Hewitt (Watson 46).
Venue: Broomfield Park, Airdrie