Aberdeen claimed all three points after a pulsating match at Pittodrie against Inverness. The home side fell behind on 16 minutes when Josh Meekings rose unmarked in the box to head in a free kick from the right. Adam Rooney capitalised on poor defending on 24 minutes to slot the ball past Brill. 5 minutes before half time they took the lead when good play down the left by Hayes found Goodwillie who passed the ball to Logan to slam into the net with a classy finish.
6 minutes after the break the visitors got themselves level when sloppy defending by Aberdeen allowed Watkins to fire weakly past Langfield. 9 minutes later, Jonny Hayes reclaimed the lead for his side when Goodwillie took advantage of Draper's mistake and fired a shot which Brill could only parry to Jonny Hayes and he calmy slotted the ball into the net.
The game raged from end to end thereafter but it was The Dons who held on to record a vital win- their 3rd in a week and 4th consecutive victory at Pittodrie.
Derek McInnes made three changes to the side this afternoon. Back in came Jamie Langfield, Barry Robson and Andrew Considine. The Dons lined up with Langfield in goal, Logan at right back, Taylor and Reynolds in the centre of defence with Considine at left back. Robson and Flood were the central midfielders with Hayes on the left and Pawlett on the right. Rooney and Goodwillie were partnered up front again.
There was a busy start the game without much happening. It was clear to see that Inverness were not just going to sit in. Also in the early stages you could see how John Hughes wants his team to play now - a passing game. Midfielders were dropping short and starting moves at the back.
On 5 minutes Ash Taylor made a good clearance from a dangerous Tansey cross. Jonny Hayes then did very well to win the ball in the middle of the park by jumping highest. He then played a good ball to set Goodwillie free down the left. His deep ball into the box was met by Rooney who had timed his run perfectly but his headed looped over the bar. Inverness then won the first corner of the game but the Dons cleared their lines as the game moved from end to end.
On 9 minutes a lighting quick break gave Marley Watkins a chance. Watkins stepped in-side the first defender but Andrew Considine did very well to come across and cover and make a block. On 11 minutes the Dons had the ball in the net after a very well worked free kick but the assistant referee's flag's went up against Mark Reynolds who headed the ball back towards Goodwillie from the by-line. David produced a superb overhead kick but sadly the goal did not stand.
On 13 minutes a fantastic run by Pawlett into the box. The defenders backed off but in the end just did enough to snuff him out as Peter stumbled as he was away to shoot.
On 15 minutes Robson then played in a great free kick which Considine won but he could not get the break of the ball. ICT broke quickly again and Considine in the end did well to halt the move by giving away a foul. The free kick was played in by Tansey and Josh Meekings ran clear of his marker and had a free headed and time to head past Langfield. A very simple goal. An Aberdeen player had clearly switched off for a second.
Aberdeen responded with a Logan cross which Goodwillie won. He chested it down but could not get enough power on his shot. On 20 minutes Hayes could have had a shot but chose to play in Rooney who would have been clear in on goal with just the keeper to beat but his touch let him down. Adam maybe just took his eye of the ball. However a few minutes later Rooney made amends. A mistake at the back, a slack header by Meekings, let Rooney in and he rounded the keeper and then slotted the ball into the net. Another very composed finish from the striker.
Back came the visitors straight away and it took a great tackle by Pawlett to stop a chance. From the resulting corner Warren's header at the near post came off the post. A real let off for the Dons after more poor defending. Aberdeen then raced up the park and Goodwillie's pass was just a bit short for Rooney. Otherwise he would have been in again. Aberdeen then appealed for a pen when Meekings handled in the box but ref Beaton waved away the appeals.
It was a real end to end battle this stage! A very entertaining game.
On 27 minutes the Dons won their first corner. They then won a second in quick succession but Brill came out and caught the ball at the second attempt. A minute later Tansey was booked for a foul on Hayes. On 37 another penalty shout as Pawlett fired in a cross after a good run down the right and Rooney went down under pressure.
Then five minutes before half time the Dons retook the lead. Hayes made a good break down the left and he picked out Goodwillie in the box. When David was closed down it looked like the chance had gone but the striker did really well to shield the ball, look up and pick out the unmarked Logan who's first time shot sailed high into the net. Aberdeen finished the half strongly and two minutes later another good chance for the Dons, Rooney and Goodwillie combining well before Pawlett's cross was cut out for a corner.
Aberdeen then started the second half slowly and were made to pay on 51 minutes. Again it was a very soft goal to give away. The Dons lost the ball high up the pitch but they should have had enough players back to deal with the situation. Shay Logan came in and looked to have made a good tackle but the ball broke kindly for Marley Watkins and produced a clever finish to beat Langfield. He hit the shot early before the keeper could set himself and the ball slowly rolled over the line.
On 54 minutes Barry Robson turned beyond Draper but the Caley man brought him down and receives a yellow card for his troubles. Then just before the hour mark Aberdeen regained the lead. Goodwillie took advantage of a Draper's mistake, his powerful drive was parried by Brill but he pushed the ball straight to Jonny Hayes who had time to slot the ball into the unguarded net.
On 61 minutes Barry Robson was booked for a tackle on Draper. Two minutes later a great run from man of the match Hayes into the box, he played a cross in low to the near post to Rooney but his flick was saved by Brill. The striker was offside anyway. A chance wasted.
On 65 minutes Shay Logan was booked for bringing down Draper as he pushed forward for the visitors. At this stage Derek McInnes would have liked to have seen the Dons have some more control of the game as the Inverness midfield were slightly on top, although they were no creating any chances. The Dons had by now moved to a back three with Considine going into the middle and Hayes dropping to left back. Ash Taylor was immense at the back in the final 20 minutes as he headed clear anything and everything that came his way.
On 75 minutes Jonny Hayes won the ball, then lost it but won it back again, set up Flood who worked a good situation and played a one two with Goodwillie but Willo's shot was always drifting wide. On 79 minutes Cammy Smith came on for a tiring David Goodwillie. He had another very good game today.
In the final few minutes Barry Robson hit a good free kick which Brill did well to hold onto, as Taylor would have had a tap in if there he had spilled. Then at the other end the ball broke to Nick Ross in the box but he scooped the ball over the bar. Apart from that ICT really did not create any clear cut openings. In Injury time Jeffery Monakana and Lawrence Shankland came on for Pawlett and Rooney. This was Lawrence's Aberdeen debut and he help the team hold out for an important three points.