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Inverness CT 0 - 1 Aberdeen

HT Score: Inverness CT 0 - 1 Aberdeen

Scottish Premiership
Aberdeen scorers: Pawlett 12.

28/12/2014 | KO: 15:00

Pawlett Effort Takes the Points Again as Dons Go 2nd

Match Summary

Aberdeen this afternoon beat Inverness CT 1-0 in a very hard fought encounter in the Highlands. It was another excellent hard working and battling performance which moves the Dons within two points of Celtic at the top of the SPFL Premiership.

The only goal of the game came on 12 minutes when a Niall McGinn cut back found Peter Pawlett and he produced an excellent finish. The Dons had chances to score a second and they also should have had penalty in the second half. At the other end Scott Brown made some very good saves and Billy Mackay hit the bar late on.

Aberdeen have now won their fifth league game in succession, the last time they did that was November 1992.

Match Report

A leg injury to Shay Logan meant manager Derek McInnes was forced to change his side for the first time in five games. He kept the same shape and formation as recent weeks which meant U20 captain and right back Craig Murray was given his first start of the season. The Dons lined up with Brown in goal, Murray at right back, Reynolds and Taylor were in central defence with Considine at left back. Jack was the holding midfielder with Pawlett and Hayes alongside him. Rooney was wide left with McGinn wide right and Goodwillie upfront.

The home side started the brighter. Ryan Christie stole the ball off Reynolds in the first minute and when trying to win the ball back the Dons skipper nudged the ICT player off the ball giving his side a free kick in a dangerous area, about 20 yards out. However left back Graeme Shinnie put his free kick into the wall. On 3 minutes Inverness got in behind the Dons back line, the ball was cut back to Christie but a poor first touch by the Scotland U21 player let Reynolds in to clear the danger.
On the break Hayes then teed up Jack but he did not catch his shot as well as he would have liked.

Then on 7 minutes another lightening break from the Dons saw McGinn first of all put over a cross from the left, then Goodwillie chipped it in from the right but his header was never going to trouble Brill despite being on target. A minute later Taylor headed a free kick well wide and then a Rooney cross was just too high for Pawlett - better stuff from the Dons though.

Then on 12 minutes Aberdeen took the lead. A cross from the left hand side saw both ICT central defenders go for the same ball and neither of them winning it. McGinn was quickly onto the loose ball, although he was at too tight an angle for a shot he had plenty of time to pick out Pawlett who produced a great finish, stroking the ball high into the net.

On 15 minutes Meekings headed a corner over and then Hayes hit a 30 yarder just wide after more hesitant defending. Then a misplaced pass allowed Pawlett in. He played it wide to Goodwillie whose first touch just took him away from goal and gave time for the last defender to get back and put the ball behind for the Dons first corner.

The Dons at this stage very looking very good going forward.

On 21 minutes Scott Brown failed to hold on when put under pressure from Billy McKay and thankfully Reynolds was in the right position to clear. From the resulting corner Aberdeen twice failed to clear their lines when they had the chance and in the end they were relieved to see Warren's shot being hit straight at Brown. On 26 minutes a Shinnie deflected shot won another corner. Then from a second corner Taylor and Meekings clashed on the floor but referee Murray felt both were fouling so waved play on.

The home team were now enjoying a good spell of possession.

On the half hour mark Pawlett was booked for a foul on Shinnie and a few minutes later Tremarco received a yellow card for a lunge on Murray. On 33 minutes Billy McKay took advantage of a slip by Murray and after beating the full back curled a shot inches past. A let off for the Dons who were now guilty of giving away possession too easily.

After the free flowing play of the opening 20 minutes, the game had by now become a real midfield scrap with Jack and Christie in particular having a real tussle. It was also becoming a very interesting tactical battle.

On 39 minutes the home side were given the benefit of a tight offside call. Brown was forced to make a very decent double save from first of all Watkins and then Raven. A minute before half time Brown then made a brilliant diving save with his left hand to keep out a shot from Shinnie and then Christie really should have scored when the ball came back across the goal but his shot went inches wide.

HT 0-1

The second half was very stop start for the opening ten minutes. Aberdeen were defending well but not offering as much going forward with full backs Murray and Considine getting pinned back. On 55 minutes there was a good break from McGinn but when trying to pick out Goodwillie in the box his cross sailed well over. Then Aaron Doran had a complete fresh air shot inside the box. It was lucky he did as he was in a very good position.

The game was not a classic but was becoming very tense.

On 63 minutes Aberdeen wasted a great chance on the break. Rooney played Goodwillie down the line. The striker did really well to pick out Jonny Hayes but he could not get any contact on the ball as it came across the area. A minute later McGinn curled a free kick just over the bar. After 68 minutes a throw in by Considine over the top almost gave McGinn a chance. The ball did fall to Rooney but his effort was well blocked at the near post.

On 72 minutes a free kick from Greg Tansey very nearly caught everyone out as he went for goal instead of playing it into the area - in the end Scott Brown made a very good save, scooping the ball over the bar. Then on 76 minutes a real moment of controversy. Aberdeen were not given what looked a clear penalty. McGinn played the ball in looking for Rooney. The Dons top scorer headed the ball goal-wards and it clearly looked to strike Warren's arm which was raised above his head.

With just over ten minutes to go a major let off - Brown failed to get a cross and the ball fell to McKay. He was at a slightly angle but with the goal gapping he blasted the ball off the bar. Caley then lifted the pressure and started putting some high balls into the box. With six minutes to go Aberdeen won a corner which took some of the pressure off for a bit. From it Taylor actually had a good chance but his header went straight to Brill.

With just under five minutes to go the first Aberdeen change; Cammy Smith came on for David Goodwillie. The final minutes and one minute of added time were nervous but the Dons defended brilliantly.

This was always going to be a tough fixture, regardless of the circumstances so it was a very good win- the Dons 5th league win in succession.
Inverness CT Teamsheet
12.Dean Brill, 02.David Raven, 05.Gary Warren, 06.Josh Meekings, 18.Carl Tremarco, 03.Graeme Shinnie, 10.Aaron Doran (13.Ibra Sekajja 86), 15.Marley Watkins, 16.Gregory Tansey, 22.Ryan Christie, 07.Billy McKay. Unused Subs: 01.Ryan Esson, 04.James Vincent, 11.Nicholas Ross, 14.Daniel Devine, 17.Lewis Horner, 19.Daniel Williams.

Bookings:  18.Carl Tremarco (32).
Aberdeen Teamsheet
Brown, Considine, Taylor, Reynolds, Murray, McGinn, Hayes, Pawlett, Jack, Rooney, Goodwillie (Smith 85).

Unused Subs: Langfield, Monakana, Robson, Shankland, Rose, Gibbons.

Bookings:  Pawlett (30).
Attendance: 6,614
Venue: Caledonian Stadium, Inverness
Referee: Calum Murray
Next Match
10 Jul 2024 / 19:00 / Balmoor Stadium, Peterhead