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Dunfermline 1 - 2 Aberdeen

HT Score: Dunfermline 1 - 1 Aberdeen

SPFL Development League
Dunfermline scorers: Wallace (pen) 29
Aberdeen scorers: Campanile 1, Orsi 47.

16/12/2014 | KO: 14:00

Aberdeen U20s produced a superb battling display and showed real determination to grind out a victory this afternoon at East End Park against Dunfermline. On a difficult pitch there was not much between the two teams and not football was played, but two pieces of real quality led to two Aberdeen goals and that was the difference between the sides.
Dunfermline went into the game unbeaten in seven of their last eight games so Paul Sheerin's side knew they would face a stiff test. They lined up today with Billington in goal, Murray at right back, Rose and McKenna were in central defence and Harvie was at left back. Gibbons was the holding midfielder with Campanile alongside him, Smith played in behind Shankland who was upfront whilst Orsi was on the left and Felek on the right in a very attacking looking line up. The young Dons got off to a fantastic start when they scored in the opening minute. Billington cleared the ball down field. Felek and Murray won headers before Smith and Campanile linked neatly before playing the ball wide to Orsi who produced a wonderful cross to picked out Campanile's run into the box. The midfielder controlled the ball well before coolly slipping it past the on rushing keeper. Although a defender tried to get back and got the last touch before the ball crossed the line it was going in so Marcus is correctly credited with the goal. Considering the young Dons had not played for three weeks they started the game with a real energy and the young Pars were struggling to cope. On 4 minutes some more great one touch passing saw Gibbons play in Felek but keeper Goodfellow got off his line quickly to smoother. On ten minutes Felek, who was looking very lively, won a free kick about 30 yards out. The winger took it himself and his low shot very nearly squeezed in at the far post but the keeper made an excellent save as he would have seen the shot very late. The home sided, who had first team players Faissell El Bahtoui, Lewis Spence and Ryan Wallace on show, started to come into the game as the half wore on. On 20 minutes Spence hit a very good shot from distance which was not far away. Then on 24 minutes after a good move, Wallace was not far away from getting a touch as the ball came across the face of goal. Wallace was playing his first game of the season after being injured and most of the Dunfermline play went through him. Before all that Cammy Smith did well to force his way to the by-line before cutting the ball back to Shankland but Development League's top scorer fired straight at the keeper. He did not have much time to set himself. Then just before the half hour the home side were awarded a controversial penalty. The Dons defence were slightly stretched as a cross came in from the left. Michael Rose went for it and the referee adjudged that his foot was high when he made his challenge. A very soft decision. Wallace took the spot kick and only just beat the unlucky Billington who guessed the right way but could not get down quick enough. The game was now quite end to end. On 36 minutes Wallace was not far away from grabbing his second whilst at the other end on 40 minutes Orsi had a shot which was just defected wide. From the resulting corner McKenna came in at the back post and directed the ball from close range towards goal but the ball bounced into the ground and over the bar. To be fair the ball hit Scott and there was not a lot he could do to control his effort.
At half time there was a major blow for the Dons when Scott McKenna had to be replaced. He had a slightly thigh strain and was taken off as a precaution. Michael Kelly replaced him and went to left back with Daniel Harvie moving over one into central defence. Once again the Dons started a half by scoring an early goal - and what a goal it was. On 47 minutes Kalvin Orsi started the move off in the Dons left back area. He played it infield to Gibbons who played a square ball to Murray. The Dons captain played the ball forward to Shankland who laid it off to Felek. Cem nutmegged his marker before playing a quite brilliant reverse through ball to Orsi who had continued his run from the left back area. Kalvin was one on one with the keeper. Goodfellow forced him wide and with a defender getting back he did not have much of the goal to aim at but he hit a strong early shot which found the net. A very confident finish and really good team goal. After that the home side put the Dons under some real pressure and Spence was unlucky with a shot that clipped the top of the bar. Aberdeen did well though to keep their shape and with Harvie outstanding at the back they defended brilliantly in the second half. Rose, Murray, Gibbons and Harvie all made numerous blocks to protect the lead. The last 20 minutes could have been a whole lot more comfortable after Shankland and Smith tackled and dispossessed the last defender, Shankland went through on goal and he could have squared it to Smith but went himself. Although he beat the keeper with a neat chip he dragged his shot agonisingly wide of the empty net. Dunfermline again keep up the pressure but the Aberdeen defence continued to throw themselves at everything that came into the box. There was one attack in particular that saw about five blocks in a row. On 75 minutes the Dons broke and Cammy Smith went down in the area. Aberdeen appealed for a penalty but instead the referee booked Cammy for diving, it looked a very close call. In the final ten minutes Henry and Ross both came on to see the game out and not for the first time this season both impressed. The Fife side were by now throwing everything at the Dons in a frantic finish but Michael Rose marshalled his backline brilliantly and the defence showed great determination to keep them out. In fact it was the Dons who had the better chances in the closing stages when Shankland created room for a shot but fired past the near post and then Smith set up Shlankland but again he was thwarted by Goodfellow. Not to matter though, the final whistle went shortly after and the young Dons had claimed a very hard fought three points.
Dunfermline Teamsheet
Goodfellow, Mercer, Orru, Urquhart, O'Kane, McClair, El Bahktoui (McMillan 74), Spence, Ugwu (Thomas 51), Wallace (Crossan 70), Chemin
Aberdeen Teamsheet
Billington, Murray, Harvie, Gibbons, McKenna (McKenna 46), Rose, Orsi (Ross 83), Campanile, Shankland, Smith, Felek (Henry 79).

Unused Subs: Willison, Jones, Robertson, Petrie.

Bookings:  Smith (75).
Venue: East End Park, Dunfermline
Next Match
Ross County
19 May 2024 / 15:00 / Victoria Park, Dingwall