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Dundee Utd 0 - 2 Aberdeen

HT Score: Dundee Utd 0 - 0 Aberdeen

SPFL Development League
Aberdeen scorers: Smith 54, Masson 63.

25/02/2015 | KO: 14:00

Aberdeen moved back to the top of the SPFL Development League after this match with a good 2-0 win over Dundee United at Stark's Park. The Dons go top after the game between Hamilton and Celtic, the two other challengers for the title, was postponed yesterday. Ashton Taylor played the full 90 minutes and the central defender looked in great shape. The young Dons had to wait until the 54th minute for what was a deserved opener. Cem Felek picked out Cammy Smith and he showed good composure to score. Jamie Masson then added a superb second in the 62nd minute with a curling free kick. The Dons could have won by more, Shankland had a goal ruled out for offside, but United were well organised and competitive throughout and had a couple of chances themselves.

Paul Sheerin's side lined up with Mutch in goal, Rose was at right back with Taylor and Culjak in central defence and Clark Robertson at left back. Gibbons and Masson were the two central midfielders with Smith ahead of them and Wright and Felek on the wings. Shankland was up front.
On 3 minutes a long ball forward by Ash forced the first corner of the game which United cleared. Ash had a number of very good long diagonal balls and seemed to find his range quickly considering this was his first outing since the Dundee game in mid-January. On 9 minutes a slip at the back allowed the ever alert Smith an opening and he almost set up Masson then Robertson put over a great ball but there were no takers. Scott Wright also forced his way to the by-line with a good run but the ball took a nasty bobble. Then a great long ball by Taylor allowed the Dons in behind. Eventually the ball was pulled back to Felek who had a half chance in the area but his shot was blocked. Aberdeen then forced a couple of corners but the United defence was very well organised and proving a tough nut to crack. They then forced another couple of corners as they continued to dominate possession but still no real chances and on 24 minutes United really should have taken the lead. Striker Mario Bilate played the ball through to Jamie Montgomery who beat the onrushing Mutch but the ball just trickled past the post. That lifted the home side and a minute later Bilate was given too much room, his initial shot was blocked but the Dons failed to clear their lines and Montgomery went even closer this time and hit the post. Then a United corner led to a chance for Bilate but Clark Robertson did really well to do just enough to stop him making clean contact and the ball landed in the hands of Mutch. It was really brave defending from Clark.
The last time the two teams met United won 5-4 but today both defences were looking stronger. On the half hour mark Aberdeen had a great chance when Smith played a delightful reverse pass to set up Shankland who just had the keeper to beat. Luis Zwick blocked with his legs and Wright who was trying to follow up lost his footing just at the wrong moment. A minute after that Felek played a ball right across the face of goal. On 36 minutes Robertson down the left set up Shankland but his snap shot at the near post was uncontrolled and went wide. Three minutes later Gibbons tried his luck from the edge of the area but his drive was straight at the keeper. Just before the interval United were very fortunate to get away with a pass back that went astray. Souttar tried to head the ball back to his keeper but he was coming off his line and the ball went past him. It looked like Cammy would have a tap in but the ball took a horrible bounce and Zwick was able to recover the situation by getting back and grabbing the ball.

Aberdeen started the second half very strongly and some Felek magic led to corner. Wright then had a shot which was well handled by the keeper. Then a great chance was wasted when Masson squared it to Shankland in the box but he blazed over. The Dons were well on top but they just needed a bit of quality and composure in front of goal. They got that on 54 minutes. Smith and Shankland linked up well and Wright forced the ball wide to Felek. Cem showed great quality in getting past his man and getting to the by-line. He then got his head up and cut the ball back to the unmarked Smith. Cammy had a number of players in front of him on the goal line but he took his time, picked his spot and found the back net from about 10 yards out.
Aberdeen started to knock the ball about really well and played some very good football, with Jamie Masson at the heart of most of the moves. On 63 minutes a free kick was awarded to the Dons 25 yards out after Wright was taken down. Masson stepped up to take it and brilliantly curled it around the wall and into the net. With the ball at his feet, in open play or dead ball situations, Jamie has so much ability. After that the Dons looked comfortable and you felt more goals would come. On 74 minutes Shankland had the ball in the net from a Robertson cross but the flag went up. It looked a very close call as it appeared Lawrence had timed his run across the defender perfectly. Certainly none of the United players were appealing for offside. Although he did not have any luck in front of goal today Lawrence worked tirelessly for his team. A minute later he set up Smith and his low drive forced a smart save. A minute after that Smith again brought the keeper into action and this time he produced a very good stop from point blank range.
United to their credit then came back into the game and had a good spell towards the end. The last time the teams met the Tannadice side scored two late goals for the 5-4 win but thankfully this ending was a lot calmer although United did have their chances. On 80 minutes Scott Smith had a sighting of the net but Gibbons produced a superb block. It would have almost certainly been a goal otherwise. Kieran was outstanding again this afternoon. Ash Taylor then stopped another almost certain goal when he had to clear a shot off the line. It the final minute Jamie Masson saw a shot deflected over.

Dundee Utd Teamsheet
Zwick, Spark, Robson, S Smith, Souttar, Ballantyne, B Smith, Petrie, Bilate (M Smith 65) Montgomery, McLaughlin Subs: Booth, Horne, Malaga
Venue: Stark's Park, Kirkcaldy