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Falkirk 1 - 2 Aberdeen

HT Score: Falkirk 0 - 1 Aberdeen

SPFL Development League
Falkirk scorers: O'Hara (70)
Aberdeen scorers: Shankland 35 (Pen), Goodwillie 73.

30/03/2015 | KO: 18:00

Aberdeen U20's had another really important win in the Development League this evening but they were made to work all the way by Falkirk's ten men. In dreadful conditions the Dons had the better of the opening stages but Shankland and Goodwillie missed good chances. However the Dons luck was to change on 34 minutes when a Campanile shot was handled by Aaron Muirhead on the line. It was a penalty and a red card. Shankland scored with a good spot kick. Aberdeen also wasted some more good opportunities before the break as they continued to play some excellent football. After half time it was a different story as Falkirk started to frustrate the Dons and after a really spirited spell they got an equaliser when Kevin O'Hara latched onto a loose back pass. Not for the first time this season Paul Sheerin's young side had to roll their sleeves up which they did and within a few minutes they were ahead again. Scott Morrison in the Falkirk goal had a very good game on what was a horrible night to be a keeper but he spilled a low cross and the ball landed at the feet of Goodwillie who scored. It was harsh on the keeper, who had made about seven or eight notable saves, including a couple of one-on-one blocks. In the closing stages, Aberdeen showed a bit more composure and held onto the ball well to see out the game. They now have five games to go, and after a free week next week they will play second placed Hamilton.
The young Dons this evening lined up with Brown in goal, Shaughnessy at right back, Rose and Culjak continued their partnership in central defence and Harvie came in at left back. Gibbons, Campanile and Ross were the midfielders with Smith in front of them and Shankland and Goodwillie up front.
The game kicked off in torrential rain and on the excellent plastic pitch (by far the best artificial surface in the country) the ball was zipping about. It suited both teams as they like to pass the ball. The Dons started well- Cammy Smith was finding some good areas to play in and on 8 minutes Aberdeen won their first corner. On 10 minutes the Bairns keeper Scott Morrison tried to take a quick throw out however Shaughnessy showed good awareness to cut out the ball. Joe, playing on a pitch he knows well, found Goodwillie in the box but the keeper redeemed himself with a great block and the ball looped over the bar. Aberdeen had the better of it in the early stages and after a quarter of an hour they might have had a penalty when Ross was pushed over in the area. A great ball forward by Ross a few minutes later gave the Dons a three-on-three and they should have scored but Goodwillie's effort was blocked by the keeper. Another good save by the ex Brechin man.
Falkirk started to come more into it and won their first corner after 27 minutes. Before that Scott Shepherd was unlucky on two occasions not to get the break of the ball in the box. On the half hour mark a great deep ball from Shaughnessy found Shankland but he could not direct his header on target. And then less than a minute later Goodwillie played a great chipped pass over the back line but Shankland put his effort agonisingly just past the post. Then an even better chance as Goodwillie rounded the keeper but the last defender managed to get back and put in a goal saving tackle. Finally a goal came on 34 minutes. From a corner Campanile hammered in a shot which was heading for the net and Muirhead was adjudged to have stopped the ball with his hand. The referee awarded a penalty and produced a red card. Shankland scored from the spot kick. A minute later Campanile had a chance at the back post but could not connect properly. On 43 minutes there was another chance for Goodwillie but he put the ball over and a minute later the keeper produced another good save from the Dons striker. Then David was harshly booked for hand ball when he had another chance. Aberdeen had played some very good football in the first half and should have been more than a goal ahead.

In the second half Aberdeen were still enjoying a lot of possession but credit to Falkirk as they kept their shape well and continued to look to play football. As the half wore on the home side were fustrating the young Dons and coming more and more into it. On the hour mark Shepherd was booked for a foul on Smith. Orsi came on for Shankland and a few minutes after that Felek replaced the injured Ross. On 63 minutes, Kevin O'Hara had a great chance for the home side after a cross came in from the right but he failed to get enough on it. With 20 minutes to go the game had become a real battle in the rain but the home side got an equaliser. Kevin O'Hara latched onto a poor back pass and he showed good composure to run in on goal and place the ball in the corner of the net. Falkirk deserved the goal for the spirit they had shown. Just 3 minutes later Aberdeen regained the lead. The keeper appeared to have dealt with a low cross but he was unlucky as the slippery ball came out of his hands and landed at the feet of Goodwillie who stabbed the ball home. You felt for Morrison as he had a superb game with some great shot stopping and it really was awful conditions for a goalkeeper. David deserved a goal though. A minute later Morrison made a good save to keep out Goodwillie with a diving stop. Liam Rowan was then booked for a foul on Felek. On 85 minutes Felek broke the offside trap but Morrison saved. Then fine play by Orsi set Goodwillie free but again the keeper made a good stop. Campanile then tried his luck from the edge of the area but the keeper was equal to it. In the closing stages Aberdeen did well to hold onto the ball and passed the ball about. Falkirk had given their all but it was The Dons who claimed another three points as they remain top of the SPFL Development League.
Falkirk Teamsheet
Morrison, Finlayson, Rowan, McNab, Muirhead, Johnson, Blues, Blair, Shepherd, O'Hara, Grant Substitutes: Fairbanks, Hamilton, Martin, Nash, Cather, Snedden, Langton

Bookings:  Shepherd,   Rowan  Muirhead (35)
Aberdeen Teamsheet
Brown, Shaughnessy, Harvie, Gibbons, Culjak, Rose, Goodwillie, Campanile, Shankland (Orsi 60), Smith, Ross (Felek 62).

Unused Subs: Mutch, Jones, Norris, Robertson, Petrie.

Bookings:  Goodwillie (43).
Venue: Falkirk Stadium, Falkirk