Sharp was away on business and it was a new look front line of Aubrey and Stewart for the Dons. Pritchard continued in goal as Smollet was still away and captain Ritchie returned to the back line as did Davidson who took up a right wing back roll.
Aberdeen started well, Davidson and Robertson were linking well on the right and found the feet of Stewart and Aubrey regularly. The Rangers backline were struggling to contain the Dons pace and they came close to opening the scoring on a couple of occasions only for last ditch tackles to prevent them. At the other end Pritchard had to claim a few through balls but the Dons were under little pressure.
The wind was playing havoc and you might have thought that in to the wind Ritchie's trademark long throw wouldn't be so effective. Not a bit of it, he hurled a howitzer right in to the six yard box and Reid rose majestically to bullet home. 1-0. A few minutes later and the duo repeated the trick, Ritchie's throw, Reid running in at the near post and this time a header across the goal gave Aberdeen a two goal advantage. The Dons were well on top and pushed for a third. Davidson was unlucky with a clever chipped effort after a ball had been cleared and the keeper just clawed it away. From a corner Reid this time rose at the back post and his dipping header almost caught out the keeper who managed to hold on at his near post.
The half time team talked focussed on not letting Rangers, who looked well beaten back in to the game but that's exactly what Aberdeen did. Now playing with the wind at their backs it started terribly for the Reds. A hoisted ball from kick off found Gunn and Pritchard in a tangle and when the ball broke to the Rangers striker he bulleted home low from 20 yards. 2 minutes later and it was level. Again there was a mix up in the Dons defence and Rangers other forward nodded high home from a throw, 2-2. 10 minutes of frantic football followed from Aberdeen who looked a shadow of the composed outfit in the first half.
The Dons started to get back on top. Some good play on the left by Campbell found Ritchie inside and the central defender showed quick feet to create space and curl a beauty over the keeper from 25 yards, it looked in all the way but smacked off the face of the bar, straight to Stewart who's effort was deflected away by a relieved Rangers defender. Chances were coming more regularly for the Dons now but when goal number three came incredibly it was the same combo again who created it, having seemingly learned nothing from previous long throws Ritchie once again found Reid and this time he bulleted it home across the face of the keeper in to the bottom corner. 3-2 and surely they couldn't throw it away again?
That's what they almost did, with 10 minutes remaining Rangers launched a high ball forward, it held up in the wind and the attempted clearing header fell straight to the Rangers striker who hammered it home for 3-3. Yet again the Dons had a mountain to climb but they have proved a resilient bunch this season. Another throw in to the box was punched clear by the keeper under pressure yet again from Reid. The Rangers defence made a hash of the clearance which broke to Stewart, his shot was deflected and incredibly or perhaps predictably it landed plum on the head of Reid who's diving header again found the corner of the net. 4-3 to the Reds and they just had to hold on this time.
Campbell went off injured with a suspected broken ankle and was soon to be joined in A&E by goal scoring hero Reid who had an unfortunate clash with the studs of an opponent and ended up with two large gashes in the back of his head. He had to go off for a few minutes with all 3 subs used but came back on bandaged up for the last couple of minutes to help the Dons hold on under desperate pressure from Rangers. The home side didn't really create anything though and although they pumped numerous high balls in to the box Duguid, Gunn and Ritchie hurled themselves at everything and kept them out. The final whistle went after 5 mins of injury time and the Reds had held out for a great victory.
Man of the Match - The lads didn't even bother with a vote for this one although honourable mentions go to the back three with Ritchie in particular having a great game and Rand had a storming match in midfield tackling anything that moved and getting forward in support when he could. Davidson had a good first game back on the right, linking well with both midfield and attack but understandably tired in the second half. But man of the match was the midfield general Scotty Reid. After seasons of injury troubles he's finally getting a run of matches and he's improving every game. On Sunday he was everywhere, winning tackles, headers, passing excellently and generally running the show. And of course he scored 4 times in one match, all headers a great performance from a player who's return to form could yet see the Dons challenge for honours this season.
Team - Pritchard, Rand, Davidson, Robertson, Gunn, Duguid, Ritchie, Campbell, Reid, Aubrey, Stewart. Subs - R.Cairns, Ho, Rennie