Aberdeen recorded their first win of the campaign at Pittodrie against Inverness. The teams started the day in 11th and 12th in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League, with the Dons still looking for that elusive first goal of the campaign. Rob Milsom and Josh Magennis scored in the first half before a Richie Foran strike in 75minutes meant a nervy end to the game for the Red Army but the side held on.
Dons boss Craig Brown made two changes to the side that was defeated by Hearts at Tynecastle the previous weekend. Ryan Jack replaced Rory McArdle while Josh Magennis came into the side to replace Darren Mackie in the starting eleven.
Caley kicked off in the sunshine at Pittodrie but it was the Dons who made the brighter start, gaining the games first corner inside a minute.
The Dons passed the ball about well in the opening spell, Scott Vernon with a couple of early glimpses of goal which came to nothing, the closest being a header that cleared the bar in 7 minutes. On 8 minutes the Dons were awarded a free kick on the right. Rob Milsom fired into the wall but his shot on the rebound caught former Don Ryan Esson out- the ball drifted agonisingly wide though. On 12 minutes captain Ricky Foster went on a marauding run down the left wing however no one was in the box to finish it off. But the Dons didn't have to wait long for their first goal of the season. Rob Milsom fired Aberdeen ahead after good work in the box by Magennis who turned superbly then crossed the ball to set Milsom up.
Magennis himself was next to have a long range effort at Esson but he saved comfortably on 18. Minutes later Caley claims for handball were waived away when the ball was fired into the Aberdeen box- referee Allan waived play on. Neat interplay between Milsom and Foster nearly created an opening for the Dons again but the ball just bounced too far in front of the Dons captain for him to take any advantage however the Dons continued to dominate the first period. On 27 minutes the Dons did get their second. Hesitation by in the Inverness defence allowed Scott Vernon to pinch the ball and he ran through and calmly slotted the ball past Ryan Esson. A huge sense of relief around Pittodrie- the Dons were looking comfortable in the lead.
With 33 minutes gone Esson was again scrambling across his goal after great build up play from Fyvie but Magennis' shot was just wide. Magennis was again at the centre of things just a few seconds later but he couldn't capitalise on weak Inverness defending while Icelander Arnason was next to go close for the Dons with a volley- both saved comfortably by Esson.
A cynical foul on Magennis led to the game's first booking and from the resultant free kick Rob Milsom hit the post with a curling effort that evaded everyone in the box. No one was there to collect the rebound and the ball went out of play for a goal kick. And it was the Dons who created the final chance of the first half, Arnason again with a ball into the box but Magennis headed straight at Esson who was by far the busier keeper in the first half. The Dons dominated the first period and could have been further in front at Half Time.
Aberdeen started the second half brightly and on 50 minutes Arnason released Fyvie down the right, but his cross into the box was too high to cause the Caley defence any problems. Then great play involving Magennis, Milsom and Osbourne down the left side of midfield released Scott Vernon who spun the Inverness defender but he unfortunately hit his shot just over the cross bar on 55 minutes.
Inverness Caley were beginning to get themselves back in the game when they broke down the Dons right but Osbourne made another sublime tackle to thwart the danger and keep the Dons two goal advantage intact. It was the Dons again on the attack in the 58th minute when Magennis' pass found Fraser Fyvie whose cross was nearly met by a plethora of players in the box but none of them could make contact with the ball.
David Gonzalez had his first real save of the match when Inverness broke up the other end of the field- Richie Foran sent through but the Columbian goalie did well to save at his feet. Gonzalez was again at the heart of the action just a few seconds later when he came out for a cross but the ball took a bad bounce and went over the Colombian. Hayes pulled the ball back for Foran but Foster made a great tackle to deny Caley. The Dons were pressing again on 65 minutes- Arnason with a rasping drive but a great stop from Ryan Esson kept the Dons at bay again.
Gonzalez pulled off another great save this time from Gavin Morrison who powerful drive was well parried by the goalkeeper. With Caley beginning to create more openings, Malwene in particular had to look sharp to block any potential threat. Controversy on 74 minutes with referee Allan waiving away claims for a Dons penalty as youngster Mitch Megginson (who had replaced Josh Magennis) went through on goal and was felled but despite the cries of the Red Army the referee waived play on.
On 75 minutes Chris Clark came on to make his first appearance since signing from Plymouth Argyle in the summer- replacing Fraser Fyvie on the right side of midfield. It was Caley though who got a foothold back in the game when on 81 minutes a poor block by Mawene meant his clearance fell at the feet of Foran who fired a volley past Gonzalez into the back of the net to ensure sure the Red Army would have a nervous last few minutes.
Seconds from the restart Caley were through again but Gonzalez was down quick to stop the danger. An excellent save.
Ryan Jack then went on a mazy run down the right but Osbourne couldn't connect properly with his cross and Caley cleared the ball. In 84 minutes McArdle replaced Mawene, manager Crag Brown later confirming that the central defender had picked up a couple of injuries which may have played a part in the goal.
In 86 minutes the Dons won a corner thanks to great interplay between Milsom, Fyvie and Foster and it was Megginson who cannoned the ball off the defender and out for a corner as the Dons attempted to take the sting out of the game and prevent Inverness from getting a late equaliser.
The fourth official signalled four minutes of injury time and it was the Dons who finished on the attack, Milsom shooting over the bar with seconds left. A huge sense of relief then at the final whistle as the Dons celebrated their first victory of the season- the perfect way to prepare for Tuesday's League Cup tie against Dundee at Pittodrie.
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