Forfar 0 v 3 Aberdeen kick off 3.00pm
Vernon pen 18; Jack 68: Milsom 80
The Dons lined up this afternoon in an interesting 3-4-3 formation. David Gonzalez was in goal with a back three of Considine, Mawene and Osbourne in front of him. The midfield four were Robertson, Milsom, Fyvie and Jack with Megginson, Vernon and Magennis up front. As Chris Clark and Richard Foster were both not risked because of slight injury worries, (this was a precautionary move) Andrew Considine was named stand in skipper. Forfar had former Aberdeen player Stevie Crawford named as a substitute.
The game got off to a lively start when the experienced Templeman almost scored for the home side within the first minute. He took a excellent free kick which had Gonzalez scrambling and the ball went inches past. Then at the other end Vernon set up Megginson but his shot was blocked. On 6 minutes a fine move left Megginson free on the left but he tried to do too much instead of look for a red shirt. A minute later the Dons won their first corner. The ball was not dealt with and Mawene made a nuisance of himself in the box. He forced the ball to Vernon at the back post but his shot was cleared off the line.
Then at the other end Mawene was again in the think of the action. He did very well to deal with a dangerous cross and knock the ball clear. The big Frenchman is already looking an excellent signing.
Fraser Fyvie was by now beginning to get a hold of the midfield. He set up Josh but the striker was just off side. Then on 16 minutes Fyvie played in Milsom who had made a good forward break however Paterson in the Forfar goal did well to get out quickly and head the ball to safety.
On 18 minutes a good move ended with Considine paying the ball forward to Vernon who flicked the ball into the path of Mitch Megginson. As he was about the shoot he was taken down by full back Mark McCulloch. Referee Northcroft pointed to the spot. The decision at first glance did look slightly harsh. Scott Vernon stepped forward confidently and placed the ball into the right hand bottom corner to give the Dons the lead. The keeper dived the right way but was unable to get anywhere near it.
After 25 minutes great play by Clark Robertson and Mitch left Vernon clear in the box. He shot across the keeper but the ball just went wide of the post. Scott probably should have scored. Two minutes later a wonderful solo run by big Josh had everyone in the Main Stand on their feet . He got through on goal but when one on one with the keeper he dragged his shot wide. To be fair was it not an easy angle for the shot and he did not have a lot of the goal to aim at.
Then on 29 minutes Magennis did well again down the right to shrug off his marker. His cross picked out Vernon but from a yard out the ball got caught up in his feet and the keeper was able to save. Another chance that should have produced a goal but by this stage the Dons were well on top and playing some slick football. Vernon and Robertson had a couple of long shots. At the other end David Gonzalez did not have much to do at this point but he looked assured when he came to catch a couple of crosses.
Just after the half hour mark Josh had a header from corner but he could not get enough power in it. Then Clark Robertson, who had another fine game, played the ball to Mitch who cut inside and hit a decent shot which was not held by keeper but he did enough to make the save.
On the stroke of half time Jack broke forward and he had three men to pass to. The best of which was Milsom on the left who was in acres of space but instead he tried to play a delicate ball to Vernon and the move broke down. Rob was not impressed.
At half time Nicky Low replaced Youl Mawene. On 47 minutes Low started a great sweeping move from his own goal line. The ball eventually found its way to Ryan Jack who hit the cross bar with the keeper beat. Low then did really well as he skipped past the right back but he fired his cross too long.
The Dons were enjoyed lots of possession and looking really sharp. Clark Robertson then fired a shot just wide. Clark certainly will give the manager options on that left hand side this season.
On 58 minutes there was a triple substitution. Paton, Pawlett and Mackie replaced the front three of Magennis, Megginson and Vernon. With all the substitutions the Dons lost a little bit of their fluency for a stage and Templeman was very unlucky with a shot that hit the outside of the post. Then on 68 minutes the Dons added a second. They should have had a penalty when Pawlett, who had done really well to break into the box, crossed and the ball was handled in the area. The Dons regained the ball though and Milsom ran to the byline, crossed into the middle and the unmarked Ryan Jack headed the ball into the keepers near post as he was scrambling to the other side.
On 70 minutes Mackie had a free kick which went straight at keeper. Then Paton produced a great little flick on the half way line to send himself clear. He ran in on goal and shot but the keeper made an excellent save at his near post. The Dons then added a third on 80 minutes. Pawlett, Mackie and Milsom all the linked up. Rob Milsom managed just to nip the ball away from the onrushing keeper. He then rounded him and tapped into the empty net. Milsom deserved his goal as he had looked the stand out player all afternoon.
The Dons had more chances, Mackie fired over, Paton fired wide but there were no more goals.
This was an encouraging performance. A number of people involved with Forfar remarked afterwards that this was the best Aberdeen side they had seen in recent years at this stage of the season. The Dons players looked really sharp.
Team - (3-4-3 formation) Gonzalez, Jack, Robertson, Osbourne, Mawene (Low 45), Considine, Magennis (Pawlett 58), Fyvie, Vernon (Paton 58), Milsom (Brown 81), Megginson (Mackie 58).