Hearts U20s 1-3 Aberdeen U20s
Aberdeen u120s this afternoon beat Hearts 3-1 at New Victoria Park, Newtongrange. A superb result for Neil Cooper's men in the opening game of the new look Clydesdale Bank Youth League. All the goals come in the second half. Joe Shaughnessy opened the scoring. Then the league's top scorer from last season Declan McManus scored a second before Nicky Low added a quite brilliant third. The midfielder ran from the half way line, beat a number of players before firing home. Hearts scored a late consolation goal in the final minute.
The young Dons did not start the game particularly well and Hearts looked the better side in the opening 20 minutes. As the half wore on though the Dons came more into it and enjoyed more of the possession. There were few chances for either side during the first half although the Dons might have had a couple of penalties when Ryan Fraser was taken down in the box. The Hearts defence struggled to cope with Ryan all afternoon.
After the break Aberdeen took control of the game and deservedly went ahead on 56 minutes. Ryan Fraser swung in a good corner which Joe Shaughnessy attacked and he managed to get on the end of it and score with a great header.
As the game wore on Hearts threw everyone forward in search of an equaliser. In the 83rd minute Scott Rumsby made a great challenge in his own box. The Dons broke forward and Jordon Brown picked out Declan McManus. He cut inside and hit a shot which went in at the keepers near post.
With three minutes to go the Dons made it three with a quite superb individual effort. Nicky Low picked the ball up on the half way line. He did a clever turn which left one Hearts player standing kicking thin air. He then went on a run, beating a few more players before drawing the keeper and sticking the ball in the net. The large Hearts supporters all stood and applauded his brilliance.
The Dons defence were impressive throughout and Rogers in goal had little to do. Scott Rumsby was outstanding in the centre of defence. The only slip came in injury time when Dale Carrick scored a late consolation after the Dons fell asleep a bit at the back.
Team: Rogers, Murray, Duguid, Brown, Shaughnessy, Rumsby, Fraser, O'Neill, McManus, Smith, Low Subs Gibbons, Rose, McMahon, Ferries, Hamilton, Campanile, MacAulay
Neil Cooper told RedTV "We spoke to the players about the importance of the first game of the season. You want to put a marker down. We had the chance to do that this afternoon against the team who finished second in the League last season.
"At the start we tried to press too far up the park and some of the boys were a bit off the pace early on. Once we got them to drop off we came more into the game. We go more possession and looked good on the counter attack. In the second half we passed the ball really well and went forward with pace. The goals were all excellent. Nicky Low's ability is first class. He sees things quicker that most players and also has the skill then to deliver.
"It was a very good all round performance."
RedTV | to listen to Neil's post match interview in full please click here