Aberdeen U20s v Celtic U20s
Tuesday, 25th September 2012
Aberdeen went down 1-0 to Celtic at Brechin in the proverbial game of two halves. Celtic dominated the first but Aberdeen took control in the second and were desperately unlucky not to get something from it. The match saw Rob Milsom make his comeback and also saw the highly promising Craig Storie make his first start of the season. Considering how bad the weather had been all day, the match started in fairly decent conditions. The match had been put back to a 3pm kick off as the strong winds had ripped the door off the Celtic bus!
Aberdeen lined up with Rogers in goal, Murray at right-back, Duguid at left-back and Rumsby and Shaughnessy in central defence. The midfield three were Storie, Gibbons and Milsom while O'Neill and McManus played wide and Megginson was up front. Nicky Low and Jordon Brown were replaced by Megginson and Milsom as the over age players.
There was a chance for the Dons as early as the first minute when the ball was played in from the right but it just would not fall for McManus. Milsom then played in two very good balls from corners but the Celtic defence managed to scramble them clear. After six minutes Johnstone nipped in between Rumsby and Rogers and although he was able to get a shot away from a tight angle the ball rolled just wide. On 13 minutes, Joe Shaughnessy's square pass was intercepted and Kidd had an opening but Rogers made a fine save. It was the only mistake Shaughnessy made all afternoon.
Back came the young Dons. Stephen O'Neill played the ball wide to Megginson who had made a good run but his cross was just missed by McManus and Milsom who was also getting up to support. After 25 minutes, Celtic took the lead when they hit Aberdeen on the break with a clinical counter attack. Aberdeen actually had a corner but the ball broke for Kidd who galloped forward before cleverly playing in Bahrudin Atajic who finished well.
The goal knocked the stuffing out of Aberdeen and Celtic dominated to the break though the Dons had to make a change when there was a clash of heads between Scott Rumsby and Johnstone. Scott came out worse and had to go off for stitches to a nasty looking cut. On 34 minutes, the centre-half was replaced by Michael Rose.
A minute later Aberdeen put together their best move of the game. Rogers threw the ball out to Storie who picked out O'Neill who then played Storie in again with a brilliant pass. He managed to get into the box and although he got a shot away, he was under pressure and put the ball inches over as the Dons ended the half on top.
There was a delay to the start of the second half when Celtic sub keeper Gaffney suffered a serious looking injury in the half-time warm up. When the half did start, the wind had returned and the rain was torrential. As well as the change in weather, there was a change in the Dons' fortunes as they went on to completely dominate. They played at a much higher tempo and got their passing game going.
Just after the restart Duguid crossed from the left and Megginson won the header but he just mistimed his jump. Milsom, who was becoming more and more influential, just failed to pick out Megginson and then from a Storie cross, Mitch slid in and was only inches away.
On the hour mark Milsom whipped in a free kick and it was missed by Daniels in the Celtic goal but again the ball would not fall kindly for a red jersey in the box.Just before that, Neil Cooper made a tactical change. Jamie Hamilton replaced Gibbons and the Dons also changed to a 4-4-2 formation, McManus moving forward. Although it was all Aberdeen at this stage, they did have a lucky break when Hamilton slipped and again Celtic broke at pace. Rogers made a good save but the ball fell to Atajic who should have scored but Shaughnessy somehow managed to clear the ball off the line, brilliant defending.
On 70 minutes, Stephen O'Neill did superbly to dispossess Lindsay and get to the by-line. Twice he crossed it and twice he just failed to pick out McManus. Five minutes later Shaughnessy flicked on a corner which was goalbound but the keeper got in the way without knowing much about it. Then near the end, a couple more great opportunities. Hamilton's cross found Murray at the back post and he played the ball back across goal for Megginson but his overhead kick went inches wide.
Celtic by this time were resorting to time wasting and keeper Daniels was booked for taking too long. Then in the final minute, the Dons came agonisingly close to scoring. A Milsom corner fell to O'Neill on the edge of the box. His shot was deflected to the feet of Duguid who was all alone in the box but he couldn't quite connect properly and the ball went over the bar.
RedTV | Neil Cooper Post Match Interview please click here
RedTV | match highlights to follow
Team: Rogers, Murray, Duguid, Gibbons, Shaughnessy, Rumsby, O'Neill, Storie, Megginson, McManus, Milsom.Subs: MacAulay, Rose, Hamilton, Close, Campanile, Szemis.
We can confirm the match details for our forthcoming U20 match as follows:
MATCH: Ross County U20 v Aberdeen U20
COMPETITION: SPL U20 League
DATE: Tuesday 2nd October 2012
VENUE: Global Stadium, Dingwall