Clydesdale Bank Youth League | Hamilton Accies U20 2 Aberdeen U20s 0 | New Douglas Park
Aberdeen U20s went down by two goals to nil this afternoon at New Douglas Park in the Clydesdale Bank Youth League against an impressive Hamilton side. The young Dons face the Lanarkshire men in the SFA Youth Cup in a couple of weeks time and will have to improve greatly on this performance if they are to progress to the next round.
Neil Cooper named an experienced Aberdeen line up. Danny Rogers was in goal. Josh Magennis skippered the side from the right back spot. In central defence Joe Shaughnessy partnered Michael Rose whilst Clark Robertson played at left back. The midfield three were Jamie Masson, Jordon Brown and Craig Murray. Declan McManus was wide left with Stephen O'Neill wide right with Cammy Smith up front.
It was a gloomy day in Hamilton and you could use a similar word to describe the first half. It was a very cagy opening with few opportunities at either end although Hamilton did though look the more dangerous in the final third of the park. The Dons started to get a foot hold in the game midway through the first half. The midfield were beginning to get the upper hand. Neil Cooper also swapped Jordon Brown and Stephen O'Neill. Stephen had a tidy game in the middle of the park and was once again the best Aberdeen player on show.
On 24 minutes the visitors went close when Smith set up McManus. The keeper parried the shot and Brown was only inches away from getting a touch to he rebound with the goal empty. Stephen O'Neill did pick up the ball and his cross gave McManus another chance but the ball went behind for a corner. A minute later Cammy Smith had the ball in the net but the goal was disallowed for hand ball. A fine finish from Cammy all the same though. Then Hamilton got in behind the Dons defence when James Martin beat Magennis but his tempting cross could not find any takers.
And that was about the only action in a disappointing first half. Aberdeen enjoyed the majority of possession but Hamilton worked hard to close them down and to stop any penetration when heading towards goal.
There was plenty of action at the start of the second half but sadly for Aberdeen it was all at the wrong end. Only a minute after the restart Hamilton took the lead when Masson got dispossessed and they got down the right side. James Keatings was able to finish off the cross from close range. Five minutes later the striker, who is on loan from Celtic grabbed his second. The Dons gave away a needless free kick in a dangerous area after Robertson committed a foul and Keatings superbly curled the ball over the wall into the top hand corner past Rogers.
It could and probably should have got worse for the Dons when on 58 minutes they gave away a penalty after another poor challenge. Keatings stepped looking for his hat-trick but he rattled the top of the cross bar with his spot kick. The home side were also unlucky when a shot from Martin from the edge of the box also rattled the bar and the ball appeared to bounce down over the line.
Cammy Smith then found McManus with a cross but his header was saved.
On the hour mark, in a pre planned move, Gibbons came on for Robertson, O'Sullivan for Magennis and a short time after that Storie for Smith. All three will be in the squad heading to Paisley on Saturday. For whatever reason the Dons looked a better side after the changes and looked more threatening. Gibbons and Storie both livened up the midfield when they came on and Jordon Brown got involved more.
The Dons also created some good openings. O'Neill went on a great little run and set up Murray but his shot was blocked. Gibbons then went down in the box after a good forward run, it certainly looked a penalty and after a good move O'Sullivan put a chance over the bar. Credit to the Dons, they kept going and were unlucky not to get a consolation goal when Joe Shaughnessy had a header which hit the bar from a corner.
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Team: Rogers, Magennis, Robertson, Masson, Shaughnessy, Rose, O'Neill, Brown, McManus, Smith, Murray. Subs Macaulay, Gibbons, Rumsby, Duguid, O'Sullivan, Storie