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AFC - Match Report
match report 2012-13 fixture list
SPL Youth 20 
Falkirk 3 - 3 Aberdeen
Kick Off:  2:00 PM          
Attendance: 0
Venue: Airthry Pitches, Stirling University
Return of the Jack
Ryan Jack and Gary Naysmith both returned to competitive action at Stirling University and helped the Aberdeen U20s to a draw against Falkirk U20s in a highly entertaining game. Ryan played the full 90 whilst Gary played for an hour. It is likely that both will be in the squad for the game against Dundee on Friday night.
Neil Cooper's side lined up with Dan Twardzik in goal, making his first appearance in an Aberdeen shirt, Murray was at right back with Rose and Rumsby in central defence with Naysmith at left back. The midfield four were Gibbons, Jack, Milsom and Masson. Cammy Smith and Declan McManus were paired upfront.
In front of a healthy crowd which included Craig Robertson, Billy Stark, Scott Severin, Chris Clark, Paul Hartley, Callum Davidson, Craig Brown, Jocky Scott and Archie Knox, the Dons started the game poorly and Falkirk looked the better side in the opening stages. The impressive Lewis Small turned Rose and was unfortunate to see his shot come back off the post. The Dons defence were then caught out again when they were hit on the break. With a two on one Small did well to break and time his pass for Thomas Grant to latch on. The son of former Aberdeen player Brian, put the ball across the keeper into the corner of the net.
You would have thought the goal would have woken the Dons up a bit but all it did was lift Falkirk. Again poor defending allowed Craig Sibbald space and far too much time on the edge of the box. From a central area he dispatched the ball into the corner of the net. Again poor Twardzik had no chance.
Slowly Aberdeen started to get into the game and Jack and Milsom in the middle of the park started to get the ball moving forward. They forced a number of corners and on 25 minutes got themselves back into the game. Jamie Masson swung in a good corner and Scott Rumsby brilliantly sent a thunderous header into the net from about 8 yards. The rest of the half saw few chances for either side but it was a more even affair.
After a few stern words at half time from Neil Cooper the Dons started the second strongly and were playing at a much higher tempo.
Just on the hour mark Gary Naysmith came off and was replaced by Craig Duguid, who himself was returning from injury. Gary had looked very comfortable and solid throughout. Before leaving the pitch he passed the captains armband to Ryan Jack.
Three minutes later the Dons deservedly got themselves back on level terms. Ryan Jack played it to Rob Milsom who from about 30 yards out hit a fantastic low volley into the corner of the net. It was quite a strike. Shortly after that they had another chance when Cammy Smith set up Masson but he blasted over.
The Dons were now well on top. Craig Murray was making his usual great runs down the right and putting in some good crosses. On 77 minutes the Dons completed the comeback when they took the lead. Declan McManus turned brilliantly in the box and forced the centre half to make a tackle. The linesman on the far side felt though it was a foul and flagged instantly. The referee acting on his advice pointed to the spot for a penalty. Former Dons Alex Smith, Neil MacFarlane and Stevie Crawford on the Bairns bench were furious. They might have had a case as it did look as though the defender did get a touch on the ball. Anyway Ryan Jack coolly stepped up and put the keeper the wrong way.
That should have been that but full credit to Falkirk who never gave up and on 83 minutes a slip at the back allowed in Small who pounced and put the ball past Twardzik who got on hand on it but could not keep it out of the net.
The final minutes of the game were extremely entertaining as both teams pushed for a winner. Both teams also had their chances. Cammy Smith turned Brisbane leaving him with a run in on goal. The defender clearly pulled hauled Smith back as he was about to shoot but incredibly the referee shock his head and waved play on. It looked a stonewall penalty - certainly more so than the one that was given. Just after that McManus broke free from his marker and was able to turn and get a shot away but the ball went agonisingly past the post with the keeper rooted to the spot. Falkirk though also had their chances at the end and hit the woodwork for the third time in the afternoon. In the end a draw was probably a fair result.

Falkirk Teamsheet: 


Aberdeen Teamsheet: 


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