Scottish Youth Cup | 3rd Round Arbroath 1 Aberdeen 5
O'Neill 15, McManus 27, O'Sullivan 46, Campanile 75, Smith 90+; Ramsay 78
Aberdeen moved safely into the next round of the SFA Youth Cup after a comfortable win this afternoon at Gayfield. In truth though the young Dons were from at their best and the score line was a bit harsh on an Arbroath side who competed well throughout the contest.
The Dons lined up with Rogers in goal, Murray at right back, Duguid at left back and Rose and Rumsby in central defence. In midfield Storie and Gibbons were in the centre with O'Neill wide left and Alan O'Sullivan on the right. It was Alan's first competitive game for Aberdeen after getting International clearance to play. Cammy Smith played just in-behind McManus up front.
The home side were well up for it and started strongly. Jake Mair hooked a shot just wide in the opening minute. On 3 minutes a mistake by Storie let in the same player and his shot went inches wide with Rogers at full stretch.On 8 minutes Stephen O'Neill found space down the left and managed to win a corner. From the corner Stephen picked out Michael Rose who had a free header which he put into the side netting after a well timed run. From his reaction he obviously felt he could have done better.
The Dons then took the lead just on the quarter hour mark. Craig Duguid played an excellent ball down the left channel for O'Sullivan to chase. The striker did well to beat the keeper to the ball and when he tried to round Gray he was taken down. The referee pointed straight to the spot and booked the keeper. Captain O'Neill took the responsibly and stepped up and put the keeper the wrong way.
The goal settled Aberdeen and Storie was by now dominating the midfield battle.They were dominating possession by failing to create many clear cut chances. Then just before the half hour mark Duguid took a long thrown which found McManus at the near post and he managed to squeeze the ball into the net to put the Dons two up.
The home side deserve credit as they kept working away and Craig Murray did very well at the back post to stop Mair after the ball have been played across the face of goal. A minute later Smith played in Murray on the overlap and he fired in a brilliant cross which McManus met at front post but the ball hit the goal frame and then Storie saw his rebound blocked. Right back Murray has been one of the most consistent performers in Neil Cooper's side this season.
In the closing stages of the half Watt had a shot well saved by Rogers and Storie put one over from distance.
Straight after the break Aberdeen looked livelier with better movement and they made the game safe on 47 minutes. Stephen O'Neill found space in a good area, something which he is so good at doing; he then played a brilliant through ball for O'Sullivan who finished well. His first goal for the club, whilst making his first start.
With Gibbons now controlling the midfield, the Dons forward players started to find more space and they could, and really should have added to the lead.
On 51 minutes Smith had the ball in the net and put home the rebound from a McManus shot but the Dons first team player was ruled offside. Stephen O'Neill, who was the Dons best player, then missed a penalty although he was not the only player guilty of missing a good opportunity, with McManus and Smith both going close as well. O'Neill was putting some good balls in from the left whilst substitute Hamilton was putting some good balls in from the right but still they could not score.
The home side kept going though and their fitness levels were impressive for a part-time side. They got their rewards when a free kick was played in, none of the Aberdeen players attacked the ball and Ramsay was able to put the ball past Rogers who had no chance. Cammy Smith then missed another good chance but just after that he weighted and timed a ball perfectly for substitute Campalie who put the ball across the keeper to score with a good finish.
In the final minute Campalie fired in a shot which hit Mann on the arm and the ref awarded another spot kick. The decision looked a little harsh. This time Smith stepped up and although the keeper managed to get a hand on his spot kick the ball found the net.
Team: Rogers, Murray, Duguid, Gibbon, Rose, Rumsby, O'Sullivan (Hamilton 66), Storie (Campanile 75), McManus, Smith, O'Neill Sub Macaulay
Neil Cooper spoke to redtv after the game "I am happy to be through to the next round of the cup but I was not happy with the performance.
"These games are always tricky as we are obviously playing a team who are at a level below us but we tell that to the players on numerous occasions and tell them to treat the opposition with respect and tell them to try and put the game to bed early.
"It was their cup final and you have to give the Arbroath players at lot of credit, they stuck to their task and made us work for our victory. The score line was not a true reflection on the game." to watch the full interview with Neil please click here
highlights to follow
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MATCH: Aberdeen U20 v Motherwell U20
COMPETITION: SPL U20 League
DATE: Tuesday 23rd October 2012
VENUE: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
Prices: Season Ticket Holders: Free; Adults: £4; Concessions/Under 12's: £2
This match will be pay at the turnstiles - Main Stand only