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AFC - Match Report
match report 2021-22 fixture list
Scottish Premiership 
28/08/2021
 
Aberdeen 1 - 1 Ross County
Kick Off:  3:00 PM   Ramirez 88.       Charles-Cook 33  
Attendance: 14,434
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
Dons rescue point late on
Despite dominating possession, shots and every other statistic you can think of, the Dons ended an entertaining game level with Ross County in the only stat that really counts - goals.

There were three changes for the Dons from the Qarabag game, with immediate debuts for loan signings Matty Longstaff and Austin Samuels, with Dean Campbell getting his first start of the campaign too. Teddy Jenks, Jonny Hayes and Jack MacKenzie all started from the bench in order to accommodate them, where they were joined by the returning Marley Watkins.

County lost 4-2 at home to Rangers last weekend and have not won yet in the league this season, but Malky Mackay went for an unchanged starting XI at Pittodrie.

Samuels made an energetic dart down the left to win a second minute corner, Calvin Ramsay finding Declan Gallagher at the back post with the flag kick. His dangerous looking volley was blocked away to safety. Samuels' pace certainly had the crowd quickly on his side.

Good possession play from Aberdeen eventually got Funso Ojo into space via a clever dummy from Christian Ramirez on 10 minutes, his square ball across the box tidied away by the County defence with Samuels on the prowl.

A misunderstanding between Longstaff and Scott Brown allowed Callachan in on goal on 12 minutes, Lewis out so quickly to smother the shot, then moments later, an important intervention from Brown conceded a corner which Lewis did well to punch clear.

Samuels was the threat again, in behind on 18 minutes to collect a ball forward from Ross McCrorie and win another corner. Ramsay's cross was won by Ramirez, completely free at the back post, but again his header was bundled clear by the massed ranks of County defenders.

Cancola required early treatment on 20 minutes and almost immediately made way for Harry Paton, joining his brother Brian on the pitch.

Gallagher's raking ball forward was retrieved by Ramsay at the by-line on 25 minutes, pulling the ball back for Ojo, but his cross flashed through the box and away without any takers.

A glorious diagonal ball from Campbell on the half hour caused more confusion for County and won another corner. A scramble at the back post ended with Laidlaw gratefully grabbing the ball.

On 33 minutes though, the Dons were behind. Spittal crossed from the left, McCrorie half cleared but Harry Paton was quickest onto the loose ball. His shot was well saved by Lewis but the rebound fell nicely for Charles-Cook who drilled a low shot into the net.

Samuels wasn't far from an equaliser four minutes later. He started things with a run across the face of pitch before feeding Ramsay then heading off into the box. The full-back's ball forward got Samuels in behind and he hooked a. shot over Laidlaw but just wide of goal.

Campbell did well again on 43 minutes, going on a mazy run into midfield before feeding Samuels on the left, but his fierce cross flew through the box without attracting a touch once again.

HALF-TIME: ABERDEEN 0 ROSS COUNTY 1

Ross County started the second half brightly, McCrorie having to look lively to deal with a dangerous ball into the box in the opening minute. Then in the 47th minute, Charles-Cook was in on goal thanks to Callachan's lay-off after Samuels had been flattened on halfway, but his shot had no power and Lewis saved comfortably.

Samuels and Campbell combined well down the left on 49 minutes, Samuels accelerating to the by-line, dragging the ball back through the box but again, there wasn't a red shirt to take advantage. Longstaff took a punt from 30 yards a minute later, Laidlaw scooping the ball behind. From Ramsay's corner, Ramirez was on to a low shot, similar to his goal at Breidablik, but this time it was blocked. The ball was worked back out to Samuels on the edge of the box, but he pulled his effort wide.

Ten minutes into the half, a Ramsay free-kick was cleared to McCrorie on the edge of the box but it bounced a little too high and he ended up putting his shot over the bar. Then on the hour, the electric Samuels was away again, before spearing a cross into the six yard box, Brian Paton defending brilliantly to somehow keep the ball out under pressure from Ojo, almost on the goal-line. Samuels needed treatment in the aftermath before resuming.

Marley Watkins and Jay Emmanuel-Thomas were the first substitutions for the Dons on 64 minutes, Samuels and Longstaff replaced, Aberdeen going with a front three. Tillson went into the book three minutes later for barging Lewis Ferguson to the ground. Ojo followed him for a foul on Spittal moments later.

Callachan almost made it 2-0 on 69 minutes, getting into the box unmarked from a clever flick by Charles-Cook, before skipping around Lewis. The angle was a narrow one but it looked set to find the net until somehow, running towards his own goal, Ramsay managed to flick the ball away to safety, a vital intervention.

Within a minute, the home side were on the move. Ferguson drilled a shot at goal, Laidlaw palming the ball away just behind the incoming Ramirez, Brown following in only for his shot to be deflected wide. Ferguson was close again on 73, a header back across goal looking netbound until Iacovitti headed over from underneath the bar.

Charles-Cook collapsed to the turf and needed some treatment before he was replaced by debutant Baldwin with 14 minutes left. Randall was next in the wars after he came off worst in a tackle with Watkins. While he was getting treated, Jonny Hayes came on for Ferguson in the 81st minute. Randall was unable to continue and was replaced by Watson.

Everyone behind the ball for County now, defending desperately, but also to be fair defending very well ? Iacovitti making a brilliant saving header from Ojo's cross with Watkins ready to pounce in the 86th minute.

The equaliser did finally come on 88 minutes. Emmanuel-Thomas showed his strength to win the ball in midfield and then played a delightful ball through for Hayes to put him in on goal. It looked a weak effort as he tried to shape it into the far corner, but Laidlaw could not hold it and, as a proper centre-forward should, Ramirez was following up for the bits and pieces, ramming the ball over the line from three yards out.

County weren't finished and in the final minute Callachan was away down the left, McCrorie coming across to wipe him out and collect a booking. Spittal smashed in the free-kick, Clarke unable to get a clear shot at goal, Aberdeen scrambling the ball away. Harry Paton was next cautioned as the Dons tried to break, Watson booked in the fifth minute of added time for a hack at Emmanuel-Thomas.

County won a corner in the final minute, but thankfully it came to nothing, the game ending in a frustrating stalemate.

Aberdeen Teamsheet:  Lewis, McCrorie, Gallagher, Brown, Ramirez, Ojo, Ferguson (Hayes 82), Ramsay, Samuels (Watkins 64), Campbell, Longstaff (Emmanuel-Thomas 64).

Unused Subs: Woods, MacKenzie, McGinn, Jenks.

Bookings:  Ojo (68),  McCrorie (90).

Ross County Teamsheet:  Laidlaw, Randall (Watson 82), Cancola (H. Paton 21), Spittal, Callachan, Iacovitti, Charles-Cook (Baldwin 76), Clarke, Tillson, B. Paton, White

Unused Substitutes: , Samuel, Robertson, , Hungbo, Maynoard-Brewer

Bookings:  Tillson 67,   H. Paton 90,   K. Watson 95

Referee: Nick Walsh

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