Jimmy Calderwood fielded what was very close to being his strongest side. Apart from Stuart Duff, Gary McDonald, Lee Mair and Scott Severin who all sat in the stand - Severin was due to play but was still struggling from a knock. Charlie Mulgrew made his first appearance in a red shirt at left back. Foster went to the right with de Visscher, who became a dad again last night, in front of him and Jamie Smith wide left. Derek Young and Mark Kerr were partnered in the middle of the park.
On a beautiful sunny evening at one of the most picturesque grounds in Scotland, Aberdeen once again started slowly allowing Brechin a few half chances in the opening stages. The Dons slowly came more into the game but continued to give the ball away too often in the middle of the park, often dwelling too long on the ball. After 9 minutes though Mackie and Miller forced a corner. The keeper looked far from clever when the ball came over, then a Brechin defender appeared to handle the ball in front of the referee but nothing was given.
On 11 minutes a fine run by de Visscher came to nothing. 12 minutes Mackie this time had a fine run and got himself in a good position. He put over a cross but there was no one in the box to get on the end of it. This was better from Aberdeen. Mulgrew was starting to settle in and look comfortable despite the lack of match practice.
Aberdeen were now beginning to get on top but similar to the other pre-season games the final pass was found wanting. Brechin then had a good chance when Neil Janczyk dispossessed Kerr in the middle of the park. He had time to shot but elected to try and chip Langfield and the keeper was able to watch the ball go harmlessly over the bar.
22 minutes gone. Considine got in a muddle with Langfield and his attempted pass back went for a corner. Thankfully nothing came of it. A minute later de Visscher lost the ball whilst attacking and Diack was put clear down the right. He delivered a good low cross but Calum Smith wasted a great opportunity by blasting over the bar. Credit to Mulgrew who did very well to put pressure on him and prevent an almost certain goal. Four minutes later and Brechin had another good chance. Diamond put in a good tackle but at the expense of a corner. When the ball came over Miller slipped allowing Ward a free header which he put over. The big defender should have done better.
The pitch was looking in good condition but the grass was a bit long making it difficult for either team to get any fluent passing moves going.
Then on the half hour mark Aberdeen hit the woodwork twice in the space of a couple of minutes. Out of nowhere the ball fell to Jamie Smith on edge of the box. He hit a superb first time shot which rocketed off the post. The keeper did not move. A couple of minutes later Aberdeen won a free kick on the right. Mulgrew curled it in and the ball smashed off the underside of the bar, bounced down and was eventually cleared just as Mackie looked like he might get on the end of it. Early evidence that Mulgrew will give Aberdeen a real added dimension at set pieces this season.
Aberdeen continued to improve and finally their first goal in pre-season arrived. And what a good goal it was. Derek Young picked the ball up 25 yards out and hit a superb left footed shot low of the post into the corner of the net.
At half time Peter Pawlett come on for de Visscher. The 17 year old was due to go with U19s to Spain but will stay with the first team squad for the time being. And the youngster, playing wide right made an instant impact when he put Mackie through on the right. His cross was deflected behind for a corner though. Aberdeen then won a second corner which Jamie Smith took. He found the head of Lee Miller but sub keeper Craig Nelson made a fine save at the bottom of his near hand post.
After 51 minutes Stuart Smith then replaced Zander Diamond. With a lack of centre half's Charlie Mulgrew went into the middle beside Andrew Considine and Smith went to left back.
On 58 minutes Pawlett then produced another fine save from Nelson. The ball eventually fell to Considine but he fired over. Aberdeen were now well on top and starting to play some good football. Pawlett continued to impress, making some intelligent runs in-field behind Lee Miller.
Maguire then replaced Mackie. The game petered out towards the end. Aberdeen were continuing to play some ok football, the passing was a lot better although they were creating few chances. On 77 minutes Pawlett played in Miller who in turn played in Jamie Smith but his shot was blocked away for a corner, and apart from Foster blasting over that was about it. Miller and Young were replaced by Paton and Stewart - Paton and McGuire resuming their old partnership up front. Although Aberdeen finished the game with a young team they still kept their shape.