While results are not of major significance at this stage of the season, this was not quite the start to the new campaign Aberdeen were looking for. The Dons were beaten by a youthful Fraserburgh side that more than warranted their victory at Bellslea Park.
For the first pre-season game against the Highland League side the Dons lined up in a 4-3-3 formation. New signing Rory McArdle started at right back with Diamond and Joe Shaughnessy at centre half and Robbie Williams at left back. The three in midfield were Fraser Fyvie, with trialists Ahmed and Folly. Up front Darren Mackie was partnered with Mitch Megginson and Chris Maguire.
So the Dons boss gave starts to three of the Dons half dozen trialists for the opening pre-season friendly and it was one of them, Robbie Williams, who caught the eye early on with a diagonal pass in the 9th minute that almost saw youngster Fraser Fyvie clear on goal.
The Highland League side, celebrating their centenary season, were by no means overawed, forcing two early corners that the visitors scrambled to safety.In the 14th minute a neat Williams ball down the line was met by Darren Mackie, ahead of the onrushing Paul Leask, but the ball trundled wide of the target. At the other end, Yoann Folly did well to turn a Dane Ballard effort on the turn wide for a corner.
Mitch Megginson scorned a great chance to put the visitors in front after 27 minutes but his hurried shot flew well wide of Leask's goal.On the half hour mark a well struck volley by Maguire was comfortably held by Leask.
Aberdeen were coming more into it and a 34th minute Williams free kick was again dealt with by Leask.However, it was the home side who produced the best football of the match with a flowing move that ended when the unfortunate Allan Hale trod on the ball.
Mackie and Fyvie then both should have done better with should that failed to trouble Leask.
The hosts shocked their full time opponents by taking the lead in 39 minutes when a mix up between Rory McArdle and Jamie Langfield left the keeper stranded and Steven Main took full advantage with a cleverly executed ball into the roof of the net.Right on the stoke of the interval, Maguire fired a free kick that again Leask was equal to.
Both sides made wholesale changes at the break with the Dons replacing all eleven who started and switching from 4-3-3 to 4-4-2 and with six minutes of the second half gone, Jeff Smith picked up a Scott Ross free kick before firing a snap shot from twenty-two yards that flew in off the crossbar.
A Jerel Ifil slip let Graham Johnston in with a sight of goal but Mark Howard parried the ball away for a corner. The part-timers restored their advantage in the 66th minute when a fierce Johnston free kick was pushed out by Howard to substitute James Duguid, who'd been on for less than a minute, who fired home from close range. Worse was to follow a minute later for the Dons when Clark Robertson turned a Robert Morrice cross into his own net.
The Dons are back in action tomorrow against Peterhead. Please note the kick-off is at 2.00pm.
Team: (4-4-3) Langfield, McArdle, Diamond, Shaughnessy, Willams, Fyvie, Ahmed, Folly, Mackie, Megginson, Maguire
Second Half team: (4-4-2) Howard, Jack, Ifil, Ross, Basey, Foster, Okus, Robertson, J Smith, Magennis, Paton
RedWeb | Mark McGhee Post Match Quotes please click here
RedTV | Mark McGhee Post Match Interview please click here
RedTV | Richard Foster Post Match Interview please click here
RedWeb | RedImages please click here
RedTV | Pre-Match report please click here
RedTV | Half-time report please click here
RedTV | Full time report please click here