Aberdeen progressed to the fifth round of the William Hill Scottish Cup with a 4-0 victory over Forfar at Station Park.
Craig Brown made four changes to the side which beat Dundee United on Monday. Mark Reynolds came in to make his debut alongside Rory McArdle in central defence. Rory deserved his start after a fine performance against Dundee United. Mo Chalali also got a start after goal his at Tannadice and partnered Scott Vernon up front. With Richard Foster now departed U19 captain Clark Robertson was given a chance to impress in the left back role. Kari Arnason was handed the captain's armband in Foster's absence.
An Aberdeen support of almost 3,500 were in attendance and far out numbering the home support.
The match kicked off with Aberdeen having a really strong wind at their backs. Arnason had won the toss and decided to have the wind at their backs during the first half. In the first few minutes a low drive from Jack from about 25 yards was just put past the post by Forfar goalkeeper Greg Paterson. Ryan hardly touched it yet it gave the keeper all sorts of problems. On three minutes Jack played the ball sideways to Vernon who had an opening but Scott put the ball straight at keeper. The Dons top scorer might have felt he should have done better.
The Dons began to exert their authority early on but the strong wind was causing the Dons problems with their passing. Any balls they were trying play in behind were going long.
Peter Pawlett had pulled up with what looked like a hamstring injury early on. On 14 minutes Pawlett finally had to admit defeat and had to come off. The midfielder was replaced by Chris Clark in a direct swap. Whilst that was going on Osbourne went down in a heap. David Wylie went over to treat him but signalled instantly that he could not carry on.
Aberdeen carried on with 10 men and they had the ball in the back of the net a couple of minutes later when Paterson fumbled a McArdle header over the line after a Fyvie cross, but the goal was chalked off - to relief of the home side the assistant linesman was standing his arm raised. Although McArdle was in acres of space it looked like he had timed his run well. The management team eventually decided Rory Fallon would be the man to replace Osbourne. With a shuffling of the pack Chris Clark went into the right back spot and and Chalali went back into midfield.
After regrouping the Dons started to get control of the game again and dominated the possession but again anytime they tried to play Vernon or Fallon in the ball was going long. The game was also getting played at a very slow pace with was not to Aberdeen's advantage. Skipper Arnason tried to pick it up pace and get his players going.
On 25 minutes the home side came to life and the part-timers could have scored. Greg Ross fired just wide at the near post after some strong running by on-loan Dundee United winger Dale Hilson. Then again Aberdeen failed to clear and Templeton hit the side netting at the other side of the goals.
On the half hour mark Aberdeen took the lead. A long throw by Arnason held up in the wind. It completely deceived the defenders. The ball bounced and sat up nicely for Vernon who was unmarked. He had time to turn and volley the ball and it looped in over the keeper and just under the bar.
And the Dons doubled their advantage four minutes before the break when Chalali seized upon an error by Forfar skipper Marc McCulloch and kept his composure to slot the ball past Paterson. Brown had punched the ball clear. It was cleared up field by Arnason and Chalali did really well to put pressure on the Forfar men before running the length of the half and slotting the ball home. The striker was under pressure from the defender but hit the ball before the on rushing keeper could set himself. Chalali was limping and was in pain whilst his team mates celebrated his goal with him. He had passed an early fitness test this morning and thankfully was able to continue.
On 43 minutes Jack put in a cross which was just missed Vernon and Fallon. Ryan was the best Dons player all afternoon. Arnason then played a superb lobbed pass for Jack. He got to the ball ahead of the keeper. He got a touch before getting crunched but the ball went just past the post. He might have had a claim for a penalty.
Forfar had an early chance at the start of the second half when they were awarded a free kick about twenty yards out. Fotheringham took it and played it over the wall but the ball also went over the bar. Brown seemed to have it covered. On 50 minutes Vernon played a clever flick for Jack to run onto. He touched it into Fallon. The keeper produced a good save though with his legs. The ball looped up and eventually landed on the top of the net. Fallon then passed up another golden opportunity to score a third when he failed to direct his header from a Fraser Fyvie corner on target with an open goal at his mercy. The wind had completely deceived the keeper and the wind also seemed to keep out Fallon's header.
Aberdeen were well in control at this stage but were not creating any really opportunities. At the other end Brown also gifted the part-timers an opportunity when his clearance went straight to Templeman. McArdle did really well to recover the situation and produced a good block - a very lucky escape.
At this stage Dick Campbell was urging his troops on and on the hour mark they were enjoying a bit of possession. Despite one half hearted penalty appeal, McArdle and Reynolds rarely looked troubled. Both had fine games.
After a very scrappy period Chalali played neat pass to Fallon. The big striker then played in Mo with a well timed through ball. The Algerian left his defender for dead but took a poor touch on it and the advancing keeper was able to smoother the ball. Then at the other end a chance for Forfar when Chris Templeton produced an overhead kick. Thankfully for the Dons his effort was straight at Jason Brown.
The game became very scrappy again and the Dons fans were getting a bit frustrated that their favourites were not creating more. Without Foster the lack of pace in the side was very evident.
Finally Aberdeen put the game to bed when the three strikers combined on 70 minutes. Forfar failed to clear their lines and the influential Jack played the ball to Vernon who had pulled wide. His cross was flicked on by Chalali for Fallon who made no mistake at the back post with a diving header.
Fotheringham was then lucky to escape with only a yellow card after an elbow on Fyvie. The Aberdeen players were not happy with the incident and it seemed to fire them up and they starting playing with more confidence and intensity.
Chalali finally limped off on 75 minutes after a fine shift. He was replaced by Megginson who had a chance to score a minute after coming on but he pulled his shot wide. The talented youngster created space for the shot well but having just come on probably had not factored in the wind. With 10 minute or so to go a triple substitution for Forfar then more injury concerns for the Dons. Vernon had gone down after a heavy tackle and he limped off after treatment. It looked like he had a dead leg. After discussions with the manager he bravely decided to continue to stop the Dons going down to 10 men. Once on he took up a position in the centre circle but was able to move much.
As the game petered out Megginson was played in by Jack. He showed great composure to round the keeper and score his senior goal for the Dons and complete the scoring. After walking about for a few minutes Vernon decided to give up and came off. Aberdeen moved safely into the draw on Monday after a professional performance.