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Inverness CT 0 - 2 Aberdeen

HT Score: Inverness CT 0 - 1 Aberdeen

SPFL Development League
Aberdeen scorers: Wright 3, Nuttall 76.

24/09/2015 | KO: 14:00

Aberdeen U20s produced their best performance of the season this afternoon to beat Inverness CT at the Highland Centre in Dingwall. Despite some challenging conditions it was a very entertaining game and both teams played some good football. It was a very young Aberdeen side that travelled north, one of the youngest they have fielded in recent years in the Development League. They were up against an Inverness team who had a number of players with first team experience. Paul Sheerin's side got off to the perfect start when Scott Wright fired home after only three minutes. Scott was outstanding throughout the ninety minutes, making some superb runs. The Dons grabbed a deserved second with quarter of an hour to go and then held on for an impressive win.

Aberdeen lined up with Mutch in goal, a back four of Hynes, Rose, Culjak and Robertson. Thomas was the holding midfielder with Norris and Frank Ross alongside him. Wright played wide right with Orsi on the left and Nuttall was up front. Inverness had Richie Foran, Andréa Mbuyi-Mutombo, Ali Sutherland, Lewis Horner, Nathaniel Wedderburn in their starting XI. On paper it looked a very tough game for the Dons against a side who have had a lot of good results against the Dons in the Development league in recent years. Scott Wright produced an outstanding performance in attack and defence this afternoon. He got the Dons off to the perfect start when after three minutes he picked up the ball from Joe Nuttall. He beat his man, cut instead and then hit an early shot with his left foot past the keeper. A great finish.
Aberdeen then had to withstand a period of pressure from the home side and Robbie Mutch continued his fine form with a string of top saves. He kept out Andréa Mbuyi-Mutombo and then made a great block when Ali Sutherland was one on one with him. Robbie was also helped out by his defence this afternoon who despite their inexperience did really well against some experienced strikers. On 14 minutes Darren Hynes, who is still a member of the U17 side, made a great tackle on Foran when he was the last man. On the quarter hour mark Ferguson should have done better with a header from a corner but his effort was off target. Two minutes later the Dons broke at pace and Kalvin Orsi powered down the left. The winger had options but went himself and in the end dragged a shot wide. After 20 minutes Mutombo fired just past the post. Then two minutes later Joe Nuttall had a sighting at goal but delayed his shot and the chance was lost. After 25 minutes the home side were forced to make a change when centre forward Calum Ferguson picked up a leg injury. After a challenging opening 20 minutes Aberdeen then did really well to control the rest of half. They kept possession well, moved the ball about the park and then broke at pace when they had the chance. On 35 minutes, after another great move, Scott Wright smashed a shot which was heading in until Cammy MacKay produced a brilliant fingertip save. On the stroke of half time another outstanding run from Scott Wright set up a chance for Orsi, the winger opened his body and tried to curl the ball into the top corner but the keeper read the situation and made a comfortable save.

At half time Duncan Shearer took off first team players Matumba and Foran. Right at the start of the second period the Dons got a break when a corner went right across the six yard box and when a shot came in Mutch produced a great block from point blank range. The second 45 were a bit more frantic at times but the Dons continued to create openings. They might have had a penalty on 55 minutes after a strong run by Nuttall resulted in the ball being diverted away for corner by a hand of an Inverness defender. However the referee and linesmen felt the arm was in a natural position. Minutes later Ross tried his lucky again from the edge of the area and his shot was on target but unfortunately Norris got in the way. Arron himself was unlucky a bit later when after a corner his clever little flick beat the keeper and defenders on the line but the ball just looped over the bar. The hour mark saw a pre-planned substitution. Michael Rose came off to be replaced by Seb Ross. Sam Robertson went to centre half and Ross filled in at left back. Seb, another u17 player, is a more of a midfielder but did exceptionally well in defence, showing good composure. Also Frank Ross came off and he was replaced by Bruce Anderson. The Dons took a little while to readjust to the changes and full back Calum Howarth missed a good chance when a lobbed ball in found him unmarked at the back post. Mutch then produced a tremendous save to keep out the impressive Ali Sutherland. The winger's shot went across the keeper and appeared to be heading into the net but at full stretch Robbie managed to tip the ball wide. Minutes later Sutherland had another shot but this time it was a more comfortable save for Mutch.
Just after the hour mark Nuttall made another strong run into the box and he might have got a penalty had he gone down after a challenge. To his credit he stayed on his but his shot from a tight angle went wide. Joe got his rewards on 76 minutes though. As Inverness passed the ball about at the back the Dons pressed well. The ball was played back to keeper Mackay and his slack pass went straight to Nuttall. The former Manchester City striker took his time before slamming the ball into the net. As Inverness pushed to get back into the game an outstanding long ball from Seb Ross set Nuttall free but he shot straight at keeper after doing well to hold off a couple of defenders. In the closing stages the Highlanders pushed hard to try and get back into the game but the young Dons worked tirelessly to keep them out. Dylan Thomas in front of the back four had a very good game. When they did get through the defence Mutch was on hand to keep them out. He made a good stop with his legs to prevent substitute MacArthur from scoring after he had made a good run into the box and then made another top class save to stop Howarth from getting a consolation late into the game. Paul Sheerin and Scott Anderson will be very encouraged by this performance.
Inverness CT Teamsheet
Mackay, C Brown, Howarth, Horner, Gilchrist, Foran (Rennie 46), Macrae, Wedderburn, Ferguson, Mutombo (Macarthur 46), Sutherland. Subs Hoban, Hull, Blachett
Aberdeen Teamsheet
Mutch, Hynes, Robertson, Thomas, Culjak, Rose (Ross 61), Wright, Ross (Anderson 61), Nuttall, Norris, Orsi (Youngson 85).

Unused Subs: Craddock.
Venue: Highland Football Academy, Dingwall