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Inverurie Loco Works 0 - 3 Aberdeen

HT Score: Inverurie Loco Works 0 - 1 Aberdeen

Aberdeen scorers: Ross 5, Henry 65, Anderson 76.

16/07/2016 | KO: 14:00

Youths Steam Over Locos

Paul Sheerin's U20s put in a very accomplished performance this afternoon in Inverurie as they beat the Highland League side after a convincing 3-0 victory in a game they dominated throughout.

The young Dons lined up with Craddock in goal, a back four of Henry, Roscoe, McKenna and Harvie. The midfield three were Ross, Thomas and Norris with Wright and McLennan in the wide areas supporting Shankland upfront. In front of a healthy crowd Aberdeen started strongly. In the third minute a McLennan cross was met by Scott McKenna who had stayed up after a free kick but his header was just off target. On five minutes McKenna dinked in a great long free kick which found Frank Ross, and although keeper Cook saved the initial shot Frank showed good composure and agility to fire home the rebound. A few minutes later another brilliant ball from McKenna, this time a long cross field pass found left back Daniel Harvie, he crossed for Scott Wright but his curling effort just went wide.
The Dons then almost got a second when Connor McLennan cut in off the left flank and jinked his way past three players before poking the ball across the face of goal and just past the post. A few minutes later did the exactly the same thing and this time won the first corner of the game. Around the twenty-minute mark a heavy down pour helped the surface become a bit slicker on the long grass which helped the Dons. Then a couple of openings for Lawrence Shankland but his first effort was blocked and his second one just went past the post. On 25 minutes, the first Inverurie attack. Rennie was in an offside position and the flag did go up but David Craddock still made a really good save from point blank range.
Just after the half hour mark, Wright did well down the right before putting over a ball which found Ross coming in at the back post but his first timed effort was well block by Cook. 35 minutes in and Aberdeen were slightly fortunate to win a corner. The home side were even less happy when referee Cook then correctly gave a penalty for a push on Shankland inside the box. Lawrence took it but unfortunately hit the bar. It was not the big striker's day in front of goal but he still worked his socks off for his team mates. After slow start Inverurie were by now battling strongly and looked organised. Although Aberdeen had a lot of possession they were having to work very hard to create any opening. The second half was similar to the first as the Dons played down the slope Harlaw Park and slowly they wore their opponents down.

On 50 minutes an excellent Wright through ball found McLennan but he was just offside. On 53 minutes Locos won their first corner of the afternoon. McLennan and Shankland both had half chances from the edge of the area but failed to hit the target. Just after the hour mark a corner at the other end was headed clear, played back in, and Sam Roscoe steered the ball just wide. The big centre half looked very commanding this afternoon. The ex-Blackpool youngster, who was one of the summer recruits, attracted interest from a number of club's down south and already looks like being a very good capture for the Dons. That was Sam's last involvement in the game as he was then replaced by Sam Robertson and Norris was replaced by another summer signing from England, Toby Wells who arrived from Stoke City. Toby played at left back with Daniel Harvie moving to centre half. Robertson went over to right back and Jamie Henry was pushed further forward. It was a good decision by the coach as a few minutes later his captain scored a second. The ball was played in from the left and Henry produced a really smart finish to find the bottom corner of the net from the edge of the box.
On 66 minutes McLennan, who looked very sharp this afternoon, was replaced by Joe Nuttall. With twenty minutes to go both goalkeepers made very good saves inside a minute. From a Invrurie corner the ball was flicked on and Craddock made a superb reaction save. The Dons then hit on the break and Scott Wright was played in after a well worked move. At a slight angle Wright was one on one with Cook but the keeper got out quickly to make a good block. Seb Ross and Bruce Anderson came on for the final fifteen minutes, replacing Henry and Ross. The strength of the bench this afternoon shows the 20s have a strong squad this season. Anderson was involved in the play immediately and he put a brilliant ball through for Shankland who in turn found Nuttall. Although the move broke down Anderson following up made a great interception and was rewarded with a goal after beating Cook with a well-placed shot. Not surprisingly the game opened up a bit in the later stages and the Dons superior fitness really showed but there were no more goals. Still a very encouraging performance at this stage of proceedings by Paul Sheerin's youngsters.

Aberdeen U20s are next in action against Highland league side Deveronvale on Tuesday at Princess Royal Park as part of Scott Fraser's Testimonial Season. Kick-off is at 7.45pm

Their first competitive game of the season will be on Tuesday 2nd August away from home against Formartine United in the Irn-Bru Cup whilst the SPFL Development League starts on the 23rd August with a home tie against Dundee.
Inverurie Loco Works Teamsheet
Cook, Souter (Wilson 68), Forsyth, Rennie (Cooper 88), Anderson, Adams, Charlesworth, McLean (McCabe 57), Hunter, Ross (Selfridge 64), Laing (Morrison 68). Unused Subs: Trialist (GK)
Aberdeen Teamsheet
Craddock, Henry (Ross 75), Harvie, Thomas, McKenna, Roscoe (Wells 61), Wright, McLennan (Nuttall 66), Shankland, Ross (Anderson 75), Norris (Robertson).

Unused Subs: Mair.
Venue: Harlaw Park, Inverurie
Referee: Chris Philips