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Falkirk 1 - 4 Aberdeen

HT Score: Falkirk 1 - 1 Aberdeen

SPFL Development League
Falkirk scorers: O'Hara 2
Aberdeen scorers: Pawlett 32, Pawlett 52 (Pen), Wright 73, Storey 81.

13/09/2016 | KO: 19:00

Paul Sheerin picked a very strong starting eleven with no fewer than seven of them having featured in the Pittodrie first team. Robbie Mutch, currently on loan at Arbroath but able to play for our Development League side as it is a development loan, was in goal with a back four of Sam Robertson, Scott McKenna, Kesi Omolokun and Danny Harvie, who is on loan at Dumbarton. Craig Storie and Frank Ross anchored the midfield with Scott Wright and Peter Pawlett the wide men while Jayden Stockley and Miles Storey formed an impressive strike force.

The home side shocked the Dons by taking the lead after only two minutes, Kevin O'Hara slipping a neat shot past Mutch after fine lead up work from Shepherd. Aberdeen retaliated by forcing a corner but Falkirk broke quickly after clearing the flag kick to win a corner of their own which saw skipper Blues fire over from the edge of the box. Danny Harvie was booked after only eight minutes following a challenge on Austin. It wasn't a bad challenge but the momentum of the home striker and his awkward landing made it look worse than it was. Shepherd's thirty yard free kick was deflected over for a fruitless corner.
Falkirk were forced to make a switch in 16 minutes, Austin limping off to be replaced by Johnson. A nice crossfield ball from Craig Storie was laid back into the path of Sam Robertson by Miles Storey but the full back pulled his shot wide of the target. The Dons were dominating possession but Falkirk were keeping a good shape and protecting keeper McMinn very well. Peter Pawlett tried his luck with a deft chip from twenty yards but the ball drifted over the bar as the midpoint in the half was reached with the home side good for their lead. Aberdeen came close to an equaliser on 28 minutes when Stockley's header from a Frank Ross corner flashed wide of the keeper's right hand post.
The Dons drew level on 32 minutes with a bit of magic from Peter Pawlett. Picking the ball up in midfield Peter pirouetted away from one defender then switched on the afterburners to race into the box before firing a great shot past the keeper from 15 yards. A fantastic goal!
Bairns' defender Mitchell was booked a couple of minutes later for a foul on Scott Wright. Pawlett nearly grabbed a second goal five minutes from the break when Jayden Stockley chested a long ball from McKenna into his path but the shot lacked accuracy. A bizarre moment on 43 minutes when a Pawlett cross was deflected high in the air and keeper McMinn almost pushed it into his own net. Fortunately for him his defence managed to clear and spare his blushes. Stockley was only inches away from giving the Dons the lead on the stroke of half time, his powerful header from a Ross corner only clearing the crossbar by a matter of inches.
An entertaining first half as the Dons gradually imposed themselves on the game after going behind early. They looked the likelier to get a second goal to add to Peter Pawlett's great finish but the teams were locked at one apiece at the interval.

At the start of the second half a fine through ball from Omolokun found Storey bursting into the box but McMinn produced a fine stop to prevent a second Dons goal. The visitors continued to press and Henderson picked up a booking for a challenge on Wright. From the resulting free kick Stockley's header was denied by another fine McMinn save. Great persistence by Scott Wright saw him retain possession then feed the ball inside to Pawlett who was fouled in the box by Henderson. A clear penalty to the Dons. Pawlett took the spot kick himself and sent the keeper the wrong way.
Paul Sheerin withdrew Sam Robertson and brought on Dylan Thomas who slotted into midfield with Frank Ross moving to right back. It was all Aberdeen now and the home side were finding it difficult to get any possession. The Bairns withdrew Mitchell and put on Langton in 56 minutes to try and freshen things up. However the Dons came within a whisker of making it 3-1 moments later when Stockley's flicked header from a Ross corner crashed off the keeper's right hand post and went wide. The big striker was getting ever closer. Jayden tried his luck again on 62 minutes, again following a corner, but this time his overhead kick was well off target.
Falkirk sub Langton almost grabbed a shock equaliser on 66 minutes when he got on the end of a fine crossfield pass but he couldn't hit the target. Craig Storie then became the second Dons player to be booked for a seemingly innocuous challenge. The home side were getting a second wind and again came close when O'Hara tried his luck from the edge of the box but Mutch wasn't forced into making a save.
On 73 minutes Scott Wright made it three for the Dons when he charged down a clearance from Eadie and raced in on goal before slipping the ball past McMinn from 10 yards. Great opportunism from the winger whose pace and trickery were causing the home defence lots of problems. Scott has been in outstanding form this season.
It was four on 81 minutes when Dylan Thomas stabbed the ball through a static Bairns' defence for Miles Storey to race through and beat the keeper comfortably. The former Inverness striker looked sharp throughout and deserved the reward of a goal for his overall display. Frank Ross picked up a late booking for not giving the ball to Falkirk for a throw - a slightly pedantic decision from the referee. A late double substitution saw Wells come on for Harvie for the Dons while home full back Finlayson was replaced by Walker.

A good win for Aberdeen who were totally dominant in the second half, their greater experience too much for the young home side. A first win of the season and plenty for Paul Sheerin to be pleased about.
Falkirk Teamsheet
McMinn, Finlayson (Walker 86), Gallacher, Mitchell (Langton 56), Eadie, Henderson, O'Hara, Blues, Shepherd, Austin (Johnson 16), Peggie. Unused subs - Erskine (GK), Stowe, Dunne, Jarvis.

Bookings:  Mitchell 34,   Henderson 48
Aberdeen Teamsheet
Mutch, Robertson (Thomas 53), Harvie (Wells 86), Storie, McKenna, Omolokun, Wright, Storey, Stockley, Ross, Pawlett.

Unused Subs: Craddock, McLennan, Anderson, Norris, Roscoe.

Bookings:  Harvie (8),  Storie (68),  Ross (84).
Attendance: 204
Venue: Falkirk Stadium, Falkirk