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Aberdeen 1 - 3 Forfar Athletic

HT Score: Aberdeen 0 - 1 Forfar Athletic

Challenge Cup Second Round
Aberdeen scorers: Omolokun 89.
Forfar Athletic scorers: Peters 33, Smith 53, Peters 90+3

16/08/2016 | KO: 19:45

Dons 10 men exit after really brave display

The second round of the Irn Bru Cup saw Aberdeen's Under 20s travel again to North Lodge Park in Pitmedden, scene of their first round win over Formartine United, to meet Gary Bollan's Forfar Athletic who have won both of their early fixtures in League Two. Undoubtedly a step up in terms of difficulty for Paul Sheerin's youngsters, nonetheless this was a match the Pittodrie starlets were relishing and a good sized crowd was in attendance trying to pick out the players who may go on to become big names in the future.
The Dons youngsters lined up with David Craddock in goal behind a back four of Sam Robertson, Kesi Omolokun, Sam Roscoe and Toby Wells. Skipper Jamie Henry, Dylan Thomas and Frank Ross were in midfield with wide men Scott Wright and Connor McLennan supporting main striker Joe Nuttall. The Loons made two changes from the team who started their 4-3 win against Cowdenbeath on Saturday at Station Park, new boy Allan Smith and Marc Scott coming in.

Both sides had chances to deliver telling balls into the box early on but neither Forfar's first corner nor Aberdeen's free kick from wide created anything in front of goal. Forfar threatened on a couple of occasions from Denholm corners but on each occasion Malcolm couldn't direct his header on target. On 14 minutes the experienced Gavin Swankie whistled a 22-yard free kick just wide of Craddock's left hand post. Joe Nuttall had the Dons first shot on target a couple of minutes later but his right footed effort didn't trouble Adam.
A flashpoint on 18 minutes when Sam Roscoe clashed with Allan Smith in the centre circle. Referee Roncone deemed the tackle to be a studs up challenge and immediately produced the red card. Whilst his studs were showing it was harsh on Sam who mistimed his tackle more than anything. Sam Robertson moved to centre back with Jamie Henry reverting to right back as the Dons regrouped. Having to play 72 minutes with ten men was a very tall order.
Forfar's Marc Scott was shown a yellow card after a foul on McLennan. Scott Wright's pace was a constant torment to the Forfar defence and one sparkling run ended with the winger clattering into keeper Adam as he chased in on goal but he was able to resume after treatment. The deadlock was broken in 33 minutes and it was Forfar who took the lead. Scott broke through midfield before playing the ball wide to Mackintosh. The full back delivered a great ball into the box for Josh Peters to take a touch before firing past Craddock. The former Strathspey Thistle man almost doubled his tally six minutes later but his right foot shot lacked power. Central defender Munro of Forfar had to come off five minutes before the break, Milne replacing him. Despite being a man short the Dons finished the first half brightly with Scott Wright testing Adam with a deflected effort.

Forfar grabbed a second goal on 53 minutes, Marc Scott firing over a fine cross from the right for Allan Smith to shoot past Craddock. Left back Jamie Bain nearly made it three with a spectacular volley only to see his shot crash off the junction of post and bar. Aaron Norris replaced Frank Ross on 59 minutes as Paul Sheerin looked for fresh legs. Craddock did well to tip a long range Swankie effort past the post before Bruce Anderson came on to replace Connor McLennan who had taken a knock.
Aberdeen were by now dominating possession and desperately trying to find a way back into the game. You would not have known they were a man down. A tremendous effort from the young boys. Joe Nuttall forced a good save out of Adam when he headed Thomas' corner powerfully goalwards before Anderson was given a sight of goal after clever play by Wright but his parting shot lacked conviction. Craddock produced the save of the night when he dived full length to his left to parry a great shot by Peters as the visitors tried to kill the tie off. But the Dons weren't going down without a fight and on 89 minutes they pulled a goal back when Kesi Omolokun looped a Dylan Thomas cutback over the head of a bemused Adam. A superb finish from the centre half. Unfortunately, as the Dons chased an unlikely equaliser, gaps appeared at the back and Forfar profited three minutes into stoppage time when substitute Milne crossed from the left for Peters to notch his second goal of the evening to finally seal a place in Thursday's third round draw for Gary Bollan's side.

Ultimately the early dismissal of Sam Roscoe proved to be the defining moment in this tie but the Aberdeen youngsters can be very proud of the way they stood up to the challenge of a vastly more experienced Forfar side who were pushed to the limit to win through.
Aberdeen Teamsheet
Craddock, Robertson, Wells, Thomas, Roscoe, Omolokun, Wright, Henry, Nuttall (Hutchison 78), Ross (Norris 60), McLennan (Anderson 67).

Unused Subs: Mair, Dangana, Ross, MacPherson.

Bookings:  Roscoe.
Forfar Athletic Teamsheet
Adam, Mackintosh, Bain, Munro (Milne 39), Malcolm (C), O'Brien, Peters, Scott, Smith (Hay 78), Swankie, Denholm (Kennedy 69) Unused Subs: Fotheringham, Aitken, Mailer, Hill (GK)

Bookings:  Scott
Attendance: 221
Venue: North Lodge Park, Pitmedden
Referee: Mike Roncone