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Ross County 1 - 1 Aberdeen

HT Score: Ross County 1 - 1 Aberdeen

SPFL Development League
Ross County scorers: MacIver 25
Aberdeen scorers: Ross 46.

02/04/2018 | KO: 14:00

Young Dons stay in the hunt

The Young Dons travelled to Dingwall to face last season's champions as they continued their push for Development League title glory. The equation was simple. Win the final five games of the league campaign and the championship belongs to Aberdeen. However, only our very best form will see us through these games and, if previous clashes between the teams this season is a yardstick, this match would be extremely tight.

Injury ruled out Dean Campbell, Sam Roscoe and Seb Ross so there were starts for Jack MacKenzie and Joe MacPherson while Ethan Ross and Archie Mair were back from international duties with Scotland's Under 17's. Toby Wells and Miko Virtanen teamed up in midfield while Bruce Anderson looked to add to his tally of seven league goals in nine starts.

The game kicked off in blustery, cold conditions and both sides took time to settle. On 10 minutes, a scare for the Dons as Danny Harvie was pole-axed by his own keeper as Archie Mair tried to punch a cross clear but fortunately he was able to resume after treatment. Greg Morrison did well five minutes later to charge down a clearance which fell nicely for MacIver, but with Mair out of his goal, the winger was unable to get his shot on target. The Dons raced up to the other end and David Dangana was unfortunate to see his shot clip the outside of the post after he had profited from a slip by County keeper Foden.
MacIver and Grivosti both came close for County as the defending champions showed they weren't going to relinquish their crown meekly. On 25 minutes a controversial handball award against Joe MacPherson gave the home side a free kick around 23 yards from goal. MacIver fired a great right footed shot past the wall and out of the reach of Mair to give County the lead.
Both sides were battling hard, but chances were few and far between. Lovely interplay between Gallagher and Morrison saw the striker try to slip the ball past Mair but Archie instinctively stuck out a foot to divert the ball to safety.
Right on the interval Aberdeen drew level. A corner from the left was swung in to the near post by Ethan Ross and found keeper Foden completely out of position and he could only touch the ball onto the corner of his own net. A fifth goal of the season for the younger Ross brother and probably the most bizarre!

Half time: Ross County 1 Aberdeen 1

The early stages of the second half followed a similar pattern to the first with both sides battling hard. Jack MacKenzie picked up a booking for a foul in midfield on 57 minutes then two minutes later the Dons missed a great chance to take the lead when Ryan Harrington's header from a Toby Wells free kick slid agonisingly the wrong side of the post. Chris Antoniazzi came close for the Dons while Kelly fired over for the Staggies before a lovely 1-2 between Dangana and Ross created a chance for the striker, but he pulled his shot wide of the keeper's right-hand post. A foul on Grivosti saw Miko Virtanen booked just before Max Barry took the place of MacKenzie.
Harvie fired a free kick just wide as the Dons continued to press then a great run by the skipper for the day ended with a cross which Barry headed just wide. Two late switches saw Sean Linden and Danny Strachan come on for Antoniazzi and Harrington, Strachan making his first appearance in the Development League.
Harvie was cautioned for dissent just before the end while Gallagher was also booked as the game ended with honours even. With Hibs also drawing, the league situation remains the same for the Dons - win the last four games and the title comes back to Pittodrie!
Ross County Teamsheet
Foden, Kelly, Johnson, S Morrison (c), Johnstone, Grivosti, MacBeath (Brady 88), Gallagher, G Morrison, Wallace, MacIver. Unused substitutes - Williams (GK), Fraser, MacDonald, Goodall

Bookings:  Gallagher 90
Aberdeen Teamsheet
Mair, Harrington (Strachan 86), MacKenzie (Barry 73), Virtanen, MacPherson, Harvie, Ross, Wells, Dangana, Anderson, Antoniazzi (Linden 82).

Unused Subs: Duncan, Shanks, Barron, Craddock.

Bookings:   (57),  Virtanen (67),  Harvie (84).
Venue: Highland Football Academy, Dingwall
Referee: Darren Munro