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Aberdeen 1 - 2 St. Johnstone

HT Score: Aberdeen 1 - 0 St. Johnstone

SPL Youth 18
Aberdeen scorers: Duncan 10.
St. Johnstone scorers: Robertson, ? 70

30/11/2018 | KO: 14:00

The young Dons were aiming to make it three wins on the spin after a battling victory at Lesser Hampden over Queens Park last Friday. Due to injuries it was a young team selected by Scott Anderson and Barry Robson?s with six players having played their part in the U16s Scottish Cup triumph the previous weekend. Today they lined up with Mair in goals and a back four of Strachan, McLauchlan, Robertson and Dalling. Once again Connor Barron took the armband in the middle of the park alongside Alexander, with Duncan and Linden providing support on the wings for Kieran Shanks and Michael Dangana. Despite the blue skies there was a wicked wind at Balmoral Stadium and Aberdeen opted to shoot with the wind behind them, which proved to be the correct choice as they started strongly. After forcing St Johnstone back into their half, The Dons took the lead in the 10th minute. Lewis Duncan latched onto a long ball down the left and sprinted in on goal where he was calm and collected to give his team the lead from close range. A key part of Duncan?s game is his strength and never giving up on a ball and his determination to drive towards goal was a factor in the goal. Saints were camped in their own final third for most of the first period and Barron had an effort from the edge of the box stopped by Wills in goal. With the wind on their side Aberdeen took advantage and nearly grabbed a second through Duncan on the half hour mark. It was a carbon copy of his goal, but the shot was blocked at the last second. Then a few moments that would have a huge impact on the game. Duncan took a bang on the ankle after a coming together with a St Johnstone defender. He was able to continue for the final stages, but McLaughlin collided at the back with Robertson of St Johnstone and after a length spell receiving treatment he was unable to continue. His replacement was 13 year-old Evan Towler, one of the heroes from last week's cup final and he slotted in at left back. Half time came and The Dons could have been a couple more goals up. Despite trying to shake off the injury, Duncan was substituted at the break with Ramsay taken up position on the left flank. St Johnstone had the wind this time, but The Dons started brightly. Sean Linden was causing all sorts of problems down the right and used his pace to good effect giving his marker a tough afternoon. A corner kick from the training ground nearly provided the crucial second, but the low ball across goal from the by-line failed to find a red jersey gambling and Saints cleared. Then the game turned. Saints went down the right with the striker flicking the ball into the path of Robertson who tucked home. There were strong appeals for handball from the Aberdeen bench, but they were dismissed and it was all square. The wind would turn provider in favour of the visitors in the 70th minute. A floated corner from the right was caught by the wind and Archie Mair was unable to deal with its change in direction and landed in the back of the net and St Johnstone led. The Dons brought on Chris Akamenze for the final quarter and he injected more pace in the Aberdeen attack as they searched for the equaliser. There was more good play down the wing again from Linden and he cut back for Barron, who's shot from 12 yards smacked the crossbar and bounced away - an extremely unlucky effort. Kieran Shanks then had a shot saved by Wills and then passed up an even greater opportunity for a point. Aikamenzie raced away from the defence after a perfectly timed through ball and drove towards goal. One on one with the keeper he opted to go for the near post and hit the woodwork and it proved to be the last chance for The Dons. Aberdeen will be disappointed to come away empty handed after having control for much of the game but will now look to bounce back with the visit to Motherwell in the Youth Cup next Friday.

After the match Scott Anderson gave his thoughts.

"We're all a wee bit frustrated with the outcome of the game and it's one we have to just take on the chin. We had opportunities to get something from the game so that's the most frustrating part. "The wind made it difficult for both teams so simplifying the game was key today. Saying that we didn't deal with it in the second half and were a wee bit passive in the first 20 minutes and allowed them a way back into the game. We're frustrated with the two goals because the first one we feel was a handball by the striker. I know it kind of kicked up, but it's dropped right in his patch because of the handball. The second goal is a bit freaky because the wind takes it in and Archie gets done in. "We had a lot of younger players out there due to injuries so we've got to learn from it and have a big game next week and we'll take it into that."
Aberdeen Teamsheet
Mair, Strachan, McLauchlan, Robertson, Dalling, Mykyta, Linden, Barron, Shanks, Dangana (Aikamenze 75), Duncan (Ramsay 45).

Unused Subs: Paterson, Leiper.
St. Johnstone Teamsheet
Wills, Donald, Bow, Steele, Gray, Woolley, Green, Hamilton, Robertson, Northcott Unused Substitutes: Church (GK), Reiley
Venue: Balmoral Stadium, Cove