The Dons enjoyed another useful friendly work-out as they build towards the start of the 2023/24 campaign, easing to a 2-0 win in Fraserburgh.
A sun-kissed Fraserburgh greeted the Dons as they turned out for their second pre-season friendly in a week since returning from their training camp in Portugal. The two sides formed up to give Ryan Cowie a guard of honour onto the pitch ahead of his testimonial game.
Aberdeen were in on goal after six minutes, Alfie Bavidge having a near post header turned behind in the only early action as both sides looked to settle into the game. Shayden Morris was next to threaten, cutting in from the right and firing the ball across the face of goal on nine minutes.
Bavidge was a whisker away from grabbing the lead on 16 minutes. Getting in behind the home defence, he lobbed the advancing goalkeeper, only to see his effort bounce off the top of the bar and go behind.
Fraserburgh won a couple of corners midway through the half but the Dons repelled them comfortably. Davidson then went off injured after 27 minutes, replaced by Aitken, and immediately thereafter, Kelle Roos had to be down smartly to his left to make a good save.
Morris’ pace caused more problems for Fraserburgh on 34 minutes, darting to the by-line and pulling the ball back for Leighton Clarkson, whose fierce drive was well saved by Joe Barbour. The Fraserburgh ‘keeper did well to stand up and deny Duk moments later too.
Aberdeen were finally in front on 38 minutes, Bavidge poaching just inside the six-yard box to stab the ball past Barbour at the second attempt after receiving a clever pass from Clarkson. Bavidge wasn’t far away from a second four minutes later, firing just over the bar from the edge of the area after good set up play by Duk.
HALF-TIME: FRASERBURGH 0-1 ABERDEEN
There were wholesale changes for the Dons art the break, just Jack MacKenzie continuing into the second half. The hosts made a couple of changes of their own.
Six minutes into the second half, the Dons won a penalty, Ester Sokler calmly rolling the spot kick into the bottom corner for 2-0 after he had been brought down by Hay in the first instance.
Sargent wriggled into space in the Dons penalty area after 56 minutes as Fraserburgh tried to halve the arrears, but his shot wasn’t powerful enough to trouble Ross Doohan. Just past the hour there were three more changes for the home side, Hay, Young and Wood making way for Simpson, Watt and Bolton.
Midway through the half, a clever turn into space earned Sokler a shooting chance from 20 yards out but this time, his effort flew over the bar. Ryan Duncan had a dig at goal in the 74th minute, but Joe Barbour was again down well to save. Three minutes later, Sargent and Scott Barbour were replaced by Laird and Harris. Jamie Mercer then replaced MacKenzie for Aberdeen.
The Dons were close to a third on 82 minutes. Jonny Hayes flighted a right wing corner to the back post where Anthony Stewart met the ball with a powerful header, only to see it cleared off the line. Five minutes from the end, Ryan Cowie was given a standing ovation by the crowd as he was replaced by West, pretty much bringing the curtain down on his testimonial game.
J. Barbour, L. Davidson, Hay (v 62), Cowie (West 85), Young (Watt 62), Beagrie, Sargent (Laird 77), S. Barbour (Harris 77), Wood (Bolton 62), Butcher, Campbell
Unused Subs: Sopel, Buchan, Aitken, Flinn, N. Davidson
Aberdeen Teamsheet Roos
46).Unused Subs: Williams, Lobban, Emslie.
Venue: Bellslea Park, Fraserburgh
Referee: Joel Kennedy