A scrappy game at Pittodrie ended with honours even as Aberdeen could not capitalise on taking a first half lead, having a second half goal chalked off for offside before being hauled back by a purposeful Dundee.
Barry Robson made three changes to his starting XI after defeat at Tynecastle with Angus MacDonald, Ester Sokler and Jack Milne all starting. Connor Barron and Dante Polvara began on the bench, with Stefan Gartenmann injured. Duk also missed out with illness, while new signing Killian Phillips was included among the substitutes.
Dundee won 4-1 at Livingston at the weekend but there were five changes to their side with Trevor Carson, Lyall Cameron, Zach Robinson, Malachi Boateng and Owen Beck replacing Harrison Sharp, Finlay Robertson, Luke McCowan, Dara Costelloe and Scott Tiffoney.
It was a very quiet opening to the game, both sides feeling each other out in the early minutes, the game halted all too often by the referee’s whistle for a string of minor infringements.
Bojan Miovski had the first swing at goal, twisting and turning in the box to make a shooting chance after good work from Jack MacKenzie, Miovski’s shot sweeping across goal and wide.
Dundee had a golden chance on 12 minutes, Robinson picking up a loose header in the area and rolling the ball through the six yard box, Bakayoko just inches away from getting a crucial touch as he slid in at the back post. A minute later, it was Miovski again, away down the right, his cross-shot not powerful enough to trouble Carson.
Graeme Shinnie was next to get in on goal, in behind the Dundee defence to collect a long ball forward, but with Carson narrowing the angle, he clipped his shot over the goalkeeper but across the face of goal and wide in the17th minute. Dodgson was booked a minute later for a foul on Miovski. Boateng joined him in the book on 23 minutes for a high tackle on Shinnie.
There was a heart in mouth moment on 25 minutes as Bakayoko charged down a Kelle Roos clearance, the two sprinting back towards goal, Roos able to grab the loose ball.
Things turned Aberdeen’s way on the half hour, Shaughnessy clipping Sokler from behind as the ball came into the box, the referee pointing to the spot. After a lengthy delay, Miovski put his foot through the ball and buried it in the bottom corner, a goal that was desperately needed.
McGrath was booked after 35 minutes for a foul on Boateng. On 39, McGrath and Milne combined well down the right, Milne putting his cross onto Sokler’s head, but his effort was straight at Carson.
There was a stop for a VAR check on a Clarkson challenge on Cameron on 43 minutes, neither the referee nor the Dundee man concerned by it, play eventually carrying on after a lengthy hiatus.
HALF-TIME: ABERDEEN 1 DUNDEE 0
The visitors made a change at the break, Mulligan on for Sylla.
Aberdeen started the better, Sokler doing well down the left before crossing into McGrath, his shot well saved by Carson’s outstretched leg on 49. A minute later, Sokler himself had the ball in the net, getting away from the defender to collect a nicely weighted McGrath pass before clubbing the ball into the net. Up went the offside flag before VAR was called into action once again, confirming the decision. It must have been very close.
On 52 there was an escape for Aberdeen, Cameron wriggling away down the left side and spearing a low cross through the six yard box which, thankfully, evaded everyone. A corner resulted from the move and after Dundee worked a short one, Beck’s cross to the back post saw McGhee get up for the header, Roos acrobatically up to tip the ball over. But from that corner, Beck curled the ball all the way to the back post where Ashcroft headed in the equaliser from three yards out.
It could have been worse on the hour, neat passing play from Dundee creating a shot for Mulligan, Devlin doing well to get in an important block. Aberdeen made their first changes on 67, Sokler and MacKenzie replaced by Pape Guéye and Ryan Duncan, the visitors introducing Costelloe and Tiffoney for Robinson and McGhee. Main then came on for Bakayoko on 72 minutes.
Aberdeen began to lift the tempo as we headed into the last 15 minutes, Phillips coming on for his debut in place of Milne. Shinnie took a tumble as he darted towards the area on 76 minutes, no foul given. There was a nasty collision between Richard Jensen and Tiffoney two minutes later, the Aberdeen man booked as a result. Shayden Morris was Aberdeen’s final change of the night, coming on for Clarkson in the 87th minute. Beck went into the book a couple of minutes later for a tackle on McGrath.
Five minutes of added time saw Dundee have the best chance to win it, Beck coming onto the ball on the left and drilling a shot across goal but well wide of the far post.
2 minutes added at end 1st half.
5 minutes added at end 2nd half.
N.B. The programme from the original date of 21st October was used but with an up-to-date supplement added.