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Aberdeen 2 - 1 Ross County

HT Score: Aberdeen 1 - 1 Ross County

Scottish Premiership
Aberdeen scorers: Miovski 5, McGrath 78.
Ross County scorers: Murray 26

30/03/2024 | KO: 15:00

The clocks might go forward tonight but Aberdeen turned them back to happier times at Pittodrie, the 2-1 win in front of a packed house taking the Dons six points clear of Ross County.

There was one change to the Aberdeen side that won 1-0 at Motherwell, Richard Jensen coming in for Angus MacDonald, out with illness, while Nicky Devlin played in a protective face mask. With Killian Phillips also out injured, Jonny Hayes and Shayden Morris returned to the bench.

Ross County made two changes after their win over Hearts last time out, Connor Randall and Josh Sims replacing Max Sheaf and Jordan White.

Spring had arrived at Pittodrie with the game kicking-off in bright sunshine in front of a big crowd. Good football from the Dons and a fine pass from Connor Barron allowed Bojan Miovski to get in behind the defence after a couple of minutes, Wickens saving well, though Miovski was ultimately flagged offside.

Junior Hoilett produced another defence splitting pass on five minutes and this time, it stuck. Miovski looked to have run out of space as he chased to the byline but still squeezed what looked a fairly innocuous shot through Wickens and Reid, Efete then unable to clear off the line. Lovely football from the Dons in the goal’s creation but County’s defending left plenty to be desired. Never mind, it was the ideal start for Aberdeen.

Reid was booked in the ninth minute for a rugby tackle on Jamie McGrath on halfway as the Dons had the visitors on the rack every time they came forward.

Kelle Roos had to make an important intervention on 14 minutes as County finally got going with some nice football down their left, Murray finding Reid. His shot across goal was powerful but Roos made a fine save and pawed the ball away to safety in doing so.

There was a halt in play on 22 minutes after McGrath and Leak clashed heads as they went up for a looping Jack MacKenzie cross, but thankfully both were able to continue quickly enough.

A big challenge from Stefan Gartenmann stopped Murray at the near post on 26 minutes, but Murray would not be denied from the corner. County played it short, Dhanda curling the cross to the back post where Murray got free and thumped his header in off the underside of the bar to square things up at 1-1.

Fine defending from Devlin, now without the mask, prevented Sims pulling the trigger after 38 minutes, the visitors enjoying the better of the game as Aberdeen had lost that early momentum.

The hosts rallied though and good possession play four minutes later gave Miovski a sight of goal from the right edge of the box, 14 yards out, but as he shaped his shot for the far corner, he got underneath it and put it over the bar.

Hoilett was booked for a foul on Efete as he came forward in the final minute of the half. From 30 yards out, Dhanda scooped his cross beyond everyone and out for a goal kick.

HALF-TIME: ABERDEEN 1 ROSS COUNTY 1

White came on for the visitors at the break, replacing Sims. He was in the book on 53, elbowing Gartenmann as they challenged for a high ball.

Aberdeen produced a nice move three minutes later with MacKenzie and Hoilett linking well, the move ending with a shot from distance by Barron that was comfortably saved. In the 57th minute, a MacKenzie shot had to be blocked behind by Ayina.

Gartenmann was booked on the hour for pulling down Murray some 25 yards out. Dhanda ballooned his free-kick into the Red Shed but he was much closer on 65, running onto a couple of flick-ons from a long throw and unleashing a fierce drive from a dozen yards, Roos making an excellent fingertip save to push the ball over.

Duk and Dante Polvara replaced Hoilett and Barron after 67 minutes as the Dons looked to find a spark for the last quarter of the game. Duk was up for a back post header from a McGrath cross on 70 minutes, but his effort was easy meat for Wickens.

Roos had to be very quick off his line to deny a County through ball on 73 minutes but his arrowed clearance forward then had Wickens scrambling off his line. He took Duk out 25 yards from goal, the ‘keeper was booked for his challenge. Clarkson stepped up to take the free-kick, the ball getting over the wall but drifting just wide.

Chasing the win, County made two more changes, Dhanda and Randall making way for Sheaf and Khela on 76, but two minutes later, it was Aberdeen who seized the lead. It was thanks to patient play out from the back which ended with MacKenzie picking out Duk inside the box, Duk turning and dragging the ball across the top of the six yard box, where McGrath was there to sniff out the chance and turn the ball past Wickens.

County were far from finished though and a good build up gave Loturi the chance to fire in a drive that, thankfully, went beyond the post on 81 minutes. Reid and Loturi were replaced on 84 minutes by Harmon and Brophy in County’s final throw of the dice.

A vicious drive from all of 25 yards by Polvara almost settled things on 86, the American midfielder chesting down a clearance before thundering the ball past Wickens, the ball smacking against the bar and bouncing to safety.

Heading into added time, Ester Sokler replaced Miovski as the Dons looked to shepherd the win to the final whistle. County grabbed a corner in the 94th minute, Wickens coming up to attack the ball. Aberdeen won the ball, leaving Sheaf to hack McGrath down as the Dons tried to pour forward, his booking the last meaningful action of the afternoon.



2 minutes added at end 1st half.
4 Minutes added at end 2nd half.
Aberdeen Teamsheet
Roos, Devlin, MacKenzie, Shinnie, Jensen, Gartenmann, McGrath, Barron (Polvara 66), Miovski (Sokler 91), Clarkson, Hoilett (Lopes 66).

Unused Subs: Doohan, McGarry, Hayes, Morris, Duncan, Milne.

Bookings:  Hoilett (45),  Gartenmann (61).
Ross County Teamsheet
Wickens, Efete, Baldwin, Ayina, Leak, Reid (Harmon 84), Randall (Sheaf 76), Loturi (Brophy 85), Sims (White 46), Dhanda (Khela 75), Murray Unused Subs: Ross, Borthwick-Jackson, Brown, Henderson

Bookings:  Reid 9,   White 53,   Wickens 74,   Sheaf 95
Attendance: 17,616
Visitors:518
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
Referee: Kevin Clancy
Next Match
East Kilbride
A
20 Jul 2024 / 15:00 / K-Park Training Academy, East Kilbride