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Aberdeen 3 - 1 Kilmarnock

HT Score: Aberdeen 3 - 1 Kilmarnock

SPL Youth 19
Aberdeen scorers: O'Neill 6, McManus 22, Smith 26.
Kilmarnock scorers: Ashcroft 17

12/04/2012 | KO: 13:00

Young Dons Finish on High at Pittodrie

Aberdeen U19s finished the season on a high with an excellent performance at Pittodrie this afternoon. All the goals came in the first half. Stephen O'Neill finished off a great move to give the young Dons an early lead in the 2nd minute. Ashcroft equalised for Killie after 17 minutes but Declan McManus added a second on 22 minutes and Cammy Smith got the third on 26 minutes. McManus missed a penalty and also forced the Kilmarnock keeper Cadwell into two fine saves. Despite this he still moved to the top of the Youth League goalscoring charts.

Neil Coopers' side lined up with Rogers in goal. Murray was again at right back with Duguid at left back. Rose was in central defence alongside skipper Dunlop who was playing his last game for the club. Michael has been very unlucky with injuries during his time at Pittodrie. Everyone wishes him all the best for the future. In midfield Fraser and O'Neill were in their usual wing positions with Gibbons and McMahon in the centre. Up front Cammy Smith partnered Declan McManus.

The Dons got off to the perfect start when they scored a brilliant goal from deep inside their own half. Duguid took a throw in from his own corner flag. McManus laid the ball off for Smith who played it to Fraser. The winger drove forward. Ryan played a clever ball into the box which Smith dummied and Stephen O'Neill came in behind him to sweep the ball home.

The visitors though then equalised. A great in swinging cross in between the Dons defenders and keeper Rogers allowed in Ashcroft who poked the ball home.

Five minutes later Aberdeen retook the lead. Gibbons played a superb ball in behind the Killie defence and picked out Fraser. The winger then crossed for McManus who had timed his run perfectly and he passed the ball into the net. The number of assists Fraser has had this season is incredible.

Two then became three when right back Craig Murray got to the bye-line. He put in a deep cross which Smith headed home from close range. Another excellent finish.

Then the Dons had a chance for a fourth when McManus was barged over in the box as he tried to get on the end of a Fraser cross. McManus picked himself up and took the penalty but blasted the ball over. Hopefully that miss won't prevent Declan finishing top of the scoring charts. Celtic's Tony Watt still has a few games to play.

McManus tried to make amends for his miss a few minutes later when he bent a shot into the top hand corner but keeper Cadwell produced an excellent save. His counterpart at the other end also made a fine save just before the break. Rogers then made another very good block on the other side of the half time interval. Both saves were crucial as it allowed Aberdeen to cruise the second half.

There were then not many chances of note. Ryan Fraser hit the post and from the rebound McManus again forced a good save from Cadwell. At the other end McManus cleared the ball off the line. In the closing stages Jamie Masson came on. Jamie has impressed greatly in the recent training matches against Peterhead and Forfar. His introduction lifted the tempo of the game but there were no more goals.

Weather: Showers
Aberdeen Teamsheet
Rogers, Murray, Duguid, Gibbons, Dunlop, Rose, Fraser (Masson 75), McMahon, McManus, Smith, O'Neill.

Unused Subs: Collins, McKenna, Lukasik.
Kilmarnock Teamsheet
Caldwell, Barbour, Thorburn, McKitrick (Rankin 60), Ashcroft, Fisher, Kennedy, Taylor (Kiltie 78), Stynes, Lindsay, McAvoy (Pooler 60)
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
Referee: Gary Cheyne