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Aberdeen 1 - 0 Rangers

HT Score: Aberdeen 0 - 0 Rangers

SPL Youth 19
Aberdeen scorers: Devaney 86.

24/02/2012 | KO: 13:30

Devaney Wins it with Late Strike

A free kick late in the game from captain Conor Devaney gave Aberdeen a deserved victory over Rangers this afternoon at a very windy Balgownie.

Neil Cooper was forced to make a couple of changes to the side which lost narrowly to league leaders Hearts. Captain Michael Dunlop picked up a knock so Michael Rose came in for his first start at centre half and Dean Carse replaced Ryan Fraser, who was also injured, on the right wing.

The match was played in terrible conditions. A strong, almost gale force wind swept across the park which made viewing the game a challenge, never mind playing football. The pitch also cut up making it difficult to pass the ball.

The young Dons probably adjusted to the conditions better and enjoyed the majority of the possession in the first half. They passed the ball about well but the wind made it very difficult to put any pace on the ball in the third of the park. Rangers had the best chance when Barry McKay was given an opening in the box but Danny Rodgers did really well to block. The keeper also made a good save from a Wiktoski free kick. The keeper deserves credit for his assured handling throughout.

In the second half again the wind caused problems and there were few chances at either end. The Dons best chance was when the ball fell to McManus in the box but his shot just went over. Straight after that Rangers had a good opportunity when McKay was through again on goal but Rogers did well to get out quickly and the Rangers striker put the ball wide. With the game heading for a draw Aberdeen won a free kick about 35 yards out. It looked as if it was too far for a direct shot but Conor Devaney, who has scored some superb long range goals this term, curled the ball round the wall and into the corner of the goal. Alan Smith in the Rangers goal got down to the shot and appeared to get his hands on the ball but could not hold on and to the delighted of the Aberdeen players and the healthy crowd the ball rolled into the net. The captain deserved his goal after putting in an excellent performance and led the team well throughout.

Rangers pushed forward at the end but Aberdeen comfortably held on for the victory. A really good team performance from the young Dons with every player again working tirelessly. Special mention to central defenders Michael Rose who was outstanding considering it was his first full game and Scott Rumsby who was the pick of the players this afternoon.

Aberdeen Teamsheet
Rogers, Murray, Masson, Devaney, Rose, Rumsby, Carse (McMahon 65), Storie, McManus, Smith, O'Neill.

Unused Subs: Gibbons, Duguid, Lukasik.
Rangers Teamsheet
Smith, McAusland, Clarke, K Skogsrud, Robinson, Witktoski, Gafaiti (Fotheringham 55), Crawford, McKay, MacLeod. T Skogsrud (Burrows 82)

Bookings:  McAusaland 28,   Fotheringham 85
Venue: Balgownie Playing Fields, Aberdeen
Referee: Gary Cheyne