The Dons lost their first pre-season game this evening as former Don Jordon Brown inspired the Blue Toon to a deserved victory. The Division Three side took a 3-0 lead midway through the first half after a McAllister penalty and two goals by midfielder Brown, who was excellent throughout. Robson got the Dons back into the game with an excellent free kick and after the break McGinn scored from the spot to set up a grand finale. The Dons pushed hard and were unlucky to see a Hayes shot come back off the post in the final minute.
Aberdeen travelled to Peterhead for their penultimate pre-season match and lined up with Weaver in goal, Shaughnessy at right back, Anderson and Reynolds in central defence and Robertson at left back. The midfield saw Pawlett play wide right, Jack and Robson in the middle with Hayes on the left while Vernon and Magennis were partnered up front.
There were a number of ex Dons in the Peterhead line up: Ryan Strachan, Scott Ross, Rory McAllister and Jordon Brown
Early on the Dons won a couple of corners from which Robson swung in a couple of good balls but the home side defended them well. It soon became clear that Peterhead were well fired up for the game with some strong tackles being made across the pitch. On 16 minutes, Robertson went down injured and he was replaced by Scott McKenna- hopefully more precautionary than anything more serious.
The game then slowly started to open up and on 22 minutes Jordon Brown made space for himself on the edge of the box but fired over the bar. At the other end Magennis had a sight of goal but his shot was weak and Smith had plenty of time to save.
After 24 minutes the home side got themselves in front when McAllister- playing on the shoulder of the last defender- got in behind and when Anderson came across to block he was adjudged to have tripped him when McAllister cut across the Dons captain. Rory took the kick himself and sent Weaver the wrong way.
The Dons tried to respond and on 26 minutes, Magennis flashed a good header just wide from a Robson free kick. Josh then went down injured but was able to continue. Shortly after that Anderson went on a great run. He played it wide before getting his head on the cross. Peterhead then broke forward and McAllister got on the end of Brown's long ball. Pawlett did just enough to get back and put him off. McAllister did get the break of the ball but his chip was just saved by Weaver to prevent the home side doubling their lead.
They weren't to be denied for long though and when a cross was played in from the left, Jordon Brown made one of his trademark late runs into the box which was not picked up and headed home. Something he did for the young Dons for years. A minute later the ex Don grabbed his second. The ball was played into the back post area and unmarked he bundled the ball home. There were some serious questions being asked in the Aberdeen defence at this stage although video replays clearly show Weaver was completely taken out of the play.
Jonny Hayes tried to lift the Dons and he went on a good forward run before Ross hauled him down. Robson stepped forward to take the free kick and brilliantly curled it over the wall into the net. Smith in the Peterhead goal did not move. After that the Dons came more into it and Magennis was unlucky that a couple of lay off's in the box did not land at the feet of a red jersey. Just before the end of the first half, Aberdeen should have had a penalty when Anderson was taken down in the box.
HT 3-1 Peterhead
Derek McInnes made a couple of changes at half time as he attempted to get his side back into the game. McGinn and Murray replaced Magennis and Anderson. Niall joined Scott Vernon up front while Murray went to right back and Shaughnessy joined Reynolds in the centre of defence. In the early stages of the second half Weaver did well to tip a McAllister head over the bar but the ball was spending too long in the air which was suiting Peterhead.
Slowly though the Dons were starting to play football. Robson and Murray linked well. The full back played in Vernon but he was ruled offside but it looked a very tight decision indeed. Then after another patient build up, Aberdeen had a great chance to get back into the game. Pawlett crossed for Vernon who was unmarked but he got underneath it and headed over.
By the 65th minute, The Dons were well on top but Peterhead were keeping their shape well and not letting the Dons get in behind their defensive line. Craig Murray certainly made a difference though as the full back was looking to get forward at every available opportunity.
On 70 minutes a long ball caused problems at the back for Aberdeen. McAllister's strength had been a problem all night for the visitors- on this occasion though Weaver did just enough to get out block him A minute later Nicky Low replaced Barry Robson before- on 73 minutes- there was another brilliant run by Murray and this time he was picked out. Murray did brilliantly to beat his man and cut it back for Pawlett who unfortunately put his first time effort just over.
The Dons received a lifeline on 73 minutes when Hayes went on a surging run before being taken down in the box. It was stonewall penalty and McGinn stepped up and put the keeper the wrong way. Lawrence Shankland then replaced Scott Vernon to make his first appearance for the first team since his arrival from Queens Park in the summer.
In the closing stages Low put in a great ball which was just headed past the post by a Peterhead defender before he swung in another great ball which Shankland was only inches away from getting on the end of. Hayes then had an opening but the keeper did well to get out and block bravely.
The visitors threw everything at Peterhead in the final few minutes. Firstly- from a free kick Pawlett laid it back to Hayes but his shot agonisingly hit the post and rebounded to safety. Then McGinn had a great chance when a rare slip at the back let him in. He had time but shot over. He might have been better playing in Shankland who was unmarked and would have had a better angle at goal. As it proved it was the Dons last chance of the game as Derek McInnes suffered defeat for the time as Aberdeen boss.