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Partick Thistle 1 - 1 Aberdeen

HT Score: Partick Thistle 1 - 1 Aberdeen

SPFL U20 League
Partick Thistle scorers: Leyden (pen)
Aberdeen scorers: Jones.

18/02/2014 | KO: 14:00

Aberdeen and Partick Thistle battled out a 1-1 draw at the Excelsior Stadium, with both goals coming in the first-half. The Dons lined up with a young side, fielding centre-halves Scott McKenna and Michael Rose between full-backs Marcus Campanile and Michael Kelly. Central midfielders Kalvin Orsi and Matthew McMahon were supported by wingers Scott Wright and Michael Jones, with Cammy Smith sitting behind Declan McManus up front. By contrast the Jags sent out an experienced team, with Aaron Muirhead, Stephen O'Donnell and Steven Lawless amongst their starting eleven. Aberdeen were determined from the offset and went ahead after just four minutes. Cammy Smith chested the ball into the path of the onrushing Michael Jones, who superbly curled it into the bottom right hand corner from 20 yards.
The Dons seemed to be in control without forcing any further openings in the early stages, with Danny Rogers rarely called upon at the other end. However, Thistle were awarded a spot-kick on 19 minutes when the outstretched leg of Michael Kelly caught Jordan Leyden as he moved down the right hand side. Steven Lawless stepped up and calmly sent Rogers the wrong way. The Dons threatened to bounce back from the set-back three minutes later, after Declan McManus showed great strength to carve out an opening for Smith, who struck low from 25 yards forcing Jags keeper Basalas to parry clear. The Jags then three times came within inches of taking the lead through McDaid, whose initial low effort from the left angle of the box came back off Rogers' right-hand post, before the ball was worked to the same player who struck an even more powerful shot which cracked off the bar. McDaid had a third long-range attempt in a matter of seconds which Rogers got down well to divert wide for a corner. Thistle thought they had taken the lead on 32 minutes when the lively Leyden knocked a corner down for Muirhead to lash home, but the assistant referee flagged for offside. The Maryhill side were starting to take control of the game and Keenan forced a good save from Rogers from a free-kick just moments later. However, Keenan nearly gifted Aberdeen a bizarre second from the resulting surge forward, when he sclaffed McManus' cross off his own post, before Scott Wright fired the rebound over.
Five minutes after the break, Keenan came close again with another left-footed free-kick from the edge of the box, which drifted just wide of Rogers' right-hand post, before O'Donnell shot into the side-netting with an effort from the right-inside angle of the penalty box. Lawless then set up O'Donnell who had space on the right, but his chipped effort drifted wide of Rogers' left-hand post. Partick continued to create chances, and substitute Mark Watters lofted a shot just wide of target on 67 minutes. A driving run by Smith on 72 minutes led to McManus being released, however the forward was blocked as he tried to return the ball ahead of the overlapping Smith. The Dons surged forward again moments later, and Marcus Campanile smashed the ball across goal, missing the run of Jones by only a fraction. Three minutes from time Matthew McMahon swivelled on the edge of the box before shooting from 20 yards, with his shot just past Basalas' post. Although the Dons finished on top, there was nothing to separate the teams as the match finished all-square.
Partick Thistle Teamsheet
Basalas, O'Donnell, Meechan (McMullan 70), Muirhead, Keenan, Wilson, McDaid, Hamilton, Leyden, Lawless (Watters 68), Gallacher. Substitutes not used: Colina.
Aberdeen Teamsheet
Rogers, Campanile, Kelly, Orsi (Petrie 52), McKenna, Rose, Jones (Norris 83), McMahon, McManus, Smith, Wright.

Unused Subs: Burns, Dunbar.
Venue: Excelsior Stadium, Airdrie