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Aberdeen 1 - 1 Inverness CT

HT Score: Aberdeen 1 - 1 Inverness CT

SPFL Development League
Aberdeen scorers: Shankland 45.
Inverness CT scorers: Ross

02/09/2014 | KO: 18:00

Dons Have to Settle for a Point

A young Aberdeen side this evening drew 1-1 with Inverness CT at Balmoor Stadium in the SPFL Development League. The visitors took the lead midway through the first half but Lawrence Shankland scored his fourth goal of the season just before the break to equalise. In the second half Aberdeen dominated possession but could not find a way through a well organised ICT defence. Even when the Highlanders were reduced to ten men in the closing stages the Dons could not get the break of the ball in the box and had to settle for a point which means though Paul Sheerin's side remain unbeaten.

With a number of youngsters away on international duty, Aberdeen lined up with Brown in goal, Murray at right back, Rose and Gibbons in central defence with Kelly at left back. Petrie was the holding midfielder with Campanile in front of him whilst Felek played wide left and Monakana wide right. Cammy Smith played as the front midfielder in a diamond formation, supporting Shankland upfront. Duncan Shearer's side included Nick Ross, Liam Polworth, and Jordon Brown's brother Jason.
On a perfect evening for playing football Aberdeen struggled initially in the opening stages although they did have the better of the chances. After 5 minutes the first chance came when Smith broke free, however his low shot from a tight angle was straight at the keeper. On 9 minutes a mistake at the back allowed the Dons to have a two on two. Shankland played it wide to Campanile who had run into space but his return pass was just too short for Lawrence. A good opportunity wasted.
As the half wore on ICT were probably just on top and on 24 minutes the visitors took the lead. To their credit the young Dons were trying to play the ball out from the back whenever they could - something both teams tried to do all night. However on this occasion Petrie and Campanile had a misunderstanding and collided on the centre circle spot. It meant ICT could break and had a 3 on 2. Polworth did well to time his pass perfectly and played in Ross who had peeled wide. He then showed good composure to lift the ball over the onrushing Brown and into the net. A quality finish. You could not blame any of the Aberdeen players, just one of these things that happens in a game.
As Aberdeen tried to get back into the match Paul Sheerin in the 34th minute made a tactical change which saw Petrie and Gibbons swap positons. It was a very good move as both players went on to have fine matches. Also Monakana and Felek swapped wings. A minute later the Dons managed to break through the defence and Shankland played it wide to Monakana. His low cross found Felek at the near post but he could not divert the ball towards goal. On 38 minutes the Dons had a major let off. Kelly misplaced a pass, after good pressure from Inverness, straight to Ross. He had time to pick his spot but pulled a shot just wide. A minute later Campanile tried his luck from distance. The shot should not have troubled MacKay in the Inverness goal but he fumbled it and was relived to gather it at the second attempt. Aberdeen then forced a series of corners but the delivery was poor. Just before the break a much better delivery - Felek put over a superb cross for Shankland at the back post but his header back across goal just looped over the bar. A minute later though, just on the stroke of half time Aberdeen were level at this time Shankland made no mistake. Michael Kelly delivered a great ball from the left and Lawrence nipped in at the near post to score.

As the second half wore on Aberdeen started to get on top. Campanile, Gibbons and Smith crucially started to get on top in the middle of the park. On 52 minutes the Dons got the break of the ball on the half way line and all of sudden Smith was clean through. He had enough pace and strength to hold off the defender but when faced with the keeper he disappointingly dragged his shot wide. Then five minutes later after ICT had been disposed at the back again Felek played it to Smith who played in Shankland but he miscued his shot.
On 61 minutes Monakana was replaced by Frank Ross, who impressed when he came on. After 64 minutes Murray got to the by-line and his cross at the front post was punched half clear by the keeper. The ball fell to Felek but his left footed volley was off target. Then on the break striker Calum Ferguson got a shot on target but Brown has his angles right and was able to make a comfortable save.
After 68 minutes Felek was replaced by Orsi. On 70 minutes Campanile was booked for a foul on Ross. From the resulting free kick the ball went all the way through to Brown but sub Chris Blackett was not far away from getting a touch. Aberdeen then stepped it up a gear and increased their intensity. Orsi crossed for Shankland but he could not get any pace into his header. Smith then had a shot which was deflected and could have gone anywhere but the ball frustratingly would not land at the red jersey. Then seconds later Shankland played in Orsi, his pass was just a touch over hit, and although Kalvin challenged the keeper and won the ball he could do nothing with it from a very tight angle.
On 82 minutes Invernessfired a shot from about 30 yards just wide. Brown seemed to have it covered. The ICT first team player was then booked for persistent fouling and five minutes later received another yellow for a foul and was shown a red card. Both bookings seemed very harsh. The game was very competitive but played in a good spirit.
In the 85th minute Campanile, who put in a fine battling performance, was replaced by Henry. Aberdeen threw everything at Inverness in the final minutes but they would just not get the break of the ball in the box. Kelly forced the keeper into a decent save from his cross/shot, Smith and Shankland had half chances but the ball would just not run for the Dons in the box.

Aberdeen Teamsheet
Brown, Murray, Kelly, Petrie, Gibbons, Rose, Smith, Campanile (Henry 85), Shankland, Monakana (Ross 61), Felek (Orsi 76).

Unused Subs: Mutch, Jones, Dunbar, Ross.
Inverness CT Teamsheet
Mackay, Horner, Howarth, Baptie, Brown, Devine, Wilson, Polworth, Ferguson, Ross, Sutherland Subs: Hoban, Hull, Blackett, MacArthur, Maclennan
Venue: Balmoor Stadium, Peterhead
Referee: Alex Shepherd