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Aberdeen 2 - 1 Partick Thistle

HT Score: Aberdeen 0 - 0 Partick Thistle

SPFL Development League
Aberdeen scorers: Orsi 46, Felek 70.
Partick Thistle scorers: Leyden (pen)

24/03/2015 | KO: 14:00

A makeshift development side showed real character to battle out a victory in Forfar this afternoon. Partick Thistle can consider themselves unfortunate not to take something from the game and had it not been for Dons keeper Robbie Mutch, who produced five or six top saves, they would have won. After the visitors had dominated the first half, twenty seconds into the start of the second, Jamie Henry won the ball, David Goodwillie produced a piece of real quality with a great through ball for Kalvin Orsi who scored. Near the hour mark Mutch was finally beaten when Keenan was taken down in the box and Leyden scored from the spot. With twenty minutes to go Aberdeen regained the lead when Gibbons won the ball in the middle of the park, Orsi played it early to Felek who produced a very good finish. Partick had a lot of pressure in the final stages but Joe Shaughnessy at the back kept the young Dons organised and they held out for another very important win.

A heavily depleted Aberdeen side were without five players on international duty (Shankland, Smith, Ross, Harvie, Norris) and with Jamie Masson going out on loan it meant they were without six others (McManus - on loan and international duty, Storie, Rogers, McKenna, Murray). So a make shift staring XI lined up with Mutch in goal, Sam Robertson at right back with Joe Shaughnessy at left back and Culjak and Rose in central defence. Gibbons and Henry were the central midfielders with Orsi wide right, Driver wide left and Felek played in behind Goodwillie. On the bench Paul Sheerin had to name himself, whilst players from the Youth Academy, U15 and U17 level were also named as subs - keeper Ellis, David Dangana, Andrew Youngson.
This was going to be a tough test for the Dons as they were up against a Partick side who had been in good form and had beaten Hamilton recently. In the first minute Matthew McInally got round the back of the Dons defence and put over a dangerous ball but Mutch did well to cut it out. The early stages from both teams saw them have a lot of passes that failed to find their mark. The Dons had a massive let off in the 10th minute when Mutch failed to hold a cross. The keeper though was helped out by Culjak and Robertson who both made goal saving blocks. Aberdeen won their first corner on 16 minutes, then Goodwillie and Felek almost created an opening a few minutes later before Mutch produced a good bit of goalkeeping with a flying dive to punch clear. Then on 20 minutes Nisbett put McInally in the clear but Mutch made a very good stop from close range. Then Kevin Nisbett put a couple of free kicks just wide. The Thistle centre forward impressed all afternoon.
With 30 minutes gone the visitors were looking the more dangerous. Paul Sheerin made a tactical change with Driver and Orsi swapping wings. Mutch then made another good block from point blank range from Nisbett after the ball had taken an unnatural bounce on the plastic pitch and completely taken out two defenders. Partick were closing down very well in the middle of the park and were well on top at this stage of proceedings. On 40 minutes on the break the ball was well worked to Nisbett but he curled a shot just wide. On this occasion Mutch was beaten if he had found the target. Aberdeen could consider themselves fortunate still to be on level terms going in at half time.

Whatever Paul Sheerin said to his players worked as within 20 seconds of the restart they had taken the lead, with their first real attack of note. Jamie Henry did well to win the ball high up the pitch. His tackle landed at the feet of David Goodwillie who produced a piece of absolute brilliance. His first time chipped ball into Kalvin Orsi was real quality. Kalvin then produced a composed finish to give Aberdeen the lead. A few minutes later Driver set up Orsi but this time the ball would just not sit for him. On 52 minutes the Dons defence were opened up and Nisbett was clear again, but Mutch produced a superb save, diving full length to his right. McInally prodded the rebound home but was flagged offside. Then a poor clearance by the other keeper gave Aberdeen a chance but Felek failed to find Orsi or Goodwillie in the box. Partick continued to looked the better side and Mutch had to tip over shots from Wilson and Docherty. Both were again good saves.
On 57 minutes though Partick were level. Dale Keenan was fouled in the box by Henry and the referee correctly pointed to the spot. Jordan Leyden took it and sent the ball down the middle of the goal and into the net. On 65 minutes Driver was replaced by Jones. After 68 minutes another great save from Mutch, who at full stretch tipped a shot from Wilson round the post. Then on 70 minutes Aberdeen regained the lead. Captain Gibbons showed good determination in the middle of the park to win a header that he had no right to win. The ball fell for Orsi and he fed it wide to Felek who was in the clear. With the keeper rushing out to meet him, and the ball moving at pace away from him, Cem produced a very good finish.
Back came Thistle and Keenan hit a shot which just went over the bar. The Dons had moved Shaughnessy into the centre of defence, with Sam Robertson going to left back and Culjak to right back. It was a good tactical switch from Sheerin as Joe used all his experience to organise the back line. Also Richie Petrie came on for Felek. Thistle did still have chances and on 85 minutes Nisbett nodded the ball down to McInally and with the goal in front of him he failed to make contact. It was a very good chance and he should have scored. A couple of minutes before the end Nisbett blasted a free kick past the wall but thankfully the ball went past the post as well.
Aberdeen Teamsheet
Mutch, Robertson, Shaughnessy, Gibbons, Culjak, Rose, Driver (Jones 65), Henry, Goodwillie, Felek (Petrie 80), Orsi.

Unused Subs: Ellis, Dangana, Youngson, Sheerin.
Partick Thistle Teamsheet
Waters, Finnie, Keenan, Hendry, Richards-Everton, Wilson, McDaid, Docherty, Nisbett, Leyden, McInally Substitutes: Cullen, McLaughlin, Dillon, McMullin, McLaren
Venue: Station Park, Forfar
Next Match
East Kilbride
20 Jul 2024 / 15:00 / K-Park Training Academy, East Kilbride