Aug 152016

Aberdeen could only grind out a draw against a defensively resolute Hearts side, says Voice reporter Andrew Watson.

merkalndpic3In terms of the pitch, the day started brightly, a bit of rain ensuring the pitch not to be too dry. ‘Waterfront’, by Simple Minds, with “come in, come out of the rain”, playing over the tannoy very apt, indeed.

Hearts’ support was very vocal, nestled in the away end of the South Stand. There appeared to be strains of “You’re Not Famous Anymore” emanating from that very section.

When the match proper began, Peter Pawlett connected with Jayden Stockley, the latter almost heading the ball into the net.

Then there was a long distant effort from Aberdeen. Right idea, but the ball went wide.

Pawlett forced a corner, with the ball eventually going out for a goal kick.

A subsequent scramble in the Hearts box could’ve been a goal for Aberdeen.

Niall McGinn had his shot deflected by the keeper, Jack Hamilton, for a corner. Hearts fared with an attempt of their own, too.

Wes Burns created a free kick, which was taken by McGinn.

The first real flashpoint saw the ball almost over the line, saved expertly by Hamilton via an acrobatic punch out of the danger area.

Down the other end, the ball bobbled favourably for Aberdeen as Hearts struck out on goal.

The first booking of the game came as Aberdeen won a free kick.

Hearts then had more close attempts on goal, with Aberdeen very fortunate to survive them.

The Jambos even seemed to be awarded a soft foul not too far from the outside of the Aberdeen box. A glancing header went wide.

One of their charges, Faycal Rherras, however, got booked for petulance, having booted the ball away in anger in response to a free kick decision.

Pawlett was awarded another free kick at Hearts’ expense, too.

Then followed yet another Hearts’ booking, some of their play seeming very cynical.

Shaleum Logan got forward, his ball, whether shot or cross, ending up in Hamilton’s arms.

McGinn’s free kick, later on in the game, went over the bar.

Halftime 0-0.

Anthony O’Connor kicked off the second half with a superb sliding block to deny the Jam Tarts.

Aberdeen, in turn, weighed in with a powerful but inaccurate shot.

O’Connor, again, fared with a timely tackle of the sliding variety.

There were yellow cards aplenty as Aberdeen won another free kick.

Logan seemed to help steer the ball, as best as he could, into the net. Pity the recipient put it wide.

McGinn raced down the wing, putting the ball over the bar.

Hearts came close, with O’Connor perhaps changing the trajectory of the ball favourably for Aberdeen.

The Dons then made a double substitution with Burns coming off for Kenny McLean, and Stockley coming off for Adam Rooney.

Aberdeen advanced, but were swatted away, Hearts faring with a superb defensive diving header.

O’Connor appeared to be hurting after another excellent commitment to the Aberdeen defensive cause.

Hearts then somehow absorbed a weighty Aberdeen attack.

After this, Hamilton leapt to catch the ball and defuse Aberdeen.

The latter were lucky not to be a goal down, after inviting Hearts to score after allowing too much time on the ball.

Graeme Shinnie was commanding, soaking up tackles and, at the same time, ploughing forward.

Then a header glanced wide for Aberdeen.

A final Aberdeen substitution was made, Miles Storey coming on for Pawlett.

Having not put a foot wrong up until now, O’Connor appeared to flap for the first time. Thankfully this was rectified by an alert Logan, sweeping the ball away from danger.

Arguably Hearts standout player, keeper Hamilton, for the umpteenth time, rose to the occasion, catching yet another Aberdeen delivery. He did so, again, even holding on after being knocked off his feet, courtesy of an aggressive Aberdeen attack.

Hearts then came with a fortuitous free kick, in a very advantageous position. It was struck with some power, but hitting off the defensive wall.

The Hearts’ defence, in turn, really put their heads on the chopping block with their never say die, suicidal defensive diving headers to prompt the ball out of danger.

Aberdeen had a penalty claim ignored.

Hearts put what appeared an inevitable goal over the bar from, really, no distance at all.

An additional two minutes of play was announced.

Before the Red Army faithful knew it, their side had been frustrated to a second subsequent goalless draw. Very disappointing, indeed.

Final score:  0-0.

Jul 162016

Aberdeen thrashed FK Ventspils, though, like a fortnight ago, the goals all came in the latter stages of the game, reports Voice reporter Andrew Watson.

merklandandrewThe pitch was still crisp and fresh. Fine weather dominated the fixture and there was even a fine breeze to keep it getting too sticky.
‘Hard To Beat’ by Hard-Fi played over the tannoy. Was this in reference to being beat on their away leg last week, but still going through on aggregate?

Anyway, during the pre-match warm up, the Ventspils’ players adopted curious yoga positions. Sorting out their chakras, maybe?

After that, bagpipes blared during a popular song, as if to draw tribal lines between Scotland and Latvia, another Europa League qualifier for Aberdeen.

‘Shut Up And Dance’ by Walk The Moon was next. One had a sense this song tried to encapsulate the feeling that, however premature and self-assured, Aberdeen would hammer into the next round.

Moving onto the game proper, Kenny McLean fared with an emphatic header. Just a tad inaccurate.

Then, down the other end, Shaleum Logan made Aberdeen’s, seemingly, second desperate defensive attempt to lash out at the ball and put it out of harm’s way.

Aberdeen then dug deep and put the ball out for a throw in, as Ventspils advanced.

At this point the drumming in the Merkland Stand was noticed, definitely making their presence felt.

Aberdeen were soon soaking up sustained pressure from Ventspils.

Adam Rooney then got taken for a ride, on the crest of a wave that saw him sliding along the ground with his opposite number. Later he, indeed, earned a foul proper as prior incident went unnoticed.

An excellent ball was floated to outside the box, though subsequent delivery into box went straight at both opposing keeper and captain, Maksims Uvarenko.

A dogged Jonny Hayes was unlucky in getting the ball out for a corner after a lengthy dribble.

There was also outrage at Pittodrie as aforementioned Hayes got chopped down, but no foul given.

Niall McGinn almost connected with Rooney with a near perfect delivery from just outwith the box to the latter in the penalty area.

A subsequent McGinn free kick then went out for a corner, and the latter was swatted out of the way.

McGinn, again putting himself about, was perhaps lucky not to get booked for a rather rash, late challenge amidst an ensuing midfield battle.

A heavy ball, later, from Ashton Taylor to Logan, went out for a Ventspils throw.

The latter then floated in a fine ball, which Rooney headed down into the penalty area. Uvarenko grasped a firm handle on it, though.

Graeme Shinnie, though, came with an incisive drag back, just no one there to capitalise on it.

Not long after followed a key corner after some expert Aberdeen pressure. The ensuing action in the box saw arguments for a penalty.

Hayes and Rooney teamed up during that same period, combining for a speedy attack, just a tad inaccurate.

Uvarenko, again cropping up as the man to watch within his team, swatted away a subsequent goal bound effort. His backline then absorbed further attempts.

After that was a melee of sorts, with the ball chipped fortuitously into the penalty area by Hayes. This, too, was somehow absorbed.

The strains of ‘Seven Nation Army’ by The White Stripes boomed out come the end of the half, the crowd singing to that famous riff.

Halftime 0-0.

Ventspils started the second half absorbing a free kick and the following rebound. Their ensuing counterattack was eventually deemed offside.

Taylor soon came in with a wild challenge. He was only booked, though. The game, at this point, was perhaps getting slightly bad tempered.

Again, Aberdeen were pushing forward to attack, and won a corner.

Shinnie, talking of previous physical goings on, was getting stuck in, with a series of fine, meaty and full on challenges.

Captain, Ryan Jack, passed the ball to keeper Joe Lewis, taking the sting out of a Ventspils attack.

Taylor, once more, came in with a hefty tackle. No reprimand, though.

Uvarenko clasped his hands onto an incoming shot, sucking it up and avoiding any damage.

McLean was taken off, with Jayden Stockley coming off after 68 minutes.

Reynolds punted the ball out of danger when, frustratingly, Lewis was right behind him, waiting to make a safe catch.

He’d only be on the pitch for three minutes, but Stockley smashed the ball into the back of the net, heading in a Hayes cross.

1-0 Aberdeen – after 71 minutes into the game!

Hayes was, again, an instigator, bombing down the wing and earning Aberdeen a corner. Goal number two came soon after, with Rooney latching onto that very corner and stroking it in only four minutes after the first.

2-0 Aberdeen!

Aberdeen, however, soon conceded a corner after their backline were thrown into relative disarray.

Hayes, prominent as ever, forced a corner with an expert ball down the left channel.

A Ventspils player, not long after, needed treatment in his own box.

Stockley then went running, determined to reach the ball, rising to it as it floated down. Real hunger.

Taylor then smashed the ball away when Logan tried to play the ball out of danger. Good to keep it simple, as skilful as Logan is as capable of being.

Wes Burns then came on, replacing talisman Rooney coming at 89 minutes. This the former’s Aberdeen debut.

Four minutes additional play was called.

Then Burns’ head met a McGinn cross after 91 minutes.


Definitely a tale of super subs, with Stockley scoring three minutes after coming on. Burns went one better, scoring within two minutes of coming on. Better late than never.

Final score:  3-0.

Jul 022016

Aberdeen played host to a sometimes frustrating CS Fola Esch side, though got there in the end, says Voice reporter Andrew Watson.

pittodrieThe pitch was immaculate, suitably reinvigorated for the new season. In terms of the weather, it was rather balmy for an evening kick off. Rather warm.
‘Club Foot’ by Kasabian, via the tannoy, with lines such as, ‘you’re messing with the enemy’, evoked international turf war on a Europa League scale.

The game proper came to a halt when an advancing Aberdeen attack, via Niall McGinn, was halted prematurely because of a very soft foul he apparently committed.

A peroxide blonde Jonny Hayes was in on goal twice, and denied in both instances.

Fola’s keeper, Thomas Hym, mopped up another Aberdeen advance.

At this point it was noted how vocal one particular section of the Merkland Stand was, their tribal drumming definitely creating an atmosphere.

The opposition’s first advance, though, came shockingly close, shaving the post.

Pressure from Willo Flood then forced Fola to kick out for a throw.

Kenny McLean’s subsequent cross, or maybe shot, went right into the keeper’s arms.

After this, a free kick via Hayes was palmed away by Hym, and the Luxembourg side somehow got it out of danger.

Hayes then came with a ball to new boy, Jayden Stockley. The attempt was put out for a corner, delivery of which eluded every red jersey in the box.

Hayes, seemingly the man of the moment, also helped out down the other end. His defensive work snuffed out a rare dangerous Fola advance.

Aberdeen then got turned over, though managed to put the ball out for Fola’s first corner.

Shaleum Logan, bombing down the wing into the other half, was looking to make a cross. However, he tempted fate for too long and then lost the ball for a goal kick.

Arguably the chance of the game for Aberdeen resulted in Hym saving the shot of captain, Ryan Jack.

McGinn then opted to dance over a challenge rather than seek a foul, though his ensuing attack was soaked up.

Jack, following that, tried to chip the keeper. The effort was not too far from the crossbar though.

Hayes cropped up, again, and won a free kick in a fortuitous position. This was headed out.

Tom Laterza, during some physical confrontations, lashed out at the ball, hammering it off the hoarding, earning himself the first of seven cautions given to his team throughout the match.

Big man at the back, Ashton Taylor, was then denied a goal. The Dons’ confidence was growing though.

Andrew Considine thankfully came in with a last gap challenge to deny Fola a golden opportunity.

Hayes then won a corner with a surging run, the ball sticking, it seemed, to his feet.

Taylor was on the attack, again. A powerful header, at that.

Some fortune was earned when Hayes was chopped down for a seemingly fortuitously positioned free kick. McGinn then went for glory, but his kick, though well weighted, went over the bar.

Hym, arguably Fola’s star man, caught a subsequent ball over the line, this deemed a corner.

The Red Army’s man between the sticks, Joe Lewis, also caught the ball. This was far more comfortable, and wasn’t deemed a corner.

Hym produced a fine save down the other end. This was from close range, too.

Flood skied a ball well over his teammates. Poor delivery.

An in-swinging ball proved not too far from the head of Stockley, the keeper catching it rather bravely.

McGinn defied, again, the feet of his opponents, to make a daring run into the box. His final shot wasn’t brilliant, but deserved credit for the effort.

Halftime 0-0.

‘Seven Nation Army’ by The White Stripes, boomed. Maybe conveying buoyance, despite the stalemate at end of first half.

This looked set to change, play recommencing, when Aberdeen seemed to have a shot knocked off the line. They appeared, from the crowd’s eyes, to go one better, not long after. The roar of the crowd, though, was cut short as celebrations proved to be immature.

A swinging free kick also then defied the goal. It was perfectly balanced, just a tad high.

Fola then came close. This was arguably preventable, had Graeme Shinnie went in for a sliding challenge.

Later, Aberdeen had another chance cleared off the line, again, amidst plenty of action in the Fola box.

Down the other end, there was an excellent save from Hym from an Aberdeen free kick.

McGinn then darted across the box, but having maybe held onto the ball too long, his final pass fell a tad short.

There appeared to be, for a while, denial after denial, Fola’s backline with seemingly unlimited resolve.

Flood was taken off, with Adam Rooney coming on after 55 minutes.

McGinn dragged a ball inches from the post.

Hayes won a throw with a powerful run.

Hym, prominent as ever, came into action with an acrobatic save, putting the ball out for a corner.

Then followed, for the second time in the game, the keeper in a crumpled heap on the ground.

The ball defied the net yet again with a goal line clearance and plenty of goalmouth action. The away side were definitely under the cosh, though still level.

Then came a flashpoint with Shinnie and the aforementioned, temperamental Laterza. The latter was taken off whilst the former avoided a booking – which wouldn’t have been deserved anyway.

Aberdeen then whipped in a dangerous ball, but there was no one there to exploit it.

Logan then bundled a volley into the net after much frustration for the Dons going forward.

1-0 Aberdeen – after 68 minutes into the game!

The relief that they were finally on the front foot disappeared two minutes later. Captain Julien Klein levelled for his side.


Aberdeen were actually lucky not to fall behind. They were penetrated, but the final ball, thankfully, was well over the bar.

A Hayes corner then bobbled in the box, and Fola then went on a counterattack. This won them a corner.

Stockley, perhaps the highlight of the game, fared well with an overhead effort, which was palmed over expertly by Hym.

Down the other end, Taylor mopped up a ball seemingly destined for the feet of his opposite half.

McLean then skied an effort over the bar, which was met with a chorus of boos. A lengthy period of time passed by with a Fola player on the floor, though not the keeper this time. The man in question was taken off by stretcher and was substituted.

This was followed by a fine drive from Jack which soared just a tad too much in its trajectory.

Hym, again Fola’s talisman, mopped up another Aberdeen attack.

Seven minutes additional play were added. The crowd jubilant that the match could yet be won.

A shot eventually did go over the line, via McGinn. This was decided after much deliberation amongst the officials. Aberdeen had officially scored.

2-1 – after 93 minutes into the game!

Then there were penalty claims only minutes later. Rooney, from the penalty spot, scored after 97 minutes.


The crowd went bananas, chanting his name. Next kick of the ball, and the game was over.

Final score:  3-1.

May 162016

Ross County ran rampant against a poor, and in some cases inexperienced Aberdeen side summarises Voice reporter Andrew Watson.

merkalndpic2In terms of the pitch, it looked not too bad after some drizzle which thankfully, didn’t persist.
This rain though, did highlight some of its imperfections but these were only slight. Marked improvement from pitch conditions in recent months.

‘In The Shadows’ by The Rasmus played over the tannoy.

Was this implying Aberdeen were, under manager Derek McInnes, no longer just merely scraping top six finishes? As the game turned out, you would be just aswell dedicating the song to the Staggies.

Anyway, there were boos as Willie Collum’s name was announced as referee. This was to some extent true for ex-Don Ricky Foster who appeared for County on the bench.

Deceased Red Army veteran Norman Goldie had his caricature resurrected from the Hearts game on Thursday night, though appearing at the Dick Donald Stand, and not his native Merkland Stand. The former also had a card display akin to those previously mentioned odd socks the super fan was so fond of.  Again, Angus The Bull also sported that sock combination.

Kenny McLean, come the game proper, came close after good linkup play with Jonny Hayes.

Captain for the day, retiring Don Barry Robson was then caught looking for a free kick.

Debutante keeper, Aaron Lennox, not long later, performed a full stretch save.

Keeper down the away end, Scott Fox, came in with some heroics too. He did spill the ball, though this was safely in front of his own back four.

Robson later weighed in with superb sliding challenge to help Aberdeen retain possession.

Niall McGinn headed down a cross; but this was straight into the keeper’s arms.

Following this was a well deserved corner after an Aberdeen advance. Nothing came of it

Again, Aberdeen came close as McGinn, like McLean, wasn’t too far from converting a layoff.

There was then a drinks break which saw Aberdeen kick out of play and, in turn, almost score.

Lennox disappointed with a poor kick out down the other end after his under pressure defence passed it back. Simply no composure from the man between the sticks, and it was indicative of a scrappy game so far.

His name was to crop up again as he took down a County forward for a penalty after busy scenes in the box.

This was converted only 23 minutes into the game via Brian Graham.

0-1 Ross County.

Between this and the Hearts game on Thursday, the common denominator was poor goalkeeping.

Aberdeen seemed to be getting brushed aside in the middle of the park too. Willo Flood found himself wiped out; though, thankfully, won a free kick.  McGinn appeared later to cross the ball, but found the delivery touching the top netting.

Shaleum Logan, down the other end, headed back to Lennox, diffusing the Staggies threat.

Scott Wright then almost found himself in a crossing position, but was hassled into conceding a goal kick instead. He got it next time though. Then came another corner.

McLean won a free kick without even going down. It was encouraging he soldiered on and played advantage.

McGinn put in a more promising cross, this one looking to be the delivery for an emphatic header. No dice.

McLean then, strangely, went down this time, but wasn’t awarded anything.

County pounced again just before halftime.


The finish, a remarkable overhead effort by Alex Schalk, was a hard one to swallow.

Halftime 0-2.

‘Three Little Birds’ by Bob Marley and the Wailers, played during the intermission. With its, “every little thing’s gonna be alright”, it seemed laughable. Was this because, really, the game was inconsequential?

After the break Ross County came with a clever free kick. It was the right idea, just a tad too high and over the crossbar.

Wright then almost, down the other end, caught out keeper Fox, but like County in the previous run of play, off the mark.

Flood, perhaps satisfying those bored, and perhaps resigned to a Dons defeat, came in with some banter for the fans. He basically bumped into his opposite number, and following this looked like he was wanting a scrap.

Lennox seemed to make amends for the penalty, coming out for a ball that looked a dead cert to be yet another goal for the Dingwall side. Very brave.

County fired in a driven shot that almost beat Lennox.

Ashton Taylor further complicated manners with a hard ball to teammate Logan, from a short distance.

McGinn was taken off in favour of Cammy Smith; and Joe Nuttall was put on for Robson. Both substitutions were made after 59 minutes.

Schalk then beat Flood and was unlucky with his shot.

Down the other end, there was a superb switch from McLean on the left, right up to Logan on the right, in a further advanced position. Nothing came of it, though.

Fox then came with an unbelievable save to deny the Dons a goal.

Liam Boyce, attacking the opposite goal, had a nightmare miss. In retrospect, his teammate should’ve pulled the trigger; instead of opting for the passback.

Boyce made up for it however. He smashed an emphatic header into the net after 68 minutes.


“Easy, easy, easy!”

Scott McKenna was taken off in favour of Daniel Harvie after 71 minutes.

Harvie, tracking his man, homed in too quick and ended up falling on his backside. He ended up not paying too highly for it, though.

Fox made another remarkable save to push out for a corner; the latter of which came to nothing.

Harvie cropped up again with a woeful pass in attack.

Martin Woods punished the woeful Dons, scoring after 78 minutes.


Having said that, the ball then somehow avoided the County net.

This was followed by some goalmouth action, or lack of it, in terms of converting from the final third. The ball crossed County’s entire box with no end product.

Hayes came pelting in and delivered a fine ball into the box. This went out for a corner, which was swatted away.

Robson was given a customary man of the match award, and one additional minute of play was added. No point extending the pain?

Final score:  0-4.

Reflecting on the game, perhaps it was good to blood the youngsters; but bad to subject them to such a demoralising team performance?

May 132016

Aberdeen looked set for stalemate until Hearts cruelly pounced upon a rebound, says Voice reporter Andrew Watson.

pittodrieIn terms of the pitch, it looked the best as it had done in a long time, it didn’t even look patchy in the fine sun.
‘All These Things That I’ve Done’, by The Killers, proved a curious choice for over the tannoys. Was this conveying regret at missed chances, beating the big Bhoys twice at Pittodrie yet dropping points to minnows when least expected?

However, it was, indeed, rousing when the middle section, “I’ve got soul, but I’m not a soldier” kicked in. The latter, perhaps, urging to forget all that’s past and finish on a high?

Late super fan, Norman Goldie, had banners unfurled for him in front of the Merkland Stand, as news was announced of his ‘retired’ seat in that very stand, following his death. This seat is half red, half white, like his famous odd socks, with a gold plaque of his name in the middle. The banner itself was a portrait caricature, the other stating, “Norman Goldie, R.I.P.”

It was good to see Hearts fans, seemingly, applauding in tribute too. Even mascot, Angus The Bull, was wearing, in the signature style of Norman, odd red and white socks.

Onto the game proper, Aberdeen quickly won a free kick after a tussle for the ball.

A fortuitous throw was also earned in the Dick Donald Stand and South Stand corner, but this came of no consequence.

Both teams were, so far, lumping the ball into the air, perhaps not realising the advantages of keeping it on the deck.

Winger Jonny Hayes absorbed a collision and chased the ball doggedly, meting out as much as he was given.

A ball was then whipped into Heart’s box, but the move was left unfinished.

Down the other end, defender Andrew Considine was urging keeper Adam Collin to calm down after the latter’s distribution put the big man under pressure.

This was followed with some good link up play in the final third, instigated by captain Ryan Jack. Again, they came very close barely seconds later.

Soon after, wing back Shaleum Logan should’ve, opted for the headed pass back to Collin. Instead, he headed out the box, and the subsequent ball was picked up by Hearts, but nothing came of it.

Then it was the Hearts backline under the cosh, but the low delivery was swatted away.

They, in turn, raced into Aberdeen’s box and were unlucky not to punish the Dons.

Logan completed a subsequent defensive mop up, as Hearts put them under pressure in their own box. Not long after, he made amends for earlier on with a headed pass back. Good call.

Opposite keeper, Jack Hamilton, was forced into a save, but it was quite a tame effort.

Hayes earned a free kick for his side, seemingly barely a yard from being a penalty. The resulting penalty went over the bar.

Niall McGinn then drove in a low effort, though nobody was there to make it pinpoint.

Hayes cropped up, again, firing into the box and earning a corner with a deflection.

Down the other end, a cruel Hayes deflection nearly gifted the Jam Tarts.

Later, newbie Scott McKenna cleared his lines well as his Hearts counterpart homed in on goal.

Logan came in, in a subsequent move, with a vital touch to a goalward ball which Collin pushed out for a corner. He stamped his authority on the set piece, rising above all to catch.

The ever present Hayes was belting into the territory of the Tynecastle men, and was, perhaps, unlucky to not force his opposite numbers into a penalty situation.

Ashton Taylor, in turn, snuffed out Hearts’ advance.

McKenna then headed out a threatening ball for a throw in.

A tame effort from Logan, down the other final third, went straight into the arms of Hamilton.

Collin, meanwhile, was caught out with a bad clearance, nearly gifting the Tynecastle side a goal.

Considine, not long after, came in with an expert foot to the ball, defusing Hearts and going out for a throw.

Collin went onto spill a ball but wasn’t, thankfully, in play at the time.

Halftime 0-0.

There was a really early corner for the Dons, but nothing came of it.

On the other hand, a Hearts advance appeared to get home crowd plaudits with some silky skills indeed.

McGinn then lofted a perfect ball right down to the feet of Hayes. Again, nothing came of it.

Aberdeen became very fortunate to have a clean sheet after a defensive lapse, though the attacker hit the ball sky high.

At the opposite end, there was some excellent last gasp defending from Hearts. McGinn couldn’t quite beat his man for a cross into the box.

Following this was some poor link up play between Taylor and Willo Flood, gifting the ball to the Jam Tarts.

Hayes, as ever, was amidst it all with a rocket of a free kick, which deflected out for corner. Hearts came with an excellent header out and away from the box.  Barely seconds later, the ball glanced past the post, as it dipped and came down.

McKenna, in the other box, played it risky with Collin, as the latter was forced into a rash clearance.

Flood then made a similar move, but Collin had slightly more time to respond.

McGinn, in the other half, was unfortunate not to catch the Hearts keeper sleeping. The latter was being a tad lazy with the ball at his feet.

A Hearts free kick was then saved, but then the rebound went in after 64 minutes. Until then, most would’ve honestly thought it could only end as a stalemate, or perhaps Aberdeen maybe nicking a goal given their possession in the final third.

0-1 (Abiola Dauda).

Captain Jack, not long after, appeared to be trying to shrug off a knock, limping ever so slightly.

McKenna was taken off, with Cammy Smith coming on after 71 minutes.

As an aside, there were jeers in the Merkland Stand for a steward removing a bobbing, soccer style beach ball.

Hayes, the main man for the past few games, came in with a few balls into Hearts’ box, all of which were batted away.

Graeme Shinnie in turn potentially set himself up for a goal scoring opportunity.

Juwon Oshaniwa provided another light moment when soaking up (ahem…) glory from the South and Merkland Stand corners. He’d, previously in the game, attained a reputation for dubious throw ins. At least he could laugh about it, as they say.

Joe Nuttall was then put on, in favour of Flood after 81 minutes.

Earlier substitution, McKenna, was announced over the tannoys as man of the match. There was also to be three minutes of additional play.

Logan’s ball into the Hearts box defied everyone, and a shame because the delivery could’ve instigated a perfect equaliser.

Maybe better a better keeper would’ve kept a clean sheet for this one? Moments in Motherwell game seemed to attest to that. At least the Dons would’ve stood a chance of rewarding the Red Army with a superior points total to last season.

Final score:  0-1.

May 132016

Aberdeen Voice has been talking to young Scottish Actor Declan Michael Laird since AV began. We’ve charted his progress from River City to The Stella Adler Academy of Acting through to commercials, castings, forthcoming TV series (watch this space). Today we’re talking to him about a charity – more of a movement really – that is helping thousands of homeless people across the world.

The centre of the action this year will be Glasgow. Declan talks with Suzanne Kelly.

Declan Laird 12Declan’s just come from a commercial casting call; we’ll see how it goes. I can’t say what it’s for, but I will say he’s worth it. There never seem to be as many good news stories as there are bad, and talking to a young talented man who remains down to earth despite growing fame makes a pleasant change. To be talking to him about a worthwhile cause he’s giving his time to is a genuine pleasure.

Aside from his acting career which is really taking off (more on that soon), he is about to make a documentary which he’ll produce.

We talk football first, as we’ve done in the past. Where else to start than the fairy-tale ending to this year’s Premiership and Leicester? He’s full of enthusiasm.

DM – “Oh my god, oh my god, it was insane. It is so inspiring – it’s so great. It just shows the power of self-belief. If you had told those guys they’d win at the start of the season, they wouldn’t have believed you. What were those guys at the start of the season 5,000 to one or something?

“I read the letter ‘we do not dream’ by Claudio Ranieri where he talks about the boards saying to him at the start of the season ‘this is a huge season for us; we must stay in the premier league; we must score’ – what mad management skills that must have taken to keep the players motivated and to keep them from not losing the belief we can do this.”

I suggest that if you’re really hungry for something like winning the Premiership, then it’s probably easier to fight than if you’re comfortably earning £50,000 a week.

DM – “The likelihood is that they will not defend the title, but those guys will forever have that story to tell their kids and grandkids.”

I tell Laird it reaffirmed my faith that it doesn’t always have to be about who has the bigger chequebook – me and several million other people.

Declan sent me the Homeless world cup video – it is incredible.

DM – “It’s a documentary I’m producing called ‘Playing for Change’. It’s been my project for the last two and a half years. There are three things I’m very passionate about – acting and entertainment is one; the second thing is football, and the third thing is that I’m a great mental health and homelessness advocate.

“I’m a great believer that we should not be stigmatising people with addiction and mental health problems; instead we should be asking why they are not being helped. We should not be criminalising these people, but helping them get out of their addiction so they never have to become homeless. There is a big stigma – if people meet homeless people living on the street, they think they are better than them. 

homeless pic 2“The homeless are there through no fault of their own: they have to deal with issues that no one helps them with or they’ve been too ashamed to ask for help with.

“There are two sides of this mental health problem. It’s not spoken about enough because it’s not a scar on the outside you can see like an injury – if it’s inside and people can’t see it, and people don’t want to talk about it. In US people do talk about it – but they just throw medication at people.

“Talking about it in conversation can really help.”

I find myself wishing more people my age felt like Declan does. In my experience the homeless come from abusive family lives and have nowhere to go. They can be people who lost their money and homes after break ups.

They can be ex-service people who received absolutely no support or counselling on their return to the UK. They can be refugees fleeing brutal governments, bombing, and starvation. They can be people with existing physical and mental health problems: in my experience whatever has led to them being on the street either exacerbates or creates emotional and mental health problems – all of which should be wholly avoidable in any kind of compassionate, decent society.

Then Laird says something that for me hits a crucial nail on the head:

DM – “The younger generation are talking about it, but there is still a shame associated with depression or anxiety they don’t want to come forward about it because they think it is a sign of weakness. I personally feel it is a sign of strength – because you’re maybe just more sensitive. 

“A lot of actors, musicians, artists end up with maybe addiction or mental health problems and the public goes ‘oh it’s just another actor who’s died of an addiction or overdose’ and I think it’s because they are more sensitive – worse, people around them are not always interested in helping them.

“For the last year and a half because of my passion I go down to the homeless shelters maybe about once a month. I also do drama therapy at institutions and mental health clinics to promote mental health. We deal with people with schizophrenia and conditions like that and drama therapy and acting classes help.

“It’s amazing Suzanne – as an example there’s a guy with Tourette’s – normally he’s shouting and bawling, then apologizing, then shouting and apologizing some more. But when you give him a scene to do, he’s imagining himself to be someone else and his Tourette’s just disappears. It’s astonishing. It’s an outlet for whatever they’re feeling inside. 

“Through acting they can express their issues in scenes; if they feel angry, they can act out that anger; if they feel fear, they can act out their fear.”

We talk about the therapeutic values of art, music and drama for people with these issues. Declan continues:

DM – “I met Street Soccer Scotland’s David Duke who runs Street Soccer Scotland and I got involved. David’s story was that 10 years ago he was 23, and homeless in Glasgow. In a Bellshill hostel he saw a flyer ‘Represent your country in the Homeless World Cup’ and he responded. This initiative was started by a guy named Mel Young, the founder of The Big Issue. 

“David went to the trials  – which were at the time pretty makeshift – it was the first year and they didn’t really know what they were doing. He managed to get through the local trials (they were just guys then but there is a women’s team now too) and his team managed to get to Edinburgh.

“David was made captain of the team and got his side to Copenhagen and they won. When they came back, it really inspired him and he decided to change his life – he had an epiphany and decided he could really change his life. If he could have that epiphany, then why couldn’t other people? So he started the charity Street Soccer Scotland.

“David’s basically devoted every single day to going around Scotland and the whole UK getting people off the streets and getting their confidence back through football. They get the jobs and housing — but only if they are putting in the hours of volunteer work for the charity first.

“I started meeting the players, spending time with them, having lunch with David – and with refugees. He works with a lot of refugees, but also 10 years on they have many women too. They mentor Street Soccer USA, Street Soccer England, India, Sweden. Sir Alex Ferguson is one of their ambassadors.

“So whenever I travel back, I make a point of going to meet them, and when I was back at Christmas, my brother Stefan and I – Stefan’s a coach from Aberdeen FC – we took a training session for the team and we took them to lunch – to Tony Macaroni’s that was on the 23rd December. We sat and spent the day, and just had a good time.

“David told me “Declan – the Homeless World Cup’s going to be in Glasgow this year and I’m going to manage the team”. I was like ‘oh wow what a great idea for a documentary’; not just for me but to bring to life your organisation and get you the plaudits you deserve and to bring the homeless world cup to light.”

We talked for a while longer – He’s talking to a few potential outlets for this project, and the resulting documentary will undoubtedly shine a light on an initiative that will continue to help – no, actually to SAVE lives. I will save details of this and Declan’s acting career developments for a future interview.

The Homeless World Cup Tournament will start the first week in July. Volunteering and support would be welcome; further details here

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May 012016

Aberdeen punished Motherwell, but the latter were nearly given an avenue back into the game, opines Voice reporter Andrew Watson.

merkalndpic3The pitch looked the best it had in a long time. Still a bit ravaged, though. Really windy, too.
‘Hard To Beat’ by Hard-Fi, via the tannoy, was perhaps in reference to overall form, and not recent form.  There was then ‘Let’s Go Crazy’ by the late Prince, inciting a goal fest, perhaps.  After that, another tune from a late great, ‘Heroes’ by David Bowie, inspiring, urging, the Dons to triumph after so much recent disappointment.

A sense of immediacy came, though, with Fatboy Slim’s ‘Right Here, Right Now’.

Come the game, opening proceedings saw Aberdeen intercepting when it mattered, nullifying Motherwell.

A weak shot was then thankfully palmed out for a corner. Motherwell hit on the break from this, though.

Winger Jonny Hayes winged his way into Motherwell’s box and was taken down for his troubles. Also, for his troubles, he and his team were rewarded with a penalty. Kenny McLean sent the keeper the wrong way.

1-0 Aberdeen – only 6 minutes into the game!

Soon after, Aberdeen were lucky not only to clear their lines after a corner, but that the subsequent shot went straight into the hands of debutante keeper, Adam Collin.

Defender Graeme Shinnie was also caught looking for a foul, as play continued.

Willo Flood, however, weighed in with an excellent, meaty tackle to put the ball out of play.

Collin, on the other hand, was proving to be not a particularly powerful kicker of the ball. Half way up the field half the time, and no more.

Andrew Considine then came in with a timely challenge to spare Aberdeen’s blushes.

Niall McGinn, at the other end of the pitch, offered a cross-cum-shot which came close.

Aberdeen then conceded a corner in a situation where there was no real alternative.

Aberdeen, in turn came close, and were rewarded with a corner.

Captain Ryan Jack was then brought down for a free kick.

Hayes pushed his luck with his time on the ball, but eventually won a free kick.

Not long after, Aberdeen then cemented their lead with a cross courtesy of Shaleum Logan.

Niall McGinn volleyed the ball into the net, only 26 minutes into the game.


Later McGinn again came close with a deft ball of his own in towards the goal.

Big man at the back, Ashton Taylor, had determination in spades, but perhaps too much as he put a cross well beyond the goal.

Hayes was also of a persistent nature but, again, the ball went over.

An Aberdeen man then appeared to go down near his own box, yet the home side were the ones penalised.

A Motherwell cross, not long after, was glanced beyond the goal. A second attempt was miles off, which in turn was greeted with jeers.

Just before the break, Simon Church was treated on the pitch before being taken off in favour of Adam Rooney,

A later ball defied everyone in the box, coming so close to a third goal.

Halftime 2-0. Hopefully, when KC & The Sunshine Band’s ‘Baby, Give It Up’ blared from the Tannoy, Aberdeen wouldn’t take victory for granted in the next half.

After the break, the ball bounced around in the box, with Aberdeen unlucky not to capitalise.

Motherwell, on the other hand, had a chipped effort into the box wasted with no takers.

Shinnie hopped on the back of his opponent to win a header, and cleared his team’s lines for an away throw in.

Then came another seemingly weak kick from Collin. He fell on his backside as well.

Aberdeen produced some excellent passing play away from the crowd of players and danger.

Steelman between the sticks, Connor Ripley, had a superb save go to waste as the rebound came to the feet of comeback king, Rooney, who pounced after 54 minutes.


Subsequently, Aberdeen earned a corner. Then, down the other end, Considine was forced to clear for safety.

A determined Shinnie made it first to the ball, inspiring some quick passing out of the danger zone.

A Motherwell advance, however, exploited an awry Taylor clearing header on 64 minutes.

3-1 (substitute Chris Cadden).

Logan found himself booked after a tussle at the back of the net which the Fir Park men had just found.

Aberdeen were then fortunate for an offside decision, else Motherwell would’ve cut the deficit by another goal.

Collin, under pressure in another instance, thankfully, and with authority, held onto the Motherwell ball.

McLean then gave away a stupid foul then appeared, strangely, to go to the ground himself shortly before Hayes thundered into the box, scoring after 78 minutes.


Aberdeen, thereon, recovered their authority, and stamped it all over again.

Barry Robson was put on to replace Rooney  after 81 minutes.

McGinn was taken off, in favour of Scott Wright after 84 minutes.

Hayes then drove into the box, with a cross-cum-shot.

A skirmish kicked off as McLean went to the ground, for which ‘Well captain, Keith Lasley, was sent off. Their manager, Mark McGhee, had one of his backroom staff sent to the stands afterwards.

Just before the end of play came an ambitious Aberdeen free kick, whipping not far from goal.

Final score:  4-1.

Apr 292016

Maggie's CentresWith thanks to David Innes.

Fans of Highland League are invited this weekend to enjoy a unique fitba experience and help raise funds for Maggie’s cancer care centres.
The team line ups have already been announced by each side of that notorious rivalry – Teuchters v Toonsers.

Taking place at 2pm on Sunday May 1st at North Lodge Park, Pitmedden, Highland League legends of yesteryear will pull on the boots in aid of Maggie’s where the football brains and banter will definitely be quicker than the legs.

Toonser team member Jerry O’Driscoll commented:

“If anyone is missing their football fix already, this Sunday May 1st, there will be a Highland League Veterans game in aid of Maggies cancer centre in Aberdeen.

“It will be the ‘toonsers’ versus the ‘teuchters’ over 35s game ( rules are not particularly strict here ) and will kick off at 1400 at North Lodge with admission being a donation of your choice.

“There will be bouncy castles and face paints for the kids as well as beat the keeper and ‘top bin’ for kids of all ages!

“Hoping the weather is good and am sure it will be a day of good banter with some average football thrown in!”

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Apr 042016

Aberdeen hammered three goals past a hapless Hamilton side, says Voice reporter Andrew Watson.

pittodrie2Conditions were wet, perhaps nourishing a quite ravaged pitch.
‘Why Does It Always Rain Me’ by Travis was an apt song given the weather prior to and during the match.

Furthermore ‘I Am The Resurrection’ by The Stone Roses was perhaps aimed towards a hoped resurgence in form after losing to Motherwell the other week, rising from the ashes of defeat at Fir Park.

Then came the customary blasting through the tannoys of Hard-Fi’s ‘Hard to Beat’; which of course was a tad ironic, given that trip to Lanarkshire. AC/DC’s moody ‘Thunderstruck’ bizarrely seemed to be willing worse weather we were having.

Finally, just before the game kicked off, there were the strains of ‘Right Here, Right Now’ by Fatboy Slim. This was the Dons getting pumped, with timely urgency and an all out desire to win.

Keeper Scott Brown was forced into an early clearance, which went out for a throw in.

Down the other end, a cross only just evaded an Aberdeen attack.

Big man at the back, Ashton Taylor, made a lunging run, but a subsequent slack pass was intercepted.

Kenny McLean reached a long pass, and his cross turned into a shot hitting off the far post.

Winger, Jonny Hayes, came in with a perfect cross for Simon Church to header in.  Emphatic and powerful, a surge of passion from the Red Army as it smashed into the net.

1 – 0 Aberdeen – only 5 minutes into the game!

McLean then almost came in with a goal of this own.

Slack passing and shooting prevented a second goal for the Dons.

Pocket rocket at the back, Shaleum Logan, was unfortunate with a chipped ball which put Church offside.

Hayes then won a free kick after a deft, long ball.

Willo Flood came in with a timely challenge to deny Hamilton, the ball going out for a throw.

Hayes found fruitful play for his team, after being taken down twice and earning a free kick in the second instance. McLean seemed to be going for a shot with the resulting set piece.

Logan, however, was appearing to go for a cross later, but turned into a shot.

There was then applause for a recent bereavement in the Aberdeen community, and this was followed promptly with a second goal.

2-0!  Niall McGinn stroked it into the net, only 15 minutes into the game.

There was a subsequent attempt, a low one, just wide of the post.  Aberdeen were definitely stamping their authority on the game.

Hamilton once again cleared their lines, preventing a third goal. They suffered an onslaught with their keeper parrying away a low header into the corner.

On the other hand, down the other end of the pitch, Aberdeen were a tad lucky not to concede.

McGinn, though, was unlucky later trying to receive Logan’s cross.

Then, with Aberdeen slightly under the cosh, Flood cleared the box and made an expert pass to create another Aberdeen advance.

Hamilton’s Kemy Agustien was booked for challenge on Graeme Shinnie. They then cleared their box for an Aberdeen corner.

Flood reared his head, again, this time beating his man to instigate an attack, one which somehow was absorbed by Hamilton.

Logan came in with a deflected low drive, but subsequently won a corner.

McGinn put corner into six yard box, an ideal location, but nobody was there.

Church was then penalised contesting the ball, perhaps unfairly.

Shinnie came in with an excellent sliding challenge, snuffing out what seemed a dangerous Hamilton advance.

An Aberdeen advance, however, cut in and McLean pounced after 33 minutes.


Another header, like Church’s earlier, but from a free kick, went wide.

Hamilton stopper, Michael McGovern put himself in harm’s way to reduce space Aberdeen had for a potential fourth goal and Aberdeen were snuffed.

Kemy Agustien, not long after, was on the deck. Cue cynical cries from Pittodrie faithful.

McGinn came in with an ambitious shot, and was applauded rather than jeered. After all, Aberdeen can’t pass it into the net all the time.

Taylor was then found playing dangerously, down the other end. He was lucky to have Brown to rely on as an option to pass back to.

Logan took a tumble, his subsequent throw in was poor.

One minute additional play for first half.

Halftime 3-0.

Taylor was taken off, in favour of Andrew Considine after the break.

Brown then mopped up low shot from Dougie Imrie.

McLean, up the other end, came into the box and his advance went out for a corner. Then on followed a flurry chances for Aberdeen.

Hayes was flat out on his back. He got up, eventually.

Aberdeen almost came unstuck, though the rather negative attack by Hamilton was very much to the Dons benefit.

Hamilton then won a corner. The taker came up for some stick:

“Imrie, you’re shite!”

A subsequent Aberdeen shot was definitely going for glory, parried away for corner. There was then a tussle in the box, resulting in a ball that almost bobbled over the line.

Hayes came in with a clever chip. Caught easily by the keeper, though.

Mark Reynolds went for a curling long ball, but the execution was too slack.

McLean found himself on the ground, later, but this went on unnoticed.  Boos from the home support.

After some good linkup play, McGinn floating a shot of little threat.

Considine was in with a timely slide to deny Hamilton credible pop at goal.

Not long after was a pass across goal, almost not picked up by the sleeping Accies.

McGinn danced past a few players, shifting into another gear as he homed in on goal. He rocketed a shot barely over the top of the crossbar. Again, plaudits for taking initiative from distance, something Aberdeen don’t do a lot and, arguably, enough.

Action aplenty and another attempt went in the side netting, although Aberdeen really were fortunate not to have lost at least one goal.

Again, there was plenty of action around the Hamilton goal, going wide but never in.

Hamilton, though, forced themselves a corner.

Flood was taken off, in favour of Craig Storie after 78 minutes. Power of work by the former, determined as ever.

Then yet another corner. The fans were desperate for another goal. Then another, absolute bombardment.

Shinnie was proving to be as vital as ever. The defensive stalwart. Hamilton did, though, get a corner later on.

Hayes displayed some absolute class to get ball out of his half.

Frank Ross came on, in favour of Ryan Jack, after 85 minutes.

Prior substitute, Storie, found himself booked.

Final score:  3-0.

Mar 132016

Aberdeen worried their supporters when Kilmarnock levelled, but went on to win the game, opines Voice reporter Andrew Watson.

merkalndpic3Drizzling rain left the pitch at Pittodrie a touch wet. Hard-Fi’s ‘Hard to Beat’ blasting out the tannoy perhaps a fair assessment of the current situation, as Aberdeen are now only a point behind league leaders Celtic.

Having said that, Celtic still have a game in hand. Aberdeen, with AC/DC’s ‘Thunderstruck’ also blaring trough the tannoy, perhaps looking to rock Celtic’s title chances.

Surprisingly enough, when ex-Don Josh Magennis was announced to start for Kilmarnock it incurred no response whatsoever. 

More bizarre was the non response from the Aberdeen faithful when ex-Ger Kris Boyd was announced as on the bench for Killie.

Come the start of the game, Shaleum Logan came in with a key interception, but his team soon lost the ball.

Barry Robson then lofted the ball, but his receiver came in with a heavy touch that ultimately ended up in the keeper’s hands.

The aforementioned Magennis was bounding at former teammates guarding home goal.

Kenny McLean then came in with a low drive that smacked off the far post which was closest chance of the game so far.

The Dons gave away throw in in key area of danger for Kilmarnock. Thankfully, nothing came of it.

Robson’s free kick was caught by the keeper, right at the far post.

McLean’s subsequent linkup play went out for a throw.

Jonny Hayes then instigated some good forward play, and Niall McGinn deflected the ball for a corner. Robson’s delivery was then headed over the bar.

McGinn later ran down the flank to make a cross that went straight into the keeper’s arms.

Aberdeen, at the other end, headed out a threatening Kilmarnock ball.

Magennis then found the back of the net, but play had already been halted by the referee.

The Dons’ seemingly poor defending was, thankfully, rewarded by an offside decision in their favour.

Hayes was then unfortunate with ball across the box, as the keeper happened to be there to mop it up.

McGinn came in with his own ball into the box, but this was mopped up by the Killie back four. He also had a one on one opportunity, but maybe a tad too close to their stopper to knock it past him.

Graeme Shinnie then came into a more forward position, helping the attack. His pass almost unlocked the Rugby Park defence, but their keeper was there to sweep it up.

Aberdeen subsequently came very close to scoring, but were rightfully declared offside.

Aberdeen keeper Scott Brown, down the other end, came with a shaky pass, finding himself under pressure. Eventually though, this was successfully dealt with.

Another wave of attack, instigated by McGinn, was swatted away, as was a subsequent Hayes advance.

Captain Ryan Jack almost had the perfect ball to the other end of the pitch. Kilmarnock rose to see it off though.

Aberdeen then threatened yet again, but no incision or final touch to see it off.

Kilmarnock then, again, had a throw in a key area, followed by a corner. Brown came in with a commanding catch.

Logan then appeared, after much deliberation, to squander a Dons throw straight to a Killie opposite number.

Ashton Taylor was then caught by a slack pass, his control hindering him as he was tackled. The ball found its way to Brown though.

Aberdeen almost, after, found the back of the net. Although it hit the side netting, they found another opportunity to score, via a corner. Robson put it in the mix, and Taylor made up for his slackness with a precise, powerful and emphatic header into the net.

1-0 Aberdeen 37 minutes into the game!

Following this, there was some deft passing, really putting Aberdeen in the driving seat, but they were stopped by a well timed sliding tackle.

Simon Church then came in with an acrobatic diving headed effort.

Brown was then caught trying to clear his lines far too late, but a lucky deflection off an enquiring Killie forward put the ball back in his hands.

McLean, at the other end, found some space but made a tame effort on goal.

Not long after, Hayes was on the floor and was taken off.

‘Get Lucky’ by Daft Punk was playing though the speakers at Pittodrie. Hopefully, with Aberdeen’s numerous forward advances at play, Lady Luck wouldn’t be a requirement for a Dons victory.

Halftime 1-0.

The second half had barely started, two minutes in fact, when Magennis scored against his former team. This was amidst confusion stemming from a Brown slip up. Magennis bundled it over the line.


Robson’s subsequent free kick lofts itself into the keeper’s hands.

Brown then fumbled a shot, but is safe to get hold of the spilt ball.

Robson put a ball in the box, but it bobbled awkwardly, too awkwardly for his teammates to capitalise on.

Andrew Considine, down the other end, headed an incoming ball back out with some authority.

The Red Army were going bananas at the histrionics of one of the Killie men.

Church clashed heads with his opposite number, but found himself eventually back on the pitch. Cue more boos for referee not clocking the situation and stopping play.

Magennis was then unlucky not to put his team ahead. Considine handled the situation badly.

Aberdeen put one in the box, but nobody was there to finish the move.

Back in their own half, Brown made a diving effort. The save was a comfortable one, though.

There was a flurry of action in the other box, but the keeper eventually got hold of the ball.

Killie keeper, Jamie MacDonald, jumped at full height to mop up an Aberdeen skirmish.

There was then a penalty claim as Hayes was downed as he homed in. Instead, the Dons were awarded a corner.

A diving header from Logan 71 minutes into the game restored the Dons’ lead.

2-1 Aberdeen

Brown came with a vital save after a corner, helping Aberdeen maintain their newly acquired lead.

Niall McGinn was taken off, in favour of Mark Reynolds after 80 minutes. Eighteen minutes prior, Cammy Smith replaced veteran Barry Robson.

Mass boos ensued as Boyd came off the bench to play for Killie.

Aberdeen then found themselves under intense pressure, despite their latest substitution to shore up the defence. There was some action down other end, though.

Three minutes of additional play were then announced.

Boyd had a chance, but really should’ve been adjudged offside. Later he got abuse from the Red Army for assuming he was fouled, and grabbing ball to take a free kick.

With a little perseverance, Aberdeen made it over the line.

Final score: 2-1.