Mar 192017
 

By Red Fin Hall.

The match against ‘they who were once contenders’ before Robbie Neilson jumped ship to go to MK. Dons and the young statistician took over, was a game where nothing short of a Dons win would suffice; not just to make it nine home wins in a row, but to rectify a poor recent record of results versus Hearts.

Aberdeen reverted back to the usual suspects in the team fielded, with Mark Reynolds still out injured, Anthony O’Connor retaining his place, and Jayden Stockley back on the bench.

It was a fine but sunny-ish day, with the rain, thankfully, staying off. Hearts won the toss, and decided to kick off towards the Merkland Stand. The match referee was Steven McLean.

The Dons started off in a positive manner, winning two corner kicks in the first minute. Hearts got theirs five minutes in when O’Connor and Esmael Goncalves were involved in the first real tackle of the game.

8 minutes in the home team were awarded their 2nd free kick, a pattern which was set for the whole of the game.

Kenny McLean continued on from the last game, being involved in almost everything that happened on every part of the field. However, he was an unwilling participant in the first booking of the game, when he was chopped down by Alexander Tziolis.

Aberdeen were well at the top of their game, and even this early in the proceedings there was some pretty fine football being played. But, Hearts being Hearts, they interspersed trying to make a game of it with their trademark fouling.

Aberdeen were nearly hit with a sucker punch as the visitors progressed upfield, but some calm defending meant that the shot from Arnaud Djoum never troubled Joe Lewis, and the ball sailed over the bar for a goal kick.
 
Leonard Sowah was the next player to concede a free kick for a foul on Ryan Jack.

With 23 minutes elapsed we saw the best move of the game when Andrew Considine and Niall McGinn showed some skill in passing and possession, with the latter firing a perfect cross from the left side into the 18 yard area to find Shay Logan running across the front of goal and heading the ball into the back of the net.

1-0

McGinn was the executor of the next chance a mere 4 minutes later when he fired a good ball in for Adam Rooney. Rooney couldn’t quite make contact with it and it fell perfectly for Graeme Shinnie. Alas, the best we could get was a corner, which, when taken was too long for anybody.

Next, left back Considine passed forward an almost perfect ball for Hayes, but he wasn’t expecting it and failed to control it.

Hearts found themselves having the ball for a good bit of play until their work was broken up by McLean, who was then fouled for his trouble.

within the first 2 minutes Rooney had the ball in the net

Playing to his usual high standard, Shinnie collected the ball on the edge of the opposition box, turned swiftly and chipped the ball in.

It went over the bar though.

The Dons were a joy to watch, and the goal had obviously knocked the stuffing out of the men from Edinburgh, with Goncalves seemingly giving up on chasing loose balls down to easily.

Meanwhile, McGinn showed again why there may be top clubs after him in the summer, when he aimed for Rooney with a superb ball in from the sideline. The Irish striker was just unable to reach it. Still looking dangerous though.

Sam Nicholson, despite not having a game of the standard you might expect from him, tried running at the Dons defence looking for an equaliser before half time, but his finish was poor and the ball was inches away from clearing the roof of The Merkland Stand.

Just on half time Hearts had another possible goal failing by poor shooting, this time by Goncalves. It wouldn’t have mattered anyway, as the player was adjudged to be offside, although he didn’t know it at the time.

Half time 1-0.
 
The second half kicked off with The Dons attacking, and within the first 2 minutes Rooney had the ball in the net, but the whistle had been blown for offside.
 
57 minutes had passed when Logan took a throw in to Hayes, who passed to McLean who is not shot shy, but couldn’t find the second goal.

Don Cowie, the Hearts captain was booked for a foul on McLean. The free kick went no further than the wall though.

There next followed a catalogue of errors by Hearts starting off when McLean stole the ball off a Hearts player in midfield, but then after getting it back, the Dons forced a slack pass back from Anastasios Avlonitis. Before Hearts’ keeper Jack Hamilton could get to the ball, Jonny Hayes nipped in and collected it.

The keeper made a timing error when he dived at the feet of the onrushing Hayes, missing both the ball and the attacker, making it easy for him to kick the ball into an empty net.

2-0.

The second half continued in such a fashion, with the Dons pushing high upfield and Hearts fouling, mainly McLean, with Jamie Walker getting a yellow card for doing so just after 80 minutes had passed.

Just before that, however, Rooney was substituted and Jayden Stockley came on. The tall forward is more often than not, proven to have a crucial effect on games when he comes off the bench. Today was no different, but time it wasn’t so good. The Hearts players couldn’t quite handle him, and as he tried to break upfield with minutes left to play Krystian Novak, in an attempt to stop him, was pulling him back.

None of the officials saw this, but they did see Stockley foolishly react by swiping back at the player with his hand, making contact with Novak’s face. The Hearts player, unsurprisingly, went down over dramatically. The Dons player was correctly shown a straight red card for his part in the incident.

Dying the time that Novak was being treated for the gentle tap on the face he received, both Shinnie and Hearts substitute, Malaury Martin, were yellow carded for pushing and shoving like petulant schoolboys.

Ryan Christie and Frank Ross both got very minimal run-outs in the last few minutes. The fourth official indicated that three minutes stoppage time would be played, which passed without further incident. The full time whistle went, and Man Of The Match, Kenny McLean must continue to ponder what he has to do to get back into the Scotland squad.

Full time 2-0

Next game is away to Dundee on the last day of the month, before Inverness Caledonian Thistle pay a visit on 4th April.

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Mar 172017
 

Aberdeen Climate Week events will include talks, debates, walks, films and exhibits.

With thanks to Erik Dalhuijsen.

Aberdeen Climate Action will be asking us all to make a change for climate change during this year’s Climate Week North East.
The 3rd Climate Week will be taking place from the 18th-25th March and promises to be bigger than ever, featuring lots of fun and thought-provoking events across Aberdeen City and Shire.

With events ranging from panel discussions, rangers walks & bike rides, children’s storytelling, tours of the Donside Community Hydro, films, talks and exhibits, zero waste cafes and much, much more, Climate Week North East is designed to showcase the inspiring action happening here in the North East and elsewhere, demonstrate what each of us can do to help, and inform along the way.

One highlight of the week will be a showcase of the community initiatives taking place around the North East at the Central Library on Wednesday 22nd March at 6.30pm.

The events come at a key time for Aberdeen following the downturn in the oil and gas industry when residents are looking for new jobs in new industries and calling for a more diversified economy within the North East. It is also set against a backdrop of increased need for action on climate change.

Alison Stuart of Aberdeen Climate Action said:

“The effects of climate change such as extreme weather conditions affect us all, last winter saw terrible flooding in parts of Aberdeenshire which left us with a bill well over £1.3 billion.

“All of us can do something individually to help reduce climate change, reducing the amount of waste we produce, recycling what we can, eating more local produce and walking, cycling or taking the bus instead of a car. But together we can do so much more, whether acting with our communities or bringing up climate change with our politicians to get support for the big changes needed.

“We have some excellent events on including a discussion panel with Professor Pete Smith of the IPCC and Aberdeen University and other prominent scientists as well as a host of events across Aberdeen City and Shire making this the best Climate Week in Aberdeen yet. 

“This is a great opportunity for anyone who would simply like to know a little more or for those that really want to get more deeply involved. Aberdeen is at a crossroads and I hope that this event can help to spark real change and help people to see the value of greater diversification within the local economy to more towards a sustainable and stable green economy.”

Erik Dalhuijsen of Aberdeen Climate Action said:

“Climate Change has massive impact on Aberdeen, its people and the world at large. The oil economy will end, agriculture and society will see increasing cost and challenges from flooding, worldwide access to fresh water will reduce, diseases spread. It is absolutely worth doing our utmost to prevent escalation of Climate Change.

“Aberdeen, city and shire, are well placed to be a part of the solution. Our week of events looks at many aspects of climate change with talks, debates, walks, films and exhibits to get people thinking and inspire them to take action. It especially focuses on local input, highlighting what is being done here and elsewhere driven by locals, showing what people, business and governments can do to reduce emissions, improve green transport, and make our entire society more pleasant, healthy and future proof.”

Full list of events here: http://www.climateweekaberdeen.org/programme.html

More on Aberdeen Climate Action here: www.aberdeenclimateaction.org

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Mar 122017
 

By Red Fin Hall.

A quick return visit from the manager-less Steelmen, but a harder match was to be expected than the 7-2 drubbing we handed out to them on the previous occasion.
Being AFC Community Trust day, a large contingent of children and first timers were in attendance.

The club had said that the Merkland Stand had sold out, but there were enough empty seats to nullify this claim.

With Captain Ryan Jack back from injury, but Andrew Considine joining Mark Reynolds on the injury list, changes were inevitable. Graeme Shinnie slotted into the left back position, whilst Jayden Stockley continued in his up front position with Andrew Rooney.

After a rainy night and morning, it dried up, but it didn’t do anything to help the already sodden pitch.

Referee Euan Anderson blowed whistle as The Don’s kicked off towards the King Street end.

The first free kick of the game was awarded to the home team when Chris Cadden deliberately pulled down Jonny Hayes. Niall McGinn’s free kick was palmed away by keeper Craig Samson.

A good ball from Ash Taylor was received by Adam Rooney who was in plenty of space and had seemingly plenty of time, but the striker unnecessarily rushed the shot and the ball went out for a goal kick.

8 minutes into the match, McGinn collected a pass really well on the right side of the pitch. He then executed a perfect cross for Rooney, but his header was just off target. A minute later Motherwell were awarded the first corner of the game.

The centre pairing of Taylor and Anthony O’Connor were caught napping, but fortunately Motherwell were incapable of cashing in on the error.  

The first booking of the game saw ‘Well defender, Ben Heneghan shown a yellow card for coming back onto the field without permission – after being on the sidelines getting treatment for a head injury.

The pattern for the afternoon was set for Rooney when he managed to steal the ball from Zak Jules and Carl McHugh, then had a shocking ‘un-strikerlike’ attempt at goal.

This bad luck / carelessness continued in the 18th minute, when, not for the first time this season, he attempted to find the back of the net with an overhead kick. This time he didn’t even manage to make contact with the ball.

With Shinnie taking over the left back slot, we were missing somebody at this juncture who could put their foot on the ball in midfield and hold play up for a moment or two to try and alter this tousy game.

Jules, in the spirit of their tactics, conceded a free kick when he clattered Stockley to the ground

Midway through the half, good interplay between Shay Logan, McGinn and Stockley saw Rooney taking the final touch. This time his sharp shot was much more positive, but still couldn’t find the net, the ball going marginal over the bar.

Ryan Bowman became the second player to be booked for deliberately taking down Shinnie after the defender had ran back 30 yards to tackle the ball away from ‘Well number 12, Cadden, who had broken away.

The defence was called into action next when O’Connor took the ball off of  Scott McDonald as he was lining up to take shot. The ball was then worked forward to McGinn whose shot was on target, but well saved by Samson.

Motherwell seemed to have came with a plan to stop the Dons building a rhythm to the game, and it was working successfully. Jules, in the spirit of their tactics, conceded a free kick when he clattered Stockley to the ground 30 yards out.

The half drew to a close with Hayes, McGinn and Stockley nipping away and trying to break down the resilient Steelmen to no avail.

Half time 0-0.

With both teams unchanged from the first half, it was Motherwell who, within 4 minutes of the second, had the first attempt at breaking the deadlock when Scott McDonald, from just outside the goal area, chipped the ball over the defence. However, Joe Lewis was perfectly placed to catch the ball in his arms.

Good persistent play from Stockley saw the tall Englishman winning a corner. The end play from the set piece saw the ball enciphered at the feet of Taylor in a well forward position. The tall defender struck the ball from the left side of the goal mouth at a diagonal angle, going narrowly beyond the far right post near the crossbar.

Kenny McLean was having a really strong game, being involved in most moves. One minute bang in front of the goal winning a corner, next back helping with the defence.

21 minutes into the second half, the visitors made the first change of the game with Ryan Bowman being replace by Jacob Blyth, who was introduced I presume to add some spirit to the Motherwell play.

McLean was in action again in the 62nd minute when he slotted a great ball towards the far post which, with Shinnie just unable to make contact, went over for a goal kick. McLean had another unsuccessful attempt at goal just a minute later .

The final booking of the game, the sixth for the visitors, went to Cadden

Stephen Pearson became the next Motherwell player to fall foul of the ref when he was booked for holding back the pacy Jonny Hayes the Dons winger sprinted goal-ward.

Motherwell were content to waste time and settle for the draw.

Their fourth booking went to Hammel, Captain for the day, who chopped down McGinn.

In the 73rd minute Rooney was replaced by Ryan Christie. Soon after, Hammel was substituted as Elliot Frear came on for Motherwell.

Meanwhile, in between these two substitutions, yet another Motherwell booking was given. This time it was David Ferguson who was the recipient, long overdue, for time wasting.

Stockley received a yellow card with 7 minutes to go. At the same time O’Connor was replaced by Miles Storey as Derek McInnes was determined to get a win. The Dons never-say-die attitude was needed now as time was ticking away.

The game was held up for a while as Stockley and Ferguson received treatment, the 2 players having cracked their heads together in a challenge.

The final booking of the game, the sixth for the visitors, went to Cadden who refused to release the ball for The Dons to take a throw.

It was looking like an undeserved draw was on the cards when fourth official Scott Millar indicated there were 5 minutes of time to be added on.  

In the first of these minutes, Jonny Hayes shot the ball across the area from the left, to the right. McGinn ran into the ball and swept it into to the back of the net, shattering the hardworking but poorly skilled visitors, and sending the home fans into raptures as AFC move 9 points clear in second place.

1-0

The match sponsors bemused the crowd by awarding McGinn the man of the match, whilst ignoring the best player on the pitch, McLean.

Final score 1-0.

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Mar 102017
 

With thanks to Esther Green, Senior Account Executive, Tricker PR

Aberdeen Asset Management apprentices organised a fundraising sleep out which helped raise over £14,000 for charity.

A group of Aberdeen Asset Management apprentices who have made their mark on their workplace – and also in their community by raising over £14,000 for charity – are meeting their local MSP during Scottish Apprenticeship Week.

Aberdeen Central MSP Kevin Stewart’s visit to Aberdeen Asset Management comes as the firm is looking to recruit its next batch of talented young recruits for offices in Aberdeen and Edinburgh.

Aberdeen is inviting applications from would-be apprenticeships in Aberdeen and Edinburgh between now and April 2.

Applicants meeting the criteria will be invited to attend a recruitment open day and selected candidates will be asked to complete two weeks’ work experience during July 2017. The final interview for the apprenticeship programme will take place during work experience with apprenticeships commencing in September.

MSP Mr Stewart will meet a group that includes the five strong team of apprentices who organised a series of events, including a sponsored sleep-out when they were joined by colleagues in sleeping outdoors in Aberdeen on a winter’s night, helping them raise an impressive £14,000 plus for Aberdeen Cyrenians.

Apprentice Rachel Adam will be among those meeting with the MSP and said:

“We’re looking forward to sharing the benefits we have found from directly entering the workplace rather than choosing higher education.

“We are receiving on-the-job training and are gaining relevant qualifications and we work well as a team. We’re  developing our networks and building up great connections with colleagues and we were delighted to exceed expectations in the fundraising challenge set by our employers by raising over £10,000 for Aberdeen Cyrenians, thanks to the support of our colleagues.”

Aberdeen Asset Management has introduced its own apprenticeship scheme for school leavers in recent years. The programme runs for 12-24 months and is designed to help apprentices learn about the organisation, meet the people involved and help them decide which area of the business to begin their career in. Appprentices are challenged to work together for community projects.

Lynn Brown from Aberdeen Asset Management’s learning and development team said:

“Scottish Apprenticeship Week celebrates the benefits apprenticeships bring to individuals, businesses and communities, as well as their contribution to the Scottish economy and we have first hand experience of that here at Aberdeen Asset Management.

“As a business we understand that recruiting, developing and retaining the best people is fundamental to our ability to perform and through our apprenticeship and other entry level programmes we look to identify talented individuals at the start of their career.

“Our apprenticeship programme comprises of six rotations over two years in different departments across the business giving our apprentices a well-rounded view of the asset management industry and its related functions. Apprentices will complete rotations in teams within our Operations and Technology, Finance, Distribution, Corporate, and Risk divisions.”

More information on apprenticeship opportunities at Aberdeen Asset Management are available by contacting entrylevel.recruitment@aberdeen-asset.com

 

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Mar 102017
 

With thanks to Eoin Smith, Senior Account Executive, Tricker PR.

The University of Aberdeen rowed to victory on Saturday (March 4) at the 22nd annual Aberdeen Boat Race, which is sponsored by Aberdeen Asset Management.
Breaking rival Robert Gordon University’s five-year winning streak, the University of Aberdeen triumphed in a time of 7 minutes 03.8 seconds, winning by 4 lengths.

The Robert Gordon University crew followed close behind, with a time of 7 minutes 16.3 seconds.

The University of Aberdeen also celebrated success in the alumni and second crew races – marking the first ever clean sweep in the event’s history.

Hundreds of spectators braved the weather to line the banks of the city’s River Dee to cheer on the teams as the old opponents battled it out on the river. Due to water levels, the 3.5km course was shortened by 300m.

Fiona Bell (21), president of Aberdeen University Boat Club, said,

“It feels amazing to have brought the Aberdeen Boat Race trophy back to the University of Aberdeen. I think we’re all still in shock a little; we set out to break RGU’s five-year hold over the title and we did it! I’m incredibly proud of my team and their performance today. We’ve been training hard in daylight and darkness, so it’s brilliant that all our hard work has paid off.

“Erin and the RGU crew were formidable opponents, and made things very difficult for us out on the water. It was a fantastic race to row in, and I hope those watching from the banks enjoyed it too. I’d also like to thank Aberdeen Asset Management for their continued support – without their backing the Aberdeen Boat Race couldn’t happen.”

Erin Wyness (20), president of Aberdeen University Boat Club, added,

“Congratulations to all of the University of Aberdeen crew on their win today. It was a hard race with both crews on form beforehand, so it would have been hard to call before we set off. Even though we didn’t win this year, I’m still very proud of all the effort the crew has put in over the last few months, and it doesn’t take away from our five-year streak. We’ll be back next year!

“The whole day has been brilliant both for the rowers and spectators on the shore – from the alumni and second crew races right up until the title race – and I’d like to thank Aberdeen Asset Management for their amazing continued support of this historic event.”

The alumni boat race was won by the University of Aberdeen in a time of 8 minutes 02.5 seconds. The universities’ second crew boat race was also won by the University of Aberdeen in a time of 2 minutes 36.6 seconds. Original 106fm clinched the media challenge title in a time of 1 minute 30.1 seconds over a 300m course.

Martin Gilbert, chief executive of sponsor Aberdeen Asset Management, commented,

“On behalf of all at Aberdeen Asset Management, I would like to congratulate the winning crew from the University of Aberdeen. I would also like to recognise the effort of the Robert Gordon University Boat Club rowers, who put in a sterling effort on the water. Both teams should be rightfully proud of their achievements today.

“The university experience is about more than classroom learning, and the boat clubs are a real testament to that. Being founded in Aberdeen, we are very proud to continue to support the Aberdeen Boat Race in what is our 17th year.”

Follow the Aberdeen Boat Race on Facebook at www.facebook.com/aamboatrace, on Twitter @2017boatrace or Instagram @aamboatrace

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Mar 062017
 

By Red Fin Hall.

After the most one sided, losing game Aberdeen have had for ages, if not ever, against Hamilton last week, The Dons return to Pittodrie to face Partick Thistle in this cup game.
The visitors are on a good winning run at the moment, whilst Aberdeen have lost only 2 of their last 12 games.

It was inevitable Derek McInnes had to change the starting line up for this tough match as the home side have injury problems, with Mark Reynolds out for a good few weeks, as is Ryan Jack.

But Jonny Hayes makes a return, as does Jayden Stockley. Both started the game, as did Peter Pawlett.

It’s been 96 years since the Glasgow club won the cup, whereas it has been 27 years since it came north to Pittodrie. Too long for a team of Aberdeen’s stature. Hopefully this game, their 400th Scottish Cup game will seem them take a step closer to rectifying this statistic. And having lost only one of their home games in all competitions this season, and with all the home teams getting through, they were the favourites to do so.

The pitch was not in great condition as the referee, Craig Thomson got the game under way.

Partick had most of the possession in the first couple of minutes, with Andrew Considine having to be sharp to turn the ball out for the first corner of the game.

From the forthcoming goal kick, the ball went upfield to Stockley, who has scored against the visitors in the last two games. This time, however, he was sufficiently blocked from getting a third. Within the next minute he was back in defence clearing a corner.

Moments later the Dons were on the attack with a good run from Graeme Shinnie. He found Adam Rooney who tried to curl the ball into the top corner, only for it to be saved by Tomas Cerny, with Pawlett running in. 

Abdul Osman was the first player to be penalised after a deliberate body check on Hayes. 

Thistle were awarded a free kick in the 12th minute, When Kris Doolan went down under pressure from Ash Taylor just shy of the home corner flag. Although it was clear to all that the defender never touched him.

McGinn had as shot for goal in minute 14, but it went more than marginally over. Aberdeen were beginning to get more into the game now, but still needed a bit of calmness to break the deadlock.

With just about a quarter of the game gone, a thunderous shot from Niall McGinn from the edge of the box was turned round for a corner by the keeper.

A wild McGinn effort ended up stuck on the roof of The Merkland Stand

A clever move from McGinn after receiving a pass from Shay Logan saw him put a low ball into the box, with Stockley and Adam Rooney lurking, but it was well cut out by Cerny.

The game was stopped in the 32nd minute when Pawlett and Liam Lindsay went down after a clash of heads. Fortunately both were able to continue.

McGinn was causing problems for the Thistle defence, winning a corner after some good link up play with Stockley. From the resultant kick, Rooney headed just over. A minute later the same player headed just over again after The Dons were awarded a free kick for a deliberate hand ball.

Chris Erskine had his name taken by the ref for high feet when he caught Logan on the head during another physical challenge.

A wild McGinn effort ended up stuck on the roof of The Merkland Stand just a few minutes before half time. Some poor touches from Aberdeen players, on a pretty atrocious surface, which has a greater percentage of mud over grass, doesn’t help the game flow.

Just on 43 minutes, a move from Stockley to McGinn, then a neat ball to Shinnie, Captain in the absence of Reynolds, on the edge of the D, saw him receive the ball with one foot, turn and fire the ball low into the net with the other.

1-0.

With no further scoring in the one minute the referee had added on for stoppages, the half time score remained 1-0.

No changes were made by either team as the second half commenced.

The half was barely a minute old when Pawlett was body checked and a free kick was awarded to the Dons. From the kick, Considine got on the end of the ball, stretching out his foot, but the keeper, who was having a good game, made another brilliant save.

it was the Partick Player who came off worse and had to receive treatment

A fantastic touch by Stockley in the Partick box, to an in-running Pawlett, saw the Aberdeen number 16 shoot into the side netting. The tall English striker went down with an injured shoulder on minute 53, but after some treatment he was able to rejoin the play.

The Home team were fair stepping up to the mark now, to try and put this game to bed, and some excellent work by Pawlett saw Rooney having another effort on goal.

A great longish pass from Logan to Rooney on the right wing, saw the forward try to dribble the ball along the bye-line. A corner was his only reward, and Ash Taylor could only head the ball over the bar from the corner kick.

A great run from the unusually quiet Hayes on he left side, saw his ball eventually reach the ever keen Stockley. He gathered and turned quickly causing Cerny to get down and prevent the relatively soft shot from ending up in the back of the net.

With 59 minutes having passed the visitors made the first substitution when Erskine left the field of play and Ade Azeez joining in.

Pawlett was taken out of the game by Daniel Devine for a free kick to Aberdeen on the 67th minute, but and a yellow card. At the same time Osman left the field after falling awkwardly too. Both players were able to continue though.

Niall Kewon for the visitors was the next to get treatment after bashing into the back of Stockley’s head, and suffering a nose bleed. Partick, playing the hard physical and game, were suffering more than the victims of their tough challenges.

Aberdeen made their first change in the 74th minute when the lively Pawlett was replaced by Anthony O’Connor, perhaps with a view to just seeing the match out and ensuring that their name is in the hat for the semi final draw.

With 13 minutes left, McGinn, despite getting pulled by number 15, managed to get a decent cross over, which Cerny got a hand too.

Thistle made another change, when Kevin Nisbet replaced Doolan.

Loan signing, Ryan Christie replaced McGinn

Aberdeen followed suit, by taking off Rooney, who wasn’t at his best, and the more pacier Miles Storey took over in the second forward role.

He immediately got on the end of a pass from Hayes and earned a throw in to the Dons, which Logan took, just in line with the away 18 yard line.

Osman was finally given a yellow card after cynically chopping down Hayes. From the free kick, a magnificent one, O’Connor headed the ball onto the crossbar. So close to number 2.

With minutes to go, Aberdeen, who got the toughest of the 4 quarter final games, are content to just keep the visitors at arm’s length.

Loan signing, Ryan Christie replaced McGinn with just 2 minutes left to play. This happened during the stoppage for Partick to take a corner that Logan had needlessly conceded. Joe Lewis made crucial save to snatch the ball out of the air to set up another Abereen attack.

Five additional minutes to the game were signified by the fourth official. With only one of them gone, Thistle were awarded a free kick just outside the Aberdeen box, on the left side.

Osman headed just over the bar, much to Aberdeen’s relief. But the away fans, plenty of them, thanks to their club providing free buses for them, must be disappointed that it took so long to have a proper effort on the goal.

Devine was then shown the red card when he bundled Stockley into the hoardings. 

Referee Thomson blew for full time just as Hayes was chasing the ball that was hoofed upfield towards the empty Thistle net, because all the away players, Cerny included, were up in the Dons box trying to get the equaliser.

It certainly wasn’t a pretty game, but AFC march onto the last four of this ancient cup competition, and deservedly so.

Final score 1-0.

Shinnie was awarded Man of the match. His elder brother got the same yesterday for Hibs in their win over Ayr United.

Celtic, after beating St Mirren earlier on today, and The Rangers, who romped to victory over a hapless Hamilton yesterday, made up the other three teams in the draw
which ended up with Celtic v The Rangers and Hibs v Aberdeen. Ties to,be played 22nd April.

Next home game v Motherwell, next Saturday.  11-03-17.

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Mar 022017
 

With thanks to Eoin Smith, Senior Account Executive, Tricker PR.

After months of secrecy and planning, the final crews are announced on Tuesday, 21 February for the 22nd annual Aberdeen Boat Race. The 18 successful students have travelled from around the world to study at the University of Aberdeen and Robert Gordon University – from A Coruña in Spain to Perth in Australia.

They will come together this Saturday, March 4, for the challenging 3.5km race along the River Dee, which is sponsored by Aberdeen Asset Management.

Fiona Bell, president of Aberdeen University Boat Club (AUBC), and Robert Gordon University Boat Club (RGU) president Erin Wyness have handpicked their teams after monitoring the rowers’ technical skill and performance under pressure over the past few months.

Rowing for the University of Aberdeen are:

Alex Zabala (18) from A Coruña, Spain; Fiona Bell (21) from Kilmacolm; Lachlan Cowie (21) from North Kessock; Henry Pettinger-Harte (21) from Chester; Alex Afaquah (20) from Glasgow; Rosie Kelly (21) from Belfast; Anna-Sophie Tierre (19) from Aukrug, Germany; and Isla Ferguson (19) from Edinburgh. The cox is Alex Ralston (20) from Perth, Australia.

Representing Robert Gordon University are:

Erin Wyness (20), Holly Reid (23), Andrew Main (20), Gregor Pittendreigh (20) and Josh Quinn (23) from Aberdeen; Michael Brady (21) from Livingston; Ruth Wright (26) from Turriff; and Katherine Lawrie (19) from Stonehaven. The cox is Kathryn Duthie (21) from Dunfermline.

Last year’s race was the most exciting yet, with both crews breaking the course record. Jostling for first position along the length of the course, RGUBC just clinched the title for the fifth consecutive year by only a quarter of a length. After coming so close, AUBC is determined to make 2017 the year they bring the trophy back to their boat house.

As the Aberdeen Boat Race enters its 22nd year, it is once again supported by global investment group, Aberdeen Asset Management.

Martin Gilbert, chief executive of Aberdeen, comments:

“Since its inception, the Aberdeen Boat Race has become a real highlight in the city’s sporting calendar. Over the past few months, the crews have faced dark, early mornings and intense training sessions in rain and shine to prepare for the race ahead of them, and the time is almost here to put that training into practice.

“Aberdeen Asset Management remains dedicated to nurturing young talent, and we look forward to celebrating both crews’ achievements on March 4, regardless of who lifts the trophy.”

Professor Ferdinand von Prondzynski, Principal of RGU, says:

“Every year the crews from both universities show great skill and determination on the water and this year will be no different. The atmosphere at the finish line is electric and it is always fantastic to see Robert Gordon University students lining the riverbanks alongside the general public. I’m looking forward to another exciting race in March.”

Professor Sir Ian Diamond, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Aberdeen, adds:

“Last year’s race was incredibly close, and I know that AUBC has been out on the water training hard this year. The effort that both crews put into the preparations for the Aberdeen Boat Race is commendable, and I’m sure will lead to another exciting race along the River Dee.”

Following the toss for stations at 3.20pm, a number of races will take place in the run up to the title event. The Universities’ Second Crew Race takes place at 4.05pm, while the Alumni Crews take to the water at 4.25pm. The Media Challenge – which will see the Evening Express and Original 106fm take on reigning champions BBC, takes place at 5.15pm before the main Aberdeen Boat Race at 5.30pm.

Follow the Aberdeen Asset Management Universities’ Boat Race on Twitter @2017BoatRace, Facebook www.facebook.com/AAMBoatRace and Instagram @AAMBoatRace.

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Feb 262017
 

By Red Fin Hall.

It only seems like a few weeks ago that we played Ross County in the Scottish Cup, well funnily enough it was.
That hard fought game is sure to be replicated today.

The last time we played them here, the Dons finished with a 4-0 victory.

Aberdeen’s starting line up was their strongest one – the same players who started the eight game run before Graeme Shinnie was suspended.

It was a glorious and sunny day, but the pitch was anything but ideal when referee, Willie Collum, got the game underway with the visitors kicking off.

Couple of moments into the game when Shay Logan crumbled when bundled to the ground by a Ross County player. A throw in was given.

Great attacking play from the Dons followed when Logan and Hayes linked well, with the latter juggling the ball in the opposition box before utilising an overhead kick to Adam Rooney who couldn’t get high enough to get much purchase on the ball, which went straight into Scott Fox’s arms.

Ross County, playing 5 at the back, we’re working hard as the home team had attempt after attempt, including a chip in by Shinnie, which was easily held by Fox.

Aberdeen, whilst not playing at their best, were intent on trying to get the opening goal, County, were sticking well to their task and thwarting them.

The first booking came in the 22nd minute when Michael Gardyne had his name entered in the referees, book for a foul on Kenny McLean.  A minute later, Dons were another free kick a on the other side of the park which was taken by McGinn, but he totally wasted it and it ended up going for a throw in to the visitors.

A call for a penalty was, rightly, ignored by Collum, when McLean went down in the box.

In the 24th minute County were awarded their first corner, but thankfully, nobody was sharp enough to stick a foot out and it went behind for a goal kick.

Mark Reynolds was the next player to be booked when he fouled Alex Schalk, but when the free  kick was taken by ex Aberdeen player, Paul Quinn, it was totally wasted.

Aberdeen were finding it hard to get to the top of their game, as highlighted when a poor cross by Shinnie was easily intercepted by Gardyne. The Lightning start to the match where the fans were anticipating  a few goals, was replaced by hard graft and team work. They were however finding an out for every ball, as all the men in red were keen to get involved.

A sharp effort was equally matched by a sharp save by Lewis.

35 minutes had passed when Aberdeen were awarded a free kick just inside the opposition half facing towards the Merkland Stand. Taken by Hayes, the ball reached Reynolds who headed it forward to Rooney. His overhead kick however ended up security in the arms of Fox.

Never despairing despite the tight attention of the men from Dingwall, McLean was the next player to try and find away through the stuffy defence. But his fierce and low shot from 20 yards out forced Fox to dive and save.

County had their first real chance of the game when Jason Naismith beat Reynolds and his shot bobbled in front of Joe Lewis who held it at the second attempt.

With 5 minutes left of the first half, Hayes took a free kick on the left side, just 2 ft from the corner post. The goalkeeper punched it clear, and the ball was still in play, but the South Stand linesman had his flag up for offside.

Three minutes after that the ball was up in the Dons’ area and the Highlanders were awarded a free kick just on the edge of the 18 yard line. A sharp effort was equally matched by a sharp save by Lewis.

Just before the half time whistle went, Aberdeen should have been ahead. A fabulous long pass from captain Ryan Jack to Hayes, who shrugged off the challenge of Quinn. He then passed to the usually deadly Rooney, who found himself practically on his own in front of and open goal.

The simplest task to just tap it in seemed to allude him, and instead he fluffed the shot, and if contact was made, it must have been surely marginal, as the ball stopped just 18 inches the other side of him and was a sufficiently simple task for the defence to deal with.

Half time: 0-0.

The second half got underway with Ross County making a change, one that the stadium announcer failed to notify the crowd. Quinn was replaced by number 28, Kenny van der Weg, as manager, Jim Hamilton went to a more traditional four across the back.

It gave them a fair lift, as they started this last 45 much stronger looking.

Ever the master tactician, Derek McInnes decided it was time to make the first change

Although Hayes and Rooney were still a thorn in their side, the visitors were the first to try and break the deadlock just 3 minutes after the resumption of play when Schalk had a go from 25 yards out, forcing Lewis to make a decent save. Hayes was then penalised for tripping that same player shortly afterwards.

Although there wasn’t too much great quality on show, it was a busy game, with first Gardyne, then Hayes shooting wild and wide.

Ash Taylor, who is improving with every game, pulled off a crucial defensive header to cut out a cross from the County sub.

At this juncture the visitors were winning the midfield battle, and still crowding out the middle of the pitch, so something needed done.

Ever the master tactician, Derek McInnes decided it was time to make the first change. Jayden Stockley, the sub who has come on it the preceding two games and scored, was not available today. Whether the omission was tactical or as the result of a chest infection due to getting a draft when his shirt was ripped last week, I am unsure.

Anyway, Miles Storey was the player that came on. He replaced Mark Reynolds. Thus the team was altered to play three at the back, with Hayes and McGinn acting as attacking wing-backs. Storey added another option up front, and his pace was useful.

The Dons were awarded a corner in the 71st minute, and the determination of McLean in the aftermath of that set piece proved crucial. His determined play and his low powerful shot, coupled with slack defending from captain Andrew Davies, meant it was a simple task for Rooney to touch the ball into the net for his 17th goal of the season and, what ended up being the winner for Aberdeen.

1-0

That was the signal for Ross County to ring the changes, with Tim Chow and Craig Curran being substituted and Jim O’Brien and Milan Lalkovic taking to the field.

Shortly thereafter McGinn went off and Anthony O’Connor went straight into defence when he came on, and with only 4 minutes of regulation time remaining, Hayes was taken off and Peter Pawlett came on to help run the game down.

There were three minutes added on at the end, and the only thing of note was that Rooney made a good breakaway and slotted the ball to Storey, but his ball was high, wide and anything but handsome.

Full Time: Aberdeen 1 Ross County 0

Next home game is the Scottish a Cup Quarter Final v Partick  Thistle on Sunday 5/02/17 when, incidentally, the latest edition of The Red Final goes on sale.
Before that however there is an away trip to Hamilton to contend with on Tuesday.

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Feb 242017
 

Alex Ralston

With thanks to Leanne Carter, Account Manager, Tricker PR.

A Perth student with an ambition to join the Royal Air Force has his sights firmly set not on the skies but on the water. Alex Ralston (20) hopes to be selected to represent the University of Aberdeen in the 22nd annual Aberdeen Boat Race this March.
If chosen, cox Alex and his fellow rowers in the mixed eight crew will face off against reigning champions Robert Gordon University (RGU) in the 3.5km race along the River Dee, which is sponsored by Aberdeen Asset Management.

For Alex, who studies Geology and Petroleum Geology at the University of Aberdeen, there’s a clear parallel between the RAF and life in the rowing club.

He explains,

“Flying a plane is one of the best feelings in the world. My grandfather was in the air force, so it’s been a lifelong ambition of mine to become a pilot.

“But there are similarities between being out on the water and up in the air. There’s a real emphasis on teamwork in both disciplines, and a chain of command to follow. As cox, it’s my job to instruct the crew and I like that feeling of being in charge. I’ve always had an authoritative streak.

“The crew trains together up to 12 times a week, so we really put the hours in. Plus, we’re always socialising with each other. There’s a great sense of camaraderie within the boat club.”

Alex, who started studying at the University of Aberdeen in 2014, originally hails from Perth in Western Australia but his family relocated to their home’s Scottish namesake when he was eight years old.

Before attending university, Alex had never lifted an oar – despite being a fan of the Oxford-Cambridge Boat Race on television. Alex said:

“I used to really be into running, but I joined the rowing club because I wanted to get bigger. I’ve always been quite small… but I never really bulked up!

“I was lined up as a cox in my first year, but was told it would be better to learn how to row first as it would give me a greater knowledge of what I was asking my crew to do. But my body isn’t naturally suited to rowing – I’m too small – so in 2015 I was given the opportunity to cox the Aberdeen Boat Race second crew race.

“I try to do the same training as the rest of the crew, apart from weights. I’m on a kind of weight-loss fitness regime to make myself more efficient. It feels a bit like torture, but it definitely does help. Not only do I enjoy the fitness aspect, but the rest of the crew know I’m going through the same things as they are. It helps me get more out of them when we’re out on the water.”

Alex’s university career took off from there and – despite being in the losing side – it was his chance to cox the main University of Aberdeen crew in the Aberdeen Boat Race last year that sticks out as his most memorable race to date. The 2016 event was the annual contest’s closest race in its 21 year history, with Robert Gordon University clinching the title for the fifth year in a row by just a quarter of a length – even though both teams smashed the course record.

He said:

“We were all really gutted last year. The RGU crew looked incredibly strong, but we went out on the water with a defiant attitude and we almost had it. It was a really close race all the way down the river, and the adrenaline was pumping, but in the end we didn’t quite make it. We’re fully confident this year, though.

“I think this year will probably be my last Aberdeen Boat Race, as I focus more on my goal of joining the RAF, so I’m determined to cross the finish line first.”

The Aberdeen Boat Race is made possible by the continued support of title sponsor Aberdeen Asset Management. Martin Gilbert, chief executive of Aberdeen, commented:

“The passion with which the students from the University of Aberdeen and Robert Gordon University throw themselves into their training is inspiring to all those who attend the Aberdeen Boat Race. The crews face a tough challenge this year, and will give their all in a race which I know will be thrilling for all those on the banks of the River Dee in March.”

Follow the 2017 Aberdeen Boat Race on Twitter @2017boatrace, Instagram @AAMboatrace and Facebook at www.facebook.com/AAMBoatRace

Feb 172017
 

By Red Fin Hall.

This rescheduled league game is Aberdeen’s game in hand over the rest of the league. It comes two days after defender Andy Considine became the third player to commit their future to the club, and Derek McInnes telling the media that still has a lot of unfinished business in the North East, and has no interest in The Rangers’ managerial position.

Being unable to field an unchanged team tonight due to the suspension of Graeme Shinnie, Ryan Christie stepped into the breach.

Referee Alan Muir got the game under way in fin not of a crowd of just over 10,600 on a clear and fine evening.

With Andrew Considine having just signed an new contract keeping him at the club for another couple of years, and Derek McInnes reiterating his desire to stay at the club, despite the (by now boring) insistence of certain sections of Main Stream Media that he is certain to be on his way to Govan, the good feeling amongst fans was running high.

That feeling was well and truly justified when the match was but a mere two minutes old when a shot toward Motherwell’s goal from Shay Logan was blocked. It fell to Adam Rooney whose shot also was blocked. The loose ball fell to Jonny Hayes who, from the edge of the area, shot into the goal past all the defenders from a tight angle to make it 1-0 before some fans had even taken their seats.

Motherwell were awarded a corner in the 4th minute, but it troubled no-one.

Setting the tone of the game, Aberdeen were looking sharp and pacy as usual. With ten minutes having elapsed, Logan had a go from the right side of the pitch but his shot was more than wayward, and almost high enough to go over the roof of The Merkland Stand.

As the Dons pressed hard looking for more goals, even this early, Christie had himself in a good position just outside the box, but looking a tad unconfident, dithered about too much and the chance was squandered.

Some nice interplay between Niall McGinn and Hayes and Rooney followed, but the latter’s overhead kick went just wide.

With not even 15 minutes in the clock, Christie again had the ball at the edge of the box, This time he didn’t hesitate but his shot too went wide. Aberdeen were certainly looking hungry for more goals. This piece of action was swiftly followed by a very good pass by McGinn to Christie, who was running through. The ball was just a tad too long and fast for he youngster to reach.

Aberdeen were given he first free kick of the game when Hayes was tripped in his own half.

Still looking strong going forward, Christie became the provider and Hayes the receptor. Taking an example of Logan some minutes previously, he too blootered the ball high and wide. Nevertheless this pair were leading by example and, linking up well, another effort from the loan signing, Christie was the result of this partnership.

finally fulfilling his potential since signing from St Mirren a couple of seasons ago

Lee Lucas for the visitors tripped Kenny McLean. McLean took the kick himself, but it was too far out to cause any concern for Craig Samson in goal.
With even the home defence venturing upfield, an excellent ball in to Ash Taylor from Christie saw the tall Englishman head just wide. Desperately seeking a second goal, Hayes saw another attempt go just wide.

Lucas then found himself being the first player to be booked for committing a second foul; this time on Christie. From 30 yards out, the kick was taken by McLean who seems to be finally fulfilling his potential since signing from St Mirren a couple of seasons ago. He aimed the ball for Considine, but a corner was the only reward.

Coming from the left side, McGinn took said corner kick. He too aimed his shot towards Consi. The defender was standing at the far post, he gratefully got on the end of the ball and headed it downwards and bouncing into the net for Aberdeen’s well deserved second goal.

2-0.

Great persistent play just a wee while later, by Hayes, after a mistake by Motherwell captain, Keith Lasley, as he failed to get the ball clear in his own area, saw the Aberdeen number 11 pass to Rooney, who was situated by the back post. He made no mistake and slotted the ball into the net.

3-0
 
Rooney was through on his own again a few moments later, after he gathered a slack ball from a Motherwell player , but a well timed tackle from Richard Tait prevented another goal.

With 41 minutes gone, McGinn took another corner. He passed the ball to nearby Hayes; he touched over to Considine, he then slipped to Christie who was badly marked just inside the opposition’s box, and with the outside of his left foot chipped it smartly into to top right corner of the net.

4-0, and potential goal of the month.

Two minutes later, a superb angled, long ball by McLean found Rooney who proceeded to sky it ala Logan and Hayes.

Just as  half time was upon us, Christie, enjoying his first start, made a great run and cut the ball back to captain Ryan Jack. His shot went marginally wide.

Half time: 4-0. The players left the field as the whole stadium stood and gave them a rousing ovation. Well, apart from the few visiting fans.

The second half got underway, with no changes made by either side, and The Dons starting off just as the completed the previous 45 minutes, with Christie bursting through again. This time his pass found the ever willing Hayes but the Irishman’s shot went wide.

Whatever Motherwell manager Mark McGhee said to his players at half time, it certainly had an effect. For the next 10 -12 minutes they made a bit more effort to try and get something from the game, but without really causing Aberdeen any real cause for concern.

it took five tellings from the ref and the intervention of a police officer

Considine was booked for something unknown, as many fans were expecting the free kick to be awarded the other way for a handball. The resultant free kick was assuredly snatched out of the air by Joe Lewis and the ball promptly dispatched to Christie.

At the end of that move McGinn fired an absolute screamer from around 39 yards out. It was turned out for a Corner by Samson who was having a good game.

The referee then gave a free kick to Motherwell for another mysterious infringement.

On the 60 minute mark, Taylor was rightly booked for for a badly mistimed challenge on Ryan Bowman. Before the free kick was taken, the referee had to go over to the dug-outs and and deal with the Motherwell manager who, apparently was having a right go at the fourth official. He was then summarily dispatched to the stands – although it took five tellings from the ref and the intervention of a police officer before he made his way to a seat amidst of a bunch of Aberdeen fans.

Shortly thereafter, Aberdeen were awarded a penalty when Logan was bundled over in the box. Obviously Rooney stepped up to take it, and obviously he didn’t miss.

5-0

Motherwell introduced the first substitute of the evening in the 67th minute, when Elliot Frear was replaced by Craig Clay.

That didn’t help them though, as they hadn’t had a chance to get into the game, when another McGinn corner found Rooney, who netted his hat trick. 

6-0

Rooney was then taken off and Jayden Stockley came on. McGinn also left the field of play, and Peter Pawlett took his place.

Mark Reynolds proceeded to foul Louis Moult, and a free kick was given. 

Lewis then makes an uncharacteristic error and came off his line to try and pull the ball out of the air and missed. Bowman headed the ball  over him and into the net.

6-1 

Taylor then had a second of carelessness by passing the ball a few feet to Bowman, who, fortunately, didn’t manage to take advantage of the mistake.

Stockley, who has more to his game than just his height, made a great cross to McGinn who’s effort was saved.

There followed a great run by Hayes, who crossed the ball to the far post to Logan, who in turn passed it to Stockley. His overhead kick, like several attempts by others previously, went a tad wide.

Aberdeen made their final substitution of the game, when Miles Storey came on, and Christie went off to a standing ovation.

Motherwell went upfield on a rare foray, and were given a corner. The said corner was missed by every defender to get to the far post, where number 88 for the visitors, Stephen Pearson, scored.

6-2

Aberdeen weren’t finished yet. Enjoying their dominance, and perhaps aggrieved by conceding two poor goals, and with only 8 minutes to go, Hayes led the charge back up field. He slipped the ball to Pawlett, and the substitute put it away.

7-2

This goal was the 7999th goal to be scored since the SPFL was formed 3 1/2 years ago. Stockley had another shot saved by their keeper, who was the only player in their team who can hold his head up, despite the deficit.

He was called into action again, and quite spectacularly so, when Taylor picked up the ball just around his own half and set off on a run, before firing in a fantastic shot from about 35 yards out. Samson reacted brilliantly to what would have been goal of the game, if not goal of the month, and dived and palmed it away.

The match ended soon after with home crowd exceedingly happy with the unexpected result, and the few fans from Lanarkshire anything but. I expect some would have demanded their money back, if they hadn’t been given free admission due to the fact that Aberdeen decided, because of the floodlight failure in the original game, it would be unfair to charge them twice.

Full Time: 7-2

Up next for The Dons is an away trip to Ayrshire on Sunday where they will meet manager-less Kilmarnock. Since Derek McInnes took charge, we have played them 12 times and won every time.

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