May 142017

By Red Fin Hall.

Inevitable changes were made, with Peter Pawlett and Ryan Jack both injured, and Ryan Christie ineligible to play.
Anthony O’Connor made a rare start in midfield, whilst, surprisingly top scorer Adam Rooney was benched, and his place taken by Jayden Stockley.

A decent crowd  turned up for this Friday evening game.

This was the final game of the season at home, the final BT commentary by locally born Derek Rae, the last game that Niall McGinn and possibly Ash Taylor in front of the home fans, and my final match report for The Aberdeen Voice.

The haar was beginning to hang about as referee Stephen McLean got the match underway. Minutes in, Joe Lewis was called upon to make a decent save from Patrick Roberts after he got the better of Andy Considine. From the resultant corner taken by Leigh Griffiths, Dedryck Boyata headed the ball into the net for the visitor’s first goal. A perfect start for Celtic, not so for The Dons.


Seven minutes later, Callum Mcgregor fired a ball which Shay Logan blocked well, but Stuart Armstrong reacted quickly and flicked the ball into the net. The defence didn’t seem to be coping at all well with the pace of the champions.


Just as the fans were still shaking their heads over the state of things, Leigh Griffiths fired a shot from all of 25 yards out. Lewis made a bit of a hash of things, opting to try and palm it away instead of holding it, but he could only look on helplessly as the ball ended up crossing the line for goal number 3.


Things didn’t look good for the injury hit men in red, and one two fans, even this early, decided to call it a day. More fool them.

These ‘supporters’ would have barely left the confines of Pittodrie when, man of the match, Jonny Hayes, shot in the goal of the game, curling the ball in from outside the penalty area on the right, and straight into the top left hand corner. Much to the dismay of keeper Craig Gordon.


From such a poor and inauspicious start, in a game that means nothing other than pride, the match was pretty much turned on it’s head by this.

Moments later a fine and deep cross from Kenny McLean found the unmarked Stockley. His back post header should have gone into the net, but the tall striker’s attempt went inches wide of the target.

Aberdeen had their danders up, and kept the pressure on the team from Glasgow, with their defence, in my opinion, having to work the hardest they have had to domestically this season.

20 minutes in. first Hayes had a go, testing Gordon, then Graeme Shinnie had a shot, which he maybe should have hit better. Ten minutes later, McGinn forced the Scotland keeper to concede a corner. The Northern Irishman took the set piece himself, but Taylor could only head the ball into the side netting.

It wasn’t one way traffic though, and Mark Reynolds, then McLean had to look sharp to deny the visitors adding to their tally. Boyata still looked dangerous when up front.

Defender Jozo Simunovic looked a bit slack, and McLean should have at least hit the target. Instead his curling, left foot shot went wide. A free kick to the Dons just 2 minutes before half time was cleared forward by the visitors, and it ended up at the feet of Scott Sinclair. But the player of the year had the ball taken off of him by the persistent Hayes.

Half time: 1-3

As the match resumed, Aberdeen continued their positive and determined play as Shinnie chased after a nothing ball and won a corner. Considine then put in a low and fierce cross into the area, but it was too hard and McGinn just couldn’t make contact with it.

The next incident provided the only real moment of controversy of the evening. The referee spoilt a pretty flawless shift from himself when he denied the home team what looked, to all intent and purpose, to be a stonewall penalty. Shinnie was running through at pace to get to a blocked Logan shot when Gordon impeded him. If it had been the other way round, no doubt a foul at least would have been given. This is not the first time that the Celtic keeper has been lucky to escape punishment this season.

Four minutes later an effort by Anthony O’Connor in a crowded box came to nothing. The flag was up for offside in any case.

Celtic had a bit more of the play for a spell, but the Aberdeen defence had well recovered from their period of sleeping by now, and handled things quite admirably.

McLean should have scored a second goal and therefore really tested Celtic’s mettle when he received a pass from, surely next season’s captain, Shinnie. However, instead of aiming for the bottom corner, he chose, puzzlingly, to send it screaming over the bar and into the Richard Donald stand.

With only 20 minutes left the game turned a tad scrappy, and the only chance of note was a snap shot from McGinn which went high. Even pushing Taylor up front, and trying to break down the defence with high balls, pointless considering the height of the visitor’s defenders, failed to produce.

History was made with just 3 minutes of the allocated 4 of stoppage time left, Aberdeen schoolboy, Dean Campbell, made his first team debut, becoming the youngest player to feature for the Dons. Hope he doesn’t go the way of the previous record holder, Fraser Fyvie, and depart the club too soon.

The game ended, and the fans stayed to give the players a standing ovation.

With two games left before the Scottish Cup Final, both away from home, first to The Rangers midweek, and then back down to Glasgow to play Partick Thistle, two fighting perfomances like that will surely stand us in good stead for the trip back to Glasgow for the final.

Final score: 1-3

  • Comments enabled – see comments box below. Note, all comments will be moderated.
Mar 022017

David Innes reviews ‘The Wren and The Salt Air’ – a new E.P. release by Jenny Sturgeon on Fit Like Records.

In September 2016, commissioned by The National Trust for Scotland, Donside’s own Jenny Sturgeon visited the abandoned North Atlantic Hebridean archipelago, St Kilda, to derive inspiration for a musical release to commemorate this wilderness’s thirtieth anniversary as a World Heritage site.

The Wren and The Salt Air, a four-track EP, inspired by the island’s bird life and history, is the impressive result.

Maintaining the distinctive writing and performance style of recent release From The Skein, Ms Sturgeon imbues haunting Celtic melodies with her trademark natural imagery and unobtrusive, custom-fitted arrangements.

‘Seabird’ is a word painting describing the majestic movement of the colony’s thousands of birds in flight, and at rest, in almost architectural terms, and the title track takes on the vibe of an ancient folk tale, as the juxtaposition of unforgiving weather and the frailty of a tiny St Kilda Wren paints a vivid picture of the stoicism of living creatures “where salt air pinches skin”.  

The bird life of St Kilda assumes co-billing with Jenny, Jonny Hardie and Pete McCallum, to the extent that on the final segment of ‘St Kilda Set’, after some fine, evocative blue-edged Hardie fiddle-led tunes, the local Kittiwake and Leach’s Petrel are given a featured ninety-second solo spot. The St Kilda Wren’s urgent song too, provides unusual but fitting counterpoint to the melody of ‘The Wren and The Salt Air’

With 10% of the profits of the CD sales going to support conservation work on St Kilda, The Wren and The Salt Air is even more worthy of your small investment.

The Wren and The Salt Air
Fit Like Records

This review was originally posted on the reviewer’s own website where the old fool gamely attempts to be some sort of tastemaker.


  • Comments enabled – see comments box below. Note, all comments will be moderated.
Nov 282016

img_4847By Red Fin Hall.

A visit to Hampden for  Aberdeen’s second league cup final appearance in two years, after winning it in 2014 at Celtic Park.

The current holders, Ross County, have only held the trophy for 8 months, due to the changes to format the SPFL introduced.

Despite most people thinking Aberdeen would start with the same winning line up, with maybe Niall McGinn in for Jayden Stockley, the manager surprised us all yet again as he left both of the aforementioned players on the bench, and gave young James Maddison his first start against Celtic.

As the teams ran out onto the pitch to tumultuous applause, the players were greeted by a spectacular display from both sets of fans. The Celtic fans’ one was predominantly green and white cards with the number 100 in the middle representing the 100th trophy the hoped to win, whilst the Aberdeen display was made up of alternate red and silver foil flags, arranged as usual by Stephen ‘Mezzanine’.

Celtic kicked off and immediately started they way they meant to go on, by keeping possession and bossing the game. In 3 minutes they were awarded the first free kick of the game which Jack conceded.

Celtic continued having control of the game for the first 7 minutes, with James Forrest claiming a penalty when he slipped on the wet pitch as Shay Logan challenged and cleared the ball.

Moments later Aberdeen were awarded their first foul when, in a rare moment of having the ball, Kenny McLean was fouled, only to relinquish the ball straight away.

In the 8th minute Jonny Hayes broke down the right side and managed to win a throw in. A very poor ball thrown by Logan gave the Glasgow club the ball back.

Minute 11, a great ball through from the ever willing James Maddison was just too long for Adam Rooney.

In the twelfth minute a Joe Lewis pulled of the first save of the match in Celtic’s first attack. A mere minute later Maddison was fouled just outside the box, but the resultant free kick was totally wasted by Kenny McLean.

The Don’s were getting a wee bit more into the game when a Maddison shot was well blocked by the defence. Celtic went straight into attack mode, and, in the 16th minute, number 18, Tom Rogic scored after after working his way easily through the Aberdeen defence.


On 18 minutes, Maddison was brought down yet again, and his free kick made Craig Gordon pull off a decent save. Then, Anthony O’Connor was easily robbed of the ball, sending the Hoops off on another attack, which was cleared up by Ash Taylor.

With 20 minutes gone, Aberdeen were finding it hard to get any purchase of the game. Maddison was the victim of yet another two consecutive fouls, with Scott Brown being the perpetrator of the second one. Yet again this came to naught.

cup2a The first corner of the game came in the 27th minute of the game for Celtic, who are well in control. Hayes meanwhile is barely getting on the ball, and in the 31st minute he was heavily bagged in the back, but no booking was forthcoming. Celtic are fouling Aberdeen all over the pitch.

The Dons comfortably break up another attack, but Hayes’ effort was easily held by their keeper. Aberdeen were not utilising the wide open spaces of the National Stadium.

Forrest, at this juncture, found the Aberdeen midfield posted missing again as he ran past them all and put the all easily past Lewis for the second goal.


The Dons’ first corner of the match came to nothing, and when the ball found its way back to Taylor who proceeded to punt the ball forward into an empty space.

The Dons weren’t lying down though, and in the 41st minute a neat pass from Maddison found Rooney. But, summing up the way the game was going, he skyed the ball well over the bar.

The third corner of the game was awarded to Aberdeen. A decent ball in found Andrew Considine, but his header went straight into Gordon’s arms. Another free kick was given to the men in red, this time in the centre circle, was well worked into the danger area, but the defenders were it in the slightest troubled.

Bang on 45, the half time whistle blew, with the second best team in Scotland by far the second best team in the park.

Half time: 0-2

AFC returned to the pitch first after the break with no changes to the line up. Celtic followed, likewise unchanged.

The Dons kicked off attacking towards their own fans. Whatever the manager had said in the dressing room, seemed to have worked as they were looking a but more positive.

Barely two minutes had passed when when Scott Brown became the first player to be booked for a cynical foul on Maddison, who kept trying to create something. But the fact is, that playing both him and McLean in midfield wasn’t working.

The pattern continued when another free kick by the men from the North East, nearly fell to Rooney. Then Maddison was not in quick enough to collect a ball from the Irish international.

The second half was looking better and it appeared that Aberdeen finally wakened up  to the fact that they were here for a reason. The Don’s had another corner given, but Maddison was carelessly caught offside.

Just as they were getting into the game, O’Connor conceded a penalty

With 57 minutes gone, Celtic had their first real attack of the half, but it petered out.

As the Dons pushed forward after a McLean free kick, an attempt from O’Connnor went right across the front of the goal. Another opportunity gone a-begging.

Although they were the better team overall, Celtic knew they had a game on now, and when a Celtic player handled the ball in the Aberdeen goal area, they were given yet another free kick.

Young Maddison was still involved in most things, and the team were making more use of the full pitch, but still not enough. The seemed reluctant to try and get down the wings and try and get beyond the Celtic defence.

Just as they were getting into the game, O’Connor conceded a penalty, by bringing down Forrest.

Moussa Dembélé stepped up to score their third goal, and his fourth of the competition, thus putting the cup well out of Aberdeen’s reach.


O’Connor was immediately substituted to be replace by Stockley. Celtic likewise decided to make a change too, with Patrick Roberts leaving the field, and Nir Bitton coming on. Stockley was keen to get involved in things straight away, and a pass to Rooney was received well, but the soft shot in from the latter went right into the Celtic keeper’s hands.

Celtic got a corner in the 66th minute.

Aberdeen attacked again, when great running by Hayes, a rare occurrence this afternoon, was spoilt as, under little or no pressure, he ran the ball hopelessly over the by-line.

Manager, Derek McInnes, showed we was not at all pleased by this error, as he decided to take Hayes off and put McGinn on.

A second yellow card was issued to a Celtic player for yet another foul on Maddison. The shocking free kick went straight to the keeper.

The Dons kept trying but to no avail. The fans kept getting behind the team and the singing continued. In saying that, the team leading the match weren’t resting on their laurels, and were keen to get goal number 4.

Two more substitutions were made. First in the 76th minute when Rogic was replaced by Calum McGregor, then in the 78th when Rooney came off and Wes Burns went on.

Another Aberdeen free kick was wasted, much to the frustration of the fans, as McGinn was offside when he received the ball

The action continued when in the 80th minute Celtic caused more problems for Aberdeen, but Taylor, who was having a decent game, put the ball out for a corner. Up at the other end of the park, a poor ball from Burns, meant for Stockley, was easily intercepted by Gordon.

On 90 minutes, man of the match, Forrest came off to great applause from the victorious supporters, and Leigh Griffiths entered the arena.

With only 3 minutes left, good  play and a shot at goal by Maddison, but again, it was routine for the keeper to hold it.

Although 3 minutes stoppage time was awarded, nothing much happened within that time, as the Celtic fans celebrated noisily, and the Aberdeen fans were already making their way out of the stadium.

When the final whistle blew and the referee indicated that the game was officially over, although from an Aberdeen point of view it was well over about 35 minutes before that.

niall-mcginn-cup-finalThe dream of a second trophy in 3 seasons lay shattered and in shreds, much like the remnants of silver and red foil flags which lay on the steps and floor of Hampden Park.

They say ‘money can’t buy love’, but that was proven wrong today when money bought the love of the Celtic Fans – money that bought the players that other teams in Scotland cannot, even remotely, afford. This is proven as Celtic have now gone nine games since a team from Scotland has managed to score a goal against them.
Full time: 0-3

Footnote: The match finished at 16.48pm. Due to the ridiculous situation of The National Stadium, we didn’t manage to leave the vicinity of Glasgow until 18.50pm. Two hours. Ridiculous.

Oct 302016

image1By Red Fin Hall.

A plague on the powers that be for these lunchtime kick offs. They seem to be getting earlier and earlier. 

The league cup semi-final last week was 12.15pm; this game was scheduled for 1200. What next? breakfast time?

Aberdeen lined up without Adam Rooney and James Madison who were on the bench, much to the mystification of the fans, although it was good to see captain, Ryan Jack back.

The manager was obviously looking go stifle Celtic. 

Two minutes in Jonny Hayes stole the ball and broke upfield but was fouled. The free kick only resulted in Celtic breaking upfield. 

In the 7th minute Hayes went down injured, but recovered to carry on. A couple of minutes later Niall McGinn tried to get forward, but Celtic were too strong for the Northern Irishman.

Next, Andrew Considine, concedes a foul on the edge of the box. Even this early, referee Steven McLean, seems intent on not letting the game flow. 

Back up in the Celtic box, a great interception from McGinn forces a corner for the home team. The short corner was totally wasted.

As the Dons pushed forward, a strange offside decision was given as McGinn passed the ball forward, then ran onto it himself. At this point it was relatively end to end, fairly entertaining stuff.

In the 24th minute a poor clearance from Shay Logan, falls to Tom Rogic, who fires the ball into the net past Anthony O’Connor.


Three minutes later another Celtic attack is easily dealt with. Not long after that, a careless touch by Hayes, thankfully came to nought.

At this point, with a quarter of the game gone, the visitors were seeing a lot more of the ball; the Dons weren’t closing them down enough, with some slack play from some players, Kenny McLean being the prime culprit.

Some good interplay between Logan, Hayes and McGinn on the left side resulted in a decent ball into the box where Considine made contact, but his header went over the bar.

On the 41st minute, Hayes played a fine ball into the area where Jack got a touch, but it only ended up as a goal kick for the, so far, untroubled Craig Gordon.

Only one minute later the home team had their first shot on target when McGinn swept a good ball in, and that man Considine struck the ball well, causing Gordon to make his first save of the match.
The referee continued to be a tad picky, but ignored a claim for a hand ball by a Celtic player in the Aberdeen goal box and awarded a goal kick instead. Celtic were in possession as the first half ended.

Half time. 0-1.

No changes were made by both teams as the second half commenced, and Celtic continued in the same vein as the did before the break. As were The Dons, with poor passing and second to the ball on occasion. Five minutes in Graham Shinnie was booked for, what appeared to be an innocuous foul on a player in green and white.

With 7 minutes gone in the second 45, Derek McInnes made his now trademark move, but instigating a double substitution. Jack, just back from injury, was replaced on the field by Rooney, and McGinn saw on loan player, Maddison come on in his stead.

As the clocked ticked into the 11th minute of the half, McLean missed a ball meant for him, giving the opposition a chance of increasing their lead, but Joe Lewis brilliantly saved the shot from the dangerous Scott Sinclair.

A mere minute later Moussa Dembélé, for probably the first time in the match, was causing the Aberdeen defence problems.

Aberdeen then went forward. A neat touch by Maddison found Considine who crossed to Rooney, but his attempt at goal was off target.

With 16 second half minutes gone, Celts’ number 18, Rojic created another chance for the visitors, but the ball just went past.

Aberdeen then had possession of the ball, and Dons’ right back, Logan, dribbled the 3 or 4 players before bring tripped by Stuart Armstrong.

At this juncture it was fairly one-sided in Celtic’s favour, but the score remained the same. However, with Maddison on the field there was always a chance he could make something happen.

The Dons were causing slight problems for the Celtic defence, nothing too serious. The atmosphere at this point was quite subdued.

Dembélé showed some tricky foot work at the edge of the box, but the close proximity of the defence hampered his shot and another attack came to an end when he shot high over the bar.

A good clearance by O’Connor to Hayes on the left wing, but before he could set off, he was bundled to the ground. Another non -foul.

Considine was looking strong and ever willing.

On minute 33 of this half, there was a bit of a stramash around the half way line involving Scott Brown and Hayes, none of which were involved in the preceding foul. Brown ended up on his back on the ground. The referee handled the situation swiftly and properly, and the two players ended up going in the book and receiving a yellow card apiece, along with another Celtic player who’s foul started this situation.

Hayes took the resultant free kick, but totally wasted it by hooting it hopelessly past the by-line. Set pieces today were particularly woeful.

Not long after that there came one if the strangest clearances I have ever seen. Logan kicked the ball high into the South Stand for a Celtic throw in. It was so high it went through the open window of the T.V. gantry, missing the cameras a sound equipment therein.

Play carried on with a replacement ball and with only 7 minutes remaining of the game to play. Wes Burns, who had been pretty ineffectual, was taken off. He was replaced by Jayden Stockley.

The closing minutes had the home fans literally on their feet as the Dons pressed to get the equaliser, with Gordon at one point snatching the ball off the feet of Shinnie, Maddison taking a couple of free kicks from around the same spot he scored the winner from against The Rangers last month and a call for a handball as Aberdeen kept the pressure up.

The decision was made to add 5 minutes stoppage time. Maybe if there was 10 minutes extra they would have broken through, but the game ended with Aberdeen going down to their second 1-0 defeat in a row. This coming after having 6 victories in a row.

It looks like the tactics didn’t work out as McInnes had hoped, but despite the huge financial gap between the two clubs, the battle on the pitch was a lot more equal.

Many say Celtic could have had a few more goals, but they didn’t. Our defence coped well enough to help prevent that.

In a little under a month the teams meet again in the League Cup Final at Hampden; hopefully the outcome will be different.

Feb 042016

Aberdeen hung in there to score another consecutive Pittodrie victory over league leaders Celtic, says Voice reporter Andrew Watson.

merkalndpic2It was a clear, nippy night. The pitch didn’t fare so well, though. It was torn up really badly.

There really hasn’t been any respite for the surface, in these winter months.

Prior to the match, there was a derisive jeer for linesman passing ball to a Celtic player during a warm up drill.

Perhaps a sign of things to come? The conspiratorial support already sensing a bias towards the men in green and white?

However, hopefully with the tannoys blasting Hard-Fi’s ‘Hard to Beat’, the home side would be geed up and willing to fight, even if decisions won’t go their way.

Building up to the match, the place was brimming, buzzing.  AC/DC’s moody ‘Thunderstruck’ was getting the supporters pumped.

Poor Efe Ambrose, his prior sending off gifting Ross County a cup final, didn’t fare well when his name was announced for the bench. The Red Army’s hero Hoop helping the Dons, and hurting the Celts, before the game’s even begun.

As the players came on the pitch, fans in the Dick Donald Stand held aloft streamers of red and silver; and cards red and white.

‘Stand Free’ was ringing through Pittodrie, with only the Hoops huddle interrupting:

“Stand free/
Whoever you may be
We are the famous Aberdeen/
We don’t give a fuck
Whoever you may be/
We are the famous Aberdeen”

Onto the game proper, Celtic threatened early on but the ball is cleared.

An Aberdeen free kick results in half chance for the Dons.

Then there’s a frustrating tussle. Celtic appear to be in the wrong, but it goes in their favour with a low shot in on Dons goal.

Things are quickly becoming heated, could yet get bad tempered.

An in-swinging free kick is picked up by Hoops goalie, Craig Gordon.

Up the other end, Aberdeen are forced into conceding throw in Main Stand/Dick Donald Stand corner.

Celtic hammer in shot but deflected corner. Scott Brown held this resulting ball with authority. The subsequent free kick produced the same result.

New Don Simon Church was found wanting in linkup play with Shaleum Logan.

Celtic drilled goalward, though the ball flew over bar. It looked ominous.

Steven McLean floats promising free kick opportunity over, and well over, bar.  What a waste.

Church again tries linkup play, but nobody there. Perhaps still gelling with new teammates.

Logan forces fortuitous throw in Main Stand/Merkland Stand corner.

Leigh Griffiths jeered, falling as he homes in on goal. This was followed by Dons free kick of no consequence.

McLean concedes a stupid free kick, pushing down his opponent. Lucky to get away with it, really.

Aberdeen then have close shave after Celtic corner, the ball bobbing precariously in penalty area.

Referee at this point seems to be awarding decisions to players who tumble over blades of grass. This generally in favour of the Parkhead men.

Brown was then at full stretch, but Celtic attack goes wide.

Suddenly, up the other end, Jonny Hayes rockets in wonder ball. This time it’s Gordon at full stretch. He’s beaten

1-0 Aberdeen 31 minutes into the game! Pittodrie comes to the tune of KC and the Sunshine Band’s ‘Give It Up’, replacing the lyrics with Hayes’ name.

Aberdeen’s Brown dives to keep Dons in lead, swatting the ball away as best he can.  He and his back four even keep Celtic corner out of harm’s way.

Back in a more encouraging position, Hayes surges forward and is tackled; but wins a corner, nonetheless.

2-0!  McLean gets in an emphatic header; but it’s Church who bundles it over the line, 37 minutes into the game.

“We’re red/
You’re dead
We’re bouncing on your head/
Aberdeen, Aberdeen”

Then, having heard what’s at stake for Celtic manager Ronny Deila if his team’s to lose:

What’s the score
Ronny, Ronny/
What’s the score”

Moving on, Ashton Taylor tries from distance. Right idea, but a tad high with no real power.

It was thought a hurting Celtic would be a deadly proposition, as with most top teams in any league. They seemed genuinely lacking, though.

There was a flashpoint with Logan swiped to floor, and Celtic earning a yellow card.

Not long after, the ball was thundered into bottom right corner. This was well saved by keeper, Gordon.

There was then a sliding and vital tackle to deny Celtic chance on goal. There was mass applause upon half time.

Without a third goal, it’s not totally unfeasible Celtic could claw a comeback.

Halftime 1-0.

Aberdeen get early chance with corner, which glances far post.

Star man Hayes does well, beating two, three players.  He does too much, pressing his luck, not passing it, and dispossessed of the ball.

Knowing the enmity Celtic have with Aberdeen, especially regarding Logan, the Red Army get right behind the defender offering moral support. He’s he taking a throw in the away South/Stand Dick Donald corner:

“There’s only one Shay Logan/
One Shay Logan”

Later a ball is lofted to corner of box, via free kick scramble, but no third goal for the Dons.

There’s then cat calls for Celtic’s Dedryck Boyata as he makes shot-come-cross attempt. Further derision arises as Celtic player puts ball out for throw, and then trips over it.

“You are a Weegie, a fuckin’ Weegie/
You’re only happy on giro day
Your da’s a stealer, your ma’s a dealer/
Please don’t take my hubcaps away”

What follows is a good passing game, but ball into box lands straight into Gordon’s hands.

Down the other end, keeper Brown should’ve challenged for ball, though Hoops too inept to exploit Dons hesitation.

There’s a scandalous lack of offside decision, going very much in Celtic’s favour. Not long after, there’s a scramble that almost results in goal for Glasgow side.

The home side themselves get a flurry of action, and twice. Both times Gordon making brave saves, mopping his floor.

Niall McGinn tries from distance, and the goalie palms it out for a corner.

Taylor gets into a tussle, and is taken to the ground. Somehow referee McLean decides in Celtic’s favour.

The young Craig Storie puts Celtic skipper Scott Brown on the floor, for a needless free kick concession. Griffiths then caught looking for penalty.  Storie later gets booked.

McGinn was taken off, in favour of Andrew Considine after 72 minutes.

Shoring up the defence, however, didn’t stop a close Celtic shave and there were unsuccessful calls for a penalty for the away side.

Then there’s a scrap in the box that goes out for a Celtic corner. Ball bobbles dangerously near far corner.

Peter Pawlett was put on, in place of Simon Church after 76 minutes.

A corner of their own was overcooked by Hayes. Opposite end sees Celtic caught offside probing penalty area.

A penalty claim of their own was overlooked by McLean.

You’re such a fuckin’ penis
You’re a horse’s arse”

Gordon then once again thwarted Aberdeen, mopping up a set piece.

Hayes was taken off, in favour of Cammy Smith after 86 minutes.

“You’re getting sacked in the morning
You’re getting sacked in the morning/
Sacked in the morning”

Storie checks opposite number and it goes out for a Celtic corner. Taker almost loses footing and’s berated accordingly. There’s a scramble but the Dons clear their lines.

Three minutes of extra time were added. Hayes was announced as man of the match. Cue cheers.

Celtic pounce amid poor defending, but the game is already won for Aberdeen.

2-1 (Griffiths) more or less at the death of the game.

Final score:  2-1.

Sep 132015

Aberdeen were a goal and man down but fought admirably to seal victory, recounts Voice reporter Andrew Watson.

merkalndpic2The build up to the game was tense and palpable.

One song they pumped out through the tannoy system seemed particularly apt:

“When two tribes go to war/
A point is all you can score
When two tribes go to war/
A point is all you can score”

– Frankie Goes To Hollywood – Two Tribes

Given the eventual outcome of the game the words seem a tad ironic. Hope for a draw at best? No chance!

Just before kick-off there was a minute’s applause for late Aberdeen winger Graham Leggat, who was integral to the side that won the league championship for the first time ever in the 1954-55 season.

Both sets of players wore black armbands as a mark of respect. Though a celebration of his life, it was somewhat sombre and touching that a lone red balloon bobbed along the pitch during this.

In retrospect isn’t it further irony that a man that helped his club to a domestic milestone is followed by a team that, after this game, has made its best start since the league winning exploits of the 1984-85 season?

You wouldn’t have thought that such a feat was even possible when the game got going.

They started dreadfully and almost conceded an early goal. Andrew Considine caused confusion in the opening minutes and nearly gifted Celtic with a poor pass back.

Things proceeded in this manner for a fair chunk of the first half. Miskicks of the ball, and sometimes missing the ball completely made for frustrating viewing.  Kenny McLean comes to mind.

If it wasn’t for their endeavour, despite some terrible play, they’d have been dead and buried even before half time was called.

However, it was 35 minutes into the game that brought the first major flashpoint. Considine brought down Leigh Griffiths in the box.

0-1 Celtic (Griffiths) 35 minutes into the game, converting their penalty.

Come the second half the dynamics of game changed slightly. Graeme Shinnie was fouled as the ball was about to roll out of play.

Eleven minutes into the second half, and Adam Rooney responded with the second penalty of the game.


The fightback then seemed off the cards for Aberdeen, when Jonny Hayes was sent off after 72 minutes. He’d been a constant menace and nuisance to the Hoops, and gave much attacking impetus to the home side.

It’s gathered that this was for a sliding challenge he made, in that though one foot was grounded on the turf, the other was raised and therefore dangerous.

However, if both feet were at ground level would that not have been a two footed tackle?

Anyway, Derek McInnes reshuffled his pack eight minutes later, with new boy Josh Parker replacing Rooney.

The Dons somehow recovered after 86 minutes when defender Paul Quinn sent the Red Army absolutely bananas. Niall McGinn delivered that important ball into the box, and all Quinn had to do was merely guide it over the line.  That he did.

2-1 Aberdeen!

Shaleum Logan, having still been a target for Celtic fans after the Tonev debacle, egged on his support in the South Stand; with his frustration turning to jubilation. They lapped it up, loving his passion as he ran down the touchline in celebration.

A minute later McGinn was taken off, in favour of Willo Flood.

Griffiths could’ve dashed the hopes of the Dandies. He’d been a scourge, but not this time.

A more astute and ruthless finish was needed to exploit defensive errors late in the game, though to be fair this was struck quite near the byline and at a tricky angle. It was mopped up well before crossing goal.

With three minutes added on, the Pittodrie faithful whistled and collectively sounded akin to an air raid siren or not too dissimilar from our emergency services racing down Union Street.

It’s a strange result, really, because they’d maybe not clinch victory playing as they did in the first half against some of the league’s other sides. Hearts, perhaps.  Their never say die attitude will stand them in good stead, though.

Final score:  2-1.

May 112015

Aberdeen hoped for a consolation win over league champions Celtic but fell short, says Voice reporter Andrew Watson.

pittodrie2Spitting rain threatened to unfurl in the skies above Pittodrie, but thankfully held back. In fact a dull day soon turned into uncharacteristic Scottish sunshine.

Aberdeen were sportsmanlike enough to give the Hoops a guard of honour before the game for securing the championship, though went all out with their rivals during the game to discard the conduct of gentlemen in favour of gamesmanship.

Some would argue that the Parkhead men were dirty, and abetted by an official secretly donning Celtic’s colours under his garb of referee.

The Dons started strong, though one of their best efforts, through ex-Celt Barry Robson, went just wide. His next effort was closer, though straight at the keeper.

Although it took Celtic awhile to establish themselves, thereafter they cottoned onto Aberdeen’s methods and moved to nullify them.

After the break, Celtic made a point to rectify their slow start in the first half. Slackness from Robson gave opportunity for the men in green and white to exploit.

0-1 (Scott Brown) after 49 minutes.

56 minutes into the game, striker David Goodwillie came on the pitch replacing Adam Rooney. Thirteen minutes later, Robson came off replaced by Peter Pawlett.

Niall McGinn had good chances to equalise on a few occasions. He would have been on top of his game conversion-wise if he’d been playing rugby, though.

At the other end of the pitch keeper Scott Brown kept the Reds in the game at least two or three times with some spectacular saves.

Three minutes before the death Lawrence Shankland came on for Ryan Jack. Five agonising minutes of injury time were added to those tense, sometimes bad tempered, 90 minutes.

The latter substitute came close to goal with a diving header via a cross from Jonny Hayes.

In conclusion, Aberdeen frequently tried the Celtic back four though the latter formed a curtain meaning their keeper was rarely tested. Consolidation or improvement will only come if Aberdeen figure out how to take points from Celtic next season.

Final score:  0-1.

Nov 192012

The Dons thrashing the Buddies 4-1 away from home last weekend was perfect revenge for their shameful exit from the League Cup at the hands of the same team. You’d have thought then they’d snatch at least a point from title holders Celtic, even after the Hoops’ heroics against Barcelona in the Champions League, writes our man at Pittodrie, Andrew Watson.

Despite regular penalty box onslaughts from the Hoops, Aberdeen looked promising on the break, particularly with Fraser’s runs down the flank. His verve though, before long, was suppressed by Celtic’s height advantage at the back.

That flickering flame of hope, sometimes held aloft solely by Fraser, was snuffed out when he sustained a bad knock.

Considering the force of the admittedly fair tackle, he seemed to brush it off quite casually after some time off the pitch.

Fraser bwas giving as good as he got, making crunching tackles with a tenacity that just about matched the force with which he himself has been targeted this season.

He eventually succumbed to a leg strain sustained in a last ditch effort to get the ball into the Celtic box, replaced after 64 minutes by Vernon, not quite the goal talisman this season that he’s been in the past.

Aberdeen had spent the first half getting away with farcical zonal marking, granting Celtic far too much space to create. This contentment to sit back, and not press and get in their opponent’s faces was rewarded, with Celtic seemingly unable to exploit.

Perhaps they couldn’t quite believe that clear-cut chances were being offered to them by a team much changed from the one that sustained that infamous 9-0 battering at Parkhead.

Anyway, Robertson came on for Rae at the restart, rather strange hoping that youth would succeed when locking horns with a multi-million pound beast.

Regardless, it was 0-1 after 73 minutes. This was bound to happen, sooner or later.

It’s with a heavy sigh I admit the only player worthy of a mention was in Celtic colours and he didn’t even score the opening goal. Though dispatched by Tunisian Nouioui from close range, Victor Wanyama’s thunderous effort from 30 yards deserved to burst the net but smacked violently off the post.

Little wonder that, after viewing this game, Manchester United may be after the Kenyan’s signature. He was an authority throughout and marshalled his team – he looked like a captain in all but title and armband – with a supremacy suggesting he’s worthy of a shot at the Premiership big time.

Let’s not say too much about Celtic’s second goal four minutes later, delivered into the bottom corner in an expert manner by ex-Don Mulgrew. He’s got a habit of inflicting pain upon his ex-club.


Only then did manager Brown decide even to attempt to counter Celtic’s height at the back, bringing on Fallon to replace the pint-sized Hayes after 78 minutes. Too little, too late.

Final score:  0-2.

Really, it should have been 0-3, but thankfully the Dons were saved further blushes by the linesman who deemed Wanyama’s headed effort offside. If there was any justice, he’d have scored and been named man of the match. It was a totally token and empty gesture to name Fraser as man of the moment, and I’d be the first to say if it wasn’t.

I’ve only a few issues with Aberdeen’s performance, unfortunately they’re major ones.

Firstly, the negativity.

Why not go all-out against a team that’s odds-on to beat you, either narrowly or by a large margin? You’ve nothing to lose going toe-to-toe, man-marking and getting right in their faces. When up against a team of Celtic’s stature, you really should fight fire with fire. Hell, you might even get a point for your troubles.

Secondly, and tactically, height advantages.

Why pit Fraser or Hayes against players they can’t beat in a clash of heads, when your only tactic is to lump the ball forward? You’ve only begun to combat this when you put on players like Vernon and Fallon. A pity they were useless.

Finally, I must talk of skill, and this is in the ‘simple’ department. Why try to beat players, and Magennis comes to mind, when you dribble and punt the ball three feet away from you every time?  A toddler does that when they try to pick up a ball, but can’t because their feet are in the way!

Oct 292012

After it ended a goal apiece at Tannadice last weekend, I dare say it was assumed by a fair number of Dons fans that a thrashing of United’s ‘inferior’ neighbours was imminent. However, the Dens Park side have avoided Pittodrie defeat since October 1993, when Dons legend Duncan Shearer scored the winner. Perhaps a home victory was not so inevitable after all? Andrew Watson reports.

Aberdeen were quick off the mark, and a rampant Fraser was displaying a forward-thinking bloodlust not seen in an Aberdeen attack for a long time.

Vernon seemingly had the cheek to criticise the wee man’s delivery after fluffing an excellent chance to put his side ahead early on.

The opening goal, when it came, was partly thanks to a deliberate fluff by Vernon.

After receiving, again from Fraser, the Englishman dummied the ball and allowed Irishman Niall McGinn to fire the ball into the roof of the net. Heard the one about the Scotsman, Englishman and Irishman?

1-0, after fourteen minutes. Ha ha ha!

Jokes aside, this really should have been a demolition job in the first half. Chance after chance came, and Dundee were lucky to hold on to even the remotest of chances of staying in the game. It should have been well out of reach for them by the break, with an ebullient Aberdeen, prey in sight, knocking the ball into their opponent’s box for fun.

Come the second half, there appeared to be a change of tack by Dundee. They were determined, disciplined and even began to get behind the Dons defence for the first time. Admittedly, Aberdeen were the better side, though it couldn’t quite yet be taken for granted that a victory would come their way.

Then a rather peculiar thing happened. An absolutely awful free kick by substitute Jonny Hayes, on for Clark after 65 minutes, unlocked a dithering Dundee defence at the 74 minute mark. A low shot, hit with little power, ended up in the back of the net. Without exactly setting the heather alight, Hayes proved his worth and raised realistic hopes of a comfortable home victory.


Not much of note to report after that. A perfectly legitimate consolation goal for Dundee, which was disallowed, was about it, to be honest.

Final score: 2-0.

There appear to be murmurs of a title challenge for Celtic, in the form of this current Aberdeen side. Undoubtedly they have one of the stronger squads outside Parkhead, if not the strongest.

With St. Mirren in the League Cup quarter finals on Tuesday night, chances of some silverware seem higher than usual. No Aberdeen fan wants to jinx perfectly realistic ambitions, though most surely salivate at the thought of reaching at least one semi-final this season.

Wait, scrap that. Make that one final this season. Maybe they’ll be drawn against ‘Rangers’ at some point, too. A victory at Ibrox, a cup paraded on an open-top bus down Union Street…

Second place in the league. Really?

When you’ve got a good thing going, perhaps being too ambitious is a recipe for disaster. Modesty, never underestimating your opponent, and application are key!

Apr 062012

Old Susannah comments on UK Government proposals to access emails between all citizens in the name of preventing Terrorism.

There will be dancing in the streets, celebrations at public squares (as long as they are vibrant, dynamic and have connectivity), and rejoicing all ‘round: the government has found the way to stop terrorism! Result! Yes, the government is getting rid of terrorism. And your basic right to privacy.

Why didn’t we think of it earlier, we are all wondering. Yes, the Government has decided it has the right to record each and every email you receive and send. And that is how terrorism will be stopped once and for all.

I’m happy to give up my private life forever in order for government snoops to be able to catch the bad guys. I’m thrilled to be treated like a new prison inmate every time I want to get on a plane. I’m sure you are as well.

So what if there are the occasional cases of disabled and/or elderly people being strip searched for having mobility aids. If the occasional frightened child is separated from its parents to be frisked, then so be it. It’s the price we pay for having the fantastic safe and secure lifestyles we have.

It was said by an American founding father, Benjamin Franklin that ‘They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.’ How times have changed.

You could also wonder how secure your business secrets will be when they are intercepted by unknown government spooks. Do people ever mis-use information? Hardly ever. The slightly paranoid J Edgar Hoover kept files on American citizens, and would occasionally blackmail people into doing his bidding. Liberty and Justice for all, except if the FBI wanted you.

That would never happen here. Of course a senior police official was recently found guilty of accessing data on an ex-partner of his right here. I’m sure this was just a one-off, no need to trouble ourselves about it.

It’s also a very good thing that terrorists would never use the Royal Mail. Except for those charming people who sent bombs to Celtic’s manager, that is. No one would ever think of using the post for smuggling, planning terrorist attacks or anything else we should concern ourselves with. Phew!

It would be terrible if there were any civil disobedience over this great move. For instance nothing is stopping you from going to an internet cafe, and creating a free email account under the name of john smith. If enough people did this, and only sent or checked emails at internet cafes, then this little snooping plan of our kind government’s would be toast.

Old Susannah thinks this great scheme might run into a few wee problems anyway. For one thing, I keep getting all sorts of ‘spam’. Multiply all the emails selling you drugs or which try to get your personal details out of you by the country’s population, and you’ll need a bank of computer storage just to keep the spam.

Perhaps we should all go back to sending letters.

If anyone wanted to sign a petition against this great piece of legislation, although I can’t think why they would, the online petition is at

Celebrity Blog from Cattie the Millipede and Milly the Caterpillar

Greetings everyone from our safe house in Torry, where we were airlifted to after our beautiful meadow home on Tullos Hill was destroyed – for a LibDem election pledge. We are surviving the cold snap OK, because we have lots of dead leaves to hide under to keep warm. (gardeners should always leave some dead leaves or other mulch around to keep plants – and creatures like us – warm).

We are even more worried now about our old friends on Tullos Hill. The deer have nowhere near as much gorse to shelter in and it’s cold. The birds lost lots of their shelter too when the gorse was ripped out. We are fine – but we wish our friends were, too.

Election Notes

The Labour Party have announced they would – end the Granite Web in its tracks if elected! Rather than borrowing £140,000,000 to put concrete ramps over our garden, chop down 250 year-old trees to turn into wood chip, they seem to want to spend time and energy on helping people.

Gerry Brough, city employee who has generously volunteered to work on the project is said to be incandescent with rage. So no change there then.