Sep 072017
 

With thanks to Ross Anderson, Senior Account Manager, Jasmine Ltd.

Legal eagles from Aberdeen have been pushing themselves to their physical limits this year and have raised almost £6,000 for charities close to their hearts.
Three legal experts from Mackinnons Solicitors tackled gruelling individual challenges which took one to the top of the highest mountain in the British Isles while one ran the London Marathon and another took on the Highland Cross coast-to-coast challenge.

Sarah Polson, from Mackinnons’ dispute resolution department, Fiona Cheyne from the firm’s commercial and marine department and Mackinnons’ partner Martin Sinclair, who is a specialist in personal injury law, have raised a combined fundraising total of £5,975 for three different charities.

In June, Fiona Cheyne hiked up the 1,345 metre Ben Nevis with her Mum Elizabeth Copp and raised £4,610 for the PSP Association in recognition of the support the charity provides to her dad Andy Copp who has been diagnosed with the rare and as yet incurable Corticobasal Degeneration (CBD).

Fiona said:

“We had never heard of the PSP Association until earlier last year, when dad was diagnosed with the degenerative condition which limits his ability to talk, to walk, to grip and to swallow.

“The charity funds research into treatments and it’s hoped a cure can ultimately be found for both conditions. It’s thanks to the PSP Association that mum and dad have been given good practical advice and support in how to deal with dad’s condition. Their support worker keeps in touch with them over the phone and they value that greatly.

“To give something back, my mum and I decided to do some fundraising and laced up our hiking boots to reach the top of Ben Nevis which was a challenging and humbling experience.”

Earlier in the year, Mackinnons’ Litigation Associate Sarah Polson ran in the London Marathon after receiving a ballot place. For the firm’s 175th anniversary she decided to fundraise for the Fishermen’s Mission, Mackinnons charity of the year.

After months of training she joined the 40,000-strong field who ran the 26.2-mile course in April and raised £600 for the charity which provides support and welfare to fishermen and their families.

Sarah said:

“They say the crowds get you through the marathon in London and they really do. The route around London’s landmarks was lined with thousands of supporters handing out sweets and biscuits to keep you going and cheering you on.

“There were even brass bands, an orchestra and singers providing entertainment along the way. It was tough in parts but I survived and I’m already planning my next challenge.”

In June, Mackinnons’ partner Martin Sinclair raised £765 for several charities by completing the Highland Cross challenge.

The Highland Cross is a 50-mile duathlon, 20 miles either running or walking and 30miles by bike, which crosses Scotland between Kintail and Beauly.

The funds were split between both the Fisherman’s Mission and the Highland Cross nominated charities in the Highlands which benefit from the event.

Martin said:

“The Highland Cross is a terrific event and I’ve been keen to take part for a while. More than £4.4m has been raised through the event since 1983 and I was delighted to contribute in some small part to the ongoing success of this event.

“The amount of time and work put in by the teams of volunteers to run the event is enormous. The camaraderie amongst the competitors is another key factor in the event and seeing such a large cross section of Scotland as you cross helps to underline how good a nation we are.”

Mackinnons offers bespoke legal services for residential property, personal advice, wills and estate planning, commercial property, business and corporate matters, renewables and dispute resolution.

The firm, which also has offices in Cults and Aboyne, is also well known and internationally recognised for its long-standing expertise in fishing, shipping and marine law.

The firm’s experienced team of solicitors provide professional, pragmatic, bespoke advice for clients, whether they are multinational corporations, local businesses or individuals.

As part of Mackinnons’ 175th anniversary celebrations this year the firm is raising money for The Fishermen’s Mission throughout 2017.

For more information about Mackinnons Solicitors and its range of legal and financial services, please visit: www.mackinnons.com

Apr 012016
 

Keiran BoothWith thanks to Kieran Booth.

In October last year Barthol Chapel resident Kieran Booth (pictured), was selected by the charity, First Aid Africa, to join their 2016 international expedition team of volunteers. From June 1st, the third-year Robert Gordon University student will be travelling to Kenya to teach life-saving First Aid to schools and communities in remote Sub-Saharan Africa.

First Aid Africa works to provide and encourage access to sustainable First Aid equipment and education, delivering emergency healthcare solutions to benefit the public.

Each year, the charity sends teams of volunteers to rural areas of Uganda, Malawi, Kenya and Tanzania to train communities in First Aid skills which they would otherwise not receive. It is a little known fact that injuries kill more people each year in Africa than HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis combined.

Having recently completed his Overseas First Aid training course, Kieran (20) is looking forward to the challenges that he will face during his expedition.

“It’s going to be a fairly tiring and demanding experience out in Kenya but I have no doubt it will be equally rewarding. I applied to get involved as I knew it would be something totally different and out of my comfort zone but it feels great knowing that I’ll be helping to provide support and make a real difference in areas where First Aid knowledge and resources are practically nil.”

The international First Aid training has provided the volunteers with knowledge of how to deal with casualties both within the UK and out in Africa.

“It’s been really interesting learning about the ways to treat various injuries but we have had to realise the importance of how administering First Aid overseas can differ from across here in the UK. Many of the materials that would be used to treat injuries in this country simply aren’t available in the parts that we are travelling to and so it’s all about being resourceful and using what little equipment you have in the most effective way. One simple triangular bandage has more uses than I ever thought!”

Kieran will be making the 4500-mile journey to Kenya from the beginning of June to begin a full month of teaching before the next group of overseas volunteers arrive to relieve them.

Ahead of the expedition Kieran is required to raise money for the charity to cover the costs of the various resources and materials required during the trip and beyond.

“There are a lot of worthy charities out there seeking donations and I appreciate it’s difficult for people to support as many as they would like to. I’ve organised fundraisers that I hope people will be keen to participate in – the aim is for people to enjoy themselves, be in with a chance of winning some super prizes and all while helping a good cause.”

‘The BIG North East Quiz Night’ will take place on Saturday 23rd April in the Melvin Hall in Tarves from 7pm – suitable for all ages.

Tickets for ‘The BIG North East Raffle’ are also on sale, which features an array of prizes from businesses across Aberdeenshire and beyond.

Tickets can be reserved for both fundraisers by emailing kieransfundraising@hotmail.com

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Apr 032015
 

JimMcCollWith thanks to Michael Jamieson.

Disability charity Momentum Skills has announced details of their next fundraising event.
Beechgrove Garden presenters Jim McColl and Carole Baxter will be answering questions at a Gardener’s Question Time on Wednesday 29th April in the Inverurie Town Hall at 7.30pm. Joining Jim (pictured) and Carole on the panel will be locally based horticultural advisor and soft fruit specialist, Colin Stirling.

The evening will be hosted by STV news presenter Chris Harvey. They have all given their time in supporting this, the very first Gardener’s Question Time in aid of Momentum Skills.

Momentum is a leading not-for-profit organisation providing rehabilitation, training and care services for disabled and socially excluded people in Aberdeen and North East at their Centre in Migvie House, Aberdeen.

They empower people to gain the skills and confidence they need to live independently and to fulfil employment goals. Momentum’s services help a wide range of people, including those with a brain injury, spinal injury, mental health difficulty, physical or learning disability, all in the areas of employment and training, job retention and community rehabilitation.

Momentum Fundraiser Michael Jamieson said:

“We are most grateful to Jim, Carole, Colin and Chris for giving their time and expertise to help raise funds to support the continuing work of Momentum in the North East.

“This is the ideal opportunity for all budding gardeners, and indeed those like myself who perhaps just want to find out about gardening generally, to come along and have their horticultural problems and queries answered by these three gardening experts. Of course we also have one of STV’s top presenters hosting the event for us which will most certainly add to the overall enjoyment of the event.”

Tickets cost £8, including refreshments, and are available in advance from Michael Jamieson on 07739 526531

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May 172013
 

Oil and Glass was opened in Torry in May 2012 when it was chosen as a winning business in Aberdeen City Council’s Retail Rocks scheme. After a very successful first year, Shelagh Swanson, the studio’s owner and artist in residence, has taken on the retail unit in her own right. Included in her plans to expand the business is the development of additional studio spaces for artists.

To celebrate the studio’s first birthday, Shelagh will be undertaking a marathon painting and glassmaking session from 1000 on 23 May until the same time the following day.

Other artists, working in a variety of media, will be joining Shelagh in creating work, to be sold by silent auction to raise funds for their chosen charity, Momentum Aberdeen Brain Injury Services.

The public will be able to pop in at any time during the event to watch the artists at work and follow progress.

Finished creations will initially be made available for bid via the Oil and Glass Facebook page, but the culmination will be a silent auction at the birthday party on Saturday 25 May from 1900-2200, when all the artwork made will be exhibited.

During Shelagh’s marathon, Hidden Aberdeen Tours will be providing free storytelling sessions Tales of Old Torry from 1500 to 1700, and Terror Tales of Old Torry between 2300 and 0100 – not for the faint hearted!

Shelagh decided to support Momentum Aberdeen Brain Injury Services when the lovely Rhian Johns, who has been helped enormously by the charity, was taken to the studio by her mum Iris to commission a painting.

Rhian’s story is featured on the studio’s webpage where there’s also a preview of a further fundraising event, Top Hats and Tiaras Grand Ball, due to take place at the Hilton Treetops on September 14.

Rhian and Iris will be joining Shelagh in the studio during part of the event and will be available for photographs.

Oil and Glass
64 Victoria Road
Torry
Aberdeen
AB11 9DS

Tel: 01224 905134

Email: shelagh@oilandglass.co.uk
Web: www.oilandglass.co.uk
Twitter: @oilandglass
Facebook: www.facebook.com/oilandglass

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Jan 112013
 

Motor vehicle theft in Aberdeen has gone through the roof with a value over £1 million last year.  Could this surge in crime have anything to do with a local Facebook page which glamourises car and motorbike theft?  A document  circulating in Aberdeen detailing the online and on-street behaviour of the ‘AberdeenBoyz Stig ftp’ group has been sent to Aberdeen Voice. Phoebe Copeland writes.

This week Grampian police cautioned theft victim Lesley Ross.  She made a series of Facebook postings after her car was stolen which featured swear words and the wish that whoever stole her Audi would wind up wrapped around a telephone pole.

What, if any, law was violated by Ms Ross is unknown.  The Daily Record reported her story yesterday, which led to widespread criticism of the Grampian police.

In the meantime, the same police force has not taken any known action against a Facebook page,  AberdeenBoyz Stig ftp (‘ftp’ is a well-known abbreviation meaning f**k the police). 

The site’s main purpose, or rather, its only purpose appears to be advocating vehicle theft, with an emphasis on Audis and other high-performance cars.  Shocking images include:

  • photos of vehicles, motorbikes and bicycles – some burnt out
  • images explaining how to start a car without a key
  • videos purport to show people driving in stolen vehicles
  • images of hooded / masked people in cars or bikes believed to be stolen
  • images of vehicles thought to have been stolen with comments indicating a crime has been committed

The page has over 400 friends, clearly identified in this ‘open’ group, meaning anyone can freely see who is involved and view the images.  These ‘friends ‘include people who claim to work for or are associated with the following companies:

  • NHS Grampian
  • Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital
  • Four Seasons Healthcare
  • Oakbank Residential Home
  • Rowan Court Nursing  Home
  • Aberdeen City Council
  • Instant Neighbour
  • Kirkcaldy Pet Shop
  • Sub Atlantic
  • Scot Oil
  • Schlumberger
  • Proseve
  • TAQA

There appears to be a strong connection with Harlaw Academy, with the page owner apparently also connected to Harlaw.  Other schools are also well represented.

It is hoped the police will be investigating urgently. At the time of writing the page is still online and it is a mystery why there has been no sign whatsoever of any arrests connected to the page.  Last week, Grampian police found six stolen cars and charged 11 people with related offences.

In the last quarter of 2012 approximately 86 people were arrested, some in their teens.  Yet there the Facebook page remains, equating grand theft with excitement and fun.  This crime has victims, and can result in criminal charges for thrill-seekers, reduce any future employment prospects, and of course lead to serious injury and even death.

It is very worrying that some of these friends work with some of society’s most vulnerable people including the elderly, the infirm, and people with special abilities and children.

If these people willingly advocate theft, then this indicates an elevated risk to the people in their care.

If they condone theft, and care little about the victims of theft, then the level of compassion and care they provide to those they are responsible for also becomes questionable.

Another great concern is that people who support this page would have knowledge of their clients’, neighbours’ and co-workers’ movements, and therefore in a position to pass information about high-performance car owners’ holidays and whereabouts on to those prepared to steal vehicles.

While it is not certain by any means, nor implied that these ‘friends’ are involved in criminal activity, they are supporting a page which glamourises and offers instruction on theft of vehicles.  Employers and school officials are already thought to be scouring the site.

How they will respond to the discovery that their firms or schools feature on this page along with photos of their employees or students remains to be seen.

At the time of writing, the page is still  available for anyone with a Facebook account to view.  How much longer this will remain to be the case is unknown.  Anyone who had a car, bike, bicycle or other vehicle stolen may wish to look at the over 40 photos of stolen items.

In the meantime, you may wish to  remove valuables and spare keys from your car and keep any spare vehicle keys hidden away as the thieves have been known to break into homes and take keys from key racks, etc.

Do not allow any suspicious behaviour to go unreported, and above all, do not put your own safety at risk by attempting to intervene should you witness what appears to be a theft in progress.

Despite the high level of this type of crime in the city, luckily, no one has yet been killed.  Sadly has not been the case in Glasgow.  Christopher Grenfell was found responsible for the death of James Simpson, a law-biding elderly pensioner, on 29 November 2011.

Simpson was trying to stop his car being stolen and the thief callously ran him over, killing him on his own property.   What started out as yet another car theft and ended in an innocent man’s death and a thief turned murderer getting a life sentence.

It is hoped the Grampian Police will take immediate action to tackle organised vehicle crime which appears to have been allowed to thrive here.

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Oct 262012
 

The public are being urged to report any misuse of fireworks in the run-up to Guy Fawkes Night on 5 November. With thanks to John Robins, Secretary of the Animal Concern Advice Line

It is illegal for fireworks to be sold to anyone under 18 and for persons under 18 to be in possession of fireworks in the street or other public areas. If someone suspects that a shop is selling fireworks to people under 18, or if they see a person under 18 with fireworks they, should report this to the police immediately.

People making bonfires are asked not to build the bonfire until a few hours before it is going to be lit. Piles of wood and other materials can attract hedgehogs, frogs and other animals looking for a place to hibernate, so it is best to store the material for the bonfire in a different area

Owners of pet and other animals are urged to make preparations for bonfire night. All animals should be kept inside from before sunset on 5 November. Having a radio or TV on can help distract the animals from the noise of the fireworks.

John Robins of Animal Concern Advice Line said:

“There is no doubt the changes to the law  introduced in 2004 have greatly reduced the number of nasty incidents involving fireworks, but we are still getting reports of fireworks being set off in the street.

 “Fireworks can injure or kill pet, farm and wild animals!

 “Ideally, I would like to see the private purchase of fireworks totally banned and their use restricted to licensed public displays. Until then we urge the public to report any misuse of fireworks to the police immediately. But the police cannot enforce the law if they do not know it is being broken.

 “If you witness a shopkeeper selling fireworks to under-18s, or if you see anyone under 18 with fireworks in the street or a park, call the police immediately, give them as much detail as possible and ask them for an incident number so you can phone back later to find out what action was taken.”

 “People who do decide to hold a private bonfire and fireworks party on 5 November should follow the fireworks code to ensure the safety of everyone involved and any animals in the area.  

“However – and especially when money is tight – instead of spending a lot of cash on a private fireworks party it is much better to go to organised public displays where, for nothing or a small donation, you can watch thousands of pounds worth of very powerful and spectacular fireworks being set off safely by experts.”

Image credit: © Anna Dobos | Dreamstime.com

http://www.dreamstime.com/fireworks-imagefree176819

Nov 252011
 

Voice’s Old Susannah takes a look at the week that was in Aberdeen and beyond and concludes that this is no country for old men (nor for old women, people with special abilities, school children and infants or animals either).

Old Susannah has been busy this past week.  There was an excellent two-day conference at Fyvie Castle.  The speakers seemed to believe our heritage, buildings, archaeology and environment are being affected by something they called ‘climate change’. Hard to believe, but some of these speakers think that our weather and climate are changing.

I’ve no idea why they would come to such a conclusion.  There was some person from the Met Office (whatever that is), who seems to think a case can be made for climate change because he has statistics that show it’s happening now.

Stranger still, he thinks this climate change might be somehow linked to people burning lots of ‘fossil fuel’.  If anyone hears any news about this unlikely story, please let me know.

The general thrust of the conference was that our ancient buildings are under moisture and temperature stresses they’ve not faced before, and many are at risk of actually crumbling.  Something called ‘Skara Brae’ in the Orkneys might get washed out to sea before long.

This would not be a huge loss. As far as I can see, it just a bunch of old stones.  The site is crying out for a nice high rise building, holiday homes, shops and parking – if not a monolith and a giant glass worm.  As to our wildlife, seasons are getting wetter and warmer, affecting growth and breeding cycles.  This is no time to be a bird of prey (or any other type of wild creature either.  Just don’t mention deer).

Despite the fact these animals are protected, we still have people who poison, shoot, and loot eggs.  Mixed with the changing seasons and related change in availability of food, things look rather bad for these creatures.

This two-day course was run at Fyvie Castle by the Scottish Traditional Building Skills Centre, an organisation which trains people (of all abilities) in the skills needed to maintain our historic built heritage.  The Traditional Skills people seem to think preserving Scotland’s historic buildings and monuments is a worthwhile thing to do.  (If certain local developers have their way, this centre won’t be needed much longer).

Further information is available on their website:
http://www.traditionalskills.com/

We must have skilled craftspeople in future who can ensure the glass worm/teletubbieland, concrete ramps, etc.  will remain beautiful, as I’m sure they will be when they are built.

I couldn’t help going away from the conference thinking what I’d do if I had £50 million burning a hole in my pocket.  It might involve a little bit of BrewDog, but it would not involve getting rid of listed trees to build a carpark with decorative worm.

It would have been very hard for staff to figure out that this frail woman had a wound so deep you could see her bone

I was glad of the two-day course and its speakers, if for no other reason than there’s not much else going on in the wider world for me to write about this week.  I think I heard something about an American policeman offering some protesters a peppery snack treat, and there may be one or two minor problems in Europe and the Middle East.

I also get the feeling that there might be some financial issues concerning our European economic paradise.  Other than that, I’ve not much to say just now.

Close to home, news these past few weeks has been short on happy endings.  For one thing, the Monolith was not shortlisted as a Union Terrace Garden design.  But looking through recent news items, I conclude this is no country for old men.  Or old women, women, people with special abilities, school children and infants.  And this is definitely no country for animals.

For example take the case of 87 year-old Jamesina Mackenzie who died from a bedsore which became so exposed you could see the bone.  This didn’t happen in the ‘dark’ or middle ages; it’s just happened.

So let’s move on to a definition or two.

Bedsore: (compound noun, English) A type of pressure sore caused by the sufferer lying prone in one position without movement over time.  A wholly avoidable type of ailment.

The owner of the Highland ‘care home’ where Ms Mackenzie suffered with the sore that killed her told an inquiry into the death that his staff ‘did the best they could’.   According to this  manager, the problem was that ‘…there had been some errors in staff’s record keeping’.  What would have been the result if they were negligent or slacked off, Old Susannah wonders.

I was glad to hear the staff did the best they could.  After all, paperwork can be pretty heavy going.  It would have been very hard for staff to figure out that this frail woman, who must have been in excruciating pain, had a wound so deep you could see her bone.  You would have to have some kind of medical background to work that out.

Older people are always happy to sell up their own homes

My granny had been head nurse of a hospital in Massachusetts.  The old-fashioned, primitive way to prevent bedsores was to encourage movement and if necessary, actually help people to move.

This hospital was very inefficient in that it had more nurses and doctors than managers.  Far too much money was spent on patients’ food, and far too much time was spent on actually caring for people.  I’ll bet the place didn’t even have a good profit margin.

Care Home(compound noun, English) a residential institution dedicated to long-term care offering rest and re-cooperation of infirm people, usually elderly.

‘Care home’ – the word even sounds warm, safe and snug.  The problem is running these homes costs money which could be put to other use.  Older people are always happy to sell up their own homes so they will be able to afford a care home of the type which looked after Ms Mackenzie so well.

Saving money and keeping a home in order to have something to leave to your children is so passe.  Sure you might get one or two dozen stories a month about older, frail people being abused in care homes, but who are you going to believe – them and their relatives, or the highly-paid (sorry – highly-trained) caring staff who run these places for profit.

Since most regional authorities and councils decided to ‘outsource’ their care responsibilities, there may have been a few minor hiccups or injuries and deaths.  But outsourcing is here to stay.

Still our City council knows best, and despite the collapse of a major private care home operator, Aberdeen is still looking into privatising more of its homes.  Which leads me to a definition I might have already done, but seems to need updating.

Outsourcing: (noun; modern English) To take a service or operation away from its parent/owner and have it run by a third party.

We are desperate to save money in Aberdeen (those portraits and jeans for the Lord Provost don’t pay for themselves, you know) and in order to do so, we are giving our money to consultants.  The totally impartial consultants come in and look at your business.  They decide which services should be outsourced, and then the money saving starts instantly.

clearly they just want to give the best care possible to your grandparents or children.

Coincidentally, they often want to outsource the same services that they are able to provide.  Old Susannah has yet to hear of a consultancy saying ‘let’s hire more people so we can run things better and have nicer schools and care homes’.

This just proves that the consultancies are impartial businesses which have to make tough choices.  It must be very hard for them indeed.

After the consultants have been paid a modest sum for their expertise, the city fires/lets go/lays off its existing staff who initially performed the services.  That’s a saving right there in salary expense.  In the case of childcare or nursing homes, this may upset the clients initially (the word ‘client’ as used by the City is an old, infirm or young human being to the rest of us).

The ‘clients’ may lose any relationship they’ve built up with their previous carers, but never mind.  If you play your cards right, you might even fire enough people to pay part of the consultant’s bill.

The economics of outsourcing get greater for the city involved.  Now that they are no longer providing a non-profit service with taxpayer money, they turn the taxpayer money over to people who exist to make a profit.  It might seem as if these private operators would cut a corner or two to make money, but clearly they just want to give the best care possible to your grandparents or children.

In the old days you might have thought the purpose of paying tax was so that the government could provide you the services you needed, but which were not designed to be money-making businesses.  If we read the odd case of an older person abused (or given a salt shaker instead of an asthma inhaler as happened recently), then that’s the breaks.  The other breaks often involve bones.

Thankfully in these modern, enlightened times, we realise that making money is more important than anything else.  Including poor Mrs Mackenzie and the other stories that don’t make the paper.

Stop Press!  Aberdeen City Council has approved its budget! Read all about it here in this unbiased City Council report:  
http://www.aberdeencity.gov.uk/CouncilNews/ci_cns/pr_budgetrevcap_100211.asp

It’s all central government’s fault for not giving us lots more dosh.  This might be in part because we waste so much of the stuff on monolith research, portraits and so on, but hey.  You will I’m sure be happy to know that only a few hundred posts will either go unfilled (keeps the existing staff busy covering lots of jobs – they enjoy it) or will go altogether.

Re-roofing an unfit building makes as much sense as anything else going on here

We’re holding on to teaching assistants, which is interesting because we’ll be cutting expensive, boring music and art lessons for children.  If you don’t have time to visit the city’s website, then just rest assured of one thing:  the 50 metre swimming pool is still very much in the cards.  Result!

We may pay for it from the Common Good Fund (remember the good old days when this was c. £35 million? Things have changed).  To help balance the books, it looks as if Tullos Swimming Pool will stay shut.

Old Susannah is told that it recently had brand new lights installed, and its roof is brand new.  Which is odd, because the city now say the building is unstable.  Re-roofing an unfit building makes as much sense as anything else going on here.

Consultants have also produced a brilliant 10 page report (took about a year to do, as you can imagine), showing that Aberdeen has many more swimming pools per population than other parts of Scotland.  Of course these consultants counted in all the pools we’ve got:  Ardoe, Palm Court, etc. etc.  I guess the families of Torry will just have to hop into their BMWs and pay to swim for a day at a hotel pool once Tullos is gone.

Still, we’ll have saved money, and we may eventually produce a swimmer who may win a shiny medal.  If Aberdeen wins an Olympic medal in a few decades, we’ll all agree it’s been worth it.

Oct 312011
 

Another narrow 2-1 defeat against the Old Firm for Aberdeen in a physical battle of a game which lacked entertaining football but was never short on controversy and incident. The Dons conceded a penalty, had an appeal of their own turned down and had a man dismissed in a tough-tackling match which also saw potentially serious injuries for both teams. Philip Sim reports from Pittodrie.

Injury to striker Scott Vernon prior to the match left Rory Fallon deployed up front alone, Chris Clark taking his place in a five-man midfield. The suspended Ryan Jack was replaced at right-back by Rory McArdle looking suitably out of his depth in an unfamiliar position.

Overloading the midfield meant much of the action took place there, which played into Aberdeen’s hands in the first half – while free-flowing football and chances were at a premium in the opening period, David Gonzalez in the home goal barely touched the ball, while his side carved out several good opportunities.

Clark in particular had his best game since returning to Pittodrie, buzzing about and chasing every ball kicked in the middle of the park. There was some pressure on Clark to step up after Rob Milsom, who had started brightly, had to be withdrawn with a badly gashed ankle courtesy of a horrific tackle by Steven Naismith.

The Scotland striker managed to badly injure himself in the act, but somehow escaped even a yellow card for the worst tackle of a game which was far from pretty at its best.

The second half was a mirror of the first. While the midfield war of attrition raged on as previous, this time it was Rangers who were making opportunities and it was hardly a surprise when they broke the deadlock. After that, Aberdeen always seemed to be swimming upstream, and despite some excellent play from Andy Considine in particular, the game seemed lost.

Blame is going to be difficult to dole out from this defeat, but beyond the odd simple incidence of poor play several arbitrary factors came into play.

Heavy rain through the first half saw many of the players slipping and sliding around on the slick Pittodrie turf, epitomised by Ricky Foster on his backside as Rangers burst through the score the opening goal.

At the other end of the park the sun rather than the rain was the enemy for visiting keeper Allan McGregor, who allowed Ricky Foster’s shot to apparently pass straight through him. The Scotland keeper had the sun in his eyes, but still should have comfortably dealt with Foster’s effort, which while well struck was heading right down his throat.

Another factor neither team could plan for was the referee – although Aberdeen might have had an idea what they were in for the minute Willie Collum’s name was called out over the tannoy.

Collum has always been greeted with derision by the Aberdeen support, often for good reason – and he will have earned no new fans in this match.

His first action was to book Kari Arnason for his very first tackle of the match, effectively putting the shackles on the combative midfielder for the rest of the match. The challenge might have been worthy of a booking, but Collum didn’t seem to maintain this opinion when it came to several identical tackles from visiting players.

Arnason has quickly become a fan’s favourite at Pittodrie with his no-nonsense attitude and occasional thunderbolt from distance – one of which sent McGregor scrambling in the first half – but he was visibly constrained by the early caution, pulling out of challenges he would usually relish.

The Main Stand linesman also had an absolute shocker, but provided one of the comedy highlights of the match – after the hapless official finally awarded a decision in Aberdeen’s favour in the final minutes, the fans behind him celebrated like a goal had been scored.

After two narrow defeats to the Old Firm, Aberdeen can approach their next run of games with some confidence, starting with the visit to managerless St Johnstone next week. One worry will be the loss of several key players – Rob Milsom and Scott Vernon are now questionable through injury, and Rory Fallon will miss two matches after receiving a rather soft red card in the final minutes. This gives Craig Brown something of a selection headache in a key area of the pitch – and one that has been far from the Dons’ strongest this term.