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.


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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Aug 212016

Aberdeen beat Partick Thistle, but probably were a bit lax letting them back into the game, ponders Voice reporter Andrew Watson.

pittodrieThe sun was shining and the pitch looked damn near perfect. A tad of a breeze blowing, but no more no less.

Just prior to the whistle was the beat of the drum in the Merkland Stand. After the whistle, the ball glanced across the box for Aberdeen, but no one there to connect to it.

Down the other end, Partick nearly broke through with some good link up play.

Dons’ keeper, Joe Lewis, then mopped up a Partick cross. Subsequently, somehow the Reds avoided further skelping after conceding a corner, too.

A cross for Aberdeen was also nullified, as the keeper grabbed the ball and killed play.

The latter, Tomas Cerny, palmed out another one, via a superb free kick outside box.

Aberdeen forced Partick into conceding a throw, almost forcing a corner.

Miles Storey, later, put the last of the backline, Cerny and the last remaining defender, under pressure for a goal opportunity. Another good chance followed not long after.

Adam Rooney went for a header, winning both it and a free kick for his team. This free kick was then headed over the bar.

There were claims for penalty as Peter Pawlett closed in on keeper and goal. He really should’ve scored.

Kenny McLean conceded a free kick in the Partick box, really lucky not to be booked. Rather late.

Aberdeen, again, escaped with Lewis, thankfully, getting his hands to the ball.

In the other box, there was a flurry of chances, starting with Cerny dropping the ball, and finishing with a free kick for Aberdeen.

1-0 Aberdeen – after 28 minutes into the game! Niall McGinn scored from that very kick, nestling in the top corner.

Rooney then outfoxed his opponent to put the ball into the box, but nobody was there.

Anthony O’Connor fared with a poor pass to the midfield, from the back.

Rooney was then involved in a scramble for goal. Amidst a melee he won a corner for the Dons. His teammates really should’ve capitalised and put the ball in the net during this confusion, to be honest.

His jousting with Cerny continued, winning Aberdeen a corner.

It wasn’t all Aberdeen, though. Thistle had what looked like a sure goal swatted away, somehow, out of danger.

They also won a corner, one which was headed over the bar.

Halftime 1-0.

Aberdeen opened with a darting run into the Partick box, alarming their opponents. They were dealt with in a manner as best as possible.

McLean then weighed in with another late challenge, still yet to be booked.

Partick crossed and connected with the ball, but didn’t convert it. Unlucky, really, and very fortunate for the dopey Dons.

The ball, again, found its way into the Aberdeen box. Thankfully, nobody exploited this.

To put any anxiety on the part of Aberdeen to rest, Storey capitalised on some sloppy play from a poor Partick defence after 58 minutes.

2-0 Aberdeen!

McGinn then waded in with a ball into the box, a ball which went out for a corner.

Wes Burns then came on, replacing Pawlett coming at 63 minutes. A minute later, goal hero, Storey, came off, replaced by Ashton Taylor.

Around this time, advantageous play for Aberdeen stopped with a Thistle player lying near the middle of the pitch. No doubt this would increase stoppage time after normal duration.

Shaleum Logan slipped, losing possession. Partick later won a free kick, one of no consequence.

McLean came with a fine piece of skill to beat his man, the ball through the legs, racing round to receive the ball from the other side. Not your typical nutmeg, as seemingly facing away from the player. His surge forward had potential, but Thistle frustrated the ball out of play.

Cerny, later, jumped to grasp a Taylor long ball.

The opposition came with a last gasp ball into the Aberdeen box, but hoofed it out of danger.

Lewis then broke up some fine link up play by Partick with an authoritative save.

Down the other end, on the other hand, the ball bounced precariously in the opposition’s box, Partick somehow avoiding the concession of a third goal.

Come 87 minutes in, the Jags lost Sean Welsh to a second yellow card.

Jayden Stockley replaced Rooney on 88 minutes. Four minutes additional play was announced.

Lewis then ran across the goal line, just to make sure the ball didn’t somehow find the net. Safe enough.

Then substitute Chris Erskine brought his team back into the game after 91 minutes, rocketing it into the top corner. Sections of the Main Stand appeared to applaud this effort; and quite rightly, too.


They pursued a leveller, coming close with a series of corners.

Even their keeper, Cerny, came down into the box in pursuit of that levelling goal. Logan appeared to be fouled as this happened, but Aberdeen managed eventually to scrape a victory.

Final score:  2-1.

Apr 052015

An abject Aberdeen side will be kicking themselves after promising not to underestimate their Thistle opposition, only to escape undeservedly with a point, reports Voice’s Andrew Watson.

pittodrieIt was a dreich afternoon at Pittodrie, and a sizeable Red Army, given the fact this couldn’t exactly be termed a big match, had formed from all corners of the pitch.

Their voice, a resounding and at times frustrated one, should’ve spurred their team to glory from the stands. Pity it didn’t.

Lawrence Shankland was given a start up front, and seemingly justified his selection with two near chances in the early stages.

Though in all honesty more experienced players should’ve been on the pitch, if indeed they took their Firhill adversaries seriously in the slightest. Jonny Hayes’ work on the wings, supplying excellent balls, was kind of put to waste.

So why didn’t Niall McGinn start, let alone David Goodwillie or Peter Pawlett?

Granted, McGinn did come on the pitch on the 55 minute mark, with Shankland subbed. Willo Flood also came off for Pawlett.

26 minutes later Cammy Smith came on for Kenny McLean.

Overall, Partick had at least two good chances of their own, and much closer ones at that. Aberdeen really should’ve been a goal down by the final whistle.

It’s telling that the loudest cheer from the home crowd came as they gleefully celebrated the Thistle forward putting the ball just inches wide.

And although it seemed at times the referee was against them in the heat of the tackle, and that the linesmen were ignoring the offside rule to benefit of the Jags on the attack, the Dons shouldn’t have needed their help.

Two or three uncharacteristic slipups by Celtic are required to stand a chance in hell of somehow pinching the elusive league title.

Final score:  0-0.