Oct 042015

When Aberdeen clawed one back it looked to be an exciting game ahead, but they went on to lose heavily to St Johnstone, reports Voice reporter Andrew Watson.

merkalndpic2It was notable that ex-Don Joe Shaughnessy didn’t receive a frosty reception when his name was called out for the starting eleven. Maybe he enjoyed a level of anonymity only finally unveiled when he scored that second goal, mind.

The first came only after five minutes. To be fair, it was a good diving effort by keeper Danny Ward.

He dived full body, the goal seemingly passing between his two outstretched hands.

0-1 (Brian Easton).

The aforementioned shocker delivered by ex-Red Shaughnessy came only five minutes later. It was from close range and unceremonious, amidst a busy penalty box.


Thankfully Aberdeen quickly got one back, and all didn’t seem so lost anymore. Saints’ keeper fumbled the ball for a corner. Big man Ashton Taylor leapt for a powerful header 12 minutes in.


After this both teams came close to scoring, and just over fifteen minutes later the Perth men capitalised on yet another chance.

1-3 (Liam Craig) after 30 minutes.

It’s around about this time that the game began to get a little bit bad tempered.

Aberdeen captain Ryan Jack was seen in a spat with a couple of Saints’ players, who were doggedly setting about play when the ball had already gone out for a throw in. Then there was a free kick.

The Pittodrie side just couldn’t cut it. The opposition, if defending in their box, were the first to every ball; out of any danger.

There’d been a lot of action, so this necessitated an extra minute’s play at the end of the first half.

During the interval it was telling the Red Army were in no singing mood, and the expected response of Peter Pawlett Baby to Human League’s Don’t You Want Me Baby never came.  Instead, they were immersed in the walking football half time entertainment.

They also had little truck for Danny Cool, adapted from Boney M’s Daddy Cool. Apparently this is a tribute to the cool head of Danny Ward. Maybe lack of reciprocation was to do with the fact he was having a stinker.

And it was to get worse, too.

The Dons defence had barely kicked off for the second half when ex-Dandy Steven MacLean was allowed to sneak a weak header which only just bobbed over the line.

1-4 two minutes into the second half.

Aberdeen made their first change 49 minutes into the game, with Pawlett replaced by David Goodwillie.

Probably the most satisfaction the Pittodrie faithful had was when the McDiarmid Park men blootered the ball for a rugby conversion.

That was short lived when MacLean nicked his second of the game. The crowd had already given up a goal prior, but this was now desolation.

1-5 after 51 minutes.

The away support were in raptures, even cheering every successive pass their team made.

To rub salt into the wounds Aberdeen then missed a sitter.

Aberdeen made their final change 67 minutes into the game, with Barry Robson replacing Kenny McLean; and Jonny Hayes replaced by Scott Wright.

These changes made little difference and Aberdeen would’ve had the fans going absolutely ballistic at them for their lack of urgency, had one of the Saints’ not had to be taken off.

There were further derisive cheers from the home crowd when St Johnstone’s Simon Lappin was booked.

Goal number six almost arrived when Ward spilled the ball, but he was saved embarrassment.

It was actually surprising the lack of response there was when ex-Aberdeen MacLean came off to be substituted. Perhaps they were now beyond caring. Aberdeen had one last close chance, and that was it. Finished.

The only other incidents of note were Graeme Shinnie gesturing to the linesman about a perceived infringement, and a very frustrated Robson booting the ball off the roof of the Main Stand at the final whistle.

Final score:  1-5.

Sep 162015

Aberdeen survived some scares to win against quite a good Hamilton side, says Andrew Watson.

pittodrieThe start was a nervy one, with both sides feeling their way into the game.

Aberdeen were the first to suss their opposition out, but struggled initially.

Some smart play was hampered by too many passes being short of their target.

It was Graeme Shinnie that really kicked off things, when he instigated a second penalty in two games.

Once again, it was Adam Rooney who stepped up. If he could score that League Cup securing goal a couple seasons back, it could more or less be said he’d score this one. He did, coolly slotting it away.

1-0 after 23 minutes!

The Dons came out a completely different team in the second half, and seemed very timid. The Accies were beginning to take a foothold of the game, and there were moments they proved they definitely deserved a point from the game.

Josh Parker came on the pitch to replace Jonny Hayes 72 minutes into proceedings. A minute later, Ryan McLaughlin came off for Shaleum Logan.

McInnes made his final substitute at 82 minutes, with Peter Pawlett coming on for Kenny McLean.

Parker probably had the best chance of the game towards the end, coming more or less one on one with the keeper.

The Red Army were probably expecting him to lob the keeper, but he elected instead to control the ball and drive it low. It went wide.

Ashton Taylor was also taken off near the end. Thankfully he appeared to walk off the pitch without a limp, so hopefully the injury is minor and that he can play at Tynecastle.

It could be a tough one, away from home, so as strong a squad as possible would be ideal.

Final score:  1-0.

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.