Feb 222015

Ex-Buddie Kenny McLean helped Aberdeen romp to victory against St Mirren at Pittodrie, remarks Voice reporter Andrew Watson.

pittodrie2The weather was mild and clear, but not as warm as one would think looking out the window prior to heading out to the game. Early on it seemed the Saints were going to make life difficult for the Dons.

They pressed the home side toe to toe and ball for ball, leaving little room for any creativity – a bit like Motherwell under Stuart McCall a few seasons back; lots of pressure, dominating and hard to match.

This, however, did not last long and Aberdeen soon found their rhythm.

A McLean corner found the head of Adam Rooney. The resulting ball was cleared off the line.  Mark Reynolds then tested the keeper, who responded well.  However, the ball came to McLean, again.

His back-heel found the feet of Peter Pawlett. Andrew Considine then added the decisive touch to the sequence, heading across goal for Rooney to bundle in.

1-0 Aberdeen with a goal 21 minutes in!

Before the break, there was much dominance from the home side. Despite this, St Mirren had some chances too. In other words, both sides failed to capitalise.

Come the second half though, it only took Aberdeen a few minutes to further their lead.

Niall McGinn did a power of work on the wing, but the ball delivered was slightly overcooked. It took McLean to bring it into a more fortuitous area. Rooney completed his brace, again from close range, after 48 minutes.

2-0 Aberdeen!

Reynolds was then in receipt of McGinn’s corner cross after 66 minutes.

3-0 Aberdeen with a header!

Pawlett came off for David Goodwillie two minutes later. Lawrence Shankland came on for Rooney, who really should’ve scored a hat-trick by that point, at 77 minutes.  Willo Flood was then swapped for Barry Robson on the 84 minute mark.

One Saint who deserves a mention would be veteran and stalwart, Jim Goodwin. Perhaps not for the right reasons, though. He skied an attempt on goal, as his team pressed hard for a deserved solitary consolatory goal. No luck, Buddie.

“There’s only one Jim Goodwin, one Jim Goodwin!”

Or so the Red Army sang. Good stuff from the men in red, though I dare say they’re missing Jonny Hayes. Though assisting both Rooney’s goals, we’re yet to see the best of McLean, too.

Final score:  3-0.

Feb 112013

The game was so drab that not even a proper match reporter would trouble themselves to dissect it minute by minute.  I’m only here to give you the general gist, says Voice reporter Andrew Watson, and the most I can say is that only refereeing decisions conspired to make this game even remotely as noteworthy as the goalless draw against Hibs the other week.

I can’t help but feel that the pitch, badly cut up from the Scotland game on Wednesday, was little excuse for the poor fare served up to fans.

The state of the pitch equally hampered the efforts of a high-flying St Mirren side, not just the Dons, and passes, both on the deck and in the air, were so off-target it beggared belief.

Just about the only player that merits mention, for the right reasons, is Buddies’ captain Jim Goodwin.

When Aberdeen were applying one of their few genuine periods of pressure, an incoming ball was swatted away by his diving header. A stunning sight to see. Talk about putting your body on the line. Even shoplifters wouldn’t evade his capture.

Immediately he was on his feet, castigating his defenders, urging and leading with an all-or-nothing attitude that no doubt inspired his teammates.

Unfortunately, Osbourne, the only Don showing a scintilla of that passion, was booked for his troubles. The fans were up in arms when he was shown yellow for an excellent tackle. He was deservedly declared man of the match.

It was hard to sympathise with Reynolds’ reckless shirt-pulling, for which the team would later pay a heavy price.

After the interval, Magennis replaced Robertson to spruce things up in 67 minutes. Hughes left the pitch at the 71 minute mark, with Vernon coming on. Reynolds was dismissed a minute later for deliberate handball.

Pawlett was then taken off for the equally youthful Smith, 75 minutes into the game. One questions the wisdom of replacing a relatively inexperienced youngster with another after losing an experienced player through a red card.

I kind of feel for Brown. Maybe he thought fresh young legs would inject the necessary urgency to nick a late goal. I sometimes wonder if he’s suffering as McGhee did, in that perfectly capable players just aren’t playing for him?

the team were last to just about every ball, shoved off it when in possession and outfought in the air

Anyway, it seemed that only refereeing decisions were uniting the fans behind the team. I don’t know if this is fans’ short-sightedness in ignoring poor form, or a level of loyalty unacknowledged by the press – quick to point out fair-weather support and poor Pittodrie attendances.

Referee John Beaton was pedantic in his pursuit of soft fouls and continuously stopped the flow of play. The best referees, as they say, strike a balance between letting play flow and maintaining discipline, but, hand on heart, he made bizarre decisions that angered both sets of fans throughout the 90 minutes

That is beside the point, though.  If the referee’s performance highlighted anything, it would be Aberdeen’s complete inadequacy against a very physical St Mirren side.

Although he did a bit to protect McGinn, the team were last to just about every ball, shoved off it when in possession and outfought in the air. They weren’t imposing in the box, and that’s why they didn’t score. Our players weren’t tall enough!

Would Goodwin’s last gasp dive to put the ball out for a corner earlier really have prevented a genuine goal scoring opportunity? At least he took no chances, unlike our favourite goalkeeper.

Credit to Jamie Langfield, though. He saved blushes late on with superb save, even enjoying a little bit of defensive luck when a teammate cleared the rebound. He then proceeded to try his damnedest to undo this, fluffing a pass back and nearly letting it roll over the line. Typical Dons!

He then got sarcastic cheers for actually making a connection, minutes later. Typical Red Army!

They were booed off the pitch, and quite right too.

Final score:  0-0.