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Hamilton Accies Preview | Derek McInnes

October 24, 2016 7:45 pm Author: Aberdeen FC

“I have said often enough that as good as our league form has been over the past few seasons, the cups can give you that added bounce and feel good factor amongst the supporters. All supporters, players, staff; we are all the same, we want that day out at Hampden with the chance to go and win a trophy. Now we have put ourselves in the position to do that the anticipation of the final can help us certainly with crowds and help us get more through the gates at Pittodrie. It is something for everyone to get excited about.

“We are not just happy to get to the final, we want to win the cup. But it can also generate extra finance and excitement and that is why cup runs and cup finals are invaluable to any club.

“Hamilton away is always a tough fixture for lots of reasons. During my time here we have come up against three different managers at Hamilton and all their sides have had the same competitive element to their play. They make it difficult for you, they are in your face, they harass you, they work you hard. The pitch can sometimes be a little bit difficult down there to get used to so we must make sure we are ready to play from the off.

“Hamilton have had a lot of draws this season and have been very close to winning a lot of games. They have been well in the mix in almost every 90 minutes they have played. It shows you the fine lines. They are a team that even when they lose they are very competitive.

“We have had a decent record against them home and away. We have lost just the once down there in my time here but that game is a reminder of how good they can be if we are not quite at it.

“We are going into the game with confidence but I always say to the players that a belt in the mouth is just around the corner if you don’t do your job right. You have to keep trying to win games and keep that focus for every game. That is something the players deserve massive credit for.

“Tomorrow night we have to be right on it from the start and need to fight toe to toe with our opponents. Anything less than that then we will probably come up the road without the result we want.

“The match is sandwiched in between two massive games but this can’t be the game that is insignificant. I can understand from a media point of view, from an exposure point of view, but from a professional point of view it is the same three points up for grabs that are available on Saturday against Celtic.

“Ash is still a doubt for this one. Scott Wright damaged his hamstring last week so he missed the weekend and he won’t travel and young Frank Ross is away with Scotland U19s. Scott McKenna is back in the squad and everyone else is fit.”  
 

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Dons lose after controversial penalty

October 25, 2016 11:55 pm Author: Aberdeen FC

The Manager made just one change to the side which won at Hampden on Saturday. Wes Burns came in for Niall McGinn who take a place on the bench. Striker Jayden Stockley missed out with injury along with Ash Taylor but it is hoped both will be available for Saturday. The Dons lined in the usual 4-2-3-1 formation that has helped them win six games in a row.

In the second minute Eamonn Brophy had the first shot at the goal but his effort failed to trouble Lewis. Brophy scored a hat-trick against the Dons U20s at this ground the season Aberdeen won the Development League so the youngster has certainly got an eye of goal.

In the early stages the Dons players were still trying to adjust to the artificial surface.

In the fifth minute Anthony O’Connor was penalised for pulling down Alex D’Acol inside the area. First viewing, it looked an incredibly soft decision by Willie Collum as the Hamilton striker seemed to be backing in and then slipped. Surprisingly there were few protests from the men in black apart from O’Connor who rightly looked bemused. D’Acol took the spot kick and although Lewis guest right and got down quickly, he could not keep it out. Not the start Aberdeen wanted.  

Aberdeen forced the first corner a minute later.  The ball came back to Maddison who did well to twist and turn to create space for cross but his ball over was too strong.  

Hamilton had a spring in their step and with the Dons players still trying to adjust to the surface. D’Acol put a shot into the side netting and then a Darian MacKinnon shot was parried away by Lewis. Accies were playing with a lot of confidence now.

In the 13th minute Burns and Maddison linked well and created an opening for Shinnie but the ball would not fall kindly for the Dons captain. O’Connor and Lewis almost got in a mess at the back as they misjudged a bouncing ball before Shinnie fired a shot just over with an excellent left footed effort. Burns then showed good pace to leave the full back for dead and his cross looked to have picked out Rooney but Grant Gillespie did very well to get back and intercept.

A frustrating opening for the Dons who were still trying to adapt to the pitch. A lot of players were slipping.

Burns again whipped a ball across the box and then a Maddison free kick was won by Considine but his connection was poor and the ball lopped up into Woods’ hands. A half chance. In the 25th minute Burns produced a lovely turn inside the area, he squared the ball for Hayes who looked to have a chance but was very quickly crowded out and could not get a shot away. A minute later Maddison and Hayes combined well with some neat play. Maddison showed great quick feet to set up Hayes and from close range keeper Woods made a very good block. Maddison might have been better having a shot himself as by the time Hayes got the ball he had little space to work with.

Better stuff from the Dons but Hamilton were still battling hard to stop them getting into any rhythm.

In the 35th minute a brilliant cross from Maddison but it just beat everyone. Any one of three players in a black shirt could have got a touch. Hayes then played over a low cross from the left but it was behind everyone. On 40 minutes after MacKinnon hauled down Maddison, a free kick was played in by the on-loan star from Norwich and went all the way through to Reynolds at the back post but his header was straight at the keeper. Mark, playing his 400th competitive game, did not have much of an angle.  

Aberdeen then carelessly gave away a corner, the first Hamilton one of the game, and they very nearly gave away a goal. In a well worked move Ali Crawford played a pin point ball to the back of the area and he found Gillespie completely unmarked. His shot into a ruck of players could have gone anywhere but thankfully it deflected off a Hamilton foot and went out for a goal kick.   

HT

At the start of the second half Aberdeen had a strong appeal for a penalty when MacKinnon fouled McLean inside the area. It looked more a penalty than the one Hamilton got. Shinnie then forced a corner which Maddison played in and the ball went inches over the head of O’Connor who was completely unmarked. Considine then made a great run but again no black jersey’s were able to on the end of the cross or the scuffed clearance which followed.

On 52 minutes another strong penalty appeal. A good quick break saw Burns and Logan link up. Logan then played a one two with Hayes and as the right back went to retrieve the ball he appeared to be fouled but Collum once again waved play on.

This was the Dons best spell of the game. A Hayes cross then found Rooney but his header was straight at the goalkeeper. It was really the only chance Adam had all night. On 55 minutes Maddison whipped in a dangerous free kick which somehow the Hamilton defence kept out and then Burns looked to be impeded as he went for the second ball. Hayes then from a tight angle thumped the ball over.

On the hour mark Hamilton brought off Brophy and he was replaced by Kurtaj. In the 63rd minute a triple change from Derek McInnes. Burns off McGinn on, Maddison off Storey on and finally Reynolds off and Pawlett on. Hayes moved to left back and Considine went to centre half.

After 67 minutes Aberdeen had a free kick 10 yards in from the touch line. McGinn played the ball in but again the Hamilton defence held firm. Then another free kick from McGinn just went over the head of Considine.
With just under 20 minutes to go Greg Docherty got on the end of a simple move and his shot had to be saved by Lewis. With ten minutes to go Kurtaj threatened to break free but O’Connor made a superb last ditch tackle. Crawford then set up Gillespie who should have scored but he shot straight at Lewis.

Aberdeen had lost their way. They were unable to mount any sustained pressure because at no point in the game were they able to get any control in the middle of the park. Darian MacKinnon had a find game, as did former AFC Youth Academy player Michael Devlin.

Accies though have lost a lot of late goals this season, and have lost a lot of leads so they started to look nervous. In the 85th minute a sixth corner was once again defender well, as was a free kick in the 89th minute, the impressive Georgios Sarris headed clear again.

Then in injury time Aberdeen created their best two chances.

A long ball from Lewis was flicked on by Considine which set Storey free but he hammered his shot wide. The striker had McGinn and Rooney in support and a bit more composure might have led to a goal. Then in the dying seconds, out of absolutely nothing, Hayes found Considine unmarked 10 yards out but with his right foot he blasted the ball over. The best chance of the goal was missed and the referee then sounded his whistle.

A frustrating night from start to finish.

It was a disappointing game to watch but credit to Hamilton, they are good at what they do and worked very hard. Woods in the Hamilton goal did not have enough to do from an Aberdeen point of view and the ball also spent far too long in the air. Although the visitors certainly did not get the rub of the green as far as decisions were concerned and they did deserve something.

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