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Stalemate at Pittodrie

April 4, 2015 8:00 pm Author: Aberdeen FC

Match Summary

A poor performance from Aberdeen led to a second draw on the bounce but for the second match in succession their cause was not helped when they were on the wrong end of a massively controversial decision. With eight minutes to go Jonny Hayes challenged for the ball with Frederic Frans, won the tackle and was through on goal. Just as he was about to pull the trigger referee Kevin Clancy blew his whistle and awarded Thistle a free kick. Aberdeen started the game very strongly and Lawrence Shankland, making his first start for the club today, had two half chances. The visitors then came back into it and first half substitute Lyle Taylor missed two one on ones, Langfield making a brilliant block on the first occasion.  After the break the Dons keeper made a great save to keep out Craigan as the Firhill side continued to play very well. They also pressed all over the pitch and the Dons struggled to create any clear cut openings until the 82nd minute. This was the Dons first 0-0 league draw since the game last Easter against Inverness.


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Match Report

Lawrence Shankland was handed his first start for the first team this afternoon. Jonny Hayes meanwhile came back into the side so the Dons lined up with Langfield in goal, Logan at right back, Considine at left back with Taylor and Reynolds in central defence. In a flat midfield four it was Hayes, Jack, McLean and Flood with Rooney supporting Shankland up front.

Aberdeen made a very positive start.

Within 15 seconds Shankland and Rooney combined and there was almost an opening for Adam which the Thistle defence just managed to deal with. Within 30 seconds the Dons had won their first corner but Hayes’ ball was cleared. Then in the second minute a great run down the right by Hayes, he picked out Shankland in the box and his snap shot from 12 yards beat the keeper but just went over the bar. A reasonable chance. Then a minute later more great play by Hayes, this time on the left and his cross had to be taken by Fox as Shankland was about to pounce. Fox did well all afternoon to come and take crosses.

On 6 minutes Kris Doolan, who scored four against Hamilton recently, got the better of Reynolds but Considine did well to read the situation and come over and cover. A minute later the visitors put together a decent move. Stevenson got away from Jack and his cross picked out Lawless who tried an acrobatic effort which was off target.

After quarter of an hour, it was one full back to another, Logan’s looped cross to the back post was headed on by Considine but he could not get enough power into his header and it was an easy catch for Fox. On 19 minutes a cross from Flood was headed behind for a corner which eventually fell to Shankland from a Jack cross but he headed over. His reaction suggested that he feels he should have done better. The Dons were creating the odd opening but Partick were holding their own, especially in the middle of the park.

On the half hour mark Reynolds played a great long ball and sent Rooney free but instead of playing the advantage referee Kevin Clancy pulled it back for a foul to Aberdeen. His decision not to play on did not impress the Aberdeen players or crowd. Shankland flicked a Hayes cross wide before Kris Doolan was replaced by Lyle Taylor. The Thistle striker, who took the Dons apart last season in the game at Firhill in February, made a real impact straight away. Taylor was through on goal within seconds of coming on but Ash Taylor showed great strength to shield the ball back to Langfield. Then seconds later it looked almost certain that Taylor would give Thistle the lead when a through ball sent him free and he outpaced the Dons backline. Langfield though produced a superb save, coming out quickly, making himself big and then making the block. Outstanding goalkeeping.  From the resulting corner a chance in the air for Frans Frederic but he did not time his header well enough.

Aberdeen had lost their way a bit and Thistle were enjoying a good spell. They were playing with a lot for confidence. On 38 minutes another golden opportunity for Lyle Taylor. Considine thought he had been fouled in the middle of the park but nothing was given. The Dons defence were caught squad and again Lyle Taylor was one on one with Langfield. This time he chipped the ball over the advancing keeper but the ball went wide of the post. A massive let off for the Dons.

On 41 minutes Stuart Bannigan was booked, it was not very clear what for.

HT 0-0

Right at the start of the second half a shot from Craigen had to tip over the bar by Langfield. It was another good move from Thistle and another very good save. On 53 minutes a cross from Logan from the right was too close to Fox who collected. Shay was probably the Dons best attacking option as he was getting himself in some good areas.

On 55 minutes Derek McInnes decided it was time for a change. McGinn and Pawlett came on for Shankland and Flood. With an hour gone the game had become a real stalemate. With 20 minutes to go Frederic Frans made a vital challenge on Jonny Hayes on the half way line. Hayes would still have had a long way to go but he would have been clear. A McGinn corner was met by Rooney at the near post but he headed just wide. Then Ash Taylor knocked down a free kick but there was no one there to get on the end of the downward header. Hayes and McGinn then put over some good crosses as the Dons enjoyed a good spell of pressure. 

With 15 to go Shay Logan was booked a pull on a shirt. Kallum Higginbotham replaced Steven Lawless. The Dons were then fortunate when Hayes’ cross field pass went astray – like a lot of the Dons passes today. With the Dons players out of position a number of Thistle players had a chance to shoot but elected to pass and the Dons defence managed to get their shape back and a block was made.

With ten minutes to go McLean was replaced by Cammy Smith. 

Then on 82 minutes the main talking point from the game. Jonny Hayes bursts through on goal after winning the ball in a 50-50 challenge with Frans who was the last defender. Jonny ran on and was just about to pull the trigger when referee Clancy blew for a foul against the Dons. Frans then lay injured for a minute or two. In injury time a shot from McGinn was on target but weak and held well by Fox. The last chance fell to Jonny Hayes whose shot went well over under pressure. In truth Thistle deserved something from the game today and Aberdeen will be especially disappointed with their second half display.
 

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