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Aberdeen V Hamilton Academical | Preview
This Saturday sees Aberdeen take on Hamilton Accies at Pittodrie. The Dons leapfrogged Rangers into second place with an impressive display up at Ross County in midweek and will be looking to make it three wins on the bounce with a win on Saturday. Accies are currently in 10th place in the Premiership and have lost their last two games and will be looking for a win at a venue they’ve not won at since May 2010.
As well as having the game in Dingwall on Wednesday, The Dons were busy ushering in two new faces to the side on deadline day. Sam Cosgrove signed on a permanent contract from Carlisle United and Newcastle United goalkeeper, Freddie Woodman joined in the final moments on a loan until the end of the season. With Joe Lewis being ruled out for the next two to three months, Derek McInnes was keen to ensure a new goalkeeper was brought in to compete with Danny Rogers.
Despite only being 20 years old, Freddie comes with a big pedigree having helped England win the U20 World Cup last summer and winning the tournament’s best goalkeeper award. The deadline day signings added to the acquisitions of Chidi Nwakali and Hamilton Accies captain, Mikey Devlin, as well as the sale and subsequent return on loan of Kenny McLean. Niall McGinn returned to the Club at the start of the month and he has already rediscovered his form from his first spell.
WHAT THE MANAGER SAID
“First of all, I’m just delighted to get Freddie with us. It was important that we reacted swiftly on the back of Joe Lewis’s injury as it wasn’t something we anticipated with Joe. Thankfully he’s on his way back now with the operation. We wanted to get the best ‘keeper in and it’s my job to get competition in all areas of the pitch and goalkeeping is part of that. We have a decision to make and we’re just delighted to get Freddie with us. He had an impressive loan at Kilmarnock and we kept tabs on him as well in terms of our scouting and we feel he’s going to be a good addition to us and we’re delighted to get him.
“It was important that we looked at this week ahead of the cup game that we tried to pick up nine points. We’ve beat a very good Kilmarnock team, who hadn’t lost away from home and have been doing well. We went up to Dingwall and win during the week against a team who are fighting for survival and I thought we dealt with that very comfortably.
“On the goal front it was four goals against St Mirren, three goals last week against Kilmarnock and another four during the week so I’m pleased with that side of it. I’d like us to get more clean sheets because you’re always striving for that perfect performance and we almost had it bar 14 minutes the other night. Hopefully we can get both tomorrow.”
To read more from Derek click here
WHAT FREDDIE SAID
“I thought it was the right opportunity for me at this stage of my career to come up here and push to play, to keep getting better and to get the experience I need so I can go back down the road and push for number one. I know what this league’s about as I came last season to Kilmarnock and I thought I done well. When the gaffer rung me, asked if I wanted to come to Aberdeen and it was a no-brainier. I wanted to come and play and do my stuff and keep getting experience.
“I’ll be ready if I am starting and if I’m not then I just must be patient. I’ve come up here to gain experience and hopefully play so we’ll see what happens.
“The goals that the team have got I’m ready to buy into it and push all the way. That was probably one of the main reasons I came here as they’ve still got the chance to win silverware and push for that second spot and get into Europe. It’s something I’m really looking forward to and I cant wait to get started.”
To read more from Freddie click here
WHAT SAM SAID
“Everyone at the club has made me feel very welcome over the past couple of days and been rally good to me. All the staff have done everything they can to make me feel part of the club.
“As soon I walked through the door you notice there is a really good buzz about the place.
“I know Aberdeen is a top club. I feel very proud to be here. Any footballers aim is to get as high as possible in the game. I will to do as well as I can here for myself and for the club.
“I watched the game up at Ross County. I went up there after I signing all the paperwork at the team hotel in Inverness.
“I was really impressed.
To read more from our new signing click here
HEAD TO HEAD
The Dons have the overwhelmingly better record against Saturday’s opponents with 66 wins and 36 losses, but have found Accies a difficult team to beat since they came back into the top flight in 2008. That season the newly-promoted Club beat Aberdeen twice and repeated the feat the following season.
The first competitive meeting between the sides came in 1904/05 season. With both teams playing in the old Second Division, the played out a 3-3 draw. There have been long spells where the teams haven’t played each other. In 1987 Accies were relegated from the Premier League and didn’t return until the 2008/09 season, although there were two Scottish Cup ties in between.
Even since Derek McInnes has been in charge at Pittodrie his side have often found Hamilton difficult opponents with The Dons losing out on both occasions at Superseal Stadium and winning the match at Pittodrie. Under the current regime however, The Dons have won every fixture against Hamilton Accies at Pittodrie, having conceded just the one goal.
This season kicked off with Accies visiting Aberdeen and they were once again a difficult team to break down. Anthony O’Connor opened the scoring and it wasn’t until the 90th minute where the game was put to bed. Miles Storey scored the all-important second, which was his final act for the Club before leaving for Partick Thistle. The Dons won the League Cup tie in South Lanarkshire courtesy of Kenny McLean’s strike in the first half. The league game in November proved to be another tricky match for Aberdeen and had to settle for a 2-2-draw, despite leading with only 15 minutes to go.
CLASSIC MATCH: HARTLEY’S HATRICK OF PENS
On the opening day of the 2009/10 season, Accies travelled to take on a new-look Dons side and Paul Hartley got the campaign off to the perfect start as he hit a hatrick of penalties. It was a first for the SPL and a first for any Aberdeen player (Joe Harper did get two in a 7-1 rout in 1978 against the same opposition.) The Dons ran riot as Zander Diamond got the other and started the season off in perfect fashion.
Watch highlights of that game here
If you can’t make it to the match on Saturday, join us on RedTV with special guest Mikey Devlin from 2.45pm for live coverage including video on RedTV International. After the match we will have all the reaction, highlights and a full-match replay.
Enjoy the game and Stand Free!
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Match Page - Text Commentary
Aberdeen 3-0 Hamilton Accies | Dons deliver comfortable victory
A double from Andrew Considine and a strike from Niall McGinn delivered a comfortable victory for The Dons. Newcastle United loanee Freddie Woodman was handed a debut and kept a clean sheet with a steady performance in between the sticks.
As it happened
McInnes made two changes to the side that put four past Ross County in midweek. Anthony O’Connor came in for Kari Arnason who dropped to the bench and deadline day signing Freddie Woodman was given the nod over Danny Rogers to make his Aberdeen debut.
The Dons got things underway shooting towards the Merkland Road end. The first ten minutes were fairly uneventful, the home side controlled the majority of possession but the visitors, Hamilton Academical, were resolute in defence. Ryan Christie registered the first shot on target on 10 minutes, his shot from outside the area was on target, but lacked the conviction needed to trouble Accies keeper Gary Woods.
A clumsy challenge from O’Connor gave Hamilton a free kick in a dangerous area a yard outside the penalty box on the byline, but Redmond’s shot/cross was blazed high over the bar and nothing came from it.
Following a fairly quiet opening quarter The Dons began to tighten the screw and on 24 minutes opened the scoring. A reckless challenge on Christie gave The Dons a free kick on the corner of the penalty area. McGinn whipped in a brilliant free kick, right footed, which Hamilton failed to clear. The ball dropped to Andrew Considine who, with his back to goal, managed to swivel and smartly volley home from close range to give the home side the lead.
Following the opening goal the game began to open up and new signing Freddie Woodman was called into action for the first time. A mistake from Kenny McLean in the middle of the park allowed Accies to break, Skondras was slipped through and fired his shot near post but Woodman was equal to it and smartly saved. From the resulting corner the Dons keeper gather with ease.
Hamilton posed a threat through Danny Redmond who looked dangerous cutting inside and firing a shot on goal which was deflected out for a corner.
Just after the half hour mark Adam Rooney nearly doubled the Dons advantage, running through on goal he was met by Woods but unfortunately he couldn’t squeeze his effort past the Accies keeper.
Aberdeen looked a threat from set pieces with both Considine, and Rooney having aerial efforts at goal following corners but neither could hit the target. The first half drew to a close with no added time and Aberdeen went in 1-0 up at the break.
Half Time: Aberdeen 1-0 Hamilton Accies
There was no changes for either side at half time and in 49th minute there was a round of applause at Pittodrie in memory of Dons supporter Mark Walker who had recently passed away.
Five minutes into the second half, Scott McKenna picked the ball up 35 yards out and was understandably invited to shoot by the 13,531 Dons fans who made the trip to Pittodrie. His shot didn’t quite mirror last week’s screamer against Kilmarnock but a deflection did enough to force Woods into tipping the ball over the bar.
McGinn won another corner 10 minutes into the second half. His corner was flicked on by McKenna towards the far post, but unfortunately Considine could not arrive in time to get on the end of it.
On 62 minutes Derek McInnes made his first change with Nwakali replacing Mackay-Steven.
The encounter continued to be scrappy with neither side creating any threatening opportunities in front of goal. McGinn caused Hamilton the majority of their problems. Cutting in from the left hand side he forced a smart save at the near post from Woods. From the resulting corner Shinnie had a shot deflected out for another corner which eventually came to nothing but you got the feeling that a second goal was on it’s way.
Sure enough, The Dons put the game to bed in the final 15 minutes, with Niall McGinn doubling the lead. A patient build up and lovely passing move allowed McLean the space to cross. His deflected cross fell to McGinn on the edge of the area who rocketed a volley home, leaving Woods no chance.
After the goal Rooney was replaced by Maynard and with around five minutes remaining the final change was made as Shinnie was replaced by Ball.
To put the icing on the cake Considine added his second and Aberdeen’s third in the 87th minute. Christie cut inside from the left and whipped in a cross to the back post. Considine met it and headed home to put the game beyond all doubt.
It wasn’t the prettiest at times but The Dons had earned a comfortable three points and could now look forward to the visit of Dundee United in the Scottish Cup next Sunday.