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Dons make it 10 games unbeaten
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After a terrific victory with ten men in Dingwall last Sunday The Dons entertained Dundee at Pittodrie looking to close the gap at the top of the league to three points. The suspension of Mark Reynolds meant that one change was made to the starting line-up with Andy Considine replacing him at the centre of defence.
The Dons line-up was an attacking one with Rooney starting the match on the left, Hayes central and McGinn wide in support of Goodwillie up front.
The first chance of the match fell in the 7th minute when a Dundee corner was partially cleared to Storie, he managed to guide the ball back into the area for Rooney to turn and strike the ball towards goal but Bain managed to keep it out at his near post.
It was the start of a busy couple of minutes for Bain as he had to be on his toes to keep out Taylor on two occasions after his defence failed to deal with some cross balls. Ash was very unfortunate not to find the back of the net as he had done everything right with the second strike keeping it low only to see it blocked by Bain’s outstretched leg. Great goalkeeping from the former Don.
Up the other end Stewart looked to capitalise on a loose ball In the Dons half with a through ball for Hemmings, the striker picked the ball up 12 yards from goal but his low shot was blocked by Brown.
It was an end to end start to the match with chances falling for both teams.
In the 13th minute The Dons made a first half breakthrough when some enterprising play from Jonny Hayes got him into the area. He opted to drill a low ball across the face of the Dundee goal and Rooney got himself in front of his man at the back post to poke the ball towards goal from a couple of yards. Bain was almost in the perfect position but on this occasion he couldn’t quite claw the ball back and instead could only delay its progress over the line. A great poacher’s goal for Rooney.
The first yellow card of the match went to Holt as he brought down Hayes in the Dundee half.
In the 17th minute former Don Nicky Low forced a mistake from Logan and picked out Harkins in the box, Considine was fully committed and managed to make a great block with the shot travelling towards the Aberdeen goal at a fair pace.
The next chance for the home side came several minutes later when Rooney and Hayes combined with a couple of headers to set Goodwillie through on goal. The striker took a couple of touches to get the ball out from under his feet but when he did he fizzed a low strike across the keeper and just wide of the post from 20 yards.
Taylor was again on the end of a cross from a corner but the Dundee defence did just enough to force his header from McGinn’s delivery wide of the post.
After half an hour The Dons were one in front and had created the better chances but Dundee had shown enough to suggest that they were capable of getting themselves on the score sheet. In the 33rd minute they almost did that when Hemmings watched a long diagonal fall over his shoulder before hitting a perfectly timed volley towards the bottom corner. Brown got down well to keep the initial effort out before Taylor cleared the danger with Hemmings ready to pounce.
A couple of minutes later the surface did Considine no favours when a fresh air swipe almost let in a Dundee striker, thankfully Brown was out off his line quickly and managed to save at the feet of the onrushing forward. Very good goalkeeping from Brown who had another solid game.
The second Dundee player to pick up a yellow card was McGowan as he was unable to deal with the pace of Hayes on the counter.
Just before the break The Dons had their 8th corner of the match and once again it ended with Bain being tested. Taylor got up to win the corner and head the ball down into the ground and just as it looked to be bouncing into the top corner of the net Bain was there to save the day for Dundee again with a flying stop.
A couple of minutes into the second half Shay Logan picked up a yellow card for a high challenge on Holt. There didn’t look to be any malice in the challenge but it was a sore one for the Dundee full back who had to be replaced by Kerr in the first substitution of the game.
In the 53rd minute a corner for The Dons sparked some alarming moments for the visiting defence as some last gasp defending denied a string of shots in an old fashioned goalmouth scramble.
A few minutes later McGinn was able to pick up a loose ball from Konrad and clip a ball into the box for Goodwillie, the ball was just too far in front of him but Rooney was able to make it at the back post. Unfortunately the angle was too tight and he hit the shot over the bar to leave the score at 1-0 after an hour of play.
It had been a good spell of control from Aberdeen but they failed to kill the game off.
With the match starting to get a bit scrappy Dundee were presented with an opportunity when Low nipped in to intercept a header from Taylor back to the goalkeeper, fortunately Logan was in to make life difficult and force a corner.
With under 20 minutes of normal time remaining Dundee boosted their attacking options by bringing on Loy for Low. The Pittodrie crowd recognised the former Aberdeen midfielder with applause as he left the field.
In the 79th minute Rooney battled well in the box to challenge a cross which then fell to Goodwillie who couldn’t make the proper connection from 12 yards. Harkins became the latest Dundee player to pick up a yellow card with a late challenge on Shinnie.
Derek McInnes opted to make his first substitution with Smith replacing Goodwillie for the final ten minutes. The sub almost had an immediate impact when he twisted past his man on the edge of the area and struck the ball across goal, on this occasion the cross was just too quick for Rooney and skipped through unchallenged,
As the match reached the end of the 90 minutes Harkins stung the palms of Brown with an effort from 25 yards.
Dundee would have another chance before the board went up to show 4 minutes of added time. The chance fell to Harkins after O’Dea flicked a corner to the back post but he was unable to hook the ball over the line.
On his first start as captain Graeme Shinnie was named the sponsors man of the match and it was richly deserved as he led the team by example with great battling qualities and decision making throughout the match.
In the end it was to be a clean sheet for Aberdeen in a deserved victory.
Next up for The Dons is the visit of Celtic on Wednesday 3rd February.