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Partick Thistle v Aberdeen | preview

March 7, 2016 6:25 pm Author: Aberdeen FC

“I think momentum is the right word. It is very important. We have to build up a good head of steam between now and the end of the season. We have already had shown that we can go on good unbeaten runs, winning runs.

“We know the importance of winning games. It is important we try and be positive as we can and look to build on the terrific result we had against Dundee United.

“At this stage of the season it is all about results. Although as a manager you are looking for really strong performances, I would sacrifice that for results. It is results we are looking for and hopefully we can get another one tomorrow night.

“We are playing a team who have done very well since they came up to the SPFL Premiership. I think Alan is doing a great job there. They don’t lose too many goals so we will have our work cut out but none the less if we play with the urgency and desire that we showed at Tannadice hopefully we can see more of that again and a similar result.

“I have seen Partick a few times and have been very impressed. Alan has made them tighter at the back and for what it is worth I think they will be a top six side this season. They have a good squad and have good options from middle to front. In the middle of the park they try to dominate possession. They have players who can handle the ball well. It is important we try and win that middle ground. I thought we did that at Tannadice.

“When you go to pick a team you look at the opposition, you look at the form players in your own team, you also have to pick a system that suits you as well. Outside factors like the pitch don’t really come into in. You still want to go out and play, you maybe just have to play in the right areas. Pitches deteriorating at this stage of the season is not a new thing. It is something in this county that we have to deal with. It is harder after Christmas to get that fluency and pace to your game when the pitches are difficult. It is something you have to adjust to and it is just an outside factor. Whether the game is played on grass, on astro turf, in a car park; the biggest thing is our need to win the game and our desire.

“Jonny Hayes is fit. He has been training the past few days and has trained brilliantly. He looks ready to go and I am delighted to have him back.

“Peter breaking his arm at Tannadice was a big blow. It is disappointing for him and us. Hopefully when he and Adam come back there will still be a lot to play for. We were a bit thin on the ground anyway with numbers so to have Jonny back is a big bonus for us.

“Barry will have a part to play in the weeks ahead. He has trained a lot better over the past few weeks. Prior to that he was still struggling with his ankle injury. He looked like a player we could call upon and his performance was brilliant. He deserves a lot of credit because he has been itching to play his part. He is the most experienced player we have, he is probably the player who has had the best career but his desire to still go and win the game was evident. When he also demonstrates that level of ability he has still got a big part to play between now and the end of the season.

“We all know the importance of winning tomorrow night. All the other outside pressures do not affect us. We put enough demands on the players to win each and every game anyway. We just want them to go out and play the way they train. We want them to get on the ball and to work extremely hard and hopefully we will be good enough on the night to win the game.”


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Dons win after thrilling comeback : Live

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Line ups

Dons win after thrilling comeback

March 8, 2016 11:07 pm Author: Aberdeen FC

After defeating Dundee United at Tannadice last week The Dons had a mixed week on the injury front with Jonny Hayes returning to fitness and Peter Pawlett sustaining a broken arm which would leave him on the sidelines for a number of weeks.

When the teams were announced it was clear that Derek McInnes had been dealt another blow as Niall McGinn missed out altogether through injury.

In the end The Dons boss made three changes to the side that was victorious at Tannadice with Robson dropping to the bench and the aforementioned Pawlett and McGinn missing out through injury. As expected, Hayes returned to the starting line-up with Storie and Reynolds also reclaiming a place from the start.

The Dons defence had a familiar look to it with Brown in goals and Logan, Taylor, Reynolds and Considine starting in a back four. In midfield Storie started alongside Jack with Shinnie in a more advanced position on the left, McLean on the right and Hayes tucked in behind Church.

The first corner of the match went the way of the home side as Amoo bought a corner from Considine. The corner was angled towards the edge of the area but Welsh’s strike ended up over the bar as both teams took time to find their way in the match.

In the eight minute Aberdeen had a chance when Shinnie knocked a pass from Reynolds away from his man and surged into the box, he then looked to drill the ball across the six yard box but it was blocked at the near post by a Thistle defender. It was the only clear opening for either side in a fairly scrappy opening fifteen minute period.

Then the Dons began to probe with Hayes looking most likely to make something happen but just after the twenty minute mark it was Shinnie who created a chance with a clipped ball over the top for McLean. Kenny held off his marker as he raced towards goal, he had to take the strike early on his right foot and it was straight at Cerny. It looked as though he tried to lift the ball over the keeper but just couldn’t get enough on it, much to the relief of the Thistle faithful.

Up the other end Fraser emulated Shinnie with a ball over the top for the onrushing Pogba, thankfully for The Dons the ball spun away from the striker and into the arms of Brown. For a short spell the game opened up and it was Aberdeen’s turn to attack. Hayes drifted into the box and struck the ball towards the back post at pace, unfortunately the ball ended up just the wrong side of the post.

After a barren opening period the half chances were beginning to stack up with Lindsay heading the ball into Brown’s arms from a corner and McLean scooping the ball over the bar from a cross from Logan.

Just before the half hour an Aberdeen tackle rebounded into the path of Welsh to leave him with a clear run at goal, the midfielder lacked pace to go on his own and opted to square the ball for Fraser, Brown did enough to put him off and see his strike over the bar. A let off for The Dons but in truth it would have been harsh to lose a goal from winning a challenge in midfield.

The end to end action continued as Hayes charged deep into Thistle territory before being brought down at the edge of the area when he had the option of slipping in Shinnie or having a strike at goal. Booth picked up a yellow card for the challenge and McLean curled the free-kick just the wrong side of the crossbar but it was enough to get Cerny scrambling across his line.

Osman followed his teammate into the book for a cynical challenge on Shinnie and from the free-kick it looked as though The Dons had made the breakthrough. Reynolds got up to head the delivery across goal and Church got in front of Cerny to flick the ball on from just a couple of yards out. Agonisingly for Aberdeen’s players, manager and supporters the ball clipped the bar and went over when it looked destined to find the back of the net.

In the 41st minute Reynolds was the first Aberdeen player to be carded for a foul on Cerny. It was brave goalkeeping from Cerny to collect the ball at the second attempt but from an Aberdeen perspective it looked harsh for a yellow card to be handed out.

Ryan Jack was the next Dons player to feel aggrieved as he seemed to be pulled back before being
dispossessed deep in the Aberdeen half. From there Amoo picked out Fraser at the back post and Brown had to be sharp to turn his effort behind for a corner from a narrow angle. The corner was partially cleared but the danger was not over as the ball made its way back over to Fraser just on the angle of the area. He curled a shot towards the back post and with Brown beaten it went just past the post.

There was still time for Aberdeen to create an opportunity just before the half-time whistle as Jack slipped a ball through for Hayes who then tried to beat Cerny at the near post with a powerful strike. The keeper got down well but had to concede a corner which came to nothing before the half-time whistle went.

After a slow start the half had provided plenty of entertainment and as the teams went in for the break it was difficult to tell which way the match would go but it was difficult to see it ending goalless.

The second half started in the same manner as the first with Pogba and Hayes having shots from outside the area in the opening five minutes. Thistle stepped up to apply a bit of pressure with Amoo driving into the box but Shinnie was in position to make a challenge before he could cause any real damage.

The Dons were given a free-kick just outside the area when Thistle were penalised for handball. Storied whipped the ball towards the back post and just when it looked to be creeping in Welsh was there to knock the ball off the line under pressure from Logan. Both sets of supporters attempted to rally behind their team at this stage with everyone in the ground aware of how finely balanced the play was.

Amoo was again on the front foot and used his pace to drive past Considine and fire the ball across the area, with Fraser looking set to apply the finish a timely interception was made. Moments later in the 60th minute there was little that The Dons could do when Lawless stepped onto the ball 30 yards from goal and whipped the ball into the top corner with an unstoppable strike. It was a moment of quality and left Aberdeen with an uphill task to get the three points that they desperately wanted.

Partick Thistle were lifted by the goal as they closed The Dons down at every opportunity high up the pitch, roared on by their home support. With twenty five minutes of the match remaining Derek McInnes made his first change as Robson replaced Storie.

The next chance fell the way of the hosts when Amoo burst down the right again before turning Considine and clipping a ball towards the back post for Pogba to attack. The big striker won the header and Brown had to be in the right position to parry the ball clear.

With one goal in it The Dons still had a chance but couldn’t force any action in the Thistle area as time marched on. In the 73rd minute Hayes attempted to do it all on his own with several Thistle shirts chasing him and his strike was sliced wide of the post. Just when it was looking difficult to see where a goal would come from an Aberdeen shirt found space in the area and made it count.

First Robson had a cross cleared at the near post, his cross was blocked and the rebound fell to Hayes. From wide he floated a ball in and Considine was there at the back post to head the ball into the net from inside the six yard box with just over 15 minutes of normal time remaining.

The Dons supporters in the Main Stand sensed an opportunity to go for all three points but even the most optimistic among them could not have anticipated what would happen next. Barely a minute had passed when the match was turned on its head. With Adam Rooney missing the burden for goals has fallen on Church and he was there once again to turn a ball in from Robson into the back of the net. It was an expertly placed header which sparked wild celebrations in the stand and on the pitch.

Given the nature of the game it seemed logical to expect more twists and turns before full-time. The next twist looked as if it had went the way of the home side when a ball rebounded into the path of Doolan inside the area. The striker turned sharply onto the ball as Brown rushed out and on this occasion his strike trundled across the face of goal and past the post.

With five minutes of normal time to play The Dons had got themselves back into a great position, now the challenge was to see it out. As the clock ticked towards full-time the play was in the right area as Shinnie, Robson and Jack led by example winning ball after ball to push Aberdeen forward.

As the match entered the final minute of normal time The Dons were forced to make a change as Robson had picked up a knock. The veteran was afforded a standing ovation from The Red Army as he was replaced by Daniel Harvie. It was a debut for the youngster just days after he signed a long term contract with the Club.

It may go on to be one of the shortest appearances of his career but the youngster will always remember how the final few minutes unfolded as Thistle threw everything at the The Dons including Tomas Cerny as the keeper joined the attack on two occasions for set-pieces. The Aberdeen defence stood strong with Taylor and Reynolds knocking the ball clear time after time.

As the full-time whistle went the travelling support celebrated a crucial victory, the bond between players, supporters and the management team was there for all to see.


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