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Dons score 4 and make it into the last 8

February 10, 2019 6:41 pm Author: Malcolm Panton

 

The Dons booked their place in the draw for the Quarter Finals of the Scottish Cup after a 4-1 victory over Queen of the South.

But the Championship side made Dons work hard for it.

The introduction of Niall McGinn as a half-time substitute proved to be the difference as he scored the first and set up two of Aberdeen’s four second-half goals in what was an entertaining second-45 minutes. Sam Cosgrove also added two more to his collection taking his account to 16 for the season whilst Stephen Dobson scored with an outstanding shot for the visitors.

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Match report

Derek McInnes made just one change from the side that lost midweek with Stevie May replacing the suspended Scott McKenna, who missed the first of his three games.

Having comfortably beaten Premiership opposition Dundee 3-0 in the fourth round of the cup and with talisman Stephen Dobbie upfront, The Dons knew that the first visit of Queen of the South to Pittodrie in over eight years was going to be a potentially tricky one.

The visitors got the game underway in the Aberdeen sunshine, hoping to cause another Scottish Cup upset.

It was a relatively quiet opening first 10 minutes for both sides with Queen of the South sitting back looking to keep it tight and The Dons enjoying the majority of possession trying to break them down.

Shay Logan had the first sighting at goal and could’ve opened the scoring had he diverted his header on target. After some good play from Stewart cutting inside and finding Lowe on the left, the fullback was able to deliver an inch-perfect cross to his opposite fullback creeping in at the back post. Unfortunately Logan couldn’t convert from 10 yards out and headed over.

The Dons continued to dominate possession but it became apparent that they were going to have to work very hard to break through the visitors defence which was looking solid.

Mackay-Steven was the next to come close for The Dons, again Max Lowe the provider. The winger latched onto a ball over the top and had more time than he anticipated scuffing his volley straight into the gloves of Alan Martin.

Queen of the South were frustrating the home side and began to come into the tie themselves, looking a threat from set pieces. On the half-hour mark, Joe Lewis was forced into a fine save from Jordan Marshall. Flying forward from defence, the left-back unleashed a venomous strike from 25 yards out which was heading for the top corner. At full stretch Joe stuck out a right arm and got his fingertips too it to keep the scores level.

Former Dons player Nicky Low was the first to go into referee Euan Anderson’s book for a late challenge on GMS as the winger looked to break. It was a typical Nicky performance, he gave his all for his team today despite not being fully fit. Cosgrove got his head on the resulting free-kick but couldn’t pick out a team-mate, much the story of a frustrating first half.

The Dons began to up the anti just before the break, Stevie May had a good opportunity from a free kick 20 yards out but could only hit the wall before Lowe had a curling effort with his right foot well saved by Martin on the stroke of half-time.

Half Time: Aberdeen 0 – 0 Queen of the South

McInnes opted to change it up at half-time, introducing Northern Ireland winger in place of Stevie May.

It was an inspired change and had an immediate impact with McGinn scoring after just two minutes of the restart. Cosgrove and Stewart combined well through the middle before the ball broke out to McGinn on the left-hand side of the area, Niall took it first time and controlled his effort past Martin to give the home side the advantage.

The lead lasted just a few minutes however as Queen’s levelled through man of the moment Stephen Dobbie. The striker was able to pick the ball up just inside the Aberdeen half and run towards goal before releasing an absolute thunderbolt from 35 yards out straight into the top corner, leaving Joe Lewis no chance. An incredible hit.

The goals had sparked the game into life and the tie was stretched with both sides going for it. Cosgrove had an effort saved at the near post after some good work down the left from McGinn. and Queen’s looked a constant threat on the break. Considine had a vital block as Andrew Stirling found space inside the box.

Just after the hour mark, The Dons regained their lead through Andy Considine. Cosgrove did well to force a corner off a blue shirt. Mackay-Stevens played the set-piece short to McGinn who delivered a sublime ball in straight onto the head of Considine. The defender had run from deep and from six yards out and unmarked he couldn’t miss. Andy has now scored against Queens’ in three different Scottish Cup ties over an 11 year period.

McGinn’s introduction to the game was telling and he was the provider again for Aberdeen’s third goal on 66 minutes. Causing havoc down the left-hand-side McGinn was able to work the ball back onto his right football before picking out Cosgrove who headed it down and into the ground past Martin.

That bit of quality McGinn has on the ball made all the difference today.

Three became four after Shay Logan was awarded a penalty – Andy Stirling penalised for handball. The decision by Euan Anderson did appear to be a little harsh. Cosgrove stepped up and made no mistake from 12 yards to add his second of the day and his 16th goal of the season.

Cosgrove should’ve had a hat-trick but he squandered the opportunity after GMS put it on a plate for him. The winger fired the ball across the six-yard area to the big man, but from 4 yards out the striker couldn’t sort his feet in time and scuffed his shot over the bar. He was at a tight angle but should have found the net.

With the game won, McInnes rolled the changes. GMS and Logan were taken off and replaced by James Wilson and the returning Mikey Devlin. Despite conceding three goals in ten minutes Queen’s had not given up and nearly pulled one back through Lyndon Dykes. Dobbie did well to lay the ball back to Dykes and his powerful shot was equally well met by Lewis who got down smartly.

That was the last action of note in the game and the referee brought proceedings to a close without an added on time. Aberdeen ran out worthy winners but the scoreline was a bit harsh on Gary Naysmith’s side.

The draw for the Quarter Finals will follow the Ross County v Inverness CT game on Monday night.

Full Time: Aberdeen 4 – 1 Queen of the South

 

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