Aberdeen 1 - 0 Inverness CT

League Match
Saturday, September 21st, 2013, 3:00 PM at Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
Attendance: 11,251
Referee: Craig Thomson
Aberdeen Inverness CT

Scott Vernon (81) None.

Team Managers
Derek McInnes Terry Butcher

Starting Eleven
Jamie Langfield
Joe Shaughnessy
Andrew Considine
Mark Reynolds
Michael Hector
Jonathan Hayes
Peter Pawlett
Greg Wylde
Ryan Jack
Calvin Zola
Cameron Smith
Dean Brill
Josh Meekings
Gary Warren
David Raven
Nick Ross
Graeme Shinnie
Aaron Doran
Ross Draper
James Vincent
Richie Foran
Billy Mckay

Nicky Weaver
Clark Robertson
Nicky Low
Craig Storie
Craig Murray
Scott Vernon
Josh Magennis
Ryan Esson
Daniel Devine
Carl Tremarco
Liam Polworth
Danny Williams
Ben Greenhalgh
Torbjorn Agdestein

Nicky Low -> Greg Wylde (58)
Josh Magennis -> Calvin Zola (67)
Scott Vernon -> Cameron Smith (78)
Torbjorn Agdestein for James Vincent (81)
Liam Polworth for Billy Mckay (88)

Cameron Smith (30)
Ryan Jack (59)
Michael Hector (76)
Scott Vernon (90)
Ross Draper (48)
Graeme Shinnie (75)
David Raven (79)

Red Cards
None. None.
Appearances & Goals To Date
Dean Brill (GK) 7 apps -
Josh Meekings 69 apps -
David Raven 50 apps -
Gary Warren 45 apps6 goals
Nick Ross 112 apps7 goals
Ross Draper 47 apps5 goals
Graeme Shinnie 107 apps2 goals
Aaron Doran 80 apps8 goals
James Vincent 7 apps1 goal
Billy Mckay 76 apps36 goals
Richie Foran 175 apps43 goals
Liam Polworth (sub) 8 apps -
Torbjorn Agdestein (sub) 6 apps -

Starting Lineup
Youngest Player:Aaron Doran (22 years 137 days)
Oldest Player:Graeme Shinnie (2015 years 54 days)
Average Player Age:25 years 351 days
Domestic Players:5 (45.45 % of starting eleven)

Matchday Squad
Youngest Player:Liam Polworth (18 years 349 days)
Oldest Player:Danny Williams (2015 years 54 days)
Average Player Age:25 years 273 days
Domestic Players:10 (55.56 % of matchday squad)

First Team Debuts

David Raven played his 50th major competitive game for the Club.

Sub sinks Inverness with late strike:

Inverness relinquished their unbeaten start to the season going down to a late Scott Vernon strike at Pittodrie. The second half substitution paid dividends as Vernon scored a superb goal, chesting down, swivelling, and rifling a shot beyond the outstretched arms of Dean Brill for what proved to be the winner in a tough encounter at the seaside.

Neither side dominated the game although Inverness had plenty of the ball in the second half, but one goal line clearance was not enough to earn Inverness a share of the points and the Dons just edged it in a game that had 0-0 written all over it.

AJS will have a full match report for us when he gets back down to earth...................

Reporting back to earth.....................

Once the full time went for the first time in a long time I was eager to leave. Not because I needed to pee (which I did), not because I needed a drink (I'd had plenty already). It was because I tussled with reality and had to accept that my beloved team were not unbeatable and are human just like everyone else. When you go on a run like ICT have you almost forget what its like to lose but when it finally hits you its not something you like. But the real test is shaking it off and moving on.

I'm not going to deny it. This was a poor game but Aberdeen just about deserved the 3 points and were probably the more hungry out of the two sides. ICT will be frustrated that they could not play the style of football that has been on show in recent weeks and were made to pay thanks to a shrewd move from Derek McInnes. Scott Vernon may not be the most classy of strikers in general but there was nothing average about his goal. It was a fabulous strike.

As said the game itself was far from a classic. Both sides failed to flow and lacked the quality that could have been shown, considering the names on the team sheets. It was clear from kick off that Aberdeen were the side in the early ascendancy with Hayes and Wylde stretching the play and Zola's towering presence keeping Meekings and Warren on their toes...and in the air. Chances from open play were few and it was mostly set pieces were the danger lay. The first chance of note fell to Joe Shaughessy who saw his downward header from a Hayes corner strike off his own team mate in Zola who was lurking next to Dean Brill. There was a brief scramble before Foran hooked the ball away. Peter Pawlett was next to have a go. He latched onto a stray Meekings header but saw his low effort go wide of goal.

ICT were trying to respond but were often found lacking in the final third, misplaced here, overhit there. Poor Billy was mostly looking for scraps and was often being out muscled by Reynolds and Hector. Aberdeen continued to press and Dean Brill was soon called into action. Pawlett's long pass was well controlled by Zola who laid it back to Cammy Smith, his powerful drive was parried away by Brill at his near post and from the resulting corner Considines swerving header drifted wide. Brill was again in the thick of it as he made a fabulous, fingertip save to deny Hector from another corner.

The first half was a rigid display but was not helped by a picky Craig Thomson who did not hesitate to call back play on what looked like several dubious calls for both sides.

HT: Aberdeen 0-0 ICT

The 2nd half saw ICT gather a bit more of the play and Billy McKay get their first real shot of goal. He picked up the ball out wide and cut inside but on his weaker left foot he could only strike straight at Langfield who gathered the shot with ease.

With the game going stale Derek McInnes was the first to turn to his substitutes, bringing on Josh Magennis and Scott Vernon as Aberdeen looked to gain the lead. Magennis soon came close as he charged towards the area. It took a firm challenge from Warren to stop him in his track. Warren himself then had ICT's best chance of the game. He did extremely well to get his head on Graeme Shinnie's corner. It took a big deflection off Reynolds to divert it away from Langfield and looked rather close to the goal side of the line but was hooked clear by Cammy Smith. Whether it was in or not is open to interpretation.

Billy McKay grabbed another chance to break the deadlock. Ross Draper attempted to carve an opening for himself. The ball fell to Aaron Doran whos shot was deflected out to Nick Ross. His knockdown found ICT's menacing number 7 who controlled the ball well on his chest but his acrobatic effort went high and wide.

Soon after and with only 9 minutes remaining Derek McInnes' personnel shuffle paid off when Nicky Low's high ball was flicked on by Pawlett. Vernon took it on his chest about 12 yards from goal and despite having defenders close by he showed good control and even better finishing as he turned and hammered it into the bottom right hand corner of Brill's net. Vernon had played less than an hour's football this season prior to coming on but with a finish like that he will have given his manager something to ponder.

With ICT chasing a result the efforts got more and more desperate. Toby Agdestein was brought on for a hardworking but ineffective James Vincent as high balls were fired up in search of ICT heads. It was Aberdeen who looked more likely to double the lead as Jonny Hayes marauded towards goal and found his effort with the outside of his left foot fall just wide of Brills far post.

ICT's late surge for a draw in the closing stages and with seconds remaining won a corner. Both sides were packed in Langfield's box and Doran's searching corner found Foran who's knock down found Warren lingering with intent once again. He was inches away from connection for what would have been a great chance of stealing a point but it went wide and with that the game was brought to a close.

FT: Aberdeen 1-0 ICT

To summarise:- It was a disappointing display from both teams. Too rigid, too cagey and with the players that both sides had on the pitch it certainly was not a game played at full rate. Craig Thomson did not help. I don't like criticizing referees as I appreciate they have one of the most difficult and thankless jobs in sport. But given that he is held in such high regard he did not impress me at all. Both sides were called out on soft fouls and this did not help to the lack of flow already clearly evident in the game. There were a number of challenges that merited a booking that went unpunished and ones that didn't that saw players unnecessarily booked...and this was for both sides. I'm not saying he lost us the game, not at all but it certainly did not help it as a spectacle.

In terms of what ICT need to do its maybe time to give some of the lads on the bench a run out. Aberdeen seemed to close down the space we were looking for too easily. Maybe time to shuffle things about tactically, its not like we are lacking options. One thing is for sure is that Billy needs much more support when he is on the ball. Too many times he was found isolated up top with big brutes like Hector knocking him off the ball. We were bound to lose sometime so now we have to show our metal, bounce back and build on the great foundation we have set with our early form. Starting at Dens on Tuesday.

AJS's MotM :- Dean Brill - No clean sheet for Deano but he had no chance with Vernon's goal and the score could have been more if it wasnt for some of his saves. His stop from Hector's header was terrific. I'm glad to hear the club are looking to extend his stay beyond January.

Match report written by tm4tj/AJS

Pld W D L F A +/- Pts
1. Inverness CT 7 5 1 1 12 4 8 16
2. Celtic 6 5 1 0 12 5 7 16
3. Aberdeen 7 4 1 2 10 6 4 13
4. Motherwell 6 4 0 2 6 6 0 12
5. Hibernian 7 3 2 2 7 5 2 11
6. Partick Thistle 7 2 3 2 7 8 -1 9
7. Dundee Utd 6 2 2 2 9 5 4 8
8. St. Johnstone 7 2 2 3 7 8 -1 8
9. Hearts 7 2 1 4 6 10 -4 7
10. Ross County 7 2 1 4 9 14 -5 7
11. Kilmarnock 7 0 3 4 6 10 -4 3
12. St. Mirren 6 0 1 5 2 12 -10 1