Scottish Premier League - Saturday 2nd October 2010
Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
A DISASTROUS afternoon in the Highlands saw Aberdeen head home on the wrong end of a 2-0 scoreline. A thoroughly uninspired performance was bad enough but the day went from bad to worse when Michael Paton was shown a straight red card for an alleged stamp, and a serious injury concern for Mitch Megginson following an assault from Tokely completed the Reds misery; the day going from worse to... worser.
Aberdeen actually started the match well, and were on the front foot right away, Vernon almost breaking through inside 10 seconds! The Dons then thought they had taken the lead in the third minute when Young sent a free kick into the box from the right and Diamond rose highest to head past the keeper into the net. Celebrations were cut short though by a marginal offside decision.
Rooney had a chance a minute later when McArdle slipped, but Howard was equal to the striker’s effort from the edge of the box. Another chance for Aberdeen in the seventh minute, when a great cross from Mackie was headed just over by Vernon. Odhiambo was put through on goal after 10 minutes, but just as he was about to pull the trigger Ifil managed to get back and put in a vital challenge.
Mackie went close in the 13th minute, cutting inside from the wing and unleashing a powerful shot from the edge of the D, which the keeper saved well. Inverness then took the lead in the 19th minute. Hayes ran down the right and put in a cross which to everyone’s surprise sailed over Howard’s head into the top corner. An outrageous piece of luck, but 1-0 to the home side.
Odhiambo could have made it two in the 21st minute, heading well wide when he should have done better. After a lively start, the game then died down for a period. Folly went into the book in the 37th minute after a foul on Foran. McArdle followed suit on 42 minutes for a late challenge on Ross, as the Dons endured a frustrating end to the half.
Two minutes into the second half, an error from Ifil allowed Rooney in, but luckily the striker sliced his effort wide when he should have at least hit the target. A speculative Considine effort from 35 yards flew comfortably wide in the 49th minute. Paton then came on for Young in the 51st minute. A half chance fell Aberdeen’s way in the 56th minute. Paton did some good work wide on the right; his cross looked to be too hard but did fall for Mackie. The striker failed to control the ball however and Caley cleared. Magennis was then replaced by Megginson, however neither Dons sub would finish the game.
In the 59th minute a Caley free-kick from 30 yards was fired straight into the wall. A minute later a hanging cross was headed just wide by Mackie. In the 61st minute Megginson found Paton with a great cross, but Esson held on to Paton’s header. Then, just as Aberdeen were building some momentum, it was 2-0. A long punt up the park from Esson looked routine for Diamond, until he inexplicably tried to chest it back to his keeper, letting Rooney in to poke past Howard into the net.
In the 66th minute, a cross from McArdle was nearly turned into his own net by Hayes, the ball flying over the bar. Moments later Aberdeen were down to 10 men. Paton was tackled by Hayes, and as he struggled to regain his balance, trod on the Caley Thistle man. The referee adjudged this to be a stamp and showed the substitute a straight red. Scott Leitch was spoken to in the aftermath, the bench clearly furious at the decision.
A lunge on Megginson by Tokely left the youngster in a heap on the floor in the 73rd minute. As Megginson received lengthy treatment, Tokely was shown just a yellow card. Megginson was eventually stretchered off and replaced by Jarvis, making his debut.
Mackie had a fantastic opportunity to salvage some dignity for his side in the 82nd minute. The Dons number 10 nipped in front of Munro, but under pressure and off balance couldn’t direct his shot on target. Inverness saw out the remaining minutes with ease as Aberdeen slumped to their second consecutive defeat.
A bad day at the office indeed then. This was a game where everything that could have gone wrong, did go wrong for the Dons. Further defensive frailty, along with Megginson’s injury and Paton’s suspension gives the supporters plenty to worry about over the international break.
It could have been oh so different had Diamond’s early header not been chopped off, but Aberdeen got exactly what they deserved out of the game. This was a really poor performance, reminiscent of last season, but hopefully just a one off. The players' reaction to conceding was particularly similar to last season, and in that respect, Hartley was missed today. Once again though, the international break may have come at a good time. Hopefully a few of the lads will be back from injury in time to face Hearts, in what looks like being a hugely important game.
Danny McKay won RedTV's Junior Reporter competition: click here
Aberdeen-Mad - written by the fans for the fans. Together we can make a difference.