Lads Club Amateurs 2 – 3 Old Aberdonians
Association Trophy Second Round on Saturday 26th November at Hazlehead
Despite the mild weather and bright sunshine the Abos took to the field for their warm up wishing they had their wellies rather than their football boots. The tight, heavy pitch could have presented a problem for the away side but they were determined to impose themselves in the early stages.
With the high winds playing a part it took some time for either side to settle. Lads Club favoured a long ball game and as the passes held up in the breeze Clark did well to collect the ball despite pressure from the home side’s forwards.
The Abos began to secure more controlled possession and Henderson was making progress on the right wing. Marshall and Fraser were finding it hard to run at the Lads Club defence as the ball stuck in the mud allowing the home defenders to make the most of sliding tackles.
MacArthur and Craig realised that they could assist in attack as they failed to be put under pressure at the back. After MacArthur broke up an attack Craig picked up possession on the edge of the Lads Club penalty box and worked the ball to Wilson. The Abos captain picked out Henderson at the back post and the Tarves Telly Savalas did well to compose himself before squaring the ball to his lookalike Marshall who finished calmly giving the Abos a half-time lead.
Lads Club took control of the early stages of the second half and pinned the Abos in their own half. The wind had picked up and as the home team’s midfielders joined the attack Old Aberdonians were forced to defend for long spells. Space began to open up on the left for Russell but it became increasingly difficult to maintain possession as the pitch cut up.
Fraser and Marshall upped their work rate realising that they were unlikely to be supplied with any quality passes. “Toepoke” Fraser was rewarded for his commitment when he fought to keep the ball in to prevent a goal kick for Lads Club. Despite the protests of the ‘keeper the Abos forward forced the ball into the six yard box where it struck the hand of a Lads Club defender. The referee instantly awarded a penalty and although it appeared to be “ball to hand” it was probably the correct decision. Ashton stepped up and did well to send the keeper the wrong way while driving the ball low into the net.
The Abos appeared to be in a comfortable position but Lads Club knew they were capable of getting back into the game. They committed more men into attacking positions and when Abos’ Clark shouted for a long ball there appeared to be no danger. As the ball approached the custodian it seemed to stick in the mud and trundled through the keeper’s legs. The Lads Club striker accepted the gift to get his team back into the match.
Old Aberdonians replied in brilliant fashion when Marshall’s perseverance was rewarded. He dispossessed the Lads Club defenders before advancing into the penalty area and finishing clinically restoring a two goal cushion. Boutillier replaced Ashton in centre midfield and narrowly failed to connect with a cross after linking well with Henderson.
Lads Club continued to fight for a lifeline in the closing stages and after a fortunate ricochet the ball fell into the path of the home team’s No.9 who showed his class with a good quality finish.
The referee soon blew the final whistle to the relief of Old Aberdonians. The Abos deserved their victory on a heavy pitch which provided ideal preparation for the next round against Cove at Catto Park.
Old Aberdonians – D Clark, Munro, Russell, Craig, MacArthur, Ashton, Henderson, Cameron, Marshall, Fraser, Wilson – Subs – Boutillier (Ashton) Unused – Wyness, Good, McLennan