On Wednesday I made the long trek up to Aberdeen for the second time this season, with both games being played midweek. Brian Rice’s men were thrashed by Rangers on Sunday and the Hamilton boss said he was demanding a reaction from his side for the midweek clash. In both games this against the Dons this season, Accies have been soundly beaten 3-0 on both occasions. The South Lanarkshire side haven’t won at Pittodrie since 2010, where they ran out 3-1 winners.
Although Accies fans didn’t expect much from the game, Aberdeen’s recent home record has been horrendous, winning just one of their last seven at home. This includes failing to beat League One side Stenhousemuir in the Scottish Cup and also bottom of the league St Mirren. These stats definitely made me more confident of potentially getting a point.
Dons boss, Derek McInnes made two changes from their 2-0 win in Perth last Saturday. Scott McKenna returned to the squad to replace former Accies man, Michael Devlin in defence while Niall McGinn played in place of Gary Mackay-Steven on the wing. There was also a place for new signing Greg Halford on the bench.
Brian Rice knew that Accies got over-run in midfield on Sunday so made two changes that everyone thought he would make. Scott Martin and Alex Gogic played in midfield with just one striker up-front this time around. Matthew Kilgallon wasn’t in the squad so Delphin Tshiembe made his first start since playing at Tynecastle on Boxing Day, nearly 3 months ago.
Accies were well and truly up for this and started the game the much better side. They were non-stop attacking but its fair to say the hosts were poor. On the 6th minute Accies won themselves a corner which was delivered in by Tony Andreu. The in-swinging corner evaded everyone before trickling out of play at the back-post. One little touch would have probably seen the visitors lead. Aberdeen’s first real effort of the game came on the 16th minute completely against the run of play. The Dons broke free down the left with Niall McGinn. He cut it back to Connor McLennan, who unselfishly played it to Graeme Shinnie but his tame effort was saved by the legs of Gary Woods.
Hamilton came close to breaking the deadlock on the 18th minute. Mickel Miller was causing Andrew Considine all sort of problems down the left. A long ball was brilliantly flicked on by George Oakley into the path of the Englishman, who raced by Considine before running into the box, cutting onto his preferred left-foot and having a shot at goal which was fantastically saved by Joe Lewis. The next chance came for the hosts and this time they were inches away from opening the scoring. Once again McGinn beat Aaron McGowan on the right before his cross to Greg Stewart came back off the far-post. It was a good end-to-end game of football.
The small and loyal travelling support were sent wild after the visitors took the lead in quite unbelievable fashion. A long ball forward by captain Darian MacKinnon found Oakley. He shrugged off Considine before firing a dipping half-volley into the far corner from the tightest of angles. It has been described as the ” Marco Van Basten” in reference to the volley the striker scored against Soviet Union back in the 1988 Euro final for Netherlands. The goal will certainly be in the top three goals of the season.
Sam Cosgrove has been one of the best players in the league this season and has been deadly infront of goal all season. The striker had been having a quiet night until he spurned a great opportunity to level the game. A cross from McLennan found Cosgrove who side-footed his first time volley over the bar.
Hamilton had to sit tight for the final five or so minutes left of the first half as the home side were seriously pushing for an equaliser. Aberdeen were only denied a first-half stoppage time goal by a great save by Woods in the Hamilton net. The ball was switched out to Stewart on the wing. He beat Scott Martin before his teasing cross was met by the head of Cosgrove, but his powerful header was brilliantly tipped around the post by the out-stretched arm of Woods.
Half time- Aberdeen 0-1 Hamilton
The second half had a lot to live up to as I’m sure Derek McInnes would have had a few things to address with his side during the break . Also the home fans were booing as Bobby Madden blew his whistle for half-time
I’m sure that most Accies fans (including myself) would have still gladly taken a point at 1-0 up. The Dons started the better half than they did the first and went close after 48 minutes. Everything the Dons had created so far had came from McGinn so it was no surprise to see him involved again when his cross found Considine who knocked it down for Cosgrove, but there was Delphin Tshiembe to clear if off the line.
I was left speechless on the 59th minute when Accies doubled their advantage. Aberdeen shot themselves in the foot by cheaply losing possession but it was a brilliant challenge by Lenny Sowah to win back the ball. Oakley picked up the loose ball before sliding it into Sowah. His cut back fell to Miller who tapped home into the Aberdeen net before running over to celebrate with the 36 travelling Hamilton fans. What a moment it was.
The home fans were beginning to get very restless with their side who continued to squander numerous opportunity’s . The next chance missed was from Considine, who was having a nightmare all night. McGinn twisted and turned his way into the box before his chip into the penalty area was completely missed by the Aberdeen defender. People may say Aberdeen were poor but credit also has to be given to the visitors who were defending very well.
On the 85th minute McLennan showed some excellent footwork to evade challenges from Imrie and McGowan but his shot sailed well wide of the post, which pretty much summed up the Dons evening.
What a night, what a performance and what a result. I wont forget this one for a while.
Full Time- Aberdeen 0-2 Hamilton
Lewis, Ball(76), Considine, McKenna, Lowe(18), Ferguson, Shinnie, McLennan, Stewart, McGinn, Cosgrove
Subs- Cerny, Devlin(18), Halford, Gleeson, Campbell, Ross, May(76)
Woods, McGowan, Gordon, Tshiembe, Sowah, Martin(90), MacKinnon(53), Andreu(90), Gogic, Miller, Oakley
Subs- Marsden, Penny(90), Imrie(53), Mimnaugh, Smith, Boyd, McMillan(90)
Referee- Bobby Madden
Assistants – Alastair Mather & Andy Milne
Fourth Official- Grant Irvine
Attendance- 12,468 (36 Away)
Goals- Oakley(34), Miller(59)
Yellow Cards- Considine(14), McGowan(63), Miller(90)
Red Cards- 0