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Young dons knocked out of SFA Youth Cup

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Aberdeen 1 v 4 Celtic


McManus 54; McGeough 8, Twardzik 43 (pen), 74 (pen) Herron 59


Aberdeen were knocked out of the SFA Youth Cup this afternoon against a strong Celtic side at Pittodrie. In a controversial match the visitors were awarded two penalties. Although Celtic deserved their victory in the end, crucially the big calls went their way.


One positive sorry today was that the U19 captain Clark Robertson, who was carried off yesterday at Easter Road, it looks like his injury is not as bad as was first feared although he is still likely to be out for a few weeks.


The Dons lined up with Lukasik in goal. Jamie Masson was at right back, Craig Duguid came into the left back spot to replace Clark Robertson. Michael Dunlop came in for Jack Grimmer and partnered Scott Rumsby in central defence. The midfield three were Devaney, Smith and Murray with Fraser and O'Neill wide and McManus up front.


In front of 600 spectators Aberdeen started brightly and Stephen O'Neill very nearly played in Declan McManus. Celtic's first attack came when Herron was able to turn and shoot but his shot was easily saved. On 8 minutes the visitors then took the lead. A simple ball down the channel let in Dylan McGeouch who rounded Lukasik before placing the ball in the net.


It was the worst possible start for the Dons. Celtic were lifted by the goal and Anthony Watt up front was causing the new look Dons central defensive partnership problems. Aberdeen had not had a competitive game since the last round of the competition in mid December so it was understandable that the boys were looking a bit rusty.


On 12 minutes McManus was almost found by O'Neill again but it just was not happening for the Dons. Lukasik had to make a good save from Herron at his near post after he had cut inside from the right. Then from the same area Lukasik saved well from a free kick.


As the half wore on the Dons slowly started to get back into the game.


On the half hour mark Ryan Fraser crossed for McManus who almost got his head on it. And then from the resulting throw in McManus was picked out in the box despite the fact he had five green jerseys round him. He turned and shot but the ball went well over. A number of his team mates were screaming for a lay off. Then Cammy Smith hit a shot from the edge of the box but the ball went into the side netting.


This was much better from the Dons. They were started to get a foot hold in the game.


McManus scores Then the first moment of controversy. A long threw ball was chased down by McManus who put pressure on Jones. The Celtic central defender clearly handed the ball in the box but the referee awarded Celtic a free kick after deciding McManus had pushed the Celtic player.


Cammy Smith was booked on 36 minutes. A poor decision by referee Spence. Being the older side Celtic were by far the physically stronger team so Smith, and the other Aberdeen creative players had to stand up for themselves.


Then on the stroke of half time the main talking point of the game. Scott Rumsby and Watt went for the ball in the box. In a 50/50 challenge Rumsby held his own and the Celtic player went to ground. Somehow the referee decided it was a penalty. A really poor decision. Filip Twardzik stepped up to take the spot kick and put Lukasik the wrong way The reaction at half time from the crowd towards the ref told the whole story.


Aberdeen came out fighting at the start of the second half


Ryan Fraser, who did not see enough of the ball in the first period started to get involved. He picked the ball up on the right and put in a good cross. The ball was just behind McManus who tried to get it. All he did was take the ball away from Smith who was coming in behind him and would have had a shot at goal.


Then on 54 minutes after some pressure a goal for Aberdeen. O'Neill's cross was cleared but it fell to Conor Devaney who put in a superb cross. McManus rose to head the ball home.


Game on! Ryan Fraser


Celtic started to wobble. Cammy Smith in midfield, who had an excellent game, started to pull the strings and Fraser and O'Neill were stating to enjoy more possession. But then just before the hour mark disaster for the young Dons.


A poor kick out by Lukasik was not dealt with. Rumsby then tried to head the ball back to the keeper but the pass back was way too short. Lukasik did well to race off his line and block two Celtic players before Duguid gave away a free kick just outside the box. From that free kick Herron scored with a header at the near post. A really poor goal from the Dons point of view.


The goal really took the sting out of the game and Aberdeen lost all the momentum they had built up. The lead meant Celtic were able to get men in behind the ball and there was no space for O'Neill and Fraser to pose a threat. Then on 74 minutes Watt went down in the box. There was no complaints this time. Twardzik scored comfortably again from the spot.


In the final quarter of the game the Dons players looked out on their feet. The lack of match action not surprisingly was having an effect. To be fair though the boys were still giving everything and thundering into tackles. Every player gave his all.

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