Shay Logan’s late goal settled a tense Scottish Cup tie in Aberdeen’s favour as the Dons secured their place in tomorrow’s quarter-final draw courtesy of a 1-0 win at Victoria Park.
The Dons deserved their win but it looked like Scott Fox’s series of fine saves were going to earn County a replay.
Ross County manager Jim McIntyre made two changes to the side which drew with Rangers at Ibrox last weekend with Michael Gardyne and Jay McEveley replacing Milan Lalkovic, who dropped to the bench, and Jason Naismith who was cup-tied.
The Dons were unchanged for the eighth game in a row in what was the first meeting of the sides in any cup competition.
Martin Woods headed over for County but it was the Dons who went on to dominate the first half with Niall McGinn forcing Scott Fox into making a fine fingertip save from his dipping 20 yard half volley.
McEveley almost gifted the Dons the opener at the start of the second half when he was caught in possession by McGinn but the Northern Ireland international’s shot lacked power and was easily held by Fox.
The County goalkeeper, however, soon found himself much busier as he had to turn away a fierce drive from Dons captain Ryan Jack and a low curling effort from Jonny Hayes.
The Staggies goal was leading a charmed life and County were cut open again when Adam Rooney’s cross somehow found its way through to Graeme Shinnie but his shot was deflected wide.
From the resulting corner Fox made another save to deny Andy Considine with Ashton Taylor’s attempt to fire home the rebound blocked.
It looked like the County goalkeeper’s one-man show would earn his side a replay but the Dons were not to be denied and the breakthrough came three minutes from the end from the unlikeliest of sources.
Shay Logan was the man to get it, the defender collecting a long ball out right before cutting inside and whipping in a low curling left footed effort which beat everyone, including Fox, before nestling in off the goalkeeper’s right post.