A superb goal from Ryan Jack helped Aberdeen to a 4-1 win against Brechin City in an entertaining friendly at Glebe Park last night.
The midfielder curled home an exquisite strike just before the interval before Niall McGinn added a second after 74 minutes.
Brechin pulled a goal back through Robert Thomson but Dons substitute Lawrence Shankland added a third for the Dons before Declan McManus headed home a fourth in the final minute.
Manager Derek McInnes would have been pleased with a professional display and two impressive debuts by goalkeeper Scott Brown and defender Ashton Taylor.
McInnes named a very strong starting XI, which included starts for captain Russell Anderson, Barry Robson and Niall McGinn in Aberdeen’s second pre-season friendly following Saturday’s 2-2 draw against St Patrick’s in Dublin.
As expected, it was the Dons who did the early pressing, but their delivery from promising areas let them down with Robson and Shaleum Logan both wasting good opportunities to test the Brechin defence.
The hosts had a chance to put Dons debutant Brown under pressure after Bobby Barr was felled on the edge of the area by Logan but the Brechin attacker’s free kick eluded everyone.
The first meaningful effort arrived a minute later when Cammy Smith rolled the ball back into the path of Adam Rooney but the Irish forward hooked his shot high and wide.
After a rather uneventful start for the supporters who had sacrificed a night of World Cup football on the box, the game suddenly sparked into life with Gary Fusco thundering an effort over the Aberdeen crossbar before Robson went close with a volley at the other end.
With 30 minutes on the clock, Rooney almost capitalised on a slip by a Brechin trialist, but his effort on goal was charged down before Robson fizzed a shot from 25 yards just wide of Graeme Smith’s post.
Aberdeen did muster a shot on target six minutes before the break, but Rooney’s header from a Jonny Hayes cross was comfortably gathered by Graeme Smith.
A fairly low-key first period ended with a stunning goal to break the deadlock when Jack collected the ball 25 yards from goal and curled a delightful effort into the top corner beyond the despairing Smith.
The Dons shuffled their pack at the interval with Willo Flood, Peter Pawlett and debutant Taylor introduced and Considine, Anderson and Smith making way.
McInnes’ side made a positive start to the second half with Rooney going close to doubling the advantage with a header from a Logan cross.
The Dons were stroking the ball around with authority around a tiring Brechin side and almost netted an excellent team goal which culminated with Rooney sliding the ball wide after some superb movement from the visitors.
Robson almost managed to better Jack’s sublime effort when he chipped the ball over the head of Craig Molloy before unleashing a powerful, dipping volley which flew just over the crossbar.
The Dons supporters in attendance would have been impressed by Taylor’s first few contributions in the centre of defence alongside Reynolds, winning challenges and keeping possession well.
Rooney’s frustrations continued after 66 minutes when he headed over from Jack’s cross before Aberdeen’s profligacy haunted them once again as Pawlett fired wide from an acute angle when he should have at least tested Smith.
The Dons finally got the second goal their play deserved after 74 minutes when Jack threaded Rooney through on goal who tried unsuccessfully to go round Smith. But when the loose ball fell to McGinn, the Northern Ireland international chipped the ball over the goalkeeper and into the unguarded net.
Brechin pulled a goal back four minutes later when substitute Thomson was afforded too much space on the edge of the area and thundered the ball past Brown with the aid of the post.
But it did not take long for the Dons to restore their two-goal advantage when substitute Shankland, who had been on the park for less than four minutes, slotted the ball beyond Smith.
And fellow substitute McManus put the icing on the cake when he added a fourth in the final minute, heading home a Craig Murray cross to complete an excellent evening’s work.