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Aberdeen goalkeeper Tom Ritchie proud to play his part in cup upset

The Aberdeen players celebrate their penalty shootout win against Arbroath.
The Aberdeen players celebrate their penalty shootout win against Arbroath.

Aberdeen goalkeeper Tom Ritchie was thrilled to emerge as the hero in his side’s shock SPFL Trust Trophy win against Arbroath.

Dick Campbell’s Championship side were sent tumbling out of the competition at the hands of a very young Aberdeen B side.

Michael Ruth’s opener for the Dons was cancelled out in stoppage time by Liam Henderson but Barry Robson’s side won 4-1 on penalties to seal their progression to the third round where they will face Hamilton Accies.

Ritchie more than played his part with a fine display during the 90 minutes before saving two penalties during the shootout to deny goalscorer Henderson and Arbroath substitute James Craigen.

The 18-year-old said: “I felt confident going into the shootout because I feel I am good at saving penalties.

“My mindset was that nobody was going to score against me.

“It paid off because I managed to guess the right way both times.

“We were doing so well in the game so it was a real kick in the teeth when they scored so late.

“But when it went to a penalty shootout I was just thinking about what a chance I’ve got to win it here.

“We knew they were a good side. We had to be on it and we were. We watched video footage of them and studied them and how they played and everything paid off.”

The young Aberdeen players celebrate an unlikely win against Championship side Arbroath.

Ritchie, who is from Elgin, was pleased to see the hard work he is putting in on the training pitch pay off against a team sitting fourth in the Championship.

The teenager, who has been with the Dons since the age of 11, has been part of the first team squad for the Dons on five occasions this season but is yet to make his top team debut for the Reds.

He said: “From the age of eight to 11 I played for Ross County. There was an Elgin side for Ross County and a Dingwall one and I was part of the Elgin one.

“Aberdeen came and watched me. They actually came to watch someone else and ended up finding me and liked what they saw.

“I got a six week trial and they signed me.

“From 11 to 16 I was in the youth academy and my mum and dad would take me to Aberdeen twice a week which was a massive commitment from them.

“I signed a pro contract when I was 16.”

He added: “Joe Lewis is amazing and so experienced and very good with the young boys and the knowledge he gives.

“Gary Woods is the same and what he and Joe can pass on to me means I can learn so much. I’ve been handed a great opportunity working with them.”

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