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Aberdeen come from behind to end 2021 with victory against Dundee

Ryan Hedges celebrates his equaliser against Dundee
Ryan Hedges celebrates his equaliser against Dundee

Aberdeen got the bounce back win manager Stephen Glass craved but it was hard not to feel for Dundee as the Dons came from behind to go into the winter break with a 2-1 victory at Pittodrie.

A positive Covid test robbed Dundee of five players for the trip to Pittodrie and the lack of options proved pivotal in the second half as Dons boss Glass’ changes gave Aberdeen the fresh impetus they needed to overcome their stubborn opponents.

Aberdeen were worth their win at Pittodrie which takes them back into the top six of the Premiership heading into the break.

But Dundee will consider themselves unfortunate to see the efforts of their threadbare squad count for nothing in the Granite City.

Dons boss Glass made three changes from the side which lost 1-0 at Hibernian in midweek with Declan Gallagher, Jay Emmanuel-Thomas and Dean Campbell all dropping to the bench.

Calvin Ramsay returned at right back, Ross McCrorie was also back in after missing the Easter Road loss due to suspension and Teddy Jenks also came into the starting 11.

Dundee, who failed in a bid to have the game postponed due to the positive test, named goalkeeper Harry Sharp as an outfield player on the bench while 40-year-old assistant manager Dave Mackay also registered as a player to take a place on the bench.

Dark Blues boss James McPake made four changes from the side which lost 1-0 to Hearts with Ryan Sweeney, Jordan Marshall, Corey Panter and Alex Jakubiak all handed standing berths as Christie Elliott, Paul McMullan, Max Anderson and Danny Mullen dropped out.

Dundee may have been down to the bare bones in terms of personnel available but their starting line-up was competitive.

It took just seven minutes for the Dark Blues to show how competitive they were.

Leigh Griffiths celebrates making it 1-0 to Dundee at Pittodrie.

The visitors were awarded a free kick 30 yards from goal after Leigh Griffifths went down following a challenge from Ross McCrorie.

The on-loan Celtic attacker dusted himself down before firing the resulting dead ball opportunity past Dons goalkeeper Joe Lewis in stunning fashion.

Aberdeen’s response was swift and they were back on level terms within five minutes.

Ryan Hedges was the creator and finisher, playing a one-two with Jenks before driving into the box and firing past Adam Legzdins to make it 1-1.

Ryan Hedges scores to make it 1-1.

Those among the 500 hardy souls permitted entry would have hoped for more goals to help keep them warm in the freezing conditions but they goalfest did not materialise.

The remainder of the first half consisted of the Dons having more possession but restricted to long range efforts from Hedges and Ramsay, both of which went over the crossbar.

The only time Legzdins was called into action for the visitors was to deal with two testing corner deliveries from Ramsay into the six yard box but the goalkeeper punched the ball away on both occasions.

Aberdeen goalkeeper Lewis, on his 250th appearance for the club, did not even have that as Dundee struggled to get within shooting distance following their early opener.

The Dons emerged with a real sense of urgency for the second half and Christian Ramirez saw a header turned away for a corner as his appeal his effort had been blocked by a Dundee hand was dismissed.

The home side went close again as Hedges saw his 20 yard effort parried by Legzdins.

Connor McLennan was sent on for Jenks before Niall McGinn replaced the injured Marley Watkins and the changes finally brought the goal the home side craved.

Aberdeen’s Marley Watkins was unable to continue after receiving treatment.

McLennan’s low cross was knocked into the path of Lewis Ferguson by Ramirez and the midfielder’s powerful drive beat Legzdins to give the Dons a deserved lead.

Aberdeen pushed for a third goal to kill the game and McCrorie had a great chance when a free kick fell invitingly for him but the defender blazed his effort over the crossbar.

ABERDEEN (4-3-3) – Lewis 6, Ramsay (Campbell 81) 6, McCrorie 7, Bates 6, Hayes 6, Ojo 6, Ferguson 7, Jenks (McLennan 57) 6, Hedges 7, Ramirez 6, Watkins (McGinn 79) 6. Subs not used – Woods, Gallagher, Emmanuel-Thomas, Samuels.

DUNDEE (5-3-2) – Legzdins 6, Kerr 6, Marshall 5, Fontaine 6, Sweeney 6, McGhee 6, Jakubiak 7, McGowan 6, McCowan 6, Panter 6, Griffiths 6. Subs not used – Lawlor, Sharp, Lamb, Mackay.

Referee – Nick Walsh 6.

Attendance – 500

Man of the match – Ryan Hedges.

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