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Aberdeen draw 1-1 with Premiership leaders Rangers but left frustrated at referee call

Aberdeen's Ryan Hedges appeals after a collision with Rangers' Allan McGregor when the game was 0-0.
Aberdeen's Ryan Hedges appeals after a collision with Rangers' Allan McGregor when the game was 0-0.

Aberdeen served notice that they aim to be on the rise in 2022 by holding Premiership leaders Rangers to a 1-1 draw.

There will be a a sense of frustration and fury within the Dons camp that they didn’t secure three points.

The Reds were left raging after being denied a penalty in the 20th minute when Ryan Hedges was poleaxed by keeper Allan McGregor.

To Aberdeen’s dismay instead of receiving a spot kick referee Kevin Clancy waved play-on and Rangers raced upfield and scored 20 second later.

For the second game in succession against Rangers a controversial refereeing decision has been costly for Aberdeen.

Stephen Glass’ Dons were 2-1 up at Ibrox in October only to be denied a win by a soft late Rangers penalty.

Referee Clancy did eventually get a spot-kick call right when awarding a penalty for handball in the second half- which Lewis Ferguson converted.

Aberdeen had not beaten Rangers at Pittodrie since James Maddison curled in a memorable last minute free-kick to win 2-1 in September 2016.

They came close to ending that drought with a performance that will give Aberdeen fans optimism for the second half of the season.

Rangers’ Glen Kamara (left) tussles with Aberdeen captain Scott Brown at Pittodrie.

Ahead of kick-off reports emerged that Serie A Cagliari were keen on landing Aberdeen midfielder Ferguson on loan until the end of the season.

Their plan is reportedly to have an obligation-to-buy clause of around £3.5m, if the club avoid relegation from the Italian top flight.

Why would Aberdeen consider anything so balanced against them? It would be a lose -lose.

Lose a Scotland international that makes your team tick. Then roll the dice on cashing in on if they stay up or not.

Contracted to Aberdeen until 2024 penalty hero Ferguson will inevitably leave Aberdeen – but it will be to a club who tables a far more attractive deal.

Ferguson netted the vital equaliser against Rangers, for his ninth of the season.

Influential midfielder Ferguson was at the heart of the opening chance when he cut inside a pass from the right flank centrally to Teddy Jenks in the seventh minute.

Jenks took a touch and then unleashed a powerful 22-yard drive that cracked the outside of the post and went wide.

Fans return to stadia across the with the Red Army packing out  Pittodrie against Rangers.

Moments later Jenks fired in a low 25-yard strike that keeper Allan McGregor dived to save.

Teenager Jenks was the only one of three players secured on loan from the English Premier League in the summer to remain at Pittodrie.

Matty Longstaff (Newcastle) and Austin Samuels (Wolves) were both sent back to their parent clubs early.

Brighton midfielder Jenks remained and on the basis of his performance against Rangers it was the right call.

Aberdeen were left furious following a frantic 30 second period of play.

Hedges raced onto a long diagonal pass from Jonny Hayes and tried to lift the ball over the advancing McGregor only to be clattered by the keeper just inside the box.

McGregor made a genuine attempt to go for the ball but there was contact and it should have been a penalty.

Aberdeen’s Ryan Hedges appeals after a collision with Rangers’ Allan McGregor

To the dismay of the Dons referee Clancy waved play on.

Aberdeen’s raging sense of injustice intensified when Rangers immediately broke up field from that incident and scored.

Former Aberdeen winger Scott Wright switched play to find Ryan Kent who pinged a cross from the left to the near post.

Ianis Hagi raced in between centre-backs David Bates and Ross McCrorie to side-foot home from six yards.

It was harsh on the Dons who had been the better team – but it should have been defended better.

Rangers’ Ianis Hagi celebrates with James Tavernier after making it 1-0 against Rangers.

In the immediate aftermath of the goal a flare was thrown onto the pitch from within the Rangers supporters in the South Stand.

When the culprit is caught a life ban from Scottish football grounds needs to be issued.

Teenage right-back Calvin Ramsay whipped in an enticing cross from the flank that swerved and spun inches wide of McGregor’s far post in the 38th minute.

Half-time: Aberdeen 0 Rangers 1

Early in the second half a free-kick from Jonny Hayes on the left was headed clear as far as Scott Brown.

The ball dropped to the Dons skipper but he blasted well over from 18 yards.

Moments later Brown again had a decent chance when he met a Calvin Ramsay corner kick delivery but headed over from 12 yards.

Referee Clancy did get a penalty call right in the 73rd minute when a corner kick from Hayes met Ferguson who headed at goal.

His effort hit Alfredo Morelos’ hand. Ferguson calmly slotted home the deserved leveller.

In the 74th minute teen sensation Ramsay was taken off with what appeared to be an injury.

Keeper Joe Lewis produced a superb diving save in the 84th minute to push a 22 yard Morelos volley wide.

A moment later Rangers were reduced to 10 men when Kent received a second yellow for a late challenge on Brown.

Full-time: Aberdeen 1 Rangers 1

ABERDEEN (4-2-3-1): Lewis 7; Hayes 7, Bates 7, McCrorie 7, Ramsay 7 (Campbell 74),  Brown 8, Ferguson 8, Jenks 7, Ojo 6 (McLennan 70), Hedges 7, Ramirez 7.

Subs: Woods, Gallagher, McGinn, Emmanuel-Thomas, McGeouch,  Barron, Kennedy.

RANGERS (4-3-3): McGregor 6, Barisic 6, Sands 6, Goldson 7, Tavernier 7, Bassay 6, Kamara 6, Hagi 6, Kent 7,  Morelos 6 (Itten 90), Wright 6 (Lundstrum 65)

Subs: McLaughlin,  Simpson, Bacuna, Balgun, Sakala Jr, McCann, King.

Referee: Kevin Clancy 5

Man of the Match: Scott Brown


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