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Humiliated Aberdeen suffer worst result in club’s proud 120-year history with 1-0 Scottish Cup defeat at Darvel

Darvel scorer Jordan Kirkpatrick is mobbed by teammates after making it 1-0 against Aberdeen. Image: SNS
Darvel scorer Jordan Kirkpatrick is mobbed by teammates after making it 1-0 against Aberdeen. Image: SNS

Aberdeen crashed to the worst defeat in the club’s proud 120-year history when losing 1-0 at minnows Darvel.

Embarrassed in Ayrshire, this is arguably the biggest cup shock in Scottish football, ever.

The question now is whether manager Jim Goodwin can survive this dark, dark day for the Dons.

Darvel are in the West of Scotland Football League Premier Division, the sixth tier of Scottish football.

The part-timers made a mockery of that five-league gap as they sent the Reds crashing out the Scottish Cup.

Pressure was already intense on Goodwin prior to this shocker after a return of just one win in eight games since the winter break.

That will intensify even further and chairman Dave Cormack was at Recreation Park to witness the humiliation.

The 700 travelling Aberdeen fans made their frustration, and anger, blatantly clear at full-time.

Aberdeen Manager Jim Goodwin during a Scottish Cup Fourth Round match between Darvel and Aberdeen at Recreation Park, on January 23, 2023, in Darvel, Scotland. Image: SNS

New depths

Aberdeen were thumped 5-0 at Hearts on Saturday and Goodwin threw the adjectives at it – “humiliating, pathetic, embarrassing and unacceptable”.

Just three days later, the Reds sank further depths.

The Dons’ history is strewn with embarrassing cup shocks, Stenhousemuir (1995), East Fife (2011) and Queens Park (2006). This blows them all away.

Darvel away had all the ingredients for a banana skin – an evening kick-off live on BBC Scotland, at a compact ground against fired up part-timers in the biggest game in their club’s history.

Plus, an entire Darvel community united in the bid to cheer their side to one of the biggest shocks in Scottish football history.

Aberdeen Chairman Dave Cormack during the Scottish Cup tie at Darvel. Image: SNS

The local shops and school were adorned with flags ,bunting and messages of support for Darvel.

Aberdeen needed to be equally fired up. They weren’t.

Darvel wanted the win more and deserved their home clash in the next round against Falkirk.

Darvel spent £50,000 getting their ground ready for the tie and embraced the romance of the Scottish Cup.

The East Ayrshire town, population just 3,900, turned it into a nightmare for Aberdeen.

Darvel shock Dons with opening goal

Aberdeen handed a first start to January signing Patrik Myslovic with teenager Ryan Duncan also coming into the starting line.

It was to be a debut start to forget as Slovakian U21 international Myslovic was substituted at half-time.

Captain Anthony Stewart returned from suspension.

January signing Graeme Shinnie and leading scorer Bojan Miovski both dropped to the bench.

Summer signing Callum Roberts also ended six months of injury hell by being named on the Dons bench.

He had been ruled out with a hamstring injury since August.

Ryan Duncan tried to get the Dons going.  Image: SNS

With no back-up keeper, goalkeeping coach Craig Samson, born and raised in Darvel, was on the bench.

Joe Lewis started his second successive game due to an injury to Kelle Roos.

The game was played on superb surface and Aberdeen threatened first when Duncan’s right-footed shot from a tight angle flew just wide.

In the 12th minute, Craig Truesdale fired in a right-footed drive from the left side of the box that Lewis blocked.

Jordan Kirkpatrick is mobbed by teammates after making it 1-0 Darvel against Aberdeen. Image: SNS

Darvel then stunned Aberdeen with the opener in the 19th minute. Ylber Ramadani was outmuscled and brushed aside on the left flank by Truesdale. His cross was poorly headed clear at the back post by Hayden Coulson.

The ball was quickly recycled by William Robertson to Jordan Kirkpatrick who fired in low and left footed from 12 yards beyond Lewis at the near post.

Kirkpatrick played under Goodwin at Alloa Athletic. He ramped the pressure on his former gaffer when his shot crossed the line.

Aberdeen have not won, or drawn, a game they have gone behind this season. The omens were not good.

In the 33rd minute, Stewart headed over from 10 yards as Aberdeen struggled to impose themselves on the tie.

Darvel were looking like the Premiership team, not Aberdeen, as Robertson was allowed the time to fire a long range drive at goal in the 38th minute.

His 25-yard effort flew just wide.

Jordan Kirkpatrick scores to make it 1-0 Darvel against Aberdeen. Image: SNS

Half-time: Darvel 1 Aberdeen 0

Aberdeen boss Goodwin made a double switch at half-time in a bid to prevent a humiliating cup exit.

Miovski and Vicente Besuijen were introduced with Kennedy and Myslovic replaced.

Besuijen threatened in the 53rd minute when firing a 25-yard drive inches over the bar.

Moments later, keeper Chris Truesdale blocked a low 10-yard drive from Duncan.

Aberdeen substitute Jonny Hayes called for a penalty in the 66th minute as his cross appeared to hit an arm.

However, there was no VAR at this tie, and the referee waved play on.

The Dons were showing more purpose and hunger.

In the 72nd minute, keeper Truesdale made a great stop to deny Miovski from close range.

Aberdeen had the ball in the net moments later when Miovski converted a cross from Leighton Clarkson.

The goal was chalked off for offside – it appeared harsh on the Dons.

Yet again keeper Truesdale produced another superb save when blocking from Duk in the 81st minute as Aberdeen failed to find the goal to save their blushes… and potentially their manager.

ABERDEEN (4-2-3-1): Lewis 5; McCrorie 2, Stewart 2, Scales 2, Coulson 2 (Hayes 65); Myslovic 2 (Miovski 46), Ramadani 2; Duncan 5 (Roberts 80), Clarkson 5, Kennedy 3 (Besuijen 46); Duk 4.

Subs not used: Samson, Shinnie, Barron, Watkins,, Richardson.

DARVEL (4-3-3): Chris Truesdale 8; Meechan 7, Eadie 7, Meggatt 7, McGowan 7; McShane 8, Robertson 7 (Stirling 60), Caldwell 7 (Reilly 74); Kirkpatrick 7 (Ferguson 69), Mackenzie 7 (Moore 73), Craig Truesdale 8.

Subs not used: Avci, Allan, Syme, Miller,  Morrison.

Referee: David Munro

Man of the match:  Craig Truesdale (Darvel)