Aberdeen striker Bruce Anderson proved the difference between the two sides at the Highland Football Academy with his first half goal giving the Dons a 1-0 win in Dingwall.
Richard Brittain’s side made the stronger start of the two teams, controlling possession with Dylan Dykes co-ordinating the majority of the play. Two early chances came County’s way, the first for Ryan Dow who shot narrowly wide from a tight angle. The second again involved Dow, as he played in captain Ross MacIver who saw his shot fly just past the near post.
As the half went on Dons grew more and more into the game, and the deadlock was broken just after the half hour mark by the visitors. Connor McLennan played in striker Bruce Anderson who calmly slotted past an onrushing Ross Munro into the corner.
Minutes after the goal the home side were right back at them, with Greg Morrison and Harry Paton both having great chances to pull the game level. Just before the first half ended Morrison was involved again, hitting the post after latching onto a long through ball from Tom Kelly.
The half ended with County very much in the game, the only difference being the away side had taken one of the few chances they had whilst The Staggies had been profligate in front of goal.
The second half was a very tight affair with neither side being put under any sustained pressure. The Dons did have a great chance to kill the game on the hour but Anderson couldn’t double his goal tally for the day, shooting wide with the goal at his mercy after latching onto a Munro clearance.
MacIver had a late chance to equalise for County, but saw his net-bound header brilliantly saved by David Craddock, who hadn’t been forced into a big stop such as that for the duration of the game.
Staggies Reserve Team Manager, Richie Brittain, described the result as ‘‘disappointing’’ and felt they should have got more from the game.
It’s a quick turnaround for the Reserves as they face Invergordon on Wednesday in the North of Scotland Cup, before they head to Lesser Hampden to face Partick Thistle in the league next week.
Ross County – Munro, Kelly, McCourt (Reid 82), Johnstone, Murray, Dykes, Dingwall, Paton, Morrison, Dow (Wallace 45), MacIver (C).
Unused subs – Williams (GK), Fraser, MacDonald, Noel, Trialist.
Aberdeen Reserves – Craddock, Harrington, MacKenzie, Campbell (C), Trialist (Robertson 74), Roscoe, McLennan (E Ross 60), Virtanen, Anderson, Brown (Dangana 90), Antoniazzi (Duncan 60).
Unused subs – Alexander, Linden, Mair (GK).
Ross County – Johnstone 71, McCourt 77.
Aberdeen – MacKenzie 44, Anderson 77, Robertson 90.
Referee – Harry Bruce
Assistants – Stephen McDade & John Nicolson.
Match report: Ross Barnett