A fine free-kick from Aberdeen youngster Nicky Low was enough to see off Ross County at Pittodrie.

It was an explosive start from the Dons with the 21-year-old curling into the net within the opening minutes.

The expected hail of goals did not arrive though despite the home side's dominance, and Scott Vernon had a penalty saved by Michael Fraser.

County never looked like getting back on level terms as they continue to struggle near the bottom of the table.

Despite the three points it was a frustrating afternoon for Aberdeen, who for the second home game could not turn their possession into more goals.

However, the result takes them up to third in the Scottish Premiership ahead of a crucial clash with Dundee United on New Year's Day.

With Wednesday's trip to Tannadice on their minds, Derek McInnes elected to rest a couple of his men. Captain Russell Anderson was replaced by the returning Mark Reynolds, and Low made a rare start ahead of Barry Robson.

It took the young midfielder just two minutes to make an instant impact. After Stuart Kettlewell had brought down Peter Pawlett, Low stepped up and confidently and fired past Michael Fraser.

The Dons kept up the early pressure and were awarded a spot-kick when Dutchman Marc Klok knocked over Pawlett in the area. However, Vernon's right-foot shot was at the right height for Fraser and he denied the Englishman to keep County in the game.

Ross County goalkeeper Michael Fraser saves Scott Vernon's penalty

That did not shake Aberdeen's confidence and the one-way traffic continued with Vernon twice going close and Low firing just over from the corner of the box.

County survived another scare before half-time, Scott Boyd deflecting Niall McGinn's cross off his own post after good play down the left-hand side by the Northern Irishman.

Adams switched Orhan Mustafi for Gary Glen in an attempt to get more joy up front in the second half, but the hosts continued on the front foot.

But for all their possession it was a frustrating second half for the Dons.

McGinn twice fired wide and substitute Cammy Smith tested the goalkeeper, but they could not force Fraser into a real save of note.

At the other end, County never did enough to give the hosts a fright.

Lineup, Bookings (1) & Substitutions (6)

Aberdeen

  • 01 Langfield
  • 02 Shaughnessy
  • 18 Low
  • 08 Flood
  • 27 Hector
  • 06 Reynolds
  • 16 Pawlett (Smith - 77' )
  • 22 Jack (Robson - 73' )
  • 10 McGinn
  • 09 Vernon (Magennis - 84' )
  • 11 Hayes

Substitutes

  • 04 Anderson
  • 14 Smith
  • 15 Robson
  • 17 Wylde
  • 20 Weaver
  • 21 Magennis
  • 25 Shankland

Ross County

  • 20 Fraser
  • 22 Saunders (De Leeuw - 66' )
  • 03 Gordon
  • 16 Cooper (Maatsen - 80' )
  • 05 Boyd
  • 21 McLean
  • 08 Brittain
  • 18 Klok Booked
  • 09 Mustafi (Glen - 45' )
  • 04 Kettlewell
  • 23 Carey

Substitutes

  • 01 Brown
  • 06 Micic
  • 10 Quinn
  • 11 De Leeuw
  • 14 Maatsen
  • 15 Glen
  • 19 Luckassen
Ref: Calum Murray
Att: 11,602

Match Stats

Shots

12 2

On target

4 0

Corners

10 1

Fouls

6 12

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Aberdeen 1, Ross County 0.

90:00 +3:11 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Aberdeen 1, Ross County 0.

90:00 +1:53

Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Brian McLean.

90:00 +1:26

Barry Robson (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

90:00 +1:26

Foul by Brian McLean (Ross County).

90:00 +0:35

Attempt blocked. Graham Carey (Ross County) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

87:22

Attempt missed. Niall McGinn (Aberdeen) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left from a direct free kick.

86:41

Josh Magennis (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

86:41

Foul by Brian McLean (Ross County).

84:31

Attempt saved. Cameron Smith (Aberdeen) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

83:44 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Aberdeen. Josh Magennis replaces Scott Vernon.

83:29

Foul by Willo Flood (Aberdeen).

83:29

Ben Gordon (Ross County) wins a free kick on the right wing.

79:20 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Ross County. Darren Maatsen replaces Alex Cooper.

79:00

Attempt missed. Willo Flood (Aberdeen) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.

76:36 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Aberdeen. Cameron Smith replaces Peter Pawlett.

72:04 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Aberdeen. Barry Robson replaces Ryan Jack.

69:33

Joe Shaughnessy (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

69:33

Foul by Ben Gordon (Ross County).

68:31

Willo Flood (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

68:31

Foul by Alex Cooper (Ross County).

66:07

Attempt blocked. Graham Carey (Ross County) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

65:38 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Ross County. Melvin De Leeuw replaces Steve Saunders.

65:00

Marc Klok (Ross County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

64:57

Foul by Michael Hector (Aberdeen).

62:05

Attempt missed. Niall McGinn (Aberdeen) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses the top left corner.

59:51

Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Brian McLean.

58:29

Foul by Nicky Low (Aberdeen).

58:29

Graham Carey (Ross County) wins a free kick on the right wing.

57:35

Attempt missed. Nicky Low (Aberdeen) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.

55:34

Foul by Peter Pawlett (Aberdeen).

55:34

Steve Saunders (Ross County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

51:51

Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Alex Cooper.

45:00

Second Half begins Aberdeen 1, Ross County 0.

45:00 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Ross County. Gary Glen replaces Orhan Mustafi.

45:00 +0:15 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Aberdeen 1, Ross County 0.

44:43

Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Steve Saunders.

42:24

Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Steve Saunders.

41:17

Jonathan Hayes (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

41:17

Foul by Orhan Mustafi (Ross County).

28:51

Scott Vernon (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

28:51

Foul by Scott Boyd (Ross County).

28:22

Attempt missed. Willo Flood (Aberdeen) right footed shot from the right side of the box is too high.

24:57 Booking

Booking Marc Klok (Ross County) is shown the yellow card.

24:51

Peter Pawlett (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

24:51

Foul by Marc Klok (Ross County).

24:15

Corner, Ross County. Conceded by Jonathan Hayes.

21:15

Attempt missed. Scott Vernon (Aberdeen) left footed shot from the left side of the box is close, but misses to the right.

21:00

Jonathan Hayes (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

20:59

Foul by Alex Cooper (Ross County).

20:20

Foul by Joe Shaughnessy (Aberdeen).

20:20

Graham Carey (Ross County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

19:46

Mark Reynolds (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

19:46

Foul by Orhan Mustafi (Ross County).

18:43

Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Ben Gordon.

18:31

Attempt blocked. Scott Vernon (Aberdeen) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

18:05

Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Steve Saunders.

16:16

Jonathan Hayes (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

16:16

Foul by Steve Saunders (Ross County).

14:46

Attempt saved. Niall McGinn (Aberdeen) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

14:18

Attempt blocked. Ryan Jack (Aberdeen) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

13:22

Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Michael Fraser.

12:30

Penalty saved! Scott Vernon (Aberdeen) fails to capitalise on this great opportunity, right footed shot saved in the top left corner.

12:00

Penalty Aberdeen. Peter Pawlett draws a foul in the penalty area.

11:58

Penalty conceded by Marc Klok (Ross County) after a foul in the penalty area.

9:14

Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Steve Saunders.

8:47

Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Marc Klok.

4:40

Foul by Joe Shaughnessy (Aberdeen).

4:40

Graham Carey (Ross County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

1:41 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Aberdeen 1, Ross County 0. Nicky Low (Aberdeen) from a free kick with a left footed shot to the top right corner.

0:53

Scott Vernon (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

0:53

Foul by Stuart Kettlewell (Ross County).

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

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