Scottish Premiership
AberdeenAberdeen1Ross CountyRoss County0

Aberdeen 1-0 Ross County

By Scott DavieBBC Scotland at Pittodrie

Aberdeen moved nine points clear in the race for second place in the Premiership thanks to the poacher's instincts of top scorer Adam Rooney.

The striker netted his 17th goal of the season, touching in after an error from Ross County defender Andrew Davies.

Rooney twice drew saves from Scott Fox with overhead kicks and fluffed a good first-half chance in front of goal.

County created some good openings but Aberdeen were not threatened after going ahead on 69 minutes.

The visitors spent the majority of the first half defending for their lives as Aberdeen played with their usual tempo going forward, if not their usual penetration.

A large slice of the credit for that goes to the Staggies manager Jim McIntyre who set up with three central defenders supported by Jason Naismith on the right and Michael Gardyne on the other flank.

It left the home side struggling to create much in the way of clear cut opportunities with a long range Kenny McLean shot and a spectacular Rooney overhead effort all that troubled Fox before the break.

The Highlanders only threatened on the occasional counter-attack but they still made and missed the two best chances in the opening period and given the position they are in their small band of travelling supporters must have feared the worst.

Captain Davies should have done better than steer a free header wide of the target from 12 yards after being picked out by a Martin Woods corner then Alex Schalk's free kick caused Joe Lewis problems.

The Dons goalkeeper could only parry the Dutchman's dipping effort from just outside the box but Craig Curran sent the loose ball soaring over the crossbar while Davies passed up another good headed chance in the second half.

Adam Rooney knocked the goal in from close range
Rooney knocked the only goal in from close range

If the County captain felt bad about those, it was nothing compared to how he was feeling when Rooney finally made the breakthrough.

The defender should have dealt comfortably with McLean's diagonal ball into the penalty area but a real hash of an attempted clearance only knocked the ball into Rooney's path and the striker helped the ball home from close range.

Fox then made scrambling saves from Rooney and McGinn to prevent things getting worse.

The Staggies have gone 11 games without a clean sheet which shows where the problem lies but they lacked a bit of luck as well as experienced stopper Paul Quinn had to be replaced at the interval.

Results elsewhere mean County cannot afford to feel sorry for themselves if they are going to haul themselves away from relegation trouble since they have managed one win and just four points from the last eight matches and they face a trip to Tynecastle on Wednesday.

Aberdeen are at Hamilton 24 hours prior to that and they have shown in this run of 10 wins in 11 games that they can get positive results even when not at the top of their game and second place is now there's to lose.

What the managers said

Aberdeen's Derek McInnes: "For me, there's no doubt we deserved to win but it was difficult to get any flowing rhythm and the pitch didn't help as my players deserve a better surface than they got today.

"I was delighted for Adam Rooney to get his goal as he is always on the move looking for those sort of chances from any sort of mistakes and he does that time and time again.

"We have had a couple of good weekends with the teams around us not winning but we won't take anything for granted when it comes to second place.

"It was great to get another win and another clean sheet to keep the run going but there is a lot of football to be played yet."

Ross County's Jim McIntyre: "It was a difficult one for us to take. That's the way it has been falling for us lately by losing late goals in games. The players were magnificent but that one mistake has cost us.

"We limited them to very little while creating good chances ourselves that we just didn't take but our organisation was good and I can't fault the effort and determination.

"If we keep showing those qualities then we will be fine as we have just been punished for a wee mistake here and there but we will lick our wounds and get ready for Hearts on Wednesday."

Line-ups

Aberdeen

Formation 4-4-1-1

  • 1Lewis
  • 2Logan
  • 5Taylor
  • 6ReynoldsBooked at 27minsSubstituted forStoreyat 58'minutes
  • 4Considine
  • 10McGinnSubstituted forO'Connorat 79'minutes
  • 22Jack
  • 3Shinnie
  • 11HayesSubstituted forPawlettat 86'minutes
  • 7McLean
  • 9Rooney

Substitutes

  • 8Christie
  • 15O'Connor
  • 16Pawlett
  • 25Alexander
  • 26Wright
  • 27Ross
  • 39Storey

Ross County

Formation 4-4-1-1

  • 1Fox
  • 3Naismith
  • 15Davies
  • 43QuinnSubstituted forvan der Wegat 45'minutes
  • 2Fraser
  • 23Schalk
  • 8Woods
  • 12ChowSubstituted forO'Brienat 75'minutes
  • 7GardyneBooked at 23mins
  • 11CurranSubstituted forLalkovicat 76'minutes
  • 10Boyce

Substitutes

  • 6O'Brien
  • 9Dow
  • 19Gobern
  • 27Lalkovic
  • 28van der Weg
  • 31McCarey
  • 52Tumility
Referee:
William Collum
Attendance:
11,774

Match Stats

Home TeamAberdeenAway TeamRoss County
Possession
Home54%
Away46%
Shots
Home18
Away8
Shots on Target
Home8
Away3
Corners
Home4
Away3
Fouls
Home17
Away12

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Aberdeen 1, Ross County 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Aberdeen 1, Ross County 0.

  3. Post update

    Attempt saved. Shaleum Logan (Aberdeen) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

  4. Post update

    Attempt missed. Miles Storey (Aberdeen) left footed shot from the left side of the box is too high.

  5. Post update

    Foul by Peter Pawlett (Aberdeen).

  6. Post update

    Andrew Davies (Ross County) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  7. Substitution

    Substitution, Aberdeen. Peter Pawlett replaces Jonny Hayes.

  8. Post update

    Attempt missed. Shaleum Logan (Aberdeen) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.

  9. Post update

    Foul by Shaleum Logan (Aberdeen).

  10. Post update

    Alex Schalk (Ross County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  11. Post update

    Foul by Kenny McLean (Aberdeen).

  12. Post update

    Jim O'Brien (Ross County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  13. Substitution

    Substitution, Aberdeen. Anthony O'Connor replaces Niall McGinn.

  14. Post update

    Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Scott Fox.

  15. Post update

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

  16. Post update

    Attempt missed. Kenny McLean (Aberdeen) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the right following a corner.

  17. Substitution

    Substitution, Ross County. Milan Lalkovic replaces Craig Curran.

  18. Substitution

    Substitution, Ross County. Jim O'Brien replaces Tim Chow because of an injury.

  19. Post update

    Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Michael Gardyne.

  20. Post update

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

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