Clancy’s suspension made room for Hutchinson’s return and combined with the tactical switch of Daley for Humphrey we turned out in the grey/silver away strip to face Aberdeen. Only Randolph’s bright yellow top broke the gloom of an unusually warm afternoon but there was some early joy for the travelling fans.
Law was tripped by McArdle close to the left corner flag and Hateley set himself for the free kick. He whipped the ball in low and hard to the front post area and Higdon got the ball first from only a couple of yards out. The net bulged and we had the perfect start.
To their credit the home side didn’t take long to score an equaliser. The goal will not make pleasant viewing for our defence as first they allowed Milsom to deliver a teasing cross and then Vernon had all the time in the world to place a downward header beyond Randolph.
Ten minutes had passed at it was a goal apiece. The remainder of the first period was not impressive. Neither team was able to string passes together and though Aberdeen had most of the ball they rarely threatened.
McCall said after the match that he was not happy at half time but his mood was better as his team started the second half on the front foot. It looked like a more confident team and the passes and crosses were taking place in front of the Aberdeen goal.
We got the break that mattered midway through the half. Chalali was unlucky to see his looping header hit the bar but our reply was clinical. Murphy knock the ball on to Daley who had been on both wings and well as the occasional foray in the middle. It was from a central position that he created the winner when he eluded a few challenges, steadied himself and fired from the edge of the box to beat Gonzalez.
Some sound defending was needed in the closing quarter as the Dons sent forward wave after wave. We reduced their efforts to long range shots and snuffed out anything inside the box. Randolph was forced to make one save but the clock ticked on and we secured the win (our fourth against wee Craig!).
The win certainly makes for a happy journey back down the road!