Chris Forrester opened the 2018/19 pre-season campaign for the Dons with a win against Cobh Ramblers FC in Ireland this afternoon.
The new Aberdeen signing scored in the 62nd minute, and was joined by new signings Stephen Gleeson, Lewis Ferguson and Mikey Devlin who all put in impressive debut performances in the afternoon heat at Fota Island.
Strikers Sam Cosgrove and Stevie May didn’t feature in the match after picking up knocks during training, both however, are expected to be fit to face Falkirk this Wednesday.
Given the heat in Cork, the game was broken into three 30 minute periods to allow brief breaks for the players to take on water.
Aberdeen created the opening chances when Frank Ross found Graeme Shinnie with a cross, but the drive was blocked by Adam Mylod’s legs.
There were plenty of the chances for the Dons, Devlin headed across goal and was inches wide after connecting with a cross from Frank Ross on the right. Shortly afterwards, Lewis Ferguson had a 15-year low drive blocked at the near post.
Adam Rooney was upended in the box in the 32min but were denied a strong penalty claim.
The Dons came close to open the scoring on 45 minutes when the impressive Forrester’s cross from the left was deflected onto Adam Rooney whose header crashed back off the post.
Finally though, the Dons made the breakthrough, with Chris Forrester scoring in the 62nd minute.
Mackay-Steven’s deflected cross fell to Bruce Anderson who cut the ball back to Shinnie at the edge of the area and he rolled it left to Forrester who drilled an accurate low shot past Michal Sadys in the Cobh Ramblers goal to make it 1-0.
Derek McInnes commented on the club website: “In previous seasons there has maybe been a bit more importance on the pre-season games because of the shortage of time to get that familiarity. Obviously the close season break has been a bit longer which has meant there has been a bit more work put into the players this week. Therefore although we were always looking for a good performance and winning performance, I don’t think today that was the most important thing.
“The players will feel better for having had that game.
“It was good to get a clean sheet, it was good to get a win and another step towards the fitness. The most important thing was to come through the game without any more injuries.
“Stevie May and Sam Cosgrove picked up little knocks because of the work we have put into them. The pitches are baking hard because of the heat. We did not want to be going back to Aberdeen tomorrow with any more injuries. I am grateful for that.
“I thought the game ticked the majority of the boxes.
“It was good to win the game and I was pleased with the youngsters. There was good energy from them, good confidence. Also I never thought we really looked like losing a goal today. So that was pleasing. Defensively we were strong. I am just looking for us to carry more of a goal threat in the final third and a bit more quality.
“We have hit the post, had a penalty claim and had lots of things bouncing about the box. We needed someone to stand up and get that goal for us.
“I think Forrester can be the difference for us in games this same. Every team needs those types of players, especially in tight games.
“It was a lovely finish. It is the type of areas I want him to be playing in. For us to get him in there we have to be doing a lot of work behind that.
“It is good for any player to score a goal in their first game.
“Mikey Devlin has not played any football for a long time. So it is a balance between pushing Michael, because he has done all the work and he is ready to go and play. Today was a very important step for him. As with any player who has a long-term injury, there will be a touch of apprehension, but he can be really pleased with his performance. He strolled through the game. He is a good talker. Along with McKenna I thought the two of them did very well.
“It has been a good week for the players. Very demanding, and we will continue those demands over the next couple of days and weeks when we get back to Aberdeen. Hopefully by the time the West Brom game comes around we have got the players a lot sharper and they will be ready for the season and the challenges ahead.”
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