Aberdeen close the gap at top

Date published: Monday 24th August 2015 1:35

Aberdeen close the gap at top

Pawlett’s strike was the highlight of a dour afternoon on the banks of the Moray Firth, his crisp finish sending the away support back down the A96 in good heart having witnessed a fifth successive clean sheet.
Graeme Shinnie fired an early free-kick into the defensive wall and play soon switched to the other end as Aberdeen, with Pawlett and Niall McGinn to the fore, began to dictate matters.
Ryan Jack saw his shot blocked and Adam Rooney’s header was comfortable for Dean Brill and it was no surprise when the pressure paid off in the 12th minute.
Home defenders Carl Tremarco and Josh Meekings got in a tangle, affording McGinn the space to set up Pawlett to open the scoring with a clipped 14-yard finish.
Scott Brown dived at the feet of Billy McKay to avert the danger as Caley Thistle finally broke the shackles.
Marley Watkins also worked Brown at his near post but the Dons ‘keeper was at his athletic best to foil Shinnie when he let fly from 23 yards. 
The game took on an attritional tone after the break, although Jonny Hayes lifted the gloom only to fluff a great chance to extend the lead after good work from David Goodwillie. 
Greg Tansey had Brown at full stretch with a late free-kick but Aberdeen had strong claims for a penalty when Rooney’s header appeared to strike Gary Warren’s arm.
McKay had one last, glorious chance to snatch a point 10 minutes from time but he smashed his shot off the crossbar with the goal gaping as his side slipped to a third consecutive defeat.  

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