Arbroath lost out to a strong Aberdeen XI at Gayfield on Saturday in their final friendly match of the pre-season.
There was a blend of youth and seasoned pros in the Aberdeen side with Neil Alexander, Peter Pawlett and Miles Storey starting alongside former Arbroath loanee, Jamie Henry with Ugandan trialist Khalid Aucho on the bench for the Dons.
Arbroath manager Dick Campbell used the match to let some of the players who haven’t seen as much game time in the Betfred Cup to work on their fitness and try and impress for a starting berth.
The Lichties were on the back foot early on as an Aberdeen started to dominate and could have taken the lead in the opening minutes after a mix up between the Arbroath defence and keeper Gomes, but the keeper recovered well and saved Storey’s shot.
Recent signing from Indian side Salgaocar Martin Scott came close as he curled in a shot for the home side which just an inch wide of Alexander’s post.
Aberdeen did take the lead in the 30th minute when a cut back fell to Pawlett who tapped home to open the scoring, before the Dons doubled their lead just three minutes later when the impressive Stockley showed a great touch as he found the back of the with a left footed strike.
Former Aberdeen youth player Dunlop clipped the Dons crossbar with a thunderbolt from the edge of the box, but just on the stroke of half time Aberdeen netted for the third time with Stockley getting his second with a sweet left foot strike after being set up by Burns and Storey.
With the result all but over, the second half started off slowly but soon exploded into life in the 66th minute. Aberdeen had won back possession on the half way line with Scott putting pressure on Pawlett, but the Don’s midfielder wasn’t happy, turning round to face Scott before lashing out with a slap to the face of Scott, who then retaliated with referee Charleston forced to send both players off.
Substitute Doris almost grabbed a stunning goal as shot first time from 25 yards forcing Alexander into an acrobatic save.
The Dons netted their fourth in the 81st minute after a defensive mistake allowed Wright to cut back to Storey to get his name on the score sheet, but just two minutes later the Lichties finally got a much deserved goal when Storie flicked on a Linn corner with Gold taking full advantage as he ghosted in at the back post unmarked to head across beating Alexander at his back post.
Arbroath manager Dick Campbell after the match wasn’t too dismayed at the result. He said: “I never took the match for the result, I took the match for the fitness levels on a good pitch. You shouldn’t judge yourself on quality full time sides like Aberdeen and Dunfermline and I thought Aberdeen paid us the big respect you can get because the way they went about their job.”
With a new shape squad assembled over the summer, the manager is still working on adding to his squad. He continued: “I’m still actively involved in bringing a couple in, we are pretty close to that as well.”
Arbroath: Gomes, Whatley (c), Thomson, Dunlop, Gold, Callaghan (Linn 63), Malin (McCord 58), Prunty (Doris 58), Scott, Phillips (Kader 46). Subs not used: Hamilton, Hester, Mutch (GK).
Aberdeen: Alexander, Henry (Ross 68), Harvie (Aucho 50), Storie, O’Connor (c), McKenna, Pawlett, Storey (McLennan 84), Stockley (Roscoe 78), Burns, Wright. Subs not used: Thomas, Robertson, Lewis (GK).