Adam Rooney goal gives Aberdeen victory over Partick

© Picture by Darrell BennsAberdeen's Adam Rooney.
Aberdeen's Adam Rooney.

The Dons returned to winning ways with a 1-0 victory over Partick Thistle at Pittodrie.

After the disappointment of defeat to Celtic before Christmas Aberdeen bounced back with a win – secured courtesy of Adam Rooney’s second half strike – which probably should have been more comfortable.

The three points keeps the Reds in second three points ahead of Rangers, but still eight points behind Celtic.

It also sets Aberdeen up nicely for their final game before the winter break on Saturday against Hearts at Pittodrie.

Dons boss Derek McInnes made three changes from the side that went down 3-0 to Celtic at Parkhead on Saturday.

Shay Logan replaced Dominic Ball at right-back after returning from illness, Scott McKenna replaced Mark Reynolds at centre-back after shaking off a calf niggle and Ryan Christie was restored to the side with Kari Arnason dropped to the bench.

The opening exchanges were cagey but on 10 minutes the Reds did threaten, a Greg Stewart cross from the left almost got to Adam Rooney at the front post but it looped up of Niall Keown and into the hands of keeper Tomas Cerny.

On the  quarter hour Aberdeen were closer still. Kenny McLean played a magnificent pass down the inside right channel for Logan who was marauding into the penalty area.

The right-back could have shot from the tight angle but opted to knock the ball across goal and it was only some last-ditch Jags defending that saved the situation.

The men from Maryhill had their first effort three minutes later when Connor Sammon spun in the area and fired a tame shot at home goalie Joe Lewis from 16 yards.

Stewart responded for Aberdeen with a well-struck drive from 20 yards soon after which required Cerny to dive low to his right to keep out of the net.

Partick could have taken the lead on 21 minutes, Ryan Edwards found Paul McGinn, who was forward from right-back, McGinn’s cross picked out the unmarked Adam Barton, but the Australian headed wide.

On 27 minutes the Dons probably should have been ahead. Stewart’s corner from the left was won by Anthony O’Connor, whose header down into the six-yard box was bundled home by Rooney at the second attempt.

But referee Euan Anderson gave a free-kick against Rooney for high feet when he challenged Thistle captain Danny Devine for the ball.

The game continued to be a midfield battle and the first period ended 0-0.

Just four minutes into the second half Ryan Christie was so close to breaking the deadlock.

McLean found Logan who lobbed the ball over the visiting defence, Christie was there before Cerny and lifted the ball over the goalie but Edwards raced back to clear off the line.

Just before the hour Stewart nearly made the breakthrough as he weaved through two challenges down the right before getting into the area and firing across goal, but Edwards was there to clear it for a corner which came to nothing.

But Aberdeen’s persistence paid off on 63 minutes when Rooney made the breakthrough.

Christie was the creator with a sublime run down the right, after leaving Thistle defenders trailing in his wake Christie got to the byline and laid the ball across goal and Rooney had a tap in from inside the six-yard box.

With 18 minutes left Devine wasted a good chance to level for Alan Archibald’s side. The centre-back was free just eight yards out when he met Blair Spittal’s corner from the right.

But luckily for Aberdeen Devine headed over Lewis’ crossbar.

With 11 minutes left Stewart –  who had another fine evening – almost wrapped up the three points.

The man on-loan from Birmingham City danced into the box on the right and forced Cerny to pull off an acrobatic diving save to keep out his left foot curler from 17 yards.

Despite the score only remaining 1-0 it was enough for the Dons to pick up the three points

Aberdeen: Joe Lewis, Shay Logan, Anthony O’Connor, Scott McKenna, Andrew Considine (Mark Reynolds 87); Graeme Shinnie, Kenny McLean; Greg Stewart (Dominic Ball 87), Ryan Christie, Gary Mackay-Steven (Scott Wright 72), Adam Rooney.

Subs not used: Danny Rogers, Kari Arnason, Daniel Harvie, Frank Ross.

Partick Thistle: Tomas Cerny, Jordan Turnbull, Niall Keown, Daniel Devine, Paul McGinn; Adam Barton, Ryan Edwards; Blair Spittal, Steven Lawless (Miles Storey 57), Andrew McCarthy (Kevin Nisbet 76), Connor Sammon.

Subs not used: Ryan Scully, Milan Nitriansky, Callum Wilson.