Teenage goal hero Lewis Ferguson was today hailed as a big game player after his sensational late winner to beat Livingston 3-2.
The 19-year-old netted a sublime overhead kick two minutes into injury-time
for a victory that moved the Dons back into the Premiership top six.
Dons boss Derek McInnes insists the Scotland Under-21 cap has shown he can deliver big moments when needed.
Ferguson headed home the goal in the 1-0 Betfred Cup semi-final defeat of Rangers.
He also scored a memorable overhead kick against Premier League Burnley in the Europa League.
The teen produced an almost carbon copy acrobatic effort to dump Livi.
A summer signing, Aberdeen were ordered by a transfer tribunal to pay £220,000 in training compensation for Ferguson.
McInnes said: “Big players produce big moments.
“We had a couple of penalty shouts and close chances and just when you think it is not going to happen Lewis come up with a brilliant moment.
“We all love a last minute goal, especially one so spectacular as Lewis’. It was brilliant.
“Young Lewis is a boy who seems capable of these big moments.
“It was no more than we deserved and the better team won hands down.
“It was great to get all three points.”
Ferguson also netted in the final minutes to secure a comeback 2-1 against Kilmarnock at Rugby Park last month having trailed 1-0.
He has netted four goals this season but McInnes is demanding the teen be more prolific.
He said: “We would like to see a more regular return of goals from Lewis.”
McInnes had also called for his mis-firing strikers to deliver goals in the build up to the Livingston clash.
Prior to the game the four strikers had netted just seven goals between them, with Sam Cosgrove, James Wilson and Bruce Anderson all on two and Stevie May on one goal.
Cosgrove scored the Dons’ second and May was a constant menace to Livi.
He said: “We put that demand on the players on the day before the game and spoke about having to take more ownership and get on the end of things and causing more problems.
“I felt all the front players we spoke to – McGinn got his goal, Cosgrove got his goal and May did everything but get his goal.
“Strikers have got to take ownership for their goal return more.
“I hope they all kick on now.
“For me what is the worst that can happen? You miss a chance. So what.
“As long as you get into the right areas, make those runs and put yourself forward and I felt everyone did that.”
Striker Sam Cosgrove scored the equalizer and also pitched in with an assist for Niall McGinn’s opening goal.
McInnes said: “Sam is an important player for us and there have been loads of games where he has done well for me and hasn’t scored goals.”
Teenager Connor McLennan was introduced as a substitute at half-time and made an immediate and telling impact.
The 19-year-old delivered the cross for Cosgrove’s equalising goal and was a constant threat down the right flank.
McInnes said: “Young Connor McLennan had a big part to play in it in terms of delivering crosses.
“He showed real discipline with his game in holding the width when we demanded that.
“He did that very well.”
After three games in six days, including Rangers and Celtic in Glasgow, McInnes had insisted his side were fatigued in the 2-0 loss to St Johnstone on Saturday.
In the aftermath of the Livi win he underlined their fitness levels for maintaining a high tempo deep into injury time in the hunt for that winning goal.
McInnes said: “I need to praise my own team’s fitness and spirit in the second half.
“We ran them from side to side, in behind, passed the ball well and made good decisions.
“I thought 2-1 at half-time was really harsh on us.
“It can happen because Livingston are a good side and have proved a real tough opponent for most teams.
“You have got to work really hard to try and break their spirit and break them down.
“They are a very fit, organised team
“However we played the game in Livingston’s half for more or less 45 minutes of the second half and we got our just rewards in the end.”