Evening Express

Dons battle to win against Dundee at Dens Park

Aberden's Stevie May (left) and Josh Meetings in action.

Despite four defenders sidelined and an attack that needed strengthened, battling Aberdeen still ground out a win.

This was a victory down more to perseverance and perspiration than inspiration.

However, the Reds got the job done despite a skeleton crew rearguard down to the bare bones having been decimated by injury and suspension.

The back line stood firm to secure a first clean sheet and win of the fledgling season, with keeper Joe Lewis rarely troubled.

Despite their injury problems, Aberdeen sit one point ahead of Celtic in the Premiership table.

Aberdeen’s defensive problems will ease but the clash at Dens Park underlined how vital it was for the Reds to bolster the attack with a new striker.

The capture of striker James Wilson on a season-long loan deal from Manchester United is a major boost for the Reds.

Wilson is highly-rated and netted in the English top flight for the Old Trafford club.

Due to the Reds’ budget, using the loan market is the only way the Pittodrie club will secure a player of Wilson’s pedigree.

Wilson started for Manchester United’s U23’s in the season opener against Fulham on Friday so is match fit and ready to go in for the League Cup tie against St Mirren on Saturday.

Aberdeen had looked drained in the 1-1 Premiership opener against Rangers following the exertions of the Europa League less than 72 hours earlier.

McInnes reacted by giving the Dons squad two days off. It worked as there was more urgency, bite and energy. They got the ball into the box but lacked that clinical touch and composure inside the danger area.

That was not only restricted to the visitors as Dundee also squandered chances.

They created the first in the 10th minute when Kharl Madianga collected possession and fired a vicious 22 yard drive inches over the bar.

Moments later Niall McGinn picked out Sam Cosgrove with an inswinging corner from the right but the striker headed well over from 10 yards.

In the 17th minute, Andy Considine met a cross from McGinn but his glancing header from 12 yards went wide.

Dundee should have scored in the 20th minute when Jesse Curran went on a rampaging charge down the right for 40 yards with no challenge coming in to stop his progress. With the Reds defence struggling he squared a pass across goal to the unmarked Sofien Moussa, who wasted a glorious opportunity by blasting wide from 15 yards.

Aberdeen should have punished a poor punch-out from keeper Jack Hamilton in the 38th minute that fell to May in the box. May quickly squared a pass to Cosgrove but his shot was weak and easily smothered.

Moments later May smashed a low eight yard shot that keeper Hamilton did well to save.

In the 57th minute, McInnes put on striker Anderson for Cosgrove and the teen brought a real spark to the attack.

He was denied a sensational goal by the woodwork as he collected a poor clearance from Nathanael Ralph on his chest, then unleashed a vicious volley that beat the keeper only to crack off the bar.

Despite the loan capture of Manchester United’s Wilson, hopefully Anderson will still remain in the frame this term.

Aberdeen grabbed the lead from the spot when a header from Dom Ball at the back post struck Genseric Kusunga’s right hand. The header was going towards goal and referee Bobby Madden pointed to the spot.

Winger MACKAY-STEVEN slotted the penalty to the opposite side of the diving keeper.

Dons keeper Joe Lewis ensured the points were going north when he produced a vital block.