Testimonial for Bobo - Full Report

22nd July, 2015 •
Posted In: Match Reports
Written By: Graeme Macleod •
Comments: 0 Comments

IT was a night to remember at Station Park for County defender Martin 'Bobo' MacDonald as the County faithful turned out in force to pay tribute to the long-serving centre half at his testimonial match against a slick Aberdeen side, writes Graeme Macleod.

The young Dons ran out 3-0 winners but the result failed to put a dampener on a fantastic occasion and the night was all about one man - despite striker Bruce Anderson's superb hat trick for the visitors.

"It was a brilliant night," Bobo told the website. "I was delighted with the turnout from the fans and my family had a great time as well.

"I was also delighted that Aberdeen FC agreed to be a part of the occasion and send a team through. Paul Sheerin has a great young team there with some quality young talent and you could see why they won the Premiership under-20s league last year."

MacDonald roped in his former team mates Brian Macleod, David Hind, Duncan Jones, Steven Mackay and Willie Barron to take part in the match.

He added: "The guest players were all looking good - even the ones who have stopped playing - and I think they all enjoyed themselves as well. I was delighted that they agreed to play in the game and be a part of the occasion."

Bobo concluded: "I would like to thank all of the testimonial committee especially Dodo Graham and Graeme Macleod for all of the hard work they put in to organising the game. I would also like to thank Les and everyone at the club and Kenny Macleod for all of the photos, he does a brilliant job.

"I would finally like to thank all of my team mates over the last 10 years. Hopefully there are a few more years to come."

Bobo and his daughter Lauren and son Calum took to the field before the match through a guard of honour formed by both sets of players.

However, the match almost started in disastrous fashion for MacDonald when he hauled down Dons striker Frank Ross as the young attacker advanced in on goal. Station Park held its collective breath for a split second but referee Graham Fraser waved play on and no doubt Bobo heaved a huge sigh of relief.

He admitted: "It was a definite red card - the boy was just too quick for me. If I had not missed three weeks of pre-season though I would easily have caught him!"

At the other end, Conor Gethins laid the ball off to Tony Wallace but the towering attacker's snap shot flashed over the crossbar on 25 minutes.

The young Dons were imposing themselves on the proceedings though and the lively Ross advanced through the Nairn defence only to dink his effort past the left hand post.

Anderson replaced the injured Kalvin Orsi for the visitors on the half-hour and he only took three minutes to make his mark on proceedings by sweeping home Craig Storie's cut back from the left for the opener.

Nairn responded with their best chance of the half on 37 minutes. Gethins cut inside Dons right back Jamie Henry only to crack the crossbar with a curling effort from the edge of the box.

The Irish striker then fired a 25-yard shot well over the top two minutes before the break.

Seconds after the restart, Henry - pushed into a more attacking role for the second half - saw his powerful effort from 25 yards out on the right smash off the inside of the far post before being cleared.

A Gethins dipping effort then dropped over the crossbar on 51 minutes before the young Dons doubled their lead three minutes later. The impressive Storie capitalised on a a square Adam Naismith pass to Gregg Main before playing in Anderson and the young striker showed a cool head to clip the ball beyond the advancing Calum Antell.

County then began to introduce Bobo's guest players with former Nairn players Duncan Jones, Steven Mackay, Willie Barron and Brian Macleod all taking to the field at various stages.

Adam Naismith fired well wide from 22 yards out before a Jones ball up the right was missed by Dons goalkeeper Robbie Mutch under pressure from Gethins but the ball did not have enough pace on it to carry into the net and the Aberdeen defence mobbed up.

Henry's long range shot flew just over the crossbar on 73 minutes before Gethins' low delivery was cut out by the alert Mutch with Mackay waiting to pounce for a tap in.

Jones's low drive from 22 yards bounced past the post on 76 minutes before MacDonald was replaced by final substitute David Hind on 83 minutes. The County number 5 departed to a standing ovation from the bumper crowd inside Station Park.

There was still time left on the clock for Mackay to loop a header narrowly over the crossbar and substitute Ross Naismith to be denied by the legs of Mutch before Anderson completed his hat trick. The young striker lashed home an exquisite, inch-perfect free kick from 22 yards with Antell helpless to prevent the ball from flying into the top corner.

Manager Les Fridge said after the match: "It was Martin's night and it was good to see a really good crowd in and for us to go up against quality opposition. Hopefully he has had an enjoyable evening.

"There was great banter in the dressing room before the game and everything seemed to go well for Martin. It was all about him and it is thoroughly deserved - he has been a great servant to the club and it is great that it has all happened in the manner that it has.

"We made a lot of changes tonight using eight subs. I said on Saturday that was our last workout of pre-season and that tonight would take care of itself and that was exactly what happened."

Nairn County - Calum Antell, Sean Webb (Brian Macleod 78), Adam Naismith (Willie Barron 72), Michael Morrison (Glenn Main 60), Martin MacDonald (David Hind 83), Gregg Main (Paul Macleod 60), Bradley Halsman (Duncan Jones 60), Alan Pollock, Conor Gethins, Robbie Duncanson (Steven Mackay 72), Tony Wallace (Ross Naismith 60). Sub unused: Sam Maclean (gk).

Aberdeen - Robbie Mutch, Jamie Henry, Sam Robertson (Darren Hynes 61), Craig Storie, Lucas Culjak, Thomas Atyeo, Aaron Noris (Lewis Dunbar 46), Dylan Thomas, Kalvin Orsi (Bruce Anderson 30), Frank Ross, Scott Wright. Sub unused: Paul Sheerin.

Referee - Graham Fraser

Man of the Match - Scott Wright (Aberdeen)

Pictures by Donald Matheson.

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