Ross County fall to dominant Aberdeen in 3-0 defeat
Aberdeen 3 (Leigh, Cosgrove, Hedges)
Ross County 0
Not much went right for Ross County at Pittodrie as Aberdeen eased to a 3-0 winto leapfrog the Staggies in the Scottish Premiership table.
Two goals in three minutes in the first half meant it was always going to be an uphill challenge for County, who were hit with another double whammy in the second when Aberdeen scored again and Billy Mckay missed a penalty.
From the off County struggled to get out of their own half.
Aberdeen dominated possession, and even when they lost the ball pressed high up the pitch, forcing the Staggies to resort to punts up the park which were snuffed out more often than not.
For the most part though, County held resolute and prevented the Dons from getting clear sights of goal.
The hosts could have gone 1-0 up after just seven minutes when Ross Laidlaw parried Niall McGinn's cross into the path of Sam Cosgrove, who could only watch as Keith Watson cleared his shot off the line.
McGinn himself then blazed over the bar from around the penalty spot from Greg Leigh's cross.
Aberdeen would get the breakthrough before half time though, with a well worked free kick routine.
Ross Stewart was harshly penalised for handball in the 33rd minute, which McGinn played short to the edge of the box for Ryan Hedges to cross first time.
Left back Leigh was in the middle to connect, and his header guided the ball past Laidlaw and into the far corner to make it 1-0.
The Staggies were rattled, and Aberdeen quickly made it two.
Lewis Ferguson looked like he would get onto the end of a ball forward, only for Laidlaw – in an attempt to win the ball – to take him out inside the penalty area.
The referee took his time to make his mind up, but eventually pointed to the spot, from where Cosgrove would slot past County's goalkeeper and into the bottom corner to double the lead.
It would be 3-0 just a couple of minutes into the second half, when McGinn put a beautiful cross in for Hedges to bundle over the line.
County had an immediate chance to hit back though, when Stewart's shot was blocked by Funso Ojo's hand inside the Aberdeen box.
Billy Mckay stepped up, and hit the post – with a red shirt first to the ball to clear it away.
After the hectic start to the second period play settled down, with Aberdeen once again in control.
Hedges in particular seemed to have the beating of new arrival Richard Foster on County's left side, and he was the most likely source of inspiration for another goal.
The Staggies began to grow into the game as time went on, but they still struggled to test Joe Lewis.
And it was still Aberdeen who looked most likely to score again, with Scott Wright forcing Laidlaw to save with his feet inside the final 10 minutes.