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Aberdeen 2 Partick Thistle 0: Taylor to walk out at Parkhead after stepping in at Pittodrie

On the face of it, the glitch in the Aberdeen machine which caused them to register only one victory in their opening three SPFL Premiership games has been eradicated.

Nicky Low celebrates putting Aberdeen in front. Picture: SNS
Nicky Low celebrates putting Aberdeen in front. Picture: SNS

Partick Thistle might have produced occasional moments of attractive passing manoeuvres, but they were dismissed too easily by a determined and more direct Aberdeen side, now as ready as they can be to face the challenge of Celtic at Parkhead on September 13.

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That they will do so without Russell Anderson, the club captain who will be out of action for six weeks following knee surgery, appears not to have caused too many ripples of disquiet around Pittodrie. Having recognised that Anderson is in the twilight of his career, Derek McInnes, the Aberdeen manager, recruited a younger model this summer in the shape of Ashton Taylor.

Neither McInnes nor the Pittodrie support has been disappointed so far. Taylor, just 23 years old and having played almost 200 games while with Sky Bet League 2 side Tranmere Rovers, was solid in the 2-0 win over Thistle, though, in truth, the men from Maryhill did not even bare their teeth.

Anderson, removed from play in the defeat by St Johnstone the previous weekend because of injury, had what McInnes described as a "tidy-up of his cartilage" last Friday which means one man's pain is another's gain as Taylor awaits an encounter with the champions.

"It'll be my first time playing at Celtic Park," said the Aberdeen defender. "So it will be a great experience, but it's all about working hard as a team and getting a result.

"Russell's a fantastic player with bags of experience. I knew I'd have to compete for my place and that if I did well on the park I'd more than likely get a start. I think we've done well going into the break. Some of the lads were saying we're in the same points position we were last year, but I think there's more to come from us."

Alan Archibald, the Thistle manager, looked worried at the end of 90 minutes having watched Nicky Low, a stand-in for the injured Willo Flood, and Niall McGinn, score almost identical goals in the second half.

Aside from an effort from Kallum Higginbotham on the hour mark that reminded Jamie Langfield, the Aberdeen goalkeeper, that he was, indeed, on duty, Thistle did little to concern their opponents. Indeed they were grateful for the sterling work by their own goalkeeper, Paul Gallacher, who showed his worth on several occasions to disguise the Aberdeen domination.

One ray of sunshine for the Firhill side, however, was how well Jake Carroll, their Friday loan recruit from Huddersfield Town, fitted into the defence at left-back. He certainly enjoyed the experience.

"It was a good game to play in atmosphere-wise," he said. "I have only just arrived and I am still getting used to the lads but I thought it was a good quality game. I saw from training and from the game this game that the standard is very good."

Nevertheless, if his new team-mates are to roll-over so easily in future games, his return to Huddersfield in January might feel a long time away. Archibald, meanwhile, will survey the damage and attempt to stiffen-up a sheepish-looking lot.

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