Tony Docherty’s delight at Aberdeen youngsters

Tony Docherty, Aberdeen’s assistant manager, believes the club’s recent run of impressive displays is down to the fact they have added an attacking spice to their defensive steel.

Cammy Smith. Picture: SNS

The Dons racked up their fifth successive clean sheet with their 5-0 rout of Falkirk in the League Cup on Wednesday.

But it was the team’s youthful verve which impressed Docherty as 21-year-old defender Joe Shaughnessy kicked off the scoring ahead of a second from 18-year-old midfielder Cammy Smith, pictured.

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Striker Scott Vernon also climbed off the bench to grab a second-half hat-trick and Docherty told Red TV: “What was especially pleasing about the performance the other night was that the goals are coming from all over the park, with defenders and midfielders scoring.

“It is a good little period we are on at the moment because we look solid at the back and have a good defensive unit, but we are also carrying a goal threat. The players are all working very hard. Also the team that started the game, six of them came through the youth academy. A lot of credit should go to Neil Cooper and everyone in the academy. It is a really positive thing for Aberdeen.”

Vernon’s treble took his recent tally to four goals from two games after he netted the winner in last Satuday’s 1-0 win over Scottish Premiership leaders Inverness.

The side now travel to Paisley to take on strugglers St Mirren tomorrow night and Docherty said the 29-year-old is in the frame to lead the Aberdeen attack against Danny Lennon’s side. “Scott Vernon has certainly given us something to think about,” he said. “It is very pleasing when you get someone who has been on the fringes of the squad, shows great professionalism to get himself back in it and then produces the form he produced and scores the goals he has scored. From a coaching point of view you cannot get better than that.”