After booking their place in the Betfred Cup final following Sunday’s 1-0 win over Rangers, Derek McInnes’ Aberdeen hosted a Hamilton Academical side gaining confidence themselves following their 1-1 draw with Kilmarnock at Rugby Park at the weekend.
The Dons only change was an enforced one, club stalwart Andy Considine was replaced at the back by Max Lowe. Aberdeen confirmed the neck injury sustained by the long-serving defender is “not as serious as first thought”.
Accies made two changes following their point at Rugby Park. Scott McMann and Rakish Bingham replaced the suspended Darian MacKinnon and James Keatings in the starting 11.
Reds ahead in less than ten minutes
Aberdeen’s first chance wasn’t really of their own doing. Ziggy Gordon was in pursuit of Scott Wright. And, as the winger fed back to Shay Logan, the full-back crossed and it deflected off a few Hamilton defenders before drifting wide of Gary Woods’ goal.
From the resulting corner, the Dons would edge in front. Scott Wright found Graeme Shinnie free just outside the box. The captain set himself on the edge of the area before planting past Woods into the far corner with his left foot to net his first league goal of the season.
Hamilton hoping to get back on terms
Accies have only scored once in their last eight visits north to Pittodrie. An exchange of passes that started with Mickel Miller eventually made its way to Aaron McGowan out wide. He set himself before dragging a right-footed shot off Joe Lewis’ right hand post. Desperately unlucky for the full back in an attempt to draw Accies level.
A long ball forward from the Accies defence snuck in behind Scott McKenna and as Joe Lewis came rushing out to meet it, the keeper got nowhere near it and just as you thought Dougie Imrie would nip in for his second goal in as many games, McKenna was able to scramble clear.
Accies punished after Aberdeen’s defensive scare
Aberdeen pulled two ahead thanks to a moment of real quality from James Wilson. The Manchester United loanee received from Scott Wright and from around 25-30 yards out sent an absolute thunderbolt into the top corner. Gary Woods was left with no chance as the young Englishman grabbed his second Dons goal, the other coming against Accies’ rivals Motherwell, also at Pittodrie.
Doing just about everything Wright
Graeme Shinnie, after evading a few Accies bodies, fed in Niall McGinn. McGinn took his time before finding Scott Wright after James Wilson let it by him. The winger cut in before sending a left footed shot, destined for the top corner, just over the crossbar.
James Wilson could’ve doubled his tally for the night in the second half. He picked it just after halfway and went on a slaloming run, toing and froing before eventually settling for a left footed shot but Woods responded with a decent save.
With half an hour still to play, the Dons did make it three through a pretty unlikely source. Mikey Devlin, encouraged to shoot by the crowd from deep, obliged and sent an effort on target but it’s not one that Woods will want to see again as he helped it on its way in to make it Aberdeen 3-0 Hamilton. The centre half scoring against his former employers but courtesy of his former teammate.
Shay Logan was next encouraged to shoot by the crowd and sent a rasping effort towards the top right hand corner. Woods was able to fly across, deny the full back and keep it at three.
Stevie May also nearly came back to haunt the club at which he rose to prominence. The former Accies loanee was played over the top and whilst he didn’t initially get on the receiving end of the pass, Matthew Kilgallon’s header back to goal was what the hitman latched onto. He let it drop and caught a half volley into the ground but it was another comfortable save for Woods.
Aberdeen see the game out
Mickel Miller could’ve grabbed a consolation as Hamilton broke from that May chance but Joe Lewis retained his clean sheet, for the time being at least with a decent save. Accies later went down to ten men following Dougie Imrie’s dismissal as a result of two yellow cards as Aberdeen built on their semi-final victory with a routine league win.
Next up, Aberdeen travel to Kilmarnock in a tough game between two of last season’s top six taking place at Rugby Park on Sunday. As for Accies, they too have a tough match at home to high flying Livingston at New Douglas Park on Saturday.