Last evening, I was one of the small amount of fans who made the long trek to Aberdeenshire for our match against Aberdeen. Although Accies have a horrible record at Pittodrie, I felt if we played our best game we could salvage a point since the home side had a cup semi-final at Hampden on late Sunday evening, not giving them much rest.
The Dons won a fantastic Betfred cup semi-final in Glasgow against Rangers, scoring with 10 minutes to go, through a header from former Accies player, Lewis Ferguson. Hamilton picked up a great point on the road at Kilmarnock on Saturday but will feel disappointed not to have picked up maximum points after James Keatings missed a sitter from a few yards out just after the second half started.
Aberdeen have 4 former Accies players in their side. Michael Devlin, Stevie May, Tomas Cerny and lastly, promising youth product, Lewis Ferguson who has got himself a name already for the Dons, scoring 2 huge goals as of yet in his Aberdeen career. He scored the winner on Sunday to get Aberdeen into another final as well as scoring a over-head kick against Burnley in the Europa League at Turf Moor.
Derek McInnes was forced into one change on Wednesday evening after left-back, Andrew Considine was stretchered off after suffering a bad looking injury on Sunday, so Max Lowe replaced him.
Martin Canning made 2 changes from Saturdays draw in Ayrshire with Darian MacKinnon dropping out and picking up a 2 match ban after his challenge on Alan Power was re-reviewed and was deemed to be a red card after seeing more angles, stating referee Euan Anderson had his view blocked. He was replaced by Rakish Bingham. Accies went back to 5 at the back again, so Scott McMann came in for James Keatings, lining up what looked like a 5-4-1. The away side were also without attacking midfielder, Steven Boyd, who was sent off against Kilmarnock.
Niall McGinn got the game underway in a freezing cold Pittodrie, after a minutes silence was held in memory of the tragedy in Leicester last Saturday night. The minute silence was observed impeccably by both sets of fans. The game started as a slow one as expected, with Aberdeen feeling the effects of Sunday and Hamilton were obviously happy to sit back and try hold them out as long as they could. They didn’t hold them out for long as The Dons took the lead on the 7th minute. Scott Wright played a smart low corner to find Graeme Shinnie on the edge of the box before the midfielder took a touch and fired it into the far corner past Gary Woods. Hamilton were inches away from levelling on the 13th minute, when Rakish Bingham played a beautiful diagonal pass to find Aaron McGowan on the right wing. The right-back cut in and fired his effort off the post. A minute later, Accies were nearly in again. Joe Lewis missed a through ball but Scott McKenna was there to clear before Imrie could tap into the empty net. The away side were left to rue their missed chances when Aberdeen made it 2-0 after 23 minutes. On Loan Manchester United striker, James Wilson picked up the ball in the final third before firing a rocket from 25 yards into the Hamilton net. It was an unbelievable strike. The Dandies nearly added a third on the 40th minute mark when Shinnie done well on the right before sliding in Scott Wright who cut onto his left foot and curled over from cross range.
Half Time- Aberdeen 2-0 Hamilton
The second half got underway, with the hosts starting well. James Wilson nearly doubled his tally and made it 3-0 after 47 minutes when he danced by 3 Hamilton defenders before his weak shot was saved. The hosts did make it 3-0 on the 59th minute and it was a moment to forget for Woods in the Hamilton net. Coincidentally, Former Accie, Michael Devlin picked up the ball from 30 yards before being shouted to shoot from the crowd. Devlin listened to the Dons fans and his shot looked a routine save, but was fumbled by the Hamilton keeper and spilled over the line, making me and the other Hamilton fans feel more miserable. After the earlier error, Woods did rectify his mistake a little when he superbly saved Shay Logan’s shot from distance, which was heading top corner, after once again being urged to shoot by the home crowd. Aberdeen continued to humiliate Hamilton and another former Accies player, Stevie May should have been on the score sheet also. A miscommunication in the Hamilton defence led to Matthew Kilgallon heading it straight through for May 1v1, but out came Woods to deny the Scotsman. The only positive for Accies was young Hamilton fan, Lewis Smith made his debut after impressing in the reserves as well as performing brilliantly well in both games in the UEFA Youth League against FC Basel. The tempo began to drop as the hosts just continually passed the ball around the back to try see out the game. The final bit of action was when Dougie Imrie lost his temper and committed a stupid foul in the middle of the park, which seen him sent off for a second bookable offence, ruling him out of Saturdays huge encounter at home to Livingston.
Full Time- Aberdeen 3-0 Hamilton
Lewis, Logan, Lowe, Devlin, McKenna, Shinnie, Ferguson, Wright(80), Mackay-Steven(65), McGinn, Wilson(74)
Subs- Cerny, Gleeson, McLennan(74), May(65), Cosgrove, Ball, Anderson(80)
Woods, McGowan, McMann, Gordon, Tshiembe, Kilgallon, Imrie, Martin(68), Miller, Bingham(80), Brustad(42)
Subs- Marsden, Want, Sowah, Penny(68), Smith(80), Kelly, Keatings(42)
Referee- Greg Aitken
Assistants- Ralph Gordon & Anthony Cooper
Fourth Official- Mike Roncone
Attendance- 12,365(38 Away)
Goals- Shinnie(7), Wilson(23), Devlin(59)
Yellow Cards- Kilgallon(22), McGowan(27), Imrie(78,90+2)
Red Cards- Imrie (90+2)