Hamilton Accies’ shocking defending was the thing of nightmares for manager Martin Canning as he watched his side slump to defeat at Pittodrie.
Graeme Shinnie and James Wilson scored in the first half and ex-Accies captain Mikey Devlin haunted his former employers with a first goal since moving to Aberdeen last January.
The presence of Devlin and Lewis Ferguson in the home line-up was a reminder, if any was needed, that even when they unearth quality, the Lanarkshire side can’t expect to hold on to it. Not that there were too many of their current side who impressed here.
Aberdeen did play with a pace, freedom and invention previously lacking at times this season, reflected by them scoring more than one goal in a game for only the third occasion in the current campaign.
The previous two were both against another struggling side, St Mirren and, given the poor quality of the opposition last night, it would be wise to reserve judgment on any enduring revival of league form until after the forthcoming games away to Kilmarnock and home to Hibernian.
What they did was what they inevitably do to Hamilton at Pittodrie, making it eight straight wins under Derek McInnes for the loss of just a single goal in all that time and, while Aaron McGowan was the width of the post away from adding to Accies’ paltry tally in 13 minutes, it’s unlikely it would have mattered.
Not the way they played at the other end as they were already a goal down by then after a phase of pressure sparked by McGowan’s wild swipe when attempting to clear that only led to the concession of a cheap corner. The opening goal arrived after eight minutes when the visitors were so surprised by Shinnie’s late arrival at the edge of the box that the Aberdeen captain had time to correct his poor first touch from Scott Wright’s corner before firing diagonally into the far corner of the net.
Then quite what Ziggy Gordon thought he was doing by standing off Wilson and inviting him to shoot is anyone’s guess.
He certainly knows now as Wilson turned and swept a stunning shot into the top left-hand corner of the net from nearly 30 yards midway through an opening half dominated by the Dons.
That would have found greater reflection in the scoreline by the interval with more accuracy in the penalty box as Niall McGinn completely miscued in front of goal, while the lively Wright got just too much elevation on a shot after bursting clear.
Wilson should have added a third in 47 minutes but, after weaving his way into position, the shot was too close to Gary Woods, who made the first of a series of fine saves in an attempt to keep the scoreline respectable.
Unfortunately it wasn’t all heroics from the goalkeeper as he was badly at fault as he helped Devlin’s swerving 35-yard shot into the net, a effort hit near the section occupied by the 38 hardy Hamilton supporters who had made the trek north.
So amused were they by the goalkeeper’s misfortune that the Aberdeen supporters urged their players to shoot from distance when ever they approached the last 30 yards, with both Shinnie and Shay Logan trying to oblige with pot shots only for Woods to spoil their fun, even if he didn’t derive much himself.
The same could certainly be said for Hamilton captain Dougie Imrie as he received a second yellow card in stoppage time and that late dismissal means he will now miss the vital home match with Livingston.