Aberdeen scored ten goals in the process of collecting nine points to end a highly productive week eight points adrift of Celtic and six ahead of Rangers but Derek McInnes and his players must surely be spending the weekend wondering just what position they would have been in had they not lost all five matches against the Old Firm this season.
By contrast Motherwell remain the only team in the Premiership’s current bottom six to have beaten the Dons this season and this was their seventh straight home victory against Hamilton Accies since the current manager took over.
That shows the sort of merciless form they tend to show against the lower lights in the league and, despite not really hitting the heights against the perennial relegation battlers, they got the job done with the minimum of fuss.
Andrew Considine scored in each half while Niall McGinn showed once again what a shrewd bit of business it was to outwit rivals Hearts and Hibernian for the Northern Ireland international’s signature on his return from an unsuccessful spell in South Korea.
McGinn claimed his 70th goal in total for the Dons to complete the formalities with the second of the afternoon and it is no coincidence that the goals have really started to flow again since he rejoined the team.
Not that any of this was enough to convince his manager to start making extravagant claims on their behalf, which is probably wise as their next home league match is Celtic three weeks today.
Instead McInnes preferred to highlight the consistency that has become his hallmark in charge and said:“Without looking too much at other people, we are now at the same points total than at this stage last year.
“We just want to be pleased with our own work. We’ll end up where we deserve to end up in the league. There’s 12 games to go and every one is important. We’ll treat them all like cup games.”
McInnes was much more effusive when it came to the contribution of McGinn though, in the belief that as well as the financial benefit that spell with Gwangju had for the midfielder, the lack of game during it was a real tonic.
“It’s a more vibrant Niall McGinn than we had towards the end last time he was here” he said.“He gave us brilliant service but looked a tired player.
“He maybe didn’t need the kind of break he intended in South Korea but he’s came back with a real energy and focus.
“He’s a happy boy as well. It’s hard to tell when Niall is happy but I’ve seen him smile a lot more since he’s came back. It might be because he made a few quid out there!
“He certainly looks in a good place. He can be the difference for us in tight games with his quality from open play and set pieces, as well as his goal threat.”
It was McGinn’s delivery from a free kick in 24 minutes that finally breached a hard working Hamilton defence as a lapse in concentration saw the ball land at Considine’s feet ten yards from goal and he adjusted well to hook it home.
Freddie Woodman made his debut in goal at the start of a loan deal from Newcastle United and apart from a comfortable first half save from Ioannis Skondras the England u20 World Cup winner had little to do.
Not that Woods at the other end was overly busy either as the bare and bobbly surface didn’t aid fluent football, but McGinn slammed in the second eleven minutes from time, pouncing on Kenny McLean’s blocked effort.
Then Considine really rubbed it in with three minutes left, converting a Ryan Christie cross from the right to leave the visitors down in the relegation play-off place, a spot they are not unfamiliar with.
The result from Dens Park didn’t help either but the ever optimistic Martin Canning is certain with a little bit of luck in terms of players recovering from injury, they will do their usual Great Escape act.
He said:“Ross County were probably all doom and gloom during the week but now probably think they can finish in the top six. That’s what one win and three points does for you. We’ll get Ali (Crawford), Rakish (Bingham), Dougie (Imrie) and Temps (David Templeton) back for the next game, so there’s four to come back in and we’ll have a stronger squad.