The neutral would be have been hard pressed to work out which team was in the SPL as Hamilton enjoyed the better of the play. The visitor's were denied by several good saves from Langfield and at one point the upright denied Stevenson with the keeper well beaten. It's goals that count of course and it was Zander Diamond who produced a composed finish in the 63rd minute after being set up by Barry Nicholson. It was a poor performance overall but Aberdeen will just be happy to be in the quarter final where they will have to face their next round opponents without Barry Nicholson after he collected his second yellow card of the tournament this afternoon.
Aberdeen kicked off towards the RDS for a change but it was Hamilton who threatened first. Gilhaney raced down the left in the 2nd minute, cut inside and forced Langfield to tip the ball over the bar. The corner was cleared but two minutes later Offiong raced forward but his attempt at chipping Langfield was wayward and the ball went high and wide. Play was held up in the 7th minute when Diamond and Offiong collapsed in midfield after a clash of heads. Aberdeen carved out their first chance in the 9th minute when Foster forced a save from the keeper after a neat one-two with Lee Miller.
Aberdeen then won a free kick 20 yards out and Josh Walker fired a curling effort inches wide of the target. Hamilton defender Tom Parratt earned a yellow card for deliberate hand ball in the incident, but the caution looked harsh. Hamilton were then denied by the upright when Stevenson headed a Parratt cross on to the post with Langfield beaten. Seconds later Offiong shrugged off Severin and darted into the Dons penalty area before being crowded out. At this stage Hamilton were first to every ball and Aberdeen were struggling to retain possession.
Two Hamilton free kicks failed to test the Dons defence then Mackie had a great effort in the 20th minute as he attempted to chip Halliwell from a tight angle and missed the far post by inches. Langfield was forced into another block two minutes later after some great play on the edge of the box that released Graham who fired straight at the keeper from ten yards. Aberdeen won their first corner in the 28th minute when Considine drilled a low effort from 35 yards forcing Halliwell to scurry across his goal and turn the ball round the post.
A Nicholson free kick in the 32nd minute was easily cleared and four minutes later Hamilton won a free kick at the other end and that delivery was equally ineffective. Aberdeen broke forward then as Mackie burst through the middle and fed the ball wide to Foster, but the full back's cross was far too close to Halliwell in the Hamilton goal. At the other end Graham made a penetrating run and Severin was forced to clear. Aberdeen then broke through Nicholson who again fed Foster wide. The full back delayed when an early ball could have caused more damage.
Aberdeen went close in the 40th minute when a de Visscher shot was deflected wide. The resultant corner failed to carry any threat. Offiong threatened three minutes later but Diamond marshalled him well and played the ball out of defence. Offiong was causing problems again in the 45th minute and won a soft free kick 30 yards out. The set piece was wasted when the ball was fired well wide. Nicholson collected a yellow card in injury time for a late challenge and the midfielder will miss his next Scottish Cup match. As the whistle went it was Hamilton who were happiest with the way the match had developed.
Derek Young replaced de Visscher at the interval and Aberdeen threatened in the opening minute when Young released Nicholson. The midfielder fired in a decent cross but the stand side assistant appeared to be the only person inside Pittodrie that saw the ball go out of play. At the other end Stevenson fired well wide in the 51st minute and three minutes later a Walker free kick was easily cleared. Play had become scrappy but Langfield was forced into a great save as Easton burst through on goal. From the subsequent corner there was a real stramash in the box as the Dons struggled to clear their lines.
When they did break out Walker strode forward at pace with Hamilton short at the back. The ball was eventually turned into the net by Mackie but he was well offside. Aberdeen did take the lead in the 63rd minute and the goal came from a rather unusual source. Nicholson played a precision pass to Diamond who showed great composure to guide the ball into the far corner of the net. Four minutes later Aberdeen were under pressure again as first the ball was blocked on the line then Offiong headed over with Langfield scurrying across his goal.
Alan Maybury made his debut when he replaced Stephen Duff in the 69th minute and four minutes later Hamilton introduced James Grady. Hamilton continued to take the game to Aberdeen as the Dons defence were forced to work overtime. Miller collected a stupid yellow in the 76th minute as Hamilton continued to press before Aberdeen broke two minutes later and Walker went one on one with Halliwell but fired the ball straight at the keeper. Lovell replaced Mackie in the 79th minute but two minutes later McLaughlin rose above the Dons defence and headed over.
Walker played an exquisite ball into Lee Miller in the 87th minute but the striker slipped as he turned in the box and the chance was wasted. Hamilton then won a series of free kicks around the Aberdeen box but fortunately the defence dealt with the danger and with two minutes remaining Aberdeen won a free kick 25 yards out but Walker failed to test Halliwell. At the other end McLaughlin fired wide as the game moved into the three minutes of injury time. Grady looked as if he would level in the second minute of injury time but Langfield was on hand to ensure Aberdeen maintained the lead. Another free kick was wasted by Hamilton seconds later and Aberdeen were relieved to hear the final whistle.