Aberdeen produced an opening day win as Hamilton failed to cope with the Hartley and Aluko show. Aluko was back to his best and caused the visiting defence no end of problems. In the 18th minute he once again ran at the defence and was tripped for his troubles. Captain Paul Hartley then stepped up to dispatch the ball past Cerny. Five minutes from the interval Aluko won a second spot kick when he was clearly pulled back by Ross after Maguire played a delightful pass to the Nigerian. Hartley once again did the business then after the break Aluko pressure won a corner in the 50th minute and Diamond added a third from the resulting set play. Hartley then completed his hat-trick in the 65th minute when Maguire was brought down for a third penalty. Both he and Aluko were substituted just before the 70th minute and both went off to a standing ovation as the fans were sent home happy.
Hamilton kicked off in the sunshine and it was the visitors who threatened first with a shot that failed to test Howard in the 3rd minute. A minute later Cerny showed great calmness as he dealt with a dangerous pass back that had been forced by pressure from Magennis. Aberdeen went close to opening the scoring in the eighth minute when an Aluko free kick from 25 yards smashed off the bar, came down on to the line before Cerny turned the ball on to the post before eventually being scrambled away for the first corner of the match. The keeper required several minutes of attention before the corner was taken.
Aluko was again in charge of the set play and the Hamilton defence did well to clear the dangerous delivery. At the other end it was Aberdeen who were under pressure and Ifil was forced to concede a corner. Fortunately the danger was ended with a wild shot over the bar. A second Hamilton corner followed in the 14th minute, but the Dons defence comfortably dealt with the danger. Aberdeen then won a penalty kick in the 18th minute when Aluko was tripped as the Hamilton defence struggled to deal with his trickery.
Captain Paul Hartley took the responsibility and sent Cerny the wrong way to claim his first goal for the club. A minute later Pawlett made a good run on the right, but his cross was blocked. In the 21st minute a Paul Hartley free kick almost made it 2-0 as Cerny was caught out expecting a delivery into the centre. Unfortunately the ball scraped the post with Cerny scurrying across his line. Aluko and Pawlett combined well in the 29th minute before McArdle collected the first yellow of the match for a late challenge.
A snapshot from Pawlett on the half hour mark was easily gathered by Cerny and at the other end Howard had an easy save from McDonald. Aluko was then harshly penalised in the 35th minute as he tried to win the ball and two minutes later Magennis almost opened his account with a fierce low shot. Again Cerny did well and made a fine save to deny the striker. Aluko then won a second penalty for Aberdeen in the 40th minute when he was pulled back by Ross after Maguire played a delightful pass to the Nigerian. Ross was lucky to escape a caution, but Hartley once again made no mistake from the spot.
A Magennis shot went wide in the 43rd minute and a minute later Cerny had to be bailed out by his defence as Aberdeen once again threatened. In injury time Aberdeen won another corner and Hartley and Aluko teased the defence on the right as they ended the half in the same manner that they played the opening 45 minutes. The cheering as they left the pitch must surely have been music to the ears of Mark McGhee and his players.
Aberdeen won the first corner of the second half after 50 minutes and once again Aluko was the instigator. The ball was only half cleared and after a mêlée in front of the keeper Diamond smashed the ball into the net from 12 yards. Two minutes later Howard was down quickly to smother the ball as Hamilton looked for a way back into the game. They were presented with a chance in the 54th when Ifil conceded a free kick 20 yards out, but the effort went high. Seconds later Fyvie replaced Pawlett who had put in a good shift in this opener.
Fyvie looked to have been released in the 58th minute, but a controversial flag from the South Stand assistant brought a promising move to an end. On the hour mark a long throw from McArdle was cleverly flicked on by Maguire, but there were no takers in the middle for Aberdeen. A third penalty was awarded in the 65th when Maguire was brought down and Paul Hartley capped a fine performance with a debut hat-trick. Surely a record, especially for a debut hat trick from the spot. The captain then took the applause of the crowd when Derek Young replaced him a minute later. Aluko was next for the standing ovation when he was replaced by Mackie.
Maguire almost made it five in the 72nd minute with a neat header that crashed off the bar with Cerny beaten. At the other end Howard made some decent saves to make sure the goals against remained blank. To their credit Hamilton continued to press forward when they could, but the back four were holding firm. The visitors then won a soft free kick 20 yards out, but again they failed to make anything of the opportunity. In the 83rd minute Considine almost added his name to the score sheet when a cross from the left almost floated in at the far post.
Fyvie was spoken to for a rather innocuous challenge as time slipped away. A quick review of the record books would suggest that Paul Hartley is the first Don to score a hat-trick on his debut and certainly the first to score a hat-trick of penalties. Augustus Lowe however did score four on his debut in November 1904. He then scored two in his second, failed to score in his third and never played for the club again. Expectations were obviously high in those days. When the final whistle came the Dons were given a deserved ovation for a fine start to the season.