An opening half an hour of electrifying football from the Dons was too much for Hamilton Accies to handle as Aberdeen blew their visitors away on their way to three points and third place in the league table.
Following Saturday's goalless draw with Dundee United at Tannadice, Derek McInnes made two changes to his starting XI for the visit of Hamilton Accies. In came Dylan McGeouch and Ryan Edmondson, making his first senior start, with Connor McLennan and Ross McCrorie dropping to the bench. Joining them on the bench were the returning Sam Cosgrove, Matty Kennedy and Greg Leigh.
Sitting bottom of the table on seven points along with St Mirren, Accies were involved in a thriller at home to St Johnstone on Saturday, eventually losing 5-3. Manager Brian Rice made two changes to his team, Will Collar and Ronan Hughes replacing David Templeton and Kyle Munro, both missing from the matchday squad.
The game started with the rain hosing down, Accies making the brighter start without creating anything to unduly worry Joe Lewis. The Dons gradually got going and started to pen Accies in, but the first real action didn't come until the seventh minute with a nasty clash of heads between Jonny Hayes and Hodson, both needing lengthy treatment before being able to resume.
The Dons were in front on 13 minutes though, from the first corner of the game. Ryan Hedges whipped the ball in from the Aberdeen right towards the near post, Tommie Hoban running free of his marker to bury his header past Fulton from six yards out. It was nearly two three minutes later, Lewis Ferguson's free-kick from 25 yards out arcing just wide of goal.
Aberdeen were full of confidence now, fizzing the ball around and pulling Accies all over the field. The second that they deserved came in the 21st minute and a wonderful goal it was, Edmondson rolling the ball across the top of the box, a lovely dummy from Hedges allowing it to find Ferguson, running onto it on the right edge of the box. As the ball ran across him, without breaking his stride, he laced a right foot shot first time across goal and into the top corner. A foot like a traction engine...
A minute later, Edmondson shimmied into the box and looked to have curled the ball inside the far post, a faint deflection just edging it wide. From the corner, Wright and Hedges worked space for the Welsh international to flash a shot across goal and just inches wide of goal.
The Dons were running riot now though and the third duly came in the 24th minute, Edmondson getting his first senior goal following more slick play. Watkins found Hayes inside the box with a cute reverse pass, Hayes pulled the ball back towards the penalty spot and Edmondson was on hand to clip the ball past Fulton with the minimum of fuss.
On the half hour, Hayes limped off but despite the Dons being down to ten men, it was quickly 4-0. Edmondson picked up the pieces from a deflection 25 yards out, drove into the box, showing pace and power, before drawing the goalkeeper towards him and lifting his shot over him.
Accies got one back almost immediately though, Moyo nipping in between Hoban and Ash Taylor at the back post to tap in from three yards after a neat cross from the right from Hodson. The Dons were then finally able to bring on Hayes' replacement, Connor McLennan.
Credit to Accies, they kept trying to play their football with no thought of damage limitation and for a spell they pushed Aberdeen back into their own half. Even so, Aberdeen almost ended the half on a high, lovely football from Hedges and Wright opening up the Accies defence, Watkins trying a clever backheel on the run that almost drew a fifth goal, Fulton happy to fall on the ball on the line.
Accies still found time in a breathless half to respond with an incisive break, Callachan looking set to score, Andy Considine somehow managing to turn the ball over the bar from pretty much on the line.
HALF-TIME: ABERDEEN 4 HAMILTON ACCIES 1
Accies were first to threaten after the break, Ogkmpoe driving a shot at goal from 25 yards out in the 49th minute, Lewis doing well to get down to his left to push the ball away to safety as it skidded through to him.
Wright looked to have threaded Edmondson through in the 54th minute, but he couldn't get onto the ball, the big striker limping after it after taking a knock a few minutes earlier when he went falling into the Accies dugout when trying to make a tackle on halfway. He was quickly replaced by McCrorie, McGeouch also making way for Funso Ojo. A minute later, Accies brought on Trafford for Martin. Collar then made way for Mimnaugh in the 63rd minute.
Accies began to worm their way back in the game as they won a penalty in the 68th minute after a driven cross smacked into Considine's arm - a rather less intentional hand ball than Shankland's at Tannadice last Saturday. Callachan stepped up and drilled his shot to Lewis' right, the pace taking it past the goalkeeper who got a touch on it but couldn't keep it out.
The visitors took plenty of encouragement from that and continued to press forward, life suddenly a little more difficult for the Dons than it had looked like being. Aberdeen might have sealed it in the 76th minute though, Watkins driving into the box in the inside-left position before crossing, the ball neatly bisecting Hedges and Wright, Accies somehow scrambling the ball behind as the hosts picked up the pace again.
With the game drifting away and Aberdeen re-establishing control, Brian Rice tried one last throw of the dice, Stirling and Smith coming on in the 80th minute in place of Callachan and Hughes. McLennan collected a pretty harsh yellow card in the 85th minute and the Dons then introduced Niall McGinn for Wright as the game started to peter out, Odoffin shown a yellow card in the final minute for a challenge on McGinn, the last significant action of the game.