Aberdeen ran out one-nil victors over Dunfermline but the game was one devoid of many chances and excitement. A goal from Scott Vernon mid-way through the first half was all that separated the two sides as the Dons continued their recent good form to take their place in the top six of the Clydesdale Bank Premier League.
After the previous week's hugely encouraging draw at Rangers, Craig Brown chose to make just one change to that side. Rory Fallon was replaced by Andrew Considine who declared himself fit after missing the Ibrox clash. Rory McArdle was again asked to fill in at right back with Ryan Jack moved into midfield. Stephen Hughes, who signed for the Dons the day before the match made it on to the bench.
The game started brightly with both sides having spells of possession and it was the visitor's who had the best of the early chances without ever troubling Jason Brown.Aberdeen's only real effort on goal was turned behind for a corner by Iain Turner after a mishit Fraser Fyvie effort looked like it could cause Dunfermline problems.
Scott Vernon thought he was through one on one with Turner moments later but referee Craig Thompson had already blown for an earlier infringement and pulled the Dons back for the free kick to the bewilderment of the Red Army.
Up the other end Brown was forced to make a great save when a superb cross into the box was headed towards the target by Liam Buchannan. It was a chance the striker really should have scored and the visitors were made to pay for it not long after.
A long ball from Mark Reynolds looked like it would be a routine catch for Pars goalkeeper Turner but he hesitated in coming off his line and Scott Vernon jumped to head the ball beyond the on loan stopper and into the back of the net to the delight of the home fans.
Having struggled to create much prior to the goal the Dons then tried to turn the screw on their opponents in search of a second goal. Josh Magennis' superb run down the right was nearly rewarded with a goal but again Fyvie couldn't connect properly with the Irishman's cross and Dunfermline managed to avert the danger.
The Dons continued to apply pressure and Dunfermline looked slightly deflated having conceded that Vernon goal. Former Dons captain Mark Kerr fouled Fyvie on the right and the resultant free kick led to a deflected shot from Chris Clark which looked destined to nestle in the net but Turner managed to save with his feet to deny Aberdeen a second. Kerr was then harshlybooked minutes later for another foul but the following free kick for the home side went miles over the bar.
Dunfermline did start the second half in a more attacking manner but barely troubled the Aberdeen goalkeeper. Clark Robertson, having another fine shift at Left Back, was first to have a pop at goal for the Dons in the second half but his wild volley was never going to trouble Turner. In actual fact there were few real chances to speak of in the early moments of the second half.
Intelligent play from Clark set Magennis off on a run down the left but he couldn't get the better of the Pars defensive line and they cleared once again. Craig Thompson then turned down cries of hand ball when a surging run from Kari Arnason into the box was halted abruptly. The Icelander's cross looked to be setting up the Dons with a great chance but the referee said no foul and the visitors cleared to safety on 55 minutes.
Scott Vernon broke beyond the defensive line and after a 25 yard run he shot towards goal but Turner got down well to block the effort and keep Vernon's tally at 10 for the season so far.Moments later Chris Clark was fouled and from the resultant free kick the ball was rolled to Arnason whose shot looked to be heading wide of the post but was grasped firmly by Turner.
Dunfermline, sitting bottom of the SPL going into this one, began to up the tempo in a bid to find an equaliser and had plenty of possession but still couldn't cause the Dons defence or goalkeeper much concern. A few half chances were easily mopped up by the outstanding Mark Reynolds and Andrew Considine, captain for the afternoon. In a bid to stem the tide of Dunfermline possession the Dons management made their first changes of the game and it saw the debut of Stephen Hughes. He replaced Fraser Fyvie in midfield while Mohammed Chalali came on in place of Josh Magennis.
Referee Thompson was again at the centre of heated debate from the Pittodrie faithful when he turned down appeals for a free kick after debutant Hughes looked to be fouled in the centre circle.
Jason Brown was forced into a save from a Dunfermline free kick but in truth it was never troubling the goalkeeper. At the other end a Stephen Hughes run into the box was cleared but deflected for a throw. Throughout the game the long throw tactic from Arnason was causing very little disruption to Dunfermline and this throw was no different- Turner gratefully grabbed onto the ball on this occasion.
With two minutes left of the game, Rory McArdle's back pass to Brown was woefully short and when Joe Cardle collected the ball it looked like he would claim a point for the visitors. Brown had other ideas though and made a superb stop to deny the youngster and frustrate the Pars once again.
That was the games last chance and the Dons held on to claim three pints that moved them into the top six. They continue their superb run of just 1 defeat in 9 games and will look to extend that with Queen of the South up next in the William Hill Scottish Cup 5th Round next weekend.