There were three changes for Paul Sheerin from the side beaten 1-0 at Tannadice before the international break. In came Niall McGinn, Ethan Ross and Calvin Ramsay, making his first senior start, with Ash Taylor and Connor McLennan dropping to the bench and the cup-tied Jack MacKenzie missing. Michael Ruth and Ryan Duncan joined the matchday squad on the bench. It was McGinn's 30th appearance in the Scottish Cup, putting him into the top 20 appearance makers for the Dons in the competition.
There were four changes for Jim Duffy's Dumbarton who lost 1-0 at home to Airdrieonians to a late goal on Thursday night. Ryan McGeever, Nat Wedderburn, Adam Frizzell and Rob Jones replaced Conner Duthie, Ruaridh Langan, James Wallace and the suspended Ross Forbes for their fourth game in a week.
The pattern for the game was set early on, Aberdeen having plenty of possession as Dumbarton dropped deep. The visitors won a free-kick 25 yards out in the seventh minute. McGinn's free-kick was blocked but when the Dons recycled the ball back into the box, Florian Kamberi poked the ball wide of goal from the edge of the six-yard box, a great chance to open his Aberdeen account.
Ross was next in the action in the ninth minute, a 20 yarder palmed away by Ramsbottom, who was then sharply down to save an effort from McCrorie moments later.
The hosts had their first sight of goal in the 14th minute, Frizzell getting on the end of a cross and nudging the ball over the oncoming Joe Lewis but onto the roof of the net, the two tangling in the aftermath. Aberdeen responded a minute later, the ball coming in from the right and eventually being worked to McGinn but he stabbed his shot over the bar from ten yards out.
Lewis Ferguson was the next in on goal after 28 minutes, coming onto the ball in the inside-left position and driving a low shot from a tight angle that Ramsbottom handled competently. The Dons were a whisker away from the opener three minutes later, Andrew Considine getting on the end of a McGinn corner from the right, but his header flashed inches wide of the post.
The same near post corner was repeated in the 33rd minute, Ferguson running onto it this time with a powerful, low header, but Ramsbottom produced a brilliant reflex save down to his left. From the next corner, the ball found Considine at the back post. His shot looked bound for the back of the net but somehow, Wedderburn got in the way of it with a brave block to deflect the ball across goal and behind.
Jonny Hayes made a good interception deep in his own half in the 43rd minute and burst 60 yards forward before Wedderburn removed his legs from beneath him and took his yellow card. From 25 yards out, Ross took the free-kick, put it over the wall but straight into the goalkeeper's hands.
HALF-TIME: DUMBARTON 0 ABERDEEN 0
The hosts introduced Omar for Brindley as the teams returned after the break and he wasn't far from scoring inside 45 seconds, McCrorie losing the ball on the edge of the box, Omar bustling past him to fire at goal, Lewis going full length to his left to make a fine save.
Callum Hendry became Aberdeen's first change in the 55th minute, replacing Kamberi. McCrorie was close three minutes later, McGinn slinging in a good cross from the right, McCrorie helping it on from the near post, the ball flashing across goal and just wide of the far post. There was a second change six minutes later, Ramsay hobbling off after a challenge, Matty Kennedy joining the action in his place.
Hayes had a great chance to put Aberdeen in front in the 66th minute, coming onto a ball at the back post, controlling neatly but in pulling his shot back across goal, he put it just over the bar. Tommie Hoban went into the box three minutes later for hauling Jones over as he sprinted for goal. With the game increasingly even in a largely uneventful second half, Connor McLennan came on to try to break the deadlock in the 79th minute, Ross making way.
Nine minutes to go, Hayes wriggled his way into the box only to see his shot blocked. The ball dropped for McGinn who tried to bend the ball into the far corner, but his effort was headed clear from inside the six yard box.
Finally, the stalemate was ended in the 84th minute, the substitutes all combining to give Aberdeen the lead. McLennan drifted inside to feed Kennedy. He slipped the ball through to Hendry just inside the box and he showed good feet to step past a couple of defenders before tucking the ball past Ramsbottom and just inside the post.
Dumbarton threw Crossan and Quitongo into the fray in the 88th minute as Jones and Frizzell were replaced. Wardrop was then booked for poleaxing Hayes as he looked to bring the ball forward. It mattered little. The Dons were through.