There was a minutes silence before the game as a mark of respect for those involved in Friday night's tragedy in Glasgow.
On four minutes the Dons won the first corner of the afternoon. With Barry Robson back in the side he took it and with his left foot he played in a quite superb ball at pace. Andrew Considine timed his run perfectly and powered a great header into the net to give the Dons the perfect start. Scott Fox in the Partick goal did not move.
In the 9th minute the Dons twice played the ball back to Langfield when they might have been better clearing there lines, on the second occasion the keeper did very well to deal with the bouncing ball Reynolds had given him. After 11 minutes Wylde beat ex Don Isaac Osbourne who was playing at right back. Wylde cut back a nice ball but no one in a white shirt had read it.
On 12 minutes there was a minutes applause from both sets of fans to pay tribute to the emergency services for the great job they did on Friday night.
On 15 minutes Pawlett burst into the box and went down in the area. Peter never appealed for a penalty and got straight back on his feet. The player then got the ball back about 25 yards out and he hit an early shot which appeared to catch Fox out but the keeper did very well to react and claw the ball to safety. On 19 minutes the keeper again did well after a Ryan Jack shot from the edge of the area took a massive deflection. The keeper was going the wrong way but managed to readjust his feet, dive to his right and get a strong hand on the shot. A minute later Hector down the right got in behind the defence and his header back across goal very nearly found Pawlett but the ball just bounced too high for him. Then on 21 minutes another Aberdeen attack and Pawlett was in acres of space but unfortunately he could not take the ball with him as he ran in on goal. He would have been in otherwise.
At this stage the Dons were very much in control and dictating the pace. Partick as usual were trying to be positive but they were leaving plenty of gaps for white jersey's to run into.
After 27 minutes Kallum Higginbotham got one on one with Andrew Considine but the defender pushed him wide and then managed to deflect his shot to safety. Partick won their first corner but Considine headed clear, as he did with every single corner Thistle won during the first half.
On 32 minutes the Dons could have been two ahead. A slack pass at the back by Thistle let Wylde pick the ball up on the half way line. The wingers turn of pace left the defenders in his wake. He burst into the box but when one on one with Fox he put his shot over. He might have been better trying to place his shot instead of going for power. Then another really good chance. On 40 minutes McGinn played in a corner from the left which found Zola and his header just went over the bar. Again the Partick defence were nowhere to seen. At the other end Higginbotham had another chance but he was at a tight angle the defence forced him to shot wide. On 42 minutes Partick did for the first time get in behind the Dons defence after Hector lost out in 50-50 situation. They put in a dangerous ball, Mark Reynolds though did really well to come across and cover to recover the situation. That lifted the home support and the home players responded with a little spell of pressure before the break but the Dons held out and went in at the interval one ahead. They probably should have been more in front.
On 48 minutes the Dons were fortunate to win a corner and they very nearly profited from it when Fox dropped Robson's cross but the keeper managed to fall on the ball before any Aberdeen players could react. The game for the next ten minutes went through a subdued spell with neither team showing much intent. Although that suited the Dons as they were leading, they did not seem to have the same control as they had in the first half and the game became disjointed. Some of their passing also became slack. On the hour mark Derek McInnes decided he needed to change things. He made a double substitution with Zola being replaced by Josh Magennis and Cammy Smith coming on for Wylde. Smith went into the centre of midfield, Pawlett went over to left and McGinn switched to the right. Thistle also made a change with former Dons captain Mark Kerr coming off. That seemed a strange decision as he was having a decent game.
On 62 minutes Magennis picked the ball up about 30 yards out but he did not get hold of his shot and it trundled wide. On 70 minutes the game came back to life a bit. Robson put in a good cross which almost found McGinn and then a minute later Niall broke free down the left. He checked inside and curled a shot towards the far post but his effort did not have enough bend on it. Then on 75 minutes he put a shot into the side netting from a tight angle. Michael Hector also had a chance on the edge of the area after McGinn had played it back to him. He didn't quite get his shot right and managed to clear the stand behind the goal as well as the student flats behind the stand!
With fifteen to go Aberdeen had regained control after the tactical changes and were looking comfortable. At no time in the afternoon had Partick looked like scoring but with the Dons only being one up it still made for a nervy finish as the Jags pushed players forward.On 78 minutes Higginbotham created space for a shot. His effort was well hit but Langfield was able to watch the shot all the way and punched it clear. On 82 minutes substitute Sean Welsh hit a fine effort which just went over Langfield's crossbar. The home side were restricted to shooting from distance all afternoon, Russell Anderson and Andrew Considine were immense at the back once again. In the final ten minutes Niall McGinn went down in the area but Bobby Madden correctly waved play on. Ryan Jack then had a chance on the edge of the area and he tried to place his shot but Fox read it and was able to save comfortably. On 85 minutes Peter Pawlett was replaced by Scott Vernon.
Just as the game seemed to be petering out, there were then good chances at both ends.
In the final minute of normal time the Dons broke forward and Ryan Jack played in Niall McGinn, the striker hit a great first time effort which beat Fox but thundered off the post. Cammy Smith picked up the rebounded but his effort was blocked. Then there was a major let off for the Dons in the final minute of the four minutes of injury time. Substitute Baird got round Anderson and got to the byline before cutting the ball back to Osbourne of all people. His shot appeared to heading in but Considine was there once again and made a vital block. Andrew was rightly named man of the match by Sky.
The Dons second half performance was at times a bit scrappy and in the end it was a hard fought victory but the most important thing is the Dons will go into 2014 still in both cup competitions.