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Aberdeen 3-0 Hamilton Academical: Confident Dons find their shooting boots

Mikey Devlin scored the third goal against his former team-mates

Aberdeen found their scoring touch to beat Hamilton Academical and build on their League Cup semi-final success.

The Pittodrie side had not scored more than once against anyone other than St Mirren this season.

But captain Graeme Shinnie fired them into an early lead and James Wilson followed suit with a looping long-range drive soon after.

Mikey Devlin’s second-half drive deceived goalkeeper Gary Woods before Accies’ Dougie Imrie was sent off.

The win does not improve Aberdeen’s league position, but manager Derek McInnes will be delighted having said pre-match that his side’s priority was to keep pace with teams above them.

Accies started the evening just below their eighth-placed hosts, but ended it having fallen eight points adrift of the Dons and down to third bottom behind Motherwell.

Red Devil helps haunt Hamilton at Hallowe’en

Visiting manager Martin Canning strung five across the back as his side looked to end a run of eight consecutive defeats at Pittodrie.

It is fine to pack your side with defenders, but they might as well not be there if they fail to press their opponents. Shinnie was allowed an age to pick his spot after eight minutes.

Max Lowe had provided the early impetus, rampaging forward from left-back as the Englishman looked to impress after Andrew Considine failed to recover from his head knock against Rangers at Hampden.

Not that Accies were yet out of the game at this stage and Lowe was unable to prevent opposing full-back Aaron McGowan unleashing a low drive against the outside of the far post.

However, it was on-loan Manchester United striker Wilson’s turn to be given time to pick his spot and his powerful effort whizzed in from 22 yards.

Canning was forced to replace Fredrik Brustad with fellow striker James Keatings shortly before half-time and the visitors’ goal threat dipped, if anything, after the break.

Devlin was able to stroll forward from central defence and, although his 30-yard drive was powerful, Gary Woods responded with a Hallowe’en howler as the former Accies player came back to haunt them.

There was still time for Accies’ misery too deepen, with captain Imrie sent off in the final seconds for a second yellow card as their run of games without a win stretched to five.

James Wilson (left) and Greame Shinnie (second right) scored for Aberdeen

Accies toothless without MacKinnon – analysis

BBC Scotland’s Tyrone Smith at Pittodrie Stadium

After booking their League Cup final place at the weekend, this win perhaps provided further evidence Aberdeen have turned a corner this season. McInnes will certainly hope so – and his side looked hungry and up for it from the off.

There was plenty of slick play aided by a real masterclass of finishing, the kind of display that has come to characterise Dons performances of recent years.

As for Hamilton, they certainly missed the snarling, and suspended, Darian MacKinnon, who could have played at Pittodrie if they had contested the midfielder’s ban, but arguably a “let’s take our medicine” approach was the prudent thing for Accies to do.

The Lanarkshire side were well beaten, but in fairness, they will not be judged on the outcome of matches like this one and you still sense they have the guile and fight required to survive the brutal battle in the Premiership basement.

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