Derek McInnes made two change to the side defeated 1-0 at Celtic Park last Saturday with Callum Hendry and Dylan McGeouch coming into the starting XI at the expense of Connor McLennan and Dean Campbell, who both dropped to the bench. Michael Ruth joined them, Ryan Duncan missing out on the matchday squad.
There were two changes for Hamilton Accies from Wednesday night?s 1-1 draw at home to St Johnstone, with Jamie Hamilton and Nathan Thomas coming into the side in place of Charlie Trafford and Aberdeen loanee Bruce Anderson, who was ineligible for the game.
For the first time in a while, conditions were set fair for some good football, the swirling wind that?s disfigured recent games at Pittodrie not an issue. The Dons made a rapid start, Jonny Hayes urging the side on down the left in the opening minute after a neat move, the hosts showing real aggressive intent from the off.
Flo Kamberi was the first to have a shot at goal some 11 minutes in, a neat turn giving him some breathing space 25 yards out, but he dragged his shot wide. Moyo then placed a shot into Joe Lewis? gloves from the edge of the box five minutes later as the game struggled to find any real shape.
In the 18th minute, the Dons should have had the lead but they couldn?t force the ball into the net. Niall McGinn pinched the ball 30 yards out and drove into the box. Seeing Fulton coming to meet him, he squared for Kamberi but his first touch was not ideal, forcing him to try to evade a couple of covering defenders before shooting. His shot was then blocked, McGinn trying to manufacture an acrobatic shot from the rebound, Martin doing well to head clear in the six yard box.
That had lit the blue touchpaper for Aberdeen though and McGinn was in the mood again in the 21st minute, a low drive into the six yard box reaching Hendry who clipped his shot just over. Fulton was in the action a minute later, charging off the line to just beat Ross McCrorie to the ball as he chased a raking Lewis Ferguson pass.
In the 23rd minute, Hendry was about six inches away from scoring, Kamberi to the by-line and pulling the ball back. It took a slight deflection away from Hendry but he still got a touch on it, deflecting the ball across goal but agonisingly just wide of goal.
Three clear cut chances for Aberdeen but no goals.
Accies threatened after 37 minutes, Thomas squirming his way into the box, both Moyo and Hodson having shots at goal, both well blocked by the Dons defenders who had scurried back in numbers to do their job in front of Lewis. Thomas was injured in the move and needed lengthy treatment before eventually being replaced by Smith.
Callachan then smacked a snapshot at goal from fully 35 yards out. It took a wicked deflection off Ash Taylor, Lewis having to go full stretch to tip the looping ball wide. The Dons were on the break from the resulting corner, Hayes spearing a terrific crossfield ball 50 yards forward into the run of McGinn. He has to take his shot first time on the edge of the area, dragging his effort just wide in the 44th minute. Aberdeen then had some set pieces just before half time but could not force an opening.
HALF-TIME: ABERDEEN 0 HAMILTON ACADEMICAL 0
The Dons started on the front foot after the break, a nice flowing move in the 49th minute ending with Tommie Hoban?s cross into the box, Kamberi up highest to win the header but not getting enough power on it to discomfort Fulton.
Two minutes later, Odoffin and Easton collided on halfway, Odoffin coming off worst, the physio?s magic sponge and a yard of bandage around the head eventually getting him back on his feet.
McGinn wasn?t far away in the 57th minute after some good possession football from Aberdeen. It culminated in Hayes playing the ball into McGinn who drove at goal from a tight angle, Fulton doing well to clutch the ball at the near post. Tommie Hoban then collected the day?s first yellow card for a high foot in a challenge with Moyo.
Just past the hour, Aberdeen won a corner on the left, McGinn putting a cross in at the second attempt, Taylor up for it at the back post but unable to get an angle to head at goal, putting his effort wide. Andrew Considine then followed Hoban into the book for a similar offence, though his foot was no higher than Smith?s in the challenge.
McLennan was the first change for the home side, replacing Hendry in the 65th minute. Almost immediately he was on the chase with Easton, the Accies defender injuring himself in trying to clear and having to make way for Munro.
Accies had a real chance in the 78th minute as the ball fell nicely for Scott Martin on the edge of the box but Hoban was there to get an important block on the shot. Matty Kennedy was the next Aberdeen change two minutes later, Taylor the man to make way, then Ruth came on for his debut in place of McGinn in the Dons? final change. Accies responded by withdrawing Moyo for Hughes.
Seven minutes were added on but the game continued to drift, the Dons unable to create any clear opportunities, despite Kennedy twice getting to the by-line to cross. The game ended with Accies taking their time over a late corner, the Dons trying to hit them on the break, McMann hauling Kennedy down and going into the book. From Hayes? free-kick, McLennan got up to win the header but sadly it made for an easy save for Fulton with the last touch of the game.