Aberdeen produce a great second half display to secure all three points as Niall McGinn scored a great hat-trick. Having swept into a 2-0 lead Aberdeen conceded a goal in the 82nd minute. The goal came from nothing, but ensured a nervous finish for the 4,200 Aberdeen fans. However Hayes stepped up to the plate and won the ball seven minutes later before striding forward. His vicious shot produced a great save from Douglas, but the ball spun away from him and McGinn swept it into the net to secure a deserved hat-trick. A great away day for the red army, but one downside was the sight of Andy Considine being stretchered off with a suspected broken leg.
Dundee kicked off inside a packed Dens Park and within the first minute Riley fired inches wide after latching on to a weak clearance from Reynolds. The atmosphere was electric as Aberdeen threatened through Hayes, but the ball went out for a goal kick. A long throw from Shaughnessy caused problems before Smith showed quick feet before firing inches wide. Aberdeen then forced the first corner of the match in the 7th minute when a Hayes cross had to be headed behind as Smith threatened. The corner was cleared, but a couple of long throws kept the pressure on before Douglas was able to gather.
Dundee were sloppy at this stage as Aberdeen enjoyed early possession. Hayes made a decent run in the 12th minute, but the shot failed to trouble Douglas. Two minutes later Rae had a dig at goal sending his effort a couple of feet over the bar. A free kick was wasted by Reynolds in the 17th minute and two minutes later Smith showed some good touches before producing a weak pass when a shot on goal looked the better option. Another corner quickly followed as Considine headed a Hayes delivery wide of the target.
The Dons went close to taking the lead in the 23rd minute when Vernon made a late run to get on the end of a Hayes cross, but again the effort went wide. Dundee finally threatened in the 27th minute when they broke with pace and ended the move with a header that went inches over the bar. At the other end Smith won a free kick near the corner flag, but the Dons couldn't convert and Considine went down with an injury and had to be replaced by Anderson as the captain for the day was stretchered off. It looked serious at the time and the match was delayed for several minutes.
Shaughnessy collected a yellow card in the 36th minute when he conceded a free kick in a dangerous position. Nish made a dramatic run up to the ball before blasting it well over the bar. At the other end Lockwood committed a similar foul on Smith and escaped a caution. As the ball was cleared and Dundee looked set to break Hayes made a terrific challenge, raced forward and hit a decent shot inches over. The match was starting to be littered with fouls that didn't help the flow of the game as both sides looked to make the breakthrough.
In the 43rd minute Smith was unlucky not to find McGinn in the middle and at the other end Langfield had a simple save from Baird. The home side had been enjoying more of the ball in the last fifteen minutes of the half and they won their first corner of the match in the 45th minute but the ball was eventually scrambled clear. An extra three minutes were required following the injury to Considine and during that period Rae was cautioned, but the lack of consistency on the bookings was worrying for the red army. Dundee finished strongly and won a free kick on the edge of the Dons box, but the ball went tamely wide.
Aberdeen came out all guns blazing and won a corner in the opening minute and opened the scoring through, who else, but Niall McGinn. The corner was taken short between Hayes and Smith and when the ball came into the box McGinn tucked it away in front of the large Aberdeen support. Dundee reacted positively to the goal as they came looking for an equaliser. This created more space for Aberdeen at the back and McGinn and Hayes combined well to set up Vernon in the 51st minute as his effort went inches wide. At the other end Dundee won a corner, but it was easily defended by Aberdeen.
Dundee forced another corner in the 56th minute and Langfield looked to be fouled as he lost the ball, but the referee appeared to be happy with the challenge as Dundee forced another corner. This time the danger ended with the ball being scooped over the bar. At the other end Hayes went on a great run that ended with Douglas being tested by a fierce Shaughnessy shot. Aberdeen had a very strong penalty claim turned down in the 63rd minute and as Anderson put his sides case he was booked. Shaughnessy looked set to prod the ball into the net when he was clearly pulled back. The assistant failed to help the referee and the Dons still await their first penalty award of the season.
An ironic cheer went round Dens as Vernon won a free kick in the 66th minute, but Aberdeen failed to threaten the Dundee goal. Two minutes later Hayes persistence won another corner, but no one attacked the delivery into the box. McGinn then made it 2-0 in the 69th minute as he met a Hayes cross and headed home. Fraser then made his return to a mixed reception wwhen he replaced Masson. The youngster was fouled within a minute of coming on as the Dons looked for a killer third goal. Magennis then replaced Robertson in the 74th minute.
A snapshot from Smith a minute later forced Douglas into a save before Fraser was caught again. Aberdeen looked comfortable on their lead, but a third goal would put this match to bed. Fraser showed fine play as he ghosted past a couple of defenders but failed to beat Douglas. The youngster then won a corner with some more fine play that had many of the red army singing his praise. The corner was whipped in and Shaughnessy headed inches over. Dundee were thrown a lifeline in the 82nd minute as the Dons sloppy defending returned with a vengeance allowing Stewart to pull one back.
As the Dons supporters braced themselves for a nervy finish substitute Stewart looked to earn a draw as he drilled an effort wide in the 87th minute. It was hard to understand how Aberdeen could be hanging on after controlling the second half. Dundee were being allowed too much possession, but Hayes had seen enough and stepped in to claim the ball and stride forward. His vicious shot produced a great save from Douglas, but the ball spun away from him and McGinn swept it into the net to secure his hat-trick. A deserved win and now the red army can look forward to the visit of Dundee United in midweek.