For the eighth game in a row the Dons named an unchanged line up.
Previous games in Dingwall between the sides had been very open and Boyce had the ball in the net within 30 seconds but the flag had gone up for offside long before. A good positive run by Graeme Shinnie in the second minute allowed the vice-captain to get in a cross which Rooney at the near post dummied but McGinn coming in behind could not quite get on the end of it. Back came County, a cross from the right was headed just over by Martin Woods. In the fifth minute a Hayes cross came through to McGinn on the edge of the area, he had time and space but his first time effort was mistimed. Then a slip by McEveley led to Rooney having a shooting chance but his shot was blocked. At the other end Marcus Fraser looked to have created a decent opening but the right back failed to connect properly.
In the 10th minute Reynolds long clearance almost embarrassed Fox with the bounce but the keeper in the end did well to claim the ball under his crossbar. Hayes then was brought down by Tim Chow, who received the first yellow card of the afternoon. The free kick was wasted through when McLean could not find McGinn in the box with a reserve pass. It was a pre-planned move which almost worked.
A minute after that Ash Taylor was allowed to run deep and the centre half did well to square the ball to McGinn. Niall took one touch before looping in a shot which had to be tipped over by Fox. That led to the first corner which the home side cleared.
Aberdeen were on top and could have opened the scoring on the quarter hour mark when McLean from close range headed a brilliant Hayes cross over. It was not an easy header as Kenny was at full pelt. On replay it was actually good defending from ex Scotland International McEveley who just did enough to put Kenny off.
Roared on by the Red Army the Dons continued to dominate but the home side did look lively on the break.
In the 20th minute captain Andrew Davies was booked for a strong challenge on Reynolds in the middle of the park. In the 23rd minute a simple punt up the park saw McGinn get in behind their defence and in the end he maybe should have done better with his pass in which was looking for Rooney.
On the half hour mark County were able to put a bit of pressure on when Schalk fell over and won his team a free kick. There seemed little contact from Reynolds. Taylor and Considine defended the situation well. Schalk was then was eased off the ball on the edge of the area by Taylor but this time the referee waved play on; whilst the County players were appealing for a free kick the Dons broke and Chow took out Shinnie. Having already been booked, the Ross County player could and probably should have walked but referee Madden decided a free kick was enough. Hayes took it - curled the ball just over the bar but Fox had it covered.
On 34 minutes McLean worked an opening in the edge of the box but instead of shooting played it wide to McGinn. Niall also worked an opening but his shot never troubled the keeper. In the 37th minute the Dons won a debatable corner but could do nothing with it. A minute later Boyce, who had seen very little of the ball up to this point, was booked for dissent. McLean's free kick then forced a third Aberdeen corner and then McGinn put over a really dangerous cross. A few minutes later the same player took a right clatter as he went for a header inside the area and then Shinnie's left footed shot was blocked.
Aberdeen were well on top but there was a major scare when Michael Gardyne got in between Logan and Lewis after Woods had played a ball forward. Joe was forced to come out of his area and make a tackle. He timed it perfectly and then Logan and Reynolds managed to get back to cover the danger with the keeper still well out of position.
HT Ross County 0 Aberdeen 0
During the interval Ross County replaced Tim Chow with Oscar Gobern in the middle of the park. Aberdeen continued to play at a high tempo and on 48 minutes McGinn dispossessed Jay McEveley on his was in on goal but his shot was straight at Fox.
The home side were forced into another change when Gardyne limped off. He was replaced by Milan Lalkovic. Hayes then won a corner from which Jack collected the ball on the edge of the area. The skipper blasted a fine shot which Fox had to push away at his near post. Outstanding wing play by Taylor got the crowd to their feet. His cross for Considine was equally as impressive and although Andy won his header and the back post he could not get any power in it.
On 57 minutes Hayes' driven ball was flicked on by Rooney and Fox was forced to make a good save. Shinnie then drilled a shot inches wide. Just after the hour mark Mark Reynolds was forced off after not recovering from an early knock. Anthony O'Connor slotted into the centre of defence. A Hayes cross then fell for Shinnie who pulled it back onto his right foot but his shot was half blocked and went agonisingly wide. From the resulting corner Considine from close range forced Fox into another fine save from point blank range and then Taylor's shot was very well blocked on the line. Ash could not have hit the ball any better. In amongst all of that there was a strong hand ball claim as well.
The Dons were completely dominating but could not force the ball home. Credit to Ross County; they were defending very well.
Two minutes later Alex Schalk was replaced by Craig Curran. The home then enjoyed a decent spell and some possession before Adam Rooney was replaced by Jayden Stockley with just under 20 minutes to go. With 15 minutes to go Jack was booked for a late tackle on Van Der Weg. Then a quick break saw Shinnie tee up Stockley but his low shot was deflected behind. Fox came and claimed the corner.
The game in the closing stages became quite scrappy and tense. The foul count kept rising. It was very edgy as both teams knew a mistake now would be very costly. It looked highly likely the game would go to a replay.
On 85 minutes Shay Logan drifted infield and with his left foot hit a shot which went all the way through, hit off the post and landed in the back of the net. The 2,791 members of the Red Army went mental. The goal had a bit of fortune about it but who cares! They more than deserved it. The ball appeared to take a horrible deflection and bounce in front of the keeper. Fox would also have seen the shot quite late so was unable to move his feet in time.
County then started launching the ball long and Lewis did very well to keep out a Davies header within a minute of taking the lead. For the final few minutes, plus the three minutes of injury time, the Dons had to withstand an aerial bombardment which they did with the outstanding Ash Taylor meeting everything that came his direction.
The final whistle was met with joy from the Aberdeen supporters, players and management team. We now all have a quarter final to look forward to next month.