Aberdeen v Partick Thistle
Jonny Hayes was named in the starting XI after recovering from a hamstring injury. Mark Reynolds and Ryan Jack missed out making space for Peter Pawlett and Jayden Stockley who came into the side. Both players would go on and have fine games.
The Dons were forced onto the back foot in the first 5 minutes of the match, having to defend a couple of corners. Both crosses came to nothing, but Thistle, who have been in good form of late, looked up for the match in front of their impressive travelling support.
Rooney had the first real chance of the match when he was slipped in on the break by Graeme Shinnie. Adam's effort was more like a floated cross with Pawlett putting pressure on Cerny. Unfortunately the goalkeeper held it comfortably.
The visitors' troubled Joe Lewis for the first time after 12 minutes when Doolan won a free kick - which fell kindly for Lewis.
After a different opening spell the Dons started to enjoy some more possession. About 20 minutes in Niall McGinn's corner wasn't cleared by the Thistle defence. Barton took a sore one when he and Cerny collided. McLean's casual flick out wide gave McGinn another chance to cross. The ball feel for Ash Taylor but his shot went over the bar.
Aberdeen were so nearly in front after 23 minutes when a long ball forward was knocked down at the edge of the area. Niall McGinn hit a really sweet half-volley which Cerny did brilliantly well to save. The goalkeeper showed great reflexes as Niall couldn't have struck it any better.
After 35 minutes Adam Rooney headed over the bar after finding space inside the box from the corner. The Dons were now on top in the game, but Thistle were defending well.
It looked like being a very long and tense afternoon but crucially the deadlock was broken after 42 minutes when Niall McGinn took the ball for a run. He passed to Graeme Shinnie who found space on the edge of a crowded penalty box. The skipper for the day then bent a beautiful shot low into the left corner of the goal, his second goal of the season.
There wasn't time for much more action after the goal although Adam Rooney won a corner from a header inside the 6 yard box. Craig Thomson though blew for half time before the corner could be taken.
HT: Aberdeen 1 - 0 Partick Thistle
Aberdeen were once again denied by Tomas Cerny right after the restart when Niall McGinn's free-kick was flicked on by Andrew Considine. It was at a good height for the goalkeeper but he had to be at full stretch to keep the score at 1-0. It was another very good save.
It was more of the same from the Dons as Rooney and Stockley both caused problems for Cerny. Thistle were just managing to contain the Aberdeen danger men at this stage. Aberdeen were fell on top as they looked for a second goal.
But Partick threatened after 64 minutes when Ryan Edwards floated a nice free kick into the box, which Stockley headed back towards his own goal. Lewis couldn't stop the ball going out for a corner but that effort came to very little.
There were several breaks in the play as the game got more and more physical and very stop start. There was very little football being played. It was becoming a real cup tie, and you could sense the desire of both teams with a place at Hampden at stake.
After 75 minutes Peter Pawlett came off for Anthony O'Connor as the Dons looked to see the game out. Peter had had a good game in the middle of the park, chasing down everything.
Adam Rooney had another shot at an overhead kick with 12 minutes to go. Niall McGinn had run the ball down the left channel and found Rooney inside the box. Before that he had clipped the outside of the post with a header. That was to be his last piece of action as he was replaced by Miles Storey shortly afterwards. Storey himself went close when his shot landed in the side netting.
Niall McGinn had a go himself moments later, catching Cerny off guard. But once again the goalkeeper showed great reflexes to knock the ball back across the face of goal. With the clock ticking, the Dons came close again this time hitting the woodwork. Anthony O'Connor got his head on McGinn's free kick but the ball skimmed the bar.
The visitors were still hopeful of an equaliser and were putting some pressure on the Aberdeen goal with 5 minutes to go as they launched the ball long. The Dons defence was looking relatively comfortable till fine play by Ryan Edwards won a free kick in stoppage time in a dangerous area. He took the kick himself and Abdul Osman nearly made it count with a header which landed on the roof of the net. It was a great chance.
With all the injuries there was five minutes of added time during which Aberdeen kept the ball in the corner for most of the time, but were given one final scare, after Devine had picked up a second yellow card and left the field, when they had to defend one final free kick. Cerny came up, only for Ash Taylor to hammer the ball clear. Hayes picked it up and all he had to do was race up the park and put the ball into an empty net. With his pace, no one was getting near him. Craig Thompson decided though that the time was up and blew for full time. Surely he could have let Jonny score to finish the game in style?
The Dons were home and dry though, and into the semi finals of the Scottish Cup with a trip to Hampden to look forward to.