A young Aberdeen U20s side went down 2-1 against an impressive Hamilton Accies side at New Douglas Park. Neil Cooper, already with a depleted squad, was forced to make a late change to his starting line-up, with Michael Jones pulling out with a foot injury, being replaced by Kalvin Orsi.
The Dons had to be alert to early pressure from the hosts, with efforts from Jon Routledge and Paul George forcing Danny Rogers to make two very good saves.
So it was against the run of play when Aberdeen took the lead after 17 minutes. Declan McManus chased down a long ball which was eventually worked back to Accies keeper Blair Currie. Just before Currie could get his foot under the ball, McManus nipped in to steer home and give Aberdeen the advantage.
Two minutes after the opener, the Dons made another change in personnel when Alan O'Sullivan came off, to be replaced by Aaron Norris.
Just moments later the Dons had a great chance to grab a second. McManus though was denied when he ran in on goal, with Currie forced to make a good save. The ball came back to substitute Norris who scooped it just wide.
The lead lasted just ten minutes, as an Accies corner found its way to the edge of the box, where Routledge was on hand to blast it high into the net beyond Danny Rogers.
Hamilton then took the lead for the first time in the match just seven minutes into the second-half, when Andy Ryan drilled a shot low into Rogers' bottom right corner from just inside the box.
Accies had chances to extend their lead, with their closest effort coming when Danny Armstrong's swerving shot came back off the Dons crossbar. Aberdeen's best chance of the second-half came when Kalvin Orsi cut in from the left before shooting low at goal, however Currie blocked well with his legs to beat away the danger.
However, Hamilton held on for the win which moves them four points clear of Aberdeen and into fourth place in the very tight table, while the Dons remain in sixth and a point behind Motherwell.
One positive for the Dons was the performance of the U17 youngsters Ross, Dunbar and Norris and Orsi who all impressed.
Currie, Watson, Hendrie, El Zubaidi, Kilday (Reilly 73), Routledge, Armstrong (Brownlie 87), George, Ryan, Docherty, Johnston (Smith 79) Subs not used: Want, Trialist
Aberdeen Teamsheet Rogers
.Unused Subs: Burns, Jones.
Venue: New Douglas Park, Hamilton