Aberdeen moved into the Quarter Final of the Scottish League Cup thanks to a comfortable and professional performance against Championship side Livingston.
An Adam Rooney hat-trick, his second of the season, after Ashton Taylor had given The Dons the lead rounded off an impressive display from the holders who again looked very good forward at times.
Ash was claiming his first goal for the club although there was some dispute in the dressing room after! David Goodwillie may have got a touch before the ball crossed the line. The TV evidence is inconclusive.
The scoreline was a little harsh on the Championship side who caused the Dons a few problem during the first half and Scott Brown making his debut this evening made a couple of very good saves.
However the victory was soured with what looked at the time to be a serious injury to Ryan Jack. We won't know till he gets a scan just how bad the injury is.
Let's all hope Ryan is ok.
Derek McInnes made two changes to the side that won on Saturday. Niall McGinn had not recovered from his injury and is likely to be out for a few weeks. The Northern Irishman was replaced by Nicky Low whilst Scott Brown was given his first start between the sticks. So the Dons lined up with Brown in goal, Logan at right back, Taylor and Reynolds in central defence with Hayes again deploying the left back spot. Jack and Flood were the central midfielders with Low on the left, Pawlett on the right with Goodwillie and Rooney upfront.
The Dons started where they left off on Saturday. They were looking very confident and on six minutes Rooney hit the first shot on target. The ball did move about a bit and Darren Jamieson in the Livi goal could only palm it away but his defenders helped him out and the ball was cleared.
Then on eight minutes Aberdeen took the lead.
The Dons took a rehearsed corner which saw the ball being played short to Nicky Low and then back to Willo Flood and he put over a great cross for Ashton Taylor who was coming in at the back post. His towered above everyone and headed the ball towards goal. It looked like the ball had crossed the line before David Goodwillie made sure it was in. Ash was certainly claiming it!
Despite the goal the visitors started to come into the game. On 12 minutes Scott Brown was forced to make a good save from a powerful Keaghan Jacobs shot. Again the ball was moving about all over the place and in the end Scott did well to turn the ball away to safety.
At this point the Dons were making heavy weather of things and kept giving away possession. Also Livingston were getting on top in the middle of the park which forced the Dons into a tactical change.
On 25 minutes Logan's cross into the box was just too high Rooney and eventually Livi were able to clear. It was the first time their defence had been put under any pressure though for a while. Then two minutes later great interplay between Rooney and Goodwillie. In the end the keeper made a good save and then Adam saw his rebound go over the bar. The defence did well to recover quickly put pressure on him. Some of the link up play between David and Adam was extremely encouraging tonight.
On 33 minutes Pawlett, who up to this point had a quiet match although he had been well marshalled by the defence, made a good strong run into the box, when his run was halted he left it for Rooney, and in the end the keeper made a very good save. Moments later Low then hit a powerful shot which the keeper did less well with and in the end was lucky to see the ball go behind for a corner.
A couple of minutes later a first class save from Scott Brown at the other end. Gary Glenn hit a good shot which Scott would have seen very late as Ryan Jack was standing in front of him but he got down well and got a strong hand on it to put the ball behind for a corner.
Up until this point Livingston were giving a very good account of themselves. They were making life difficult for Aberdeen and not allowing them to settle.
On 38 minutes a rare mistake by Mark Reynolds allowed Jordan White to gain possession in a good area. White in the end hit a good shot which was heading into the top corner but Brown managed to stretch and tip the ball over. Another decent save.
The final chance before the interval saw a great run by Hayes down the left. It was great work from Jonny and his cross found Logan who took a good first touch but he then lent back and the ball sailed over.
Aberdeen were looking a bit nervous at the start of the second half and Livingston had one or two half chances.
The Dons did muster a few efforts, on 50 minutes a good burst forward saw him tee up Flood but his shot was saved by Jamieson. Two minutes later a fine attacking move resulted in Aberdeen claiming for a penalty in the box after a handball but nothing was given. The game at this point was still in the balance.
However just after the hour mark the pressure was lifted when the Dons grabbed a vital second.
On 60 minutes Andrew Considine came on for Nicky Low and three minutes later, with his first involvement Andrew made a great tackle on Hippolyte to start the move. Goodwillie then played a delightful back heeler to Rooney and he sent the ball high into the back of the net with a powerful shot. An early contender for the AFC goal of the season.
The pressure was now lifted and Aberdeen started to play some good football and the game from this point on was never in doubt.
A few minutes later Andrew Considine almost scored with his right foot. After a good quick move Goodwillie set up Andrew but he did not catch his shot as he would have liked.
Everything at this point was going well for the Dons but on 67 minutes there was real concern when Ryan Jack went down and it looked a really bad one. As soon as he went on physio John Sharp signalled for a stretcher.
After a short break Ryan was carried off the pitch looking in considerable pain. Let just hope the injury is not as serious as it looked.
Before the game could restart the Dons made a double change. David Goodwillie was replaced by Cammy Smith and Barry Robson came on for Ryan. Peter Pawlett went and playedup front with Adam Rooney. Minutes later Jonny Hayes went down and looked in trouble. Thankfully he was able to get to his feet and run it off.
With just under fifteen minutes to go the Dons could have had another penalty when Peter Pawlett's cross clearly hit a hand but seconds later Aberdeen grabbed a third. The ball broke to Adam Rooney and he hit a pinpoint shot into the far corner of the net across Jamieson. The keeper had absolutely no chance as the shot was right in the corner.
Then on 83 minutes Adam Rooney grabbed his second hat-trick of the season.
Pawlett played it wide to Jonny Hayes who played in a low dangerous cross from the left and Adam was in the right place as usual to poke the ball home.
Aberdeen comfortably saw out the closing minutes, Cammy Smith had a neat turn and shot at the edge of the area but the ball went over. In the end the scoreline was a little bit harsh on the Championship side who had caused Aberdeen a few problems but this was another very positive display from the Reds with them again looking a real attacking threat.