Dons down Dundee with ease
Last Updated: 27/10/12 7:49pm
Nish: Beats Hughes to a header
Summer signing Niall McGinn's strike and Jim McAlister's own goal helped Aberdeen earn a comfortable 2-0 win over Dundee at Pittodrie.
It could have been even more convincing though, such was the Dons' dominance in front of a 10,000 strong home crowd.
With Aberdeen sitting in the top four in the Scottish Premier League, it was no surprise manager Craig Brown stuck with the same starting line-up that had come from behind to earn a point against Dundee United.
There was a place on the bench for former Scotland international Gary Naysmith, who had recovered from a hamstring injury to play an hour of the Dons' Under-20 thumping of Motherwell in midweek.
Continuity would be a commodity Dundee boss Barry Smith would love to have, but there is a sense that he is still searching for his best blend of players following the Dark Blues' late ascent into the SPL.
He made five changes for this one, having seen his side beaten 4-1 by Inverness Caledonian Thistle last weekend. Two of them were enforced, with former Aberdeen pair Davide Grassi and Mark Kerr both missing out through injury.
Brian Easton was one of those coming into the starting line-up but the former Burnley man, who was making just his second appearance since returning to Scottish football, was to have a short-lived involvement.
The match was just two minutes old when, faced with the Dons' rising star Ryan Fraser for the first time, the full-back pulled up holding his hamstring and was replaced by Matt Lockwood.
Aberdeen had started brightly and the livewire Fraser was at the heart of their best play early on.
After 10 minutes he was set up by Northern Ireland international Niall McGinn, only to see his 15-yard shot deflected wide for a corner.
Four minutes later, the pair would combine again for the opening goal.
Fraser was the beneficiary of a poor clearance from Rab Douglas. He easily shook off Lockwood before sending in a low cross from the right which Stephen Hughes stepped over and McGinn lashed into the net via the underside of the crossbar.
The goal meant McGinn had now scored in five successive league games for the Dons, and the former Celtic man is certainly proving himself a shrewd signing.
It also provided a platform for Aberdeen to build on and at times they threatened to swamp Smith's side.
The influence of Fraser was all too clear when first Gary Irvine and then Iain Davidson went into the book before the interval for ending the youngster's raids down the flanks.
Dundee looked more lively at the start of the second half and Nicky Riley flashed a shot narrowly over the bar after peeling off Clark Robertson.
A sickening clash of heads between Dundee centre-backs Kyle Benedictus and Declan Gallagher left the latter with a bloody nose that forced him from the field for lengthy treatment, but he was able to return to the play.
The Dons had offered little in the opening stages of the second half but started to come alive again, with Fraser flashing efforts wide and then over in quick succession.
And they finally made it 2-0 when, after 74 minutes, substitute Johnny Hayes' free-kick was deflected in off Jim McAlister.
Dundee found the net in the 84th minute, but referee Calum Murray had already blown for offside when McAlister lashed beyond Jamie Langfield.
Scott Vernon could have made it 3-0 in injury time, but the Dons striker was denied by a great last-ditch tackle by Gallagher.