Aberdeen 3-0 Hamilton Academical

Simon Church scores for Aberdeen against Hamilton Academical

Simon Church’s fifth goal for Aberdeen put the hosts ahead

Aberdeen swept hapless Hamilton Academical aside to cut Celtic’s advantage at the top of the Premiership once again to four points.

The defending champions make up their game in hand at Dundee on Tuesday but Derek McInnes’s side proved they are not going to give up the chase.

A Simon Church header and a terrible defensive blunder that Niall McGinn exploited had the Dons two ahead.

Kenny McLean swept in his eighth goal of the season as Accies toiled.

The result looked beyond their redemption as soon as they fell two goals behind as Aberdeen started with a pace, skill, determination and aggression that simply swept the visitors aside.

Dominant Dons

McLean for one showed why he earned a first Scotland cap against Czech Republic last month by curling a shot-cum-cross against the outside of Michael McGovern’s right-hand post.

The Dons midfielder also forced the Northern Ireland international into an impressive save after bursting clear of two defenders to get in an angled shot.

Aberdeen were already ahead by then though as some dazzling play from Jonny Hayes – brimming with confidence after earning his first caps for Republic of Ireland during the recent international break.

The winger pinched possession off a dithering Antons Kurakins then swept over a delicious cross that invited the finish Church gave it with a powerful six-yard header.


McGinn (far right) doubled Aberdeen’s lead

Hamilton gifted the home side their second as Ziggy Gordon and McGovern left the clearing duties to each other and McGinn nipped in to score.

At that stage it looked like Accies would be in for the sort of hammering they took by eight goals to one at Celtic Park earlier this year as Aberdeen’s movement and crisp link-up play pulled them apart.

Luckily they had McGovern to save them on a number of occasions while Scott Brown at the other end was largely unemployed despite one real let-off in 20 minutes when Dougie Imrie broke free.

His lung-bursting run down the left ended with a wicked back-post cross that Oumar Diaby was only inches away from converting as his slid in trying desperately to make contact.

It was rare respite though as a superb sweeping move down the left saw Hayes send Graeme Shinnie away on the overlap and the full-back’s cross was swept in by McLean.


McLean (second from left) completed the scoring before half-time

Hamilton did work harder to get closer to their opponents in the second half and Oumar Diaby forced Brown into a save with a looping header.

However, it took more impressive McGovern saves and some narrow escapes to keep the scoreline down and Accies have a lot of work to do to maintain their Premiership status.

Shay Logan, McGinn and Reynolds all could have added to Aberdeen’s lead but Derek McInnes’s side had to be content with their three goals.

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