Aberdeen brush aside St Mirren with impressive Scottish Cup win

Aberdeen's Ryan Christie.

ABERDEEN stormed into the Scottish Cup fifth round with a 4-1 defeat of Championship leaders St Mirren at Pittodrie.

Landing the in form Buddies had the potential to be a tough tie but the Reds produced an impressive, high tempo performance to book their place in the draw for the next round.

Goals from Ryan Christie (2), Gary Mackay-Steven and an Adam Rooney penalty saw off the Buddies.

Dons boss Derek McInnes has made lifting the Scottish Cup for the first time since 1990 one of the Reds’ targets and they began their bid with a strong performance.

Following a week long warm weather training camp in Dubai the Reds looked refreshed, revitalised and ready for the second half of the campaign.

Both new signing Niall McGinn and Stevie May won their fitness battles and featured off the bench in the second half against St Mirren.

Winger McGinn, who penned a long term deal until 2021 on his return to Pittodrie, underwent hernia surgery in early December.

Striker May had been sidelined for the final games before the Premiership winter shut-down with an ankle injury.

Both had been working closely with the club physios during the recent warm weather winter training camp in the Middle East  to get fit for the cup clash.

Defender  Scott McKenna was suspended having been red carded in the Scottish Cup in a 3-1 loss to Hibs last season while on loan at Ayr.

Centre-back Mark Reynolds, who started in the 2-0 friendly loss to Lokomotiv Tashkent in the Middle East in preparation for this tie, came in.

Aberdeen went ahead  in the seventh minute from the penalty spot when Greg Stewart confused Stelios Demetriou with a step over on the right hand side of the penalty area.

The defender clumsily threw in a leg and brought down Stewart for a clear spot kick.

Striker Adam ROONEY stepped up and calmly converted beyond keeper Craig Samson for his seventh goal of the season.

Moments later the impressive Stewart fired in a curling 25 yard shot that keeper Samson did well to punch behind for a corner.

In the 11th minute keeper Joe Lewis superbly parried away a powerful shot from Kyle Magennis to culminate a slick and impressive move from Buddies on the right hand flank.

Aberdeen went further ahead in the 18th minute following terrific build up play as Gary Mackay-Steven cut back to Ryan CHRISTIE.

The on loan Celtic attacker raced onto the ball and fired in a right footed shot from eight yards.

Next Rooney fired in an overhead kick in the 22nd minute but keeper Samson comfortably saved. However the Reds were carving open the Buddies rearguard.

St Mirren hit back in the 25th minute when Demetriou’s powerful shot was parried by keeper Lewis.

Reacting quickly Gavin REILLY latched onto the loose ball with a right footed volley  beyond Lewis to give the Buddies hope.

Aberdeen went 3-1 ahead in the 33rd minute.  Logan found himself in space in the right hand of the penalty area and took his time before delivering a superb flighted cross to the back post.

It looped over Adam Rooney but found CHRISTIE racing in and his header left keeper Samson stranded.

Christie attempted to secure his hat-trick before half-time when he unleashed a 35 yard drive in the 40th minute that flew over the cross-bar.

The tie was effectively over in the 47th minute courtesy of a superb strike from winger Gary MACKAY-STEVEN with an unstoppable left foot drive from just outside the penalty area that rifled into the top right corner.

There was a standing ovation for Northern Ireland international McGinn who made his second Dons debut when replacing Mackay-Steven midway through the second half.

McGinn penned a long term deal to return to Pittodrie at the start of the January transfer window.

The 30-year-old rejected a new Dons deal last summer to end his five year spell at the club and subsequently moved to South Korea.

When his contract with Gwangju was terminated early by mutual consent Dons boss Derek McInnes moved quickly to secure the winger’s return.

Within minutes McGinn came close to marking his return when he latched onto a Considine knock down and fired in a right footed volley from the edge of the box that flew just wide.

Soon after McGinn found Considine with a cross and the left-back’s powerful drive looked goal-bound until it was deflected wide for a corner.

 

ABERDEEN: Lewis, Logan, Shinnie, Considine, O’Connor, Reynolds, McLean, Stewart, Rooney, Christie, Mackay-Steven.

Subs: McGinn (for Mackay-Steven 66), May (for Stewart 78), Harvie (for Reynolds 84).

Subs not used: Rogers,  Ball, Wright, May, Maynard.

 

ST MIRREN: Samson, Demetriou, McGinn, Magennis, Morgan, Smith, Baird, McShane, Reilly, Davis, Smith.

Subs: Flynn (for McShane 56),  Mullen (for Reilly 65),    Hill     (for Smith 76),

Subs not used: Stewart, MacKenzie, Sutton,  Eckersley.

 

Referee: Don Robertson.

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