Aberdeen returned to winning ways with a convincing 3-1 win at Kilmarnock – after taking the lead after just 54 seconds.
Dons boss Derek McInnes had demanded an immediate response after the Reds crashed to a dismal 2-0 loss to Motherwell at Pittodrie.
Aberdeen delivered with Kenny McLean’s goal inside the opening minute followed up by a Stephen O’Donnell own goal and a Stevie May stunner.
It will have silenced Killie striker Kris Boyd who slated the Scotland call-up of Aberdeen’s Kenny McLean, Graeme Shinnie and Ryan Christie as a ‘laughing stock’ ahead of the Scots 1-0 friendly loss to Holland at Pittodrie.
The victory at Rugby Park moved the Dons to within three points of league leaders Celtic.
It was also a vital boost ahead of a pivotal home and away Premiership double header against Rangers this week.
There were two changes to the side that were awful in the 2-0 loss to Motherwell with skipper Graeme Shinnie returning from a one match suspension.
Summer signing Stevie May returned to the starting line-up, having been on the bench for the first time since his £400,000 transfer from Preston North End.
Returning skipper Shinnie picked out Kenny McLEAN with a superbly weighted pass and the midfielder rifled in a right footed shot beyond keeper Jamie MacDonald from just inside the box.
It was a sensational start for the Reds that got even better when they doubled the advantage on the 12th minute.
A free-kick from Greg Tansey into the penalty area was flicked on by May.
The striker’s header took a wicked deflection off Stephen O’DONNELL and was redirected beyond keeper MacDonald.
Aberdeen were looking increasingly dangerous and soon after May had another effort blocked by the overworked keeper.
Kilmarnock finally carved out an opportunity in the 22nd minute but O’Donnell fired into the side netting.
On the half hour mark Jordan Jones fired high over the bar as Killie tried to engineer a way back into the game.
Striker Kris Boyd was introduced as a substitute at half-time to boos from the 822 strong travelling Red Army.
They made up a sizeable chunk of the 4,198 attendance. It was a fantastic turn-out from the Dons fans for a round journey in excess of 300 miles at 12.30pm on a Sunday.
Do the SPFL even consider fans when they reschedule these fixtures? I doubt it.
Boyd recently slated the call-up of three Dons to the Scotland squad for the 1-0 friendly defeat to Holland at Pittodrie.
He insisted the call-ups of Kenny McLean, Ryan Christie and Graaeme Shinnie were a ‘laughing’ stock and were only to boost ticket sales in the Granite City.
By the time Boyd got game time the Dons had already silenced the striker.
Aberdeen had the ball in the net soon after the restart when May bundled in a cross from Gary Mackay-Steven.
The goal was chalked off for offisde. It was the wrong call as GMS was onside.
Moments later Mackay-Steven again whipped in a dangerous low ball that was dummied by May. Midfielder McLean pounced and was denied by an impressive block from keeper MacDonald.
Boyd latched onto a low cross at the near post only to blast narrowly wide from five yards in the 64th minute – to the delight of Dons fans.
Killie hit back in the 67th minute when Jordan JONES unleashed a low curling shot that squirmed in past Joe Lewis at the near post. The keeper should have saved it.
Soon after Lewis fluffed an attempted clearance with the ball landing at Boyd.
However the Dons defence blocked his low shot to save the keeper’s blushes.
Aberdeen were beginning to look nervous.
However a superb goal from MAY in the 75th minute eased any nerves.
The summer signing collected a pass up the channel from substitute Mark Reynolds.
He then broke into the box at pace and showed real tenacity to shrug off the attention of O’Donnell and Broadfoot before lashing a superb 15 yard drive beyond keeper MacDonald.
There was a fragility to the Reds defence with Boyd allowed a chance that Lewis blocked and Greg Taylor shooting across goal and wide soon after.
Killie’s day got worse when Jones was dismissed for a second yellow card following a foul on Nicky Maynard.
A first victory in three games it was a timely boost for the Reds ahead of the trip to Rangers on Wednesday.
ABERDEEN: Lewis, Logan, Shinnie, Considine, O’Connor, McLean, Mackay-Steven, Tansey, McKenna, Christie, May.
SUBS: Reynolds (for Mackay-Steven 63), Rooney (for Christie 73), Maynard (for May 80).
SUBS NOT USED: Rogers, Stewart, Arnason, Wright.
KILMARNOCK: MacDonald, Greer, Broadfoot, Findlay, O’Donnell, McKenzie, Power, Jones, Taylor, Frizzell, Erwin.
SUBS: Boyd (for Frizell 46), Dicker (for McKenzie 46), Brophy (for Erwin 63)
SUBS NOT USED: Bell, Thomas, S. Boyd, Hawkshaw.
Referee: Steven McLean