Dons impressed but will need to keep up this level of quality in every round to end 28 years of hurt

Aberdeen's Ryan Christie celebrates with his team-mates after scoring his side's second goal

Aberdeen negotiated the first step in the quest to end 28 years of Scottish Cup pain with minimum fuss against the Championship leaders.

However, if the Reds are to lift the trophy in May for the first time since 1990, they will have to deliver this level of hunger and intensity in every round of the tournament.

Riding high at the top of Scotland’s second tier, the Buddies had the potential to cause an upset if the Reds were off the pace.

However, Dons boss Derek McInnes had left absolutely nothing to chance and had their last six games watched.

McInnes even watched footage of the Buddies while on the flight over to their recent warm weather training in Dubai.

A week in the sun clearly boosted the Reds as they looked revitalised, refreshed and ready for the second half of the campaign.

Stretching out to nearly three decades since the Dons last lifted the Scottish Cup, it is not just one generation of supporters who have missed out on seeing them lift the trophy, but two generations. For a club of Aberdeen’s size and ambition that is a damning stat and one boss Derek McInnes and his squad will be desperate to change.

Aberdeen have been Scotland’s second force for the last four years and are well placed to retain that mantle this term. The midweek clash with Rangers at Ibrox will be pivotal to that race for second spot.

However, for all Aberdeen’s elevated position within the Scottish football landscape under McInnes, there is only one trophy to show for that.

A team’s legacy is ultimately judged decades down the line by silverware, not by being runners-up.

But Saturday was a positive day all round for the Reds as Niall McGinn and Stevie May both made appearances off the bench in the second half.

Both had been working with the club’s physios in Dubai in a bid to return to fitness. Recent signing McGinn, who penned a deal until 2021 to seal his Dons return, underwent hernia surgery in early December.

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

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