ABERDEEN rediscovered their cutting edge in attack as they overcame St Mirren 4-1 at Pittodrie.
The Reds were without first choice strikers James Wilson, on loan from Manchester United, and Stevie May through injury.
However Sam Cosgrove and teenager Connor McLennan, on his debut, both laid down a marker by netting impressive first goals for the Dons.
Both scored in the first half before on loan Derby County left-back Max Lowe made it 3-0 going into the break.
Cosgrove increased his tally in the second half to make it 4-0 before Buddies grabbed a consolation.
It was a bitter sweet first start for McLennan who had to come off with a shoulder injury in the 56th minute after falling awkwardly during a challenge from Cammy MacPherson.
The absence of Wilson and May was two of four changes to the side that lost 1-0 to Celtic at Parkhead last Saturday.
Boss Derek McInnes handed a first start to 19-year-old striker McLennan who grabbed his chance.
The teen’s only game time for the first team this season had been the last 10 minutes of the 4-0 BetFred Cup win over St Mirren at Pittodrie.
Cosgrove also returned to the starting line-up along with on loan Derby County left-back Max Lowe.
Having recovered from a knee injury that had ruled him out of the last three matches midfielder Lewis Ferguson also went straight back into the starting XI,
Scotland international defender Scott McKenna was suspended having been handed a controversial two game ban retrospectively for a challenge on Celtic”s Odsonne Edouard.
Northern Ireland cap Niall McGinn was also ruled out through injury.
St Mirren created the first opportunity in the eighth minute when Simeon Jackson drove at goal before firing just wide from 20 yards.
Aberdeen’s first significant opportunity came when a Max Lowe drive from 25 yards was deflected wide of the St Mirren goal by Cosgrove.
Next they threatened via a powerful low 25 yard drive from Gary Mackay-Steven in the 21st minute that flashed inches wide of keeper Craig Samson’s goal.
The opener came in the 26th minute when Shay Logan whipped in a cross from the right into the penalty area.
COSGROVE met the ball with a diving header at full stretch and brilliantly directed it into the far corner beyond keeper Samson.
Only the woodwork stopped it being 2-0 moments later when Mackay-Steven danced over the ball and then unleashed a 25 yard curling effort that cracked off the far post.
Teenager MCLENNAN marked his first start in style with a superb goal.
He collected a Logan pass on the half-turn and bent a magnificent 18 yard drive that crashed off the underside of the bar and over the line.
It was 3-0 and game over for a broken St Mirren in the 41st minute when Mackay-Steven’s shot deflected to Max LOWE who was left completely unmarked with the goal beckoning.
He calmly slotted in from 12 yards.
Aberdeen should have been awarded a penalty in the 43rd minute when McLennan broke from the left flank into the box.
He was pulled back by Jack Baird in the box who clearly impeded him as McLennan fired off a shot. Referee Alan Muir waved play on.
In the 48th minute McLennan went on a rampaging run down the left flank, alluded three challenges before rifling a powerful drive into the side netting.
Moments later Aberdeen nearly conceded a bizarre goal when Lewis’ clearance richoched off the back of Jackson.
The ball spun up towards goal and Lewis had to race back to palm the ball off the line. He redeemed his mistake with a superb save.
Unfortunately goal scorer McLennan was taken off with a shoulder injury in the 56th minute having fallen awkwardly after a tackle. He was replaced by Chris Forrester.
It was 4-0 in the 65th minute when COSGROVE latched onto a cross from the byline from Lowe who whipped in an instinctive left footed shot.
Keeper Samson got both hands onto the waist high shot and pushed it onto the post and it went over the line.
St Mirren grabbed a consolation in the 77th when the Aberdeen defence switched off and former Don Cammy Smith picked up consolation and crossed to JACKSON who was unmarked and dinked it over Lewis.
Aberdeen: Lewis, Logan, Devlin, Considine, Lowe, Ball, Shinnie, Ferguson, Mackay-Steven, McLennan, Cosgrove.
Subs: Forrester (for McLennan 56), Gleeson (for Ball 71), Anderson (for Cosgrove 78)
Subs not used: Cerny, Campbell, Mackenzie, E. Ross.
ST MIRREN: Samson, P. McGinn, S. McGinn, Flynn, Jackson, Baird, Hodson, Edwards, MacPherson, Ferdinand, Hammill.
Subs: McShane (for Hammill 35), Smith (for S. McGinn 56)
Subs not used: Lyness, Heaton, Kirkpatrick, Jamieson, Erhahon.
Referee: Alan Muir