Aberdeen put in a ruthless first half performance as they demolished Hamilton 4-2 to leapfrog Hibs into third place in the Scottish Premiership.
Goals from Tommie Hoban, Lewis Ferguson and a Ryan Edmondson double had the home side on easy street after just 31 minutes, though David Moyo and a second-half Ross Callachan penalty kept the visitors interested.
Both sides showed a sense of willing in the opening stages, though a head knock sustained by Aberdeen’s Jonny Hayes – which would later force him from the field – was the main talking point.
That was to change after 14 minutes when Hoban headed home the opener from close range, giving Ryan Fulton no chance as he forced home Ryan Hedges’ inswinging corner.
Ferguson sent a free-kick narrowly wide of the post but made no mistake as he drilled a first-time, 25-yard strike into to the top left corner soon after, following a neat and patient Dons move.
The home side were in the mood and Edmondson saw a shot deflected wide before a Hedges cross-cum-shot narrowly evaded Hoban at the back post.
It was 3-0 after 24 minutes as Edmondson found the bottom right corner from 10 yards after a Hayes cutback – and the on-loan Leeds striker added his second of the evening just after the half-hour, steering into the opposite side of the goal after a fortunate break of the ball set him free behind the visitors’ defence.
Hamilton had scored five times in their previous two games and they were to find the net again here, Moyo turning home Callachan’s low cross at the back post.
Bolstered by their goal, Accies could have been back in contention by the break but Andrew Considine, the new Scotland cap at the age of 33, was well placed on the line to deny Callachan.
But Hamilton did have another goal back midway through the second half after Considine was adjudged to have handled Lee Hodson’s cross. Callachan stepped up and though Joe Lewis went the right way, he could not keep the spot-kick out.
Hamilton looked the more likely to net again as the second half wore on but the Dons back line repelled everything thrown at them, though ultimately the second half would prove something of a damp squib after an all-action opening 45.