KENNY McLean earned Aberdeen their second victory over Hamilton in four days and secured a place in the Betfred Cup quarter-finals.

The midfielder struck the only goal two minutes before the break as the Dons recorded only their second victory in seven visits to the SuperSeal Stadium.

Hamilton had some decent chances, none more so than when Steven Boyd’s goal-bound effort hit team-mate Ali Crawford in the six-yard box.

Loading article content

Hostilities had barely halted since Aberdeen beat Accies 2-0 in their Ladbrokes Premiership opener on Sunday. Dons boss Derek McInnes hit out at Martin Canning over his claims that decisions had gone against the “smaller club” at Pittodrie, citing evidence to the contrary from last season and accusing the Accies manager of trying to get Graeme Shinnie sent off.

The first quarter was both foul and error-strewn with little quality amidst the frantic exchanges in the middle of the park.

The first clear opportunity came, fittingly, from a mistake as home goalkeeper Gary Woods fluffed a clearance to Nicky Maynard, who continued up front in place of the injured Adam Rooney. The striker set up Ryan Christie but Woods recovered brilliantly to block the shot.

Woods punched away Andrew Considine’s effort from the resulting corner before Aberdeen had a major let-off. Joe Lewis spilled Dougie Imrie’s low cross into the path of Boyd but Crawford inadvertently blocked his attempted tap-in. To add insult to injury, the offside flag went up against Crawford.

Xavier Tomas, who was sent off on Sunday, was booked for a late aerial challenge on Christie before Considine headed wide from Shinnie’s cross.

The breakthrough came courtesy of Scott Wright’s skilful and direct run, which put the home defence on the back foot. Shinnie’s blocked shot fell kindly for McLean, who set himself and drilled a right-footed shot low into the net.

Accies soon produced their best first-half moment but Lewis dived to palm Greg Docherty’s 22-yard strike wide of the post.

The hosts had chances after the interval but Rakish Bingham failed to make the most of sublime set-up play from Boyd before Tomas was off target with a free header. Substitute Louis Longridge then shot over after Docherty appeared to be held in the box.

Aberdeen substitute Greg Stewart missed two great chances to make the game safe but Accies still could not work Lewis and Grant Gillespie saw his strike curl a yard away from the visitors’ goal.