Aberdeen find their scoring touch to beat hosts Hamilton 3-1 in the Scottish Premiership.
Aberdeen ended a five-game goal drought to ease by Hamilton and move up to third in the Scottish Premiership.
Derek McInnes’ faltering side had not found the net in the league this year but hit Accies with early goals from Curtis Main and Niall McGinn.
Connor McLennan’s header made it three just before the break with Marios Ogkmpoe scoring a consolation late on.
Defeat leaves Hamilton a point off bottom side Hearts, having played a game more.
Aberdeen move above Motherwell on goal difference into third, with the Fir Park club playing their game in hand away to St Johnstone on Wednesday.
Dons dam bursts as goals flood in
Mark Twain was famously quoted with the profound words “lies, damned lies and statistics”. While the latter may be open to distortion in football, the Pittodrie club’s goal-drought statistic was staring McInnes and his misfiring strikers squarely in the face. The benching of Sam Cosgrove was a clear sign that something had to give.
In rainy and blustery conditions, it was hoped the reintroduction of Main would blow in a goal at last for a team striving for Europe.
The 27-year-old had only managed one goal in his previous 17 games since joining Aberdeen from Motherwell, but his strike after a quarter of an hour spoke of a player not short on confidence, his instinctive run and lofted effort leaving Luke Southwood stranded.
Eight minutes later it was two. Hamilton switched off from a throw, and Main’s cute pass and Lewis Ferguson’s reverse flick carved the hosts open. McGinn did the rest, showing his instinctive side as he ghosted into the box and prodded the ball into the far corner beyond Southwood.
Hamilton, for whom David Templeton missed a glorious chance when through on goal at 0-0, were stunned. To make matters worse, Brian Easton was forced off through injury just moments after the Aberdeen lead was doubled, rain by this point the only thing flowing towards the visiting goal amid the deluge.
The flood of goals was not finished as the clock ticked towards the break. More fine finishing and more slack defending was the story of it, Andrew Considine the provider for McLennan to glance a header into the net.
David Moyo and Will Collar were both thrown on by Hamilton head coach Brian Rice at the break to try to breathe life into his side, and there was an initial upturn in tempo and spirit.
However, it failed to yield the quick goal they craved to drop any doubt into the minds of their visitors.
Instead, McInnes’ men finished this game as they started. Main glanced a header wide in what would have been his first brace since April 2018, with an offside correctly ruling out his effort.
A breakthrough for the hosts did come, though, on 84 minutes, Ogkmpoe slotting beyond Joe Lewis following a poor clearance from Considine, but the fact it was the hosts’ first shot on target tells its own story. It was too little, far too late.
Man of the match – Curtis Main
BBC Scotland’s Brian McLauchlin at the FOY Stadium
Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes came to Hamilton with a team that was obviously lacking confidence in front of goal after a dismal run without finding the net, but a tweak in formation along with a change upfront allowed them to find the key. The player at the heart of it all was Curtis Main.
The former Motherwell striker looked back to his old self as he put in arguably his best performance since joining the club.
He made a terrific run to latch on to a through ball for the opener and was a real handful all night for the Accies defence and certainly warranted the man of the match award.
‘It’s an horrendous night for us’ – reaction
Hamilton assistant Guillaume Beuzelin: “I thought we didn’t start the game the way we wanted. We knew they were in a not good series so we knew it was a dangerous team to play against.
“It was a better second half but overall it was not good enough.
“We needed a leader and Easton is our captain. It’s his shoulder as well so we don’t know how long he is out for, it’s a massive blow. It’s an horrendous night for us.”
‘Horrendous night’ for Hamilton – Beuzelin
Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes: “It’s was an important three points for us. The effort of the team has never been in question but we were looking for a bit more quality.
“We have found it difficult against teams that have sat in. Tonight, we had a bit more space to work in and the players were clinical. Hopefully, we can build some momentum now.”
McInnes ‘so pleased’ for ‘brilliant’ Main
- Match Stats
- Live Text
- 12WoodsSubstituted forCollarat 45'minutes
- 24EastonSubstituted forWantat 30'minutes
- 16TempletonSubstituted forMoyoat 45'minutes
- 4ConsidineBooked at 51mins
- 10McGinnSubstituted forCosgroveat 80'minutes
- 17McGeouchSubstituted forCampbellat 73'minutes
- 18McLennanSubstituted forLoganat 81'minutes
Home TeamHamiltonAway TeamAberdeenPossessionHome44%Away56%ShotsHome3Away8Shots on TargetHome1Away5CornersHome4Away8FoulsHome9Away14
Match ends, Hamilton Academical 1, Aberdeen 3.