Aberdeen 2-0 Hamilton: Anthony O'Connor and Miles Storey goals see off 10-man Accies
Last Updated: 07/08/17 12:11pm
Aberdeen kicked off their new Scottish Premiership campaign with a comfortable 2-0 win over 10-man Hamilton at Pittodrie on Sunday.
Anthony O'Connor netted the opener after 26 minutes and substitute Miles Storey wrapped things up in the final minute of normal time, but the Dons were aided by the sending off of Hamilton debutant Xavier Tomas for two bookable offences.
Derek McInnes had made four changes after the disappointing 2-0 Europa League defeat against Apollon Limassol in Cyprus on Thursday and, though they took a little time to get going, they could have been in front after 13 minutes.
Ryan Christie won a free-kick on the right and took it himself, with his effort reminiscent of his goal against Hibernian in last season's Scottish Cup semi-final, but Accies goalkeeper Gary Woods scrambled to save at the near post.
Set-plays looked the most likely route to goal for the home side and so it proved as O'Connor flicked home a header from Greg Tansey's left-wing free-kick to open the scoring after 26 minutes.
Scott Wright, who earlier had a penalty claim waved away, was showing flashes of the talent that saw him net a hat-trick in his first league start against Partick Thistle at the end of last term, and with just over 10 minutes of the first half remaining he ended a jinking run with a well-struck 20-yard effort that stung the palms of Woods.
A fine piece of play by the 19-year-old then saw him pick out Nicky Maynard but his shot was parried by Woods, and Christie should really have doubled the home side's advantage, only to see his dinked effort clip the crossbar on the way over.
Hamilton could have been level at the break as Greg Docherty unleashed a snap-shot on the stroke of half-time that had Joe Lewis diving to his left to push over the crossbar.
Both teams struggled to create anything clear cut in the early stages of the second period before Hamilton were reduced to 10 men as Frenchman Tomas picked up a second booking for a tug on Christie.
The hosts stepped up their tempo from there, with Wright continuing to terrorise the visitors.
His left-wing cross found Shay Logan, who saw a volley saved by Woods, and just moments later Wright himself was denied by the goalkeeper, with skipper Graeme Shinnie sending a follow-up wide of the post.
Maynard came close to his first Dons goal after a clearance from Lewis on 70 minutes, but the one-time West Ham man saw his shot cleared off the line by substitute Massimo Donati.
Tansey then clipped a 20-yard effort high and wide of the target, but it was another former Inverness player who bagged the second, Storey coming off the bench to slot a low strike across Woods and into the far corner.