Curtis Main’s opener was just his second strike this season
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 an early goal blitz 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”.
And while the latter may be open to distortion in the realm of football, there was little hiding from one glaring stat staring McInnes and his misfiring strikers in the face. The Pittodrie club arrived in Lanarkshire without a goal in their previous five games. The benching of Sam Cosgrove a clear sign that something had to give.
In blustery conditions, would the reintroduction of Main blow in a goal at last for a team striving for Europe? In short, yes.
The 27-year-old had only managed one goal in his previous 17 games since joining Aberdeen from Motherwell, but his instinctive run and deft finish spoke of a player not short in confidence, his lofted effort on the quarter hour over stranded Luke Southwood opening the scoring.
Like buses on Glasgow’s Union Street, you wait almost a month for one and another turns up eight minutes later. You could have driven one through the middle of the Accies defence given the care that was given to McGinn darting into the box. Hamilton switched off from a throw, Main’s cute pass and Lewis Ferguson’s reverse flick carved the hosts open. McGinn showed his instinctive side, ghosting into the box and prodding the ball beyond Southwood into the far corner.
Hamilton, who had David Templeton miss 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.
As the rain fell in the first half, 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 and breathe life into his side, and there was an initial upturn in the tempo and spirit of the Lanarkshire side.
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 with just 11 minutes left to play soon after.
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.”