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2016/17 Scottish Cup, Quarter-finals
  • Graeme Shinnie (43')
  • Daniel Devine (90'+3')

Aberdeen 1-0 Partick Thistle

Graeme Shinnie's first-half goal secured Aberdeen's place in the semi-finals of the William Hill Scottish Cup following a 1-0 victory over 10-man Partick Thistle.
Shinnie's strike from just outside the area two minutes before half-time proved the difference between the teams as the Dons moved to within two victories of ending a 27-year drought in the cup competition.
Thistle had won their last four fixtures in all competitions but Aberdeen goalkeeper Joe Lewis was largely untroubled and the visitors' miserable afternoon was compounded by Danny Devine's dismissal in the third minute of added-on time.
Since their last visit to Pittodrie last month, when they were beaten 2-0, Alan Archibald's men had gone on a four-match winning sequence and had not conceded in any of those fixtures, so it was no surprise to see they fielded the same starting line-up that defeated Dundee in mid-week.
The home side were also in a rich vein of form, having won 11 of their last 13, and although they suffered a surprise defeat at Hamilton in their last outing on Tuesday, they were boosted by the return of Jonny Hayes following a hamstring strain.
The Irishman's inclusion was one of three changes to Aberdeen's starting XI, with Peter Pawlett and Jayden Stockley also included as the injured Mark Reynolds and Ryan Jack missed out and Ryan Christie was demoted to the bench.
There was not too much for either set of supporters to get excited about in the early stages, although Niall McGinn had Partick worried in the 15th minute when he cut inside onto his left foot but failed to keep his shot down from the edge of the penalty area.
Moments later, Ash Taylor flicked an effort over the crossbar after Partick were unable to clear a corner.
A superb Tomas Cerny save denied McGinn giving Aberdeen a 24th-minute lead, the former Hamilton goalkeeper pushing behind a well-struck 18-yard drive from the Northern Irishman after Taylor's ball forward was only partially cleared by Devine.
Adam Rooney then had two headers off target from set-pieces, which the Jags failed to deal with.
However, Aberdeen's perseverance paid off two minutes before the interval. Stand-in skipper Shinnie collected a pass from the probing McGinn and guided a 20-yard curling shot inside the far corner to give Cerny no chance.
Early in the second half, Cerny was forced to make a save to keep out Stockley's back-post effort from McGinn's free-kick.
With his team offering little in an attacking sense, Jags boss Archibald shuffled his pack in the 55th minute as substitute Steven Lawless took the place of Adam Barton and soon after, Ade Azeez replaced Chris Erskine.
Aberdeen continued to control proceedings though, and Cerny was forced to claw away McGinn's curling shot in the 80th minute before substitute Anthony O'Connor clipped the crossbar with a header from a set-piece.
In stoppage-time, Thistle conjured up their first and only chance when Abdul Osman sent a back-post header over the crossbar from Callum Booth's free-kick and their afternoon ended on a low note when Devine was sent off for a second bookable offence for bringing down Dons substitute Ryan Christie, having previously scythed down Pawlett.
ends