Aberdeen 2-0 Partick: Match Report
Aberdeen made to work hard for Partick Thistle victory
Substitutes Jayden Stockley and Ryan Christie netted the goals as Aberdeen had to battle for a 2-0 win against hard-working Partick Thistle.
Both teams were looking to bounce back from 1-0 midweek defeats, with the hosts unchanged for the seventh consecutive game despite having lost out at Celtic.
Partick manager Alan Archibald, meanwhile, made four changes to the side defeated at home by St Johnstone.
That consistency has been the key to an upturn in fortunes for the Dons and they were the first to threaten, as Kenny McLean shuffled an Adam Rooney flick on to his left foot, only to direct his 20-yard shot straight at Tomas Cerny.
The Czech keeper then saved comfortably from Andrew Considine before a moment of concern at the other end, where Christie Elliot latched on to an Adam Barton pass but could not get a clean shot away.
Ash Taylor, culpable for the Celtic goal in midweek, should have put Aberdeen in front with a free header from Niall McGinn's corner but the effort whistled over the bar.
McLean then thought he had broken the deadlock when he met a Jonny Hayes cross at the near post, but his side-footed effort struck only the side-netting.
But it was Thistle who should have taken the lead five minutes into the second half.
Elliot, striding forward from left-back, found Ryan Edwards with a deep cross to the back post. The Australian was inside the six-yard box but somehow nodded wide of an upright.
Derek McInnes moved his side into a 3-5-2 formation with the introduction of Stockley and Christie after 65 minutes, and it paid dividends just eight minutes later.
Christie fed Hayes for a viciously swerving left-foot drive which Cerny pushed round the upright. And from McGinn's resultant corner, Stockley found room at the post to head home the opener.
It could have been two just a minute later as Rooney latched on to a long ball out of defence but was forced slightly wide, allowing Cerny to save low to his right.
And Thistle should have been level within five minutes.
Danny Devine's ball out of defence was bizarrely left by Considine, with Ade Azeez lurking behind him. The striker looked for all the world like he had to score but somehow, with only Joe Lewis to beat, struck the outside of a post.
When presented with another chance in a similar area just a minute from the end, Azeez blasted wildly into the crowd.
And on-loan Celtic midfielder Christie made sure of the points for Aberdeen as he fired home from close range in the third minute of stoppage time.