Dapper Dons destroy poor Pars

A Scott Vernon hat-trick helped Aberdeen ease the pressure on manager Craig Brown with an easy 4-0 win over Dunfermline at Pittodrie on Friday.

Last Updated: 30/09/11 at 22:17

Vernon: Hit hat-trick in win over Dunfermline

Vernon: Hit hat-trick in win over Dunfermline

The SPL's Friday night football experiment drew an impressive crowd of 8,333 to Pittodrie and the majority who turned up left content after a resounding Dons victory.

Vernon opened the scoring when he headed home a Richard Foster cross after six minutes, and the former Colchester striker added a second after 35 minutes when he flicked the ball home from two yards out after Youl Mawene had nodded on a Kari Arnason cross.

Fraser Fyvie netted a third for the Dons on the stroke of half-time when he rifled the ball home from the edge of the area, and Vernon completed the scoring with ten minutes to go when he turned the ball home after Mohamed Chalali's long-range strike hit the post.

In their first home fixture since being dumped out of the Scottish Communities League Cup to Second Division part-timers East Fife, Aberdeen made only one change from the side that was defeated 1-0 by Motherwell with Fyvie returning to the side after his Scotland under-19 commitments.

Dunfermline, looking to bounce back from last weekend's 4-0 defeat to Rangers, made two changes with ex-Dundee United midfielder Craig Easton, who was back fit after a shin injury, and defender John Potter replacing Joe Cardle and Ryan Thomson.

Aberdeen made a promising start to the match with Arnason dragging a shot wide from distance before Vernon just failed to connect with Rob Milsom's tantalising cross.

However the Englishman broke the deadlock two minutes later when he headed home a Foster cross from close range to the delight of the home support.

The Dons continued to enjoy the better of possession as Dunfermline struggled to settle with New Zealand international Rory Fallon nodding over from a Ryan Jack corner after 15 minutes.

Fallon went even closer after 17 minutes when his downward header from Milsom's hanging cross was excellently kept out by Pars stopper Paul Gallacher.

Dunfermline created their first real chance on the half-hour mark when captain Austin McCann's perfect delivery was headed wide by former Inverness striker Andrew Barrowman.

The Pars had Gallacher to thank two minutes later when he pulled off a fantastic save to claw away another Vernon header from a Foster cross, before producing an equally fine stop to thwart Milsom.

But the former Norwich keeper was helpless to prevent the Dons getting a second after 35 minutes when Arnason's cross was nodded on by Mawene onto Vernon at the back post who easily guided the ball into the net from two yards out.

And the Dons added a third on the stroke of half-time when Vernon laid the ball up nicely for Fyvie to slam the ball low past Gallacher.

Aberdeen continued where they left off after the restart with Milsom unfortunate not to add a fourth when his powerful free-kick crashed off the crossbar.

Barrowman came close to pulling a goal back for the Fifers when his left-footed shot curled past the post after 58 minutes.

The Dons should have put the game out of sight after 62 minutes when Arnason's drive came back off the post to Fallon but the striker lashed the ball over when it looked easier to score.

The one-way traffic ensued with Fyvie almost grabbing his second with another powerful drive but again Gallacher managed to divert the ball to safety.

Milsom was guilty of passing up a wonderful chance with time running out when he was played in one-on-one with the keeper by substitute Chalali but the midfielder could only find the side-netting.

Vernon then completed his hat-trick with 10 minutes remaining when he was quickest to react after Chalali's curling effort bounced back off the post.

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1 Celtic 33 66 88
2 Aberdeen 33 17 63
3 Motherwell 33 5 60
4 Dundee Utd 33 17 54
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6 St J'stone 33 7 48
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