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Sam Cosgrove strike enough for Aberdeen

Aberdeen moved back into third place in the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership as
Sam Cosgrove’s 19th goal of the season earned them a 1-0 win against Hamilton.

The dominant Dons could and should have won more handsomely but it was a welcome three points for Derek McInnes’ side.

Aberdeen passed up a string of chances throughout the opening 45 minutes.

James Wilson should have opened the scoring after just six minutes after a neat move involving Lewis Ferguson and Shay Logan, but the former Manchester United forward was denied by goalkeeper Luke Southwood.

Funso Ojo returned to the Dons’ starting XI after three months out with a hamstring injury, and he could have been celebrating his return to the side with a goal, only for his effort to deflect off Johnny Hunt and over the crossbar.

Niall McGinn’s superb turn set up another opening for the home side just before the half-hour, but he was perhaps too greedy in taking on a shot himself and the effort was blocked before Ryan Hedges’ follow-up effort deflected to the goalkeeper.

Hamilton’s only chance of the opening period saw Aaron McGowan head wide, but Aberdeen were quickly back on the attack and McGinn was again wasteful as his shot from Wilson’s pass was straight at Southwood.

McInnes’ side had to wait until eight minutes after the interval to break the deadlock as McGinn’s cross from the left was stroked home by Cosgrove at the back post.

However, things were not completely going the way of Aberdeen, with defender Greg Leigh forced off through injury just before the break, and Ojo replaced for the start of the second half.

Having taken the lead, their final substitution saw midfielder Dean Campbell replace Hedges, with the home side content to settle for a 1-0 win rather than chasing goals.

While they remained the more likely to score, clear-cut chances were at a premium for both sides in the second half, despite Hamilton throwing on strikers David Mayo and Marios Ogkmpoe in a bid to find the leveller.

Aberdeen had a late claim for a penalty waved away by referee Willie Collum as they claimed for a handball as Cosgrove was crowded out in the area.