ABERDEEN booked their place in the semi-finals of the Scottish Gas Scottish Cup with a convincing 3-1 triumph over on-form Kilmarnock at Pittodrie this afternoon.

First half goals from Jamie McGrath and Graeme Shinnie put Neil Warnock’s team in a commanding position – but Danny Armstrong gave Derek McInnes’s side hope when he fired beyond Kelle Roos shortly before half-time.

However, the hosts restored their two goal advantage in the second half when the visitors’ centre half Stuart Findlay turned a McGrath shot into his own net and they held onto their lead and booked their place at Hampden next month.

Veteran English manager Warnock, who took over from Barry Robson on an interim basis last month, stood down from his position following the final whistle.  

Here are five talking points from the all-Premiership quarter-final encounter.  


The only triumph that Warnock had overseen before today was the victory over fourth tier part-timers Bonnyrigg Rose in the previous round last month.

But the 75-year-old’s team were well worth their win today. They competed in every area of the pitch and created enough chances to prevail by an even more emphatic scoreline.

If they can perform with the same heart in the final league games of the 2023/24 campaign they will avoid getting sucked into a relegation battle.

But Warnock will not be involved going forward. A statement on the official Aberdeen website after full-time revealed that he had stood down with the search for a new manager "at an advanced stage" and Peter Leven will take temporary charge. 


Former Scotland internationalist Stuart Findlay will not enjoy looking back at the opening goal next week.

The Kilmarnock centre half failed to deal with a Stefan Gartenmann punt upfield by and allowed Bojan Miovski to pinch possession and back heel to Junior Hoilett.

The former Blackburn Rovers, Queens Park Rangers, Reading and Cardiff City forced a save from Will Dennis.

But the Killie goalkeeper could only palm his shot away and McGrath ghosted in and bundled the ball over the line from the edge of the six yard box.

It was a needless goal to lose. But worse was to follow for the defender in the second half. He was unable to get out the way of a McGrath shot after good work by Jack McKenzie. The attempt curled beyond Dennis off his head.  


Aberdeen captain Shinnie has probably been more badly affected by the Pittodrie club’s difficult season than anyone.

So his delight at netting the second goal of the afternoon was entirely understandable. But he had every right to celebrate his stunning effort wildly. He will not have scored many better in his long career.

He lashed an unstoppable effort into the top left corner after McGrath had laid off a Hoilett pass to him inside the Kilmarnock area. It took the slightest of deflections off of an outstretched leg. But would Dennis have been able to get a hand to it if it had not? It is doubtful.

The booking which Shinnie picked up for dissent late on took some of the sheen off the result as it ruled him out of the semi-final. 


Having watched their heroes suffer a late collapse against St Mirren in a Premiership match in Paisley last weekend, few Aberdeen supporters would have felt completely confident when they were leading 2-0.

When Armstrong pulled one back for McInnes men four minutes before half-time after getting on the end of a Vassell chip they must have feared the worst.

But their opponents, who are in fifth place in the top flight table and pushing hard for a European spot, were not their normal selves and were deservedly beaten at the end of the 90 minutes.


John Beaton got it both barrels from Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers after the Scottish champions’ defeat to Hearts at Tynecastle in the cinch Premiership last Sunday.

Rodgers was incensed with the red card which his winger Yang Hyun-jun received and with the penalty which was given against his side for a Tomoki Iwata handball.

VAR official Beaton had urged his colleague Don Robertson to look at both incidents again – and the pair were lambasted for their “incompetence” following the final whistle.

Would the vastly-experienced Scottish referee have a quieter afternoon at Pittodrie and repair his battered reputation?

There was, unsurprisingly given the importance of this cup tie to both teams, a definite edge to proceedings and Beaton angered both sets of supporters in the 10,879-strong with his decisions.

He allowed play to continue when Kilmarnock kid David Watson went to ground in the Aberdeen penalty box following contact from Shinnie.

He also let Rugby Park striker Vassell go unpunished after he had pushed Pittodrie midfielder Gartenmann over.

That prompted a chant of “John Beaton, we know you’re a Hun” from the members of Ultras Aberdeen in the Merkland Stand.

He showed the first yellow card early in the second half when Jack McKenzie fouled Armstrong as the winger broke down the right. Armstrong and Joe Wright and Shinnie all got booked thereafter.

But neither manager could have any complaints about the competency of the man-in-the-middle.