Aberdeen only scored for the second time in the past two months, as late winner of substitute Callum Hendrys pushed them past Dumbarton and into the fourth round of the Scottish Cup.
The loaned St Johnstone forward was the last man to score for the Dons on February 20 with his winner against Kilmarnock.
And it took his goal seven minutes to force Aberdeen past Jim Duffys Sons.
With new boss Scott Glass still isolated after returning from America, Paul Sheerin was once again in charge of the Pittodrie outfit at the C&G Systems Stadium.
The former Atlanta United coach, who will only be taking over after next week’s trip to St. Johnstone, has appointed former England offensive guru Allan Russell to his backroom staff.
But he will lose his job after another toothless display left them for fear of a major upset when Dumbarton got close a few times.
Neither side had much to lean on in terms of recent form. While the Dons had won only once in their previous 10 games, their part-time hosts fared no better, with only four wins all season that put them in second place of League One.
Aberdeen had plenty of chances to claim a lead at half time, but once again their lead was obvious. Florian Kamberi should have scored within six minutes, but went wide.
Sam Ramsbottom then made the first of two impressive saves before half-time when he made a fine one-handed stop to push an attempt away from Ethan Ross.
Aberdeen continued to create and miss opportunities. McGinn went wide from eight meters wide, Lewis Ferguson’s header was again pushed away by Ramsbottom, while Andy Considine was unable to run from home when Nat Wedderburn threw himself into a heroic block.
And it should have been the Sons who claimed a shock lead eight minutes before halftime when the long free kick from Ramsbottoms to Ryan McGeever broke in the perfect position, only for the defender to shave his big moment right on Joe Lewis.
Duffy made a halftime change when he introduced Rabin Omar to Tomas Brindley and the Dutchman made an almost immediate impression when some scruffy Dons allowed him to sneak through to Lewis, who had to make a big save to save the Pittodrie men.
Kamberi was replaced by Hendry at 55 minutes after a very grueling show, but the change didn’t have the immediate impact Sheerin was hoping for as Aberdeen continued to sniff and puff.
Ross McCrorie skipped a volley after good work from McGinn over the right side, while Hayes and McGinn were both frustrated with rapid firing blocks as the combined efforts of McGeever and Nick McAllister kept Dumbarton in the game.
But much to the relief of the Dons, they finally made one of their odds paid out when the clock ticked the last 10 minutes.
Substitutions Connor McLennan and Matt Kennedy combined when the ball was carried 18 yards further to Hendry, with the attacker cutting inward and drilling past Ramsbottom to the winner.
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