Jonny Hayes scored twice at Tynecastle as Aberdeen brushed St Johnstone aside to reach the League Cup final.

The little winger converted from close range after three minutes.

The Dons then needed to defend stoutly to preserve their lead before the advantage was extended by a composed Peter Pawlett finish.

After the interval, Adam Rooney raced clear to shoot home and Hayes found the net again with a powerful shot as the St Johnstone challenge faded.

The result means a first final in 14 years for the Dons who had the backing of around three quarters of a packed stadium.

The men in red were first to threaten when a sharp shot on the turn from Rooney was tipped over by keeper Stevie Banks.

St Johnstone had a lot of the ball but could not find a way through

Lee Croft missed St Johnstone's best chance in the first half

The veteran goalie was deputising for the suspended Alan Mannus and it was his poor clearance that led to the opening goal.

Rooney gathered the scuffed goal-kick on the right and left Brian Easton behind before rolling a pass beyond a static Steven Anderson for Hayes to slide in and bundle home from close range.

St Johnstone responded with a concerted period of pressure, forcing six first-half corners and pinning the Dons back.

However, Aberdeen defended determinedly, with Mark Reynolds and Andrew Considine impressing at the back for Derek McInnes's side.

Saints did find a way through when Stevie May and Gary McDonald linked and an unwitting assist from Dons skipper Russell Anderson sent Lee Croft scurrying in on goal.

The former Manchester City midfielder hammered in a low, angled shot but keeper Jamie Langfield got the slightest touch on the ball, directing it against the post.

Dave McKay then made a mess of a close-range header and suddenly Saints found themselves two goals behind.

David Wotherspoon was unconvincing when clearing an aimless, deep cross from Hayes and Pawlett gathered the loose ball to drive into the penalty box before slipping a cool finish under Banks.

St Johnstone hit the frame of the goal again early in the second half when a looping header from McKay landed on the junction of post and bar. McDonald helped the stray ball on and May's attempt to convert from inside the six yard box was thwarted by Reynolds.

Aberdeen thought they had won a penalty when Banks flapped at the heels of Rooney after beating away a low shot from Pawlett but the keeper was spared, briefly, when an offside decision went against the striker.

Rooney was not to be denied, however, and moments later the January signing was celebrating his second goal in two games for the Dons.

Pawlett robbed the dithering McKay and clipped a lovely pass forward for the striker to run on to and slam a shot beyond the exposed Banks.

Saints' heads dropped in the heavy Edinburgh rain as Hayes fired a rising strike over the crossbar and a powerful header from Considine cannoned off the crossbar.

With 10 minutes remaining, Hayes twisted away from the retreating Anderson to send a skidding shot past Banks from the edge of the penalty box and the singing from the jubilant fans in red reached new levels in spite of the wretched weather.

Lineup, Bookings (3) & Substitutions (6)

Aberdeen

  • 01 Langfield
  • 29 Logan
  • 05 Considine Booked
  • 08 Flood
  • 04 Anderson (Tate - 81' )
  • 06 Reynolds
  • 16 Pawlett (Low - 87' )
  • 15 Robson Booked (Vernon - 82' )
  • 10 McGinn
  • 17 Rooney
  • 11 Hayes

Substitutes

  • 07 Zola
  • 09 Vernon
  • 18 Low
  • 20 Weaver
  • 28 Tate

St Johnstone

  • 15 Banks
  • 02 Mackay
  • 24 Easton (Miller - 88' )
  • 08 McDonald
  • 05 Wright
  • 06 Anderson
  • 10 Wotherspoon Booked
  • 22 Croft (O'Halloran - 72' )
  • 17 May
  • 11 Hasselbaink (Iwelumo - 61' )
  • 07 Millar

Substitutes

  • 04 Cregg
  • 19 Miller
  • 25 Iwelumo
  • 29 O'Halloran
  • 35 Hurst
Ref: Bobby Madden
Att: 16,761

Match Stats

Shots

9 8

On target

6 4

Corners

1 10

Fouls

14 9

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Aberdeen 4, St Johnstone 0.

90:00 +3:03 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Aberdeen 4, St Johnstone 0.

90:00 +0:05

Foul by Nicky Low (Aberdeen).

90:00 +0:05

David Wotherspoon (St Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

87:20 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, St Johnstone. Gary Miller replaces Brian Easton.

87:05

Andrew Considine (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

87:05

Foul by Chris Iwelumo (St Johnstone).

86:04 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Aberdeen. Nicky Low replaces Peter Pawlett because of an injury.

85:05 Booking

Booking Andrew Considine (Aberdeen) is shown the yellow card.

85:01

Foul by Andrew Considine (Aberdeen).

85:01

Chris Millar (St Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

82:33

Niall McGinn (Aberdeen) wins a free kick on the left wing.

82:33

Foul by Michael O'Halloran (St Johnstone).

81:06 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Aberdeen. Scott Vernon replaces Barry Robson.

80:48 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Aberdeen. Alan Tate replaces Russell Anderson.

78:39 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Aberdeen 4, St Johnstone 0. Jonathan Hayes (Aberdeen) left footed shot from the left side of the box to the bottom left corner.

74:48

Corner, St Johnstone. Conceded by Andrew Considine.

71:53 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, St Johnstone. Michael O'Halloran replaces Lee Croft.

70:54

Andrew Considine (Aberdeen) hits the bar with a header from the left side of the six yard box.

70:05 Booking

Booking David Wotherspoon (St Johnstone) is shown the yellow card.

70:00

Jonathan Hayes (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

70:00

Foul by David Wotherspoon (St Johnstone).

68:23

Attempt missed. Jonathan Hayes (Aberdeen) left footed shot from the left side of the box is just a bit too high.

66:05

Shaleum Logan (Aberdeen) wins a free kick on the right wing.

66:05

Foul by Steve May (St Johnstone).

62:08 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Aberdeen 3, St Johnstone 0. Adam Rooney (Aberdeen) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Peter Pawlett.

60:06 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, St Johnstone. Chris Iwelumo replaces Nigel Hasselbaink.

58:39

Attempt saved. Peter Pawlett (Aberdeen) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

56:50

Willo Flood (Aberdeen) wins a free kick on the left wing.

56:50

Foul by David Wotherspoon (St Johnstone).

55:10

Attempt saved. Steve May (St Johnstone) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

53:09

Corner, St Johnstone. Conceded by Andrew Considine.

52:03

Barry Robson (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

52:03

Foul by Steve May (St Johnstone).

51:42

Corner, St Johnstone. Conceded by Mark Reynolds.

51:07

Frazer Wright (St Johnstone) hits the bar with a header from the centre of the box.

50:45

Corner, St Johnstone. Conceded by Andrew Considine.

47:38

Foul by Andrew Considine (Aberdeen).

47:38

Lee Croft (St Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

45:00

Second Half begins Aberdeen 2, St Johnstone 0.

45:00 +1:26 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Aberdeen 2, St Johnstone 0.

45:00 +1:04

Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by David Mackay.

42:16

Attempt saved. Nigel Hasselbaink (St Johnstone) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the left is saved in the bottom left corner.

40:24

Hand ball by Willo Flood (Aberdeen).

39:26

Foul by Jonathan Hayes (Aberdeen).

39:26

Frazer Wright (St Johnstone) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

36:40

Jonathan Hayes (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

36:40

Foul by David Wotherspoon (St Johnstone).

36:12

Attempt missed. Barry Robson (Aberdeen) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right.

34:43

Willo Flood (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

34:43

Foul by Frazer Wright (St Johnstone).

33:59

Corner, St Johnstone. Conceded by Russell Anderson.

31:03 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Aberdeen 2, St Johnstone 0. Peter Pawlett (Aberdeen) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal.

29:21

Foul by Andrew Considine (Aberdeen).

29:21

Steve May (St Johnstone) wins a free kick on the left wing.

28:16

Attempt missed. Frazer Wright (St Johnstone) header from the centre of the box misses to the right.

27:36

Foul by Russell Anderson (Aberdeen).

27:36

Steve May (St Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

27:06

Foul by Andrew Considine (Aberdeen).

27:06

Chris Millar (St Johnstone) wins a free kick on the right wing.

26:23

Corner, St Johnstone. Conceded by Jamie Langfield.

26:02

Attempt saved. Lee Croft (St Johnstone) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

23:16

Foul by Barry Robson (Aberdeen).

23:16

Steve May (St Johnstone) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

20:44

Corner, St Johnstone. Conceded by Andrew Considine.

18:28 Booking

Booking Barry Robson (Aberdeen) is shown the yellow card.

18:18

Foul by Barry Robson (Aberdeen).

18:18

Lee Croft (St Johnstone) wins a free kick on the right wing.

16:17

Foul by Russell Anderson (Aberdeen).

16:17

Frazer Wright (St Johnstone) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

15:16

Foul by Barry Robson (Aberdeen).

15:16

Steve May (St Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

14:45

Foul by Barry Robson (Aberdeen).

14:45

Chris Millar (St Johnstone) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

12:10

Corner, St Johnstone. Conceded by Russell Anderson.

11:40

Foul by Barry Robson (Aberdeen).

11:40

Nigel Hasselbaink (St Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

8:40

Attempt missed. Frazer Wright (St Johnstone) header from the centre of the box misses to the left following a corner.

8:13

Corner, St Johnstone. Conceded by Mark Reynolds.

8:04

Attempt blocked. Steve May (St Johnstone) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked.

4:58

Corner, St Johnstone. Conceded by Niall McGinn.

3:40

Attempt saved. Steve May (St Johnstone) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

2:53 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Aberdeen 1, St Johnstone 0. Jonathan Hayes (Aberdeen) left footed shot from the left side of the six yard box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Adam Rooney with a cross.

1:43

Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Steve Banks.

1:23

Attempt saved. Niall McGinn (Aberdeen) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

0:40

Barry Robson (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

0:40

Foul by Lee Croft (St Johnstone).

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

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