Match ends, Dumbarton 0, Aberdeen 1.
Aberdeen edged past League One strugglers Dumbarton to reach the Scottish Cup fourth round, but their goalscoring woes continued.
Substitute Callum Hendry smashed home the winner six minutes from the end, for only Aberdeen's second goal in 11 matches.
Dumbarton - ninth in the third tier - had looked like forcing extra time, and had chances to win it.
But Hendry's intervention spared the Scottish Premiership side's blushes.
The on-loan St Johnstone striker was sharp when fed the ball in the box, showing good feet before rattling the ball past Sam Ramsbottom in the Dumbarton goal.
It was one of the rare moments of penetration through the middle of the pitch for Aberdeen, as they relied heavily on crosses from wide areas to create chances.
Seventeen-year-old Calvin Ramsay looked their best outlet from right-back, before being forced off by injury after an hour.
Despite their ponderous approach play, the visitors did still have chances to make their life easier, registering 26 shots.
Jonny Hayes had an effort blocked, and volleyed over, Lewis Ferguson's header was superbly saved by Ramsbottom, while Andy Considine had an attempt deflected wide by Nat Wedderburn.
But arguably it was Dumbarton who had the clearer chances, the best of them falling to half-time substitute Rabin Omar, who surged through on goal only to be denied brilliantly by Joe Lewis.
Jim Duffy's part-time side defended bravely throughout, but were playing their fourth game in a week, having finished against Airdrieonians just 40 hours before kick-off in this game.
It was little wonder then, that their resistance was eventually broken late on, much to Aberdeen's relief.
Incoming manager Stephen Glass will surely have been watching on, and the former player has plenty to ponder as he prepares to take charge in the coming weeks.
Dumbarton manager Jim Duffy: "They gave everything they had. We wanted to make sure the players did themselves justice and they did that. We gave Aberdeen an uncomfortable afternoon. We just wanted that one chance."
Aberdeen interim manager Paul Sheerin: "We asked them to show patience and they got their reward. We were well worth the win in the end. We could be more ruthless, especially in the first half, but the fact we stuck at it was really pleasing."
- 16WedderburnBooked at 44mins
- 11FrizzellSubstituted forQuitongoat 88'minutes
- 17BrindleySubstituted forOmarat 45'minutes
- 10JonesSubstituted forCrossanat 88'minutes
- 44RamseySubstituted forKennedyat 63'minutes
- 3HobanBooked at 69mins
- 23RossSubstituted forMcLennanat 79'minutes
- 22KamberiSubstituted forHendryat 55'minutes
- Don Robertson
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Dumbarton 0, Aberdeen 1.
Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Nat Wedderburn.
Jonny Hayes (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Sam Wardrop (Dumbarton).
Tommie Hoban (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Jamie Wilson (Dumbarton).
Substitution, Dumbarton. Rico Quitongo replaces Adam Frizzell.
Substitution, Dumbarton. PJ Crossan replaces Rob Jones.
Ross McCrorie (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Rob Jones (Dumbarton).
Attempt missed. Matthew Kennedy (Aberdeen) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Jonny Hayes.
Goal! Dumbarton 0, Aberdeen 1. Callum Hendry (Aberdeen) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Matthew Kennedy.
Attempt missed. Dean Campbell (Aberdeen) left footed shot from outside the box is too high.
Foul by Tommie Hoban (Aberdeen).
Rob Jones (Dumbarton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt blocked. Niall McGinn (Aberdeen) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.
Attempt blocked. Jonny Hayes (Aberdeen) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.
Substitution, Aberdeen. Connor McLennan replaces Ethan Ross.
Offside, Dumbarton. Adam Frizzell tries a through ball, but Morgyn Neill is caught offside.