Aberdeen assistant manager Tony Docherty praised the contribution of academy graduates Connor McLennan and Bruce Anderson as they both scored to claim a 2-1 win over Livingston.
The Dons were without top scorer Sam Cosgrove after his red card against Celtic at the weekend – and the club’s subsequent failed appeal against his ban – but the youngsters stepped up to make their mark and proved there is depth waiting in the wings.
Lyndon Dykes scored a late consolation for Livi.
Docherty said: “We lose our top scorer and we’ve got a young deputy in Bruce Anderson to come on and score. It’s pleasing from the club’s point of view is it’s two academy graduates that come in and get the goals.
“We work with Bruce every day and he’s a fantastic footballer and great finisher, but he’s behind one of the top goal scorers in the league in Sam Cosgrove, and Curtis Main whose contribution to Bruce’s goal shows what he’s about.
“He’s got to bide his time and affect what he can – and he’s doing that. He’s banging in goals for the reserves and he’s done what he did today when he gets a chance in the first team.”
Livingston manager Gary Holt was keen to point out that his side perhaps had the better of the play, but urged his players to take responsibility in all areas of the park.
“We dictated possession and the chances created,” he said. “Individual mistakes cost us.
“We have to take responsibility. There’s the ugly side of the game as well, if your man gets through too easy or straight balls aren’t defended well then you have to take responsibility or you’ll be out the team.
“You look at Aberdeen’s backline, Lyndon Dykes never gets a free header. We have to score a world class goal. My goalkeeper hasn’t had a save the whole game but he’s picked the ball out the net twice and that’s not acceptable.
“I’ll take responsibility because I pick the team, and the players on the park need to take responsibility when they’re given a job to do and I don’t think they did that well enough.”