Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes hailed the performance of Greg Stewart after the forward got off the mark in his second Dons spell during a 4-1 William Hill Scottish Cup win over Stenhousemuir.
The on-loan Birmingham player dinked home Aberdeen’s third goal before the break after being set up by Graeme Shinnie.
The Dons now host Queen of the South in the fifth round after Stephen Dobbie’s hat-trick earned the Doonhamers a 3-0 win over Dundee.
McInnes – who revealed Scott McKenna’s weekend hamstring injury would keep the defender out for two or three games – said: “It was a brilliant finish from Greg – he’s got just enough pace on the dink for the boy coming back.
“He was really influential – he brings that bit of thought. We held our width and it gave him and Shinnie good space to operate. And with the energy of Shinnie and guile of Greg, and that space to work, things will happen for you.
“Greg has been playing well for us. His first game against Stenhousemuir he was our best player. You always feel when he gets on the ball, something is going to happen.”
McInnes was delighted with his players’ approach after Niall McGinn’s goal and Sam Cosgrove’s penalty put them two ahead before the half-hour mark. Andy Munro’s header gave Stenny hope but Ruaridh Donaldson killed that off when he headed into his own net under no pressure midway through the second half.
“We stretched them and worked them – we looked like a proper team,” said McInnes. “I’m delighted to get four goals and it could have been a lot more.”
Stenny boss Colin McMenamin expressed sympathy for Donaldson.
“Someone just said to him he is on minus one for Stenny because that’s his first ever goal,” he said.
“I had a go at him recently for not dealing with a cross at the back post and Arbroath scored. I’d much rather he made a mistake trying to do the right thing.
“He went to do the right thing and just didn’t execute it well enough.”