Striker Scott Vernon scored a hat-trick as Aberdeen swatted Dunfermline aside in an experimental Scottish Premier League Friday evening kick-off.

A superb Ricky Foster performance began when he crossed for Vernon to head home in six minutes at Pittodrie.

Pars keeper Paul Gallacher saved a Rory Fallon header and a Vernon shot before the Englishman guided home a Youl Mawene flick-on from close range.

Fraser Fyvie fired a third then Vernon added another as the Dons dominated.

The Pars contributed about 500 of the 8,333 fans inside Pittodrie for the Friday night trial but those clad in black and white had little to cheer as Aberdeen pulled level with them on points.

Aberdeen took the lead thanks to the energy and craft of their captain Foster, who took the ball past full-back Jason Thomson and swung in a fabulous cross that evaded Gallacher and presented Vernon with a simple chance to knock the ball in from four yards for his second goal of the season.

Midfielder Rob Milsom was involved in the Dons' next two chances, hanging a cross for Fallon whose header was tipped round the post by Gallacher, then in 26 minutes pinging a left-footed shot narrowly wide of the post.

Full-back Foster was proving to be the Reds' most potent attacking weapon and only the athleticism of the visiting keeper was saving the Pars from a Friday night skelping.

Just after the half-hour mark, Foster sent in another terrific cross with his left foot and Vernon's header looked like it would double the Dons' advantage. However, Gallacher somehow got a hand to it to turn it away for a corner.

And the former St Mirren goalie saved from Milsom after yet another Foster cross before he was beaten for a second time, though he claimed the Dons scorer, Vernon, was offside when he guided in Youl Mawene's flick-on at the back post from two yards.

Dunfermline's Austin McCann and Fraser Fyvie chase the ball

Fyvie scored his first goal for the Dons this season

Pars boss Jim McIntyre had seen enough. Their only chance had been a header wide by striker Andrew Barrowman from an Austin McCann cross.

McIntyre took off holding midfielder Andy Dowie for Andy Kirk, reverting to a 4-4-2 to deny Aberdeen the space they had enjoyed until then.

That, though, did not prevent the Dons adding a third on the stroke of half-time.

Tellingly, Foster was involved, taking Milsom's pass and finding Vernon with a perfectly weighted pass for the striker to lay the ball off to Fyvie - he rammed the ball past Gallacher from 16 yards for his first goal of the season.

After the interval, Milsom smacked the bar with a left-footed free-kick from just outside the box as the Pars' beating continued.

The Reds threatened further assaults to Gallacher's goal before Barrowman fizzed a shot that David Gonzalez palmed away for a corner.

Kari Arnason almost added a fourth, his curling shot from distance rebounding off a post with Fallon blazing the follow-up over the bar.

Sub Mohamed Chalali, on for Fallon, played in the influential Milsom but he lacked conviction when through on goal and screwed his shot wide.

Vernon secured his hat-trick when Chalali's shot rebounded off the post in his direction and he tapped home.

Newly-promoted Dunfermline secured two wins and two draws in their first quartet of SPL matches this season. Since then they have added only one more point from a possible 15.

McIntyre and his players will now be acutely aware of the demands of Scotland's top tier.

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