A dogged effort from nine-man Cove Rangers was in vain as Dundee emerged 3-0 victors in the Betfred Cup at Dens Park.
A superb opener from Paul McGowan inside five minutes put Dundee in front, with Cove seeing Blair Yule sent off four minutes before the break for fouling Max Anderson inside the box.
Charlie Adam missed from the spot and Jamie Masson also harshly saw red for Cove at the start of the second half, before Danny Mullen squeezed in a late second.
James McPake’s side were award a second penalty in the closing stages, with Adam this time converting for the third.
The Aberdeen outfit face Forfar at the Balmoral Stadium on Saturday in their final
Cove manager Paul Hartley stuck to his pledge and rotated the squad, with Connor Scully, Ross Graham and Rory McAllister dropping to the bench and Harry Milne left out altogether. In came Adam Livingstone, Seb Ross, Jordon Brown and Jamie Semple.
The two sides met twice in pre-season, with Dundee winning 1-0 at Cove and a 1-1 draw at Dens Park.
On that second occasion Cove took the lead but they were behind after five minutes here, McGowan superbly picking out the top corner from just inside the box.
Danny Mullen was presented with a chance to make it two within five minutes, skipping past two Cove defenders before seeing his shot parried away by Stuart McKenzie.
Brown had a shot parried by Dundee stopper Jack Hamilton for Cove’s first chance of the game on 25 minutes, before Declan McDaid and Charlie Adam both saw efforts wide.
Clever build-up between Ross and Jamie Masson freed Mitch Megginson to strike from the edge of the area and well his shot was well-placed, Hamilton got down to save.
Cove have not had too much adversity to face this season but they got a severe dose of it four minutes before the break.
Max Anderson was played through on goal and Yule nudged him to the ground. Referee Craig Napier sent off the Cove man, awarding a spot-kick to the hosts. Adam fluffed his lines though, hitting the post from 12 yards.
Ten minutes into the second half Cove were reduced to nine men in peculiar circumstances.
Masson raced to close down Jordan Marshall’s clearance and while the Cove midfielder arrived slightly late, it did not seem to merit more than a caution.
Napier ran straight to Masson with a yellow card in hand but quickly changed that to red, much to the disbelief of the League One side.
But even with the two-man deficit Cove were not wilting, with Megginson nearly handing them an unlikely route back into the game with an indirect free-kick that missed the near post.
Hartley’s side were finally vanquished by Mullen with five minutes to go, as shot sneaked inside the near post and a second penalty was given in the closing stages.
This time it was Ross Graham penalised for a challenge on Mullen, with Adam making sure with his second penalty of the evening.