Aberdeen Women striker Bayley Hutchison was the hero at K-Park as she netted four goals and assisted one as the Dons beat Motherwell 5-2.
Bayley Hutchison put the Dons ahead after 36 minutes, but the home side responded through a Carla Boyce equaliser on the stroke of half-time.
After a bright start to the second half, the Dons regained the lead in the 52nd minute when Darcie Miller scored her fourth goal in all competitions with a composed close-range finish.
Hutchison bagged her second of the day – and her third goal involvement – as she gave Aberdeen a two-goal advantage by making it 3-1 in the 57th minute.
The Aberdeen forward was the hat-trick hero in South Lanarkshire as she made it 4-1 and netted her third of the day after 83 minutes, before adding another five minutes later.
In the dying stages, Motherwell pulled a goal back through Kayla Jardine, but it did not tarnish what was an impressive victory for a very young Aberdeen side.
It was a much-needed victory for Clint Lancaster’s Dons, as the win ends a five-game losing streak and moves his side up to seventh in the SWPL table on 15 points.
The Aberdeen boss said: “What a second half. They caused us problems in the first half and our heads dropped and we lost confidence after they equalised, so we were desperate to change that at the break.
“We changed it and I thought we were outstanding in our performance in the second half.
“It is a brilliant win and it is great to get back to winning ways after a difficult run. I want the players to believe in themselves and what we do – and they did that in the second half.
“I couldn’t be prouder of the group. I am smiling from ear to ear with pride. We have a young group, but they are all wanting to learn and are doing an incredible job.
“We’ve got players like Phoebe Murray who is 15 years old playing in the middle of the park for us – and credit has to go to the academy and coaches like Derek (Anderson) and Laura (Whitfield) for the players they have developed because they are coming into the first team and are they flourishing.”
Hutchison impresses with goals and assist at K-Park
Motherwell hit the first chance through an off target Sarah Gibb effort, before at the other end Hannah Innes’s strike sailed wide of the post after some nice play from Aberdeen.
Former Don Bailey Collins was shown a yellow after only nine minutes after a poor challenge on forward Miller.
Things were heating up at K-Park as the home side wanted a penalty for a handball against Hannah Innes, before Gibb was hauled down by Aberdeen midfielder Phoebe Murray.
Collins had the best chances against her former team, as she hit an off target long-range strike, before forcing Dons goalkeeper Annalisa McCann into making a good stop.
A lack of concentration gifted Motherwell’s Tara McGonigle a chance to burst into the box, but she took the ball too wide before seeing her strike blocked by Jess Broadrick.
Aberdeen should have gone 1-0 up after 25 minutes when new captain Hannah Stewart did well to beat two players to then find Eilidh Shore in the box, but her effort from close-range came back off the post.
Shore then connected with Innes’ corner, but Motherwell goalkeeper Emily Mutch was alert and got down to make the save.
At the other end, Boyce hit a dangerous-looking strike that dropped onto the roof of the net.
Aberdeen took the lead ten minutes before the interval when Eva Thomson nicked the ball off Motherwell captain Jill Inglis in midfield.
The Dons midfielder found Hutchison with a composed pass, and the striker slotted the ball beyond Mutch for her eighth goal of the season
Boyce almost pulled the home side level after Aberdeen switched off, but her first shot was blocked by Madison Finnie before she hit the rebound over the bar.
It was all square at half-time at K-Park – and the goal was coming after a lot of pressure from Motherwell – as Boyce stabbed it into the bottom corner after connecting with a cross from the left wing.
In the second half, the Dons started the brighter and Thomson and Hutchison linked up well again, but this time the forward’s effort was off target and sailed over the bar.
And it was Aberdeen who found the back of the net next as Hutchison bagged an assist as she squared the ball to Miller in the box, and the 17-year-old forward tapped it home to make it 2-1.
It was 3-1 minutes later as Miller repaid Hutchison for her assist and slotted the striker through, who then hit a good strike into the bottom corner beyond Mutch.
The home side upped the intensity after going two goals behind and almost pulled one back through Katie Rice, but Aberdeen goalkeeper McCann made a fantastic low save to deny to substitute.
Jo Addie went close to making it 3-2, but her low drive from a corner ricocheted back off the post, before the Dons eventually cleared the danger.
But before Motherwell found a way back into the game, Hutchison scored her hat-trick with a fine finish after some individual brilliance which saw the forward hold off two Motherwell players before burying the ball into the bottom corner.
And she wasn’t done as Hutchison netted her fourth of the afternoon and made it 5-1 with another strike driven into the bottom corner beyond Mutch.
Jardine finished the scoring in the dying stages of injury time as she reduced the deficit to three goals with a curling finish inside the box which made it 5-2.
The Women’s Scottish Cup second round results
Dyce pulled off a cup shock as they beat Edinburgh City, who play two divisions above them in the SWF Championship, 6-0 to progress into the third round of the Scottish Cup.
Caley Thistle also secured a place in the third round as Karen Mason’s side beat Drumchapel United 8-0 at home, while Westdyke also progress after a 5-3 victory over Greenock Morton.
It wasn’t to be for Inverurie Locos, despite a solid effort, as they exited the competition in the second round following a 4-2 loss to Ayr United.