The pressure is mounting on Aberdeen boss Jim Goodwin after his side failed to capitalise on a dominant performance against cinch Premiership basement boys Ross County as the game ended 0-0.
Both sides were looking to end their respective runs of four successive defeats and that prompted a change in formation for Aberdeen, who handed a surprise recall to American striker Christian Ramirez – his first league start of the season.
But it would prove a frustrating affair as a lack of cutting edge saw the sides share the spoils.
The Dons’ 4-4-2 line-up allowed them to make the most of County’s willingness to hold a narrow defensive shape, with the home side dominating the flanks, although clear-cut chances were in short supply as County defended stoutly.
There were two penalty claims in the space of a minute as Bojan Miovski went down softly before a Matty Kennedy shot appeared to deflect off a visiting hand but neither claim looked like being given.
Ramirez drew a save from Ross Laidlaw midway through the first half as a good advantage following Connor Randall’s foul on Leighton Clarkson saw Aberdeen rapidly progress upfield but the eventual shot was easy meat for the goalkeeper.
The best opening came as Laidlaw palmed away Luis Lopes’ angled strike and Kennedy’s follow-up was blocked on the line by Alex Iacovitti. From the resultant corner, Liam Scales headed over Kennedy’s delivery.
Aberdeen’s dominance continued after the interval and Lopes’ strong run down the right, after he broke following a Staggies corner, deserved a better end product than Clarkson’s wild volley over.
The introduction of Jonny Hayes for Ramirez just after the hour so nearly brought immediate dividends as his ball into the area was cleared only as far as Ross McCrorie, who shot narrowly wide from 20 yards.
While Kennedy saw no joy from a penalty claim as he was caught hauling a ball out of the air, the ball broke for Miovski whose acrobatic effort deserved more than to hurtle across the face of goal.
The pressure continued as the ball pinballed around the County box with 15 minutes left but Lopes, Clarkson and Miovski were all crowded out by the resilient visitors.
Substitute Vicente Besuijen thought he had finally broken the deadlock after 83 minutes when he slid in to meet a Hayes cross, only for Laidlaw to hold on the line.