Lee Ashcroft’s back-post header earned Dundee a point to move them into the cinch Premiership top six in a Pittodrie draw that will do nothing to ease the pressure on Aberdeen boss Barry Robson.
The Dons’ hopes of matching last term’s third-place finish have been all but extinguished before January is out, with their form being patchy at best.
And while Bojan Miovski’s first-half penalty provided some brief hope of an improvement, Aberdeen ultimately served up the kind of insipid performance that has some sections of the Dons support calling for the manager’s head.
The crowd’s nerves would not have been helped by an early Dundee attack that saw Zach Robinson’s low cross only narrowly missed by the sliding Amadou Bakayoko.
A Kelle Roos clearance would later come off the on-loan Forest Green Rovers man but, fortunately for the Aberdeen keeper, spun away to safety.
Aberdeen had chances of their own in between, Miovski seizing on a short pass from returning Dundee loanee Owen Beck only for Trevor Carson to save well.
Captain Graeme Shinnie should have done better when he latched onto a long ball over the top but, in trying to lift over Carson, put the ball well wide of target with just the keeper to beat.
Miovski gave his side the lead from the spot, stroking into the bottom right corner after former Don Joe Shaughnessy had taken Ester Sokler’s standing leg in attempting to clear a Jack Milne cross.
Another Milne cross saw Sokler this time head into the arms of Carson before the half ended with a late VAR check on Leighton Clarkson’s foul on Lyall Cameron, with no further action taken.
A smart near-post finish by Sokler seemed to have put the Dons 2-0 up five minutes after the interval only to be denied by the offside flag, and that lifted Dundee.
Roos saved Ashcroft’s back-post header from a left-wing corner but after Beck trudged across the park to take from the other flank, his delivery found the same man who this time turned home to level the scores.
From there the match descended into a bore draw; neither keeper was threatened and the main route forward was the long ball, a tactic that has long fed into the criticism of Robson.
With matches against both halves of the Old Firm up next, he will fear the chants of “sacked in the morning” doing the rounds at Pittodrie – as Cameron flashed a late Dundee chance wide – may not be far off the mark.