Queen of the South inflicted more pain on the Dons in this 5th Round Scottish Cup tie at Pittodrie- but this time the Dons were spared an exit from the competition despite falling behind to the Dumfries side. When Stuart McLaughlin gave the visitors the lead on 54 minutes it looked like they may repeat their exploits of 2008 against Aberdeen but 12 minutes later Scott Vernon equalised to ensure a replay.
The transfer window may have just slammed shut but Craig Brown's injury woe's continued going into this game. New singing Daniel Uchechi was injured in training and didn't make the squad while Clark Robertson, a stand out in several games so far this year, also missed out through injury. Rory Fallon and Stephen Smith came into the starting XI as the Dons sought to avenge their humiliation at Hampden 4 years ago in the Semi Finals of this competition.
After a pretty even opening spell Aberdeen eventually created their first half chance but Rory Fallon couldn't connect with a Fraser Fyvie corner and the chance was wasted.
Moments later Kari Arnason was booked by referee Steven McLean for a high challenge on Steven McKenna and it appeared to take the edge out of the Icelander's game who went on to have an unusually quiet afternoon. However, he was next to have an effort at the Queen's goal but Lee Robinson wasn't troubled and claimed the long range shot easily.
Chances were few and far between for either side as the game became bogged down in midfield, a common theme of recent Pittodrie matches, and wasn't much of a spectacle for the Red Army who had turned out to watch in the atrocious conditions, nor the excellent away support who made the long trip from the south of Scotland.
The home fans nearly had something to shout about when Fraser Fyvie fed Ryan Jack down the right who delivered a great cross into the box but Rory Fallon shot just wide of the visitor's goal.
Aberdeen's injury problems then took another turn for the worse when Chris Clark had to be substituted. He was replaced by Josh Magennis and it was Magennis who was at the centre of the Dons next attack- another long range effort that failed to trouble Robinson on 35 minutes.
At the other end, Jason brown was forced into a fantastic save in 43 minutes when a cross from the right looked to be heading into the goal but the Welshman made the save and former St Johnstone attacker Sam Parkin couldn't connect with the rebound.
The second period began in much the same way as the first with plenty of endeavour from both sides but very little quality play. Magennis saw his dangerous cross headed away for a corner but on 54 minutes disaster struck for the Dons.
Parkin won the ball in midfield and fed Scott McLaughlin who made short work of the Dons defence and slotted a superb shot under Jason Brown into the net to give the visitors the lead. Once again the Red Army were staring at an embarrassing cup exit and the Dons would have to dig deep to get themselves back in the game.
Desperate to avoid another cup upset, the Dons started to move forward with more purpose and Ryan Jack's dangerous ball into the box was cleared. From the resultant corner, Rory McArdle could have levelled the game but his shot hit the cross bar. The home side wouldn't have long to wait though to get themselves back in the game.
From another long throw from Arnason, Scott Vernon latched onto the loose ball in the box and stabbed it into the net to the joy of the Red Army. The Englishman scoring yet another crucial goal for the Dons this season.
It was clear from then on that Queen of the South would settle for a draw, however, having upped the tempo in the wake of going behind, the Dons continued to press the Queen's defence and Jack was again unlucky as his cross hit the post and bounced out for a goal kick. Despite the increased threat from the home side they still failed to create many clear cut chances as the dogged Queen's defence stood firm. To counter this, Craig Brown sent on Mohamed Chalali in place of Rory Fallon on 70 minutes but it had little effect.
A succession of long throws failed to cause any problems for the visitors and indeed, Arnason was punished twice for delivering them illegally.
As the clock ticked down, the chances dried up once again and the Dons boss made his final change with Mitch Megginson replacing Ryan Jack on 88 minutes. Megginson did find himself in space in the box in stoppage time but blasted over and that was the last chance of an unspectacular game.
Having been a goal down the Dons will be relived to still be in the cup however they must now replay in Dumfries on the 14th of February.