ABERDEEN were held to an embarrassing 1-1 draw against League One part-timers Stenhousemuir in the Scottish Cup fourth round at Pittodrie.
Stenhousemuir are rock bottom of Scotland’s third tier but the Dons failed to see them off in a frustrating tie.
The Dons now face a replay with Stenny on Tuesday 29 January at Ochilview Park (7.30pm).
Aberdeen took the lead in the first half through returning on loan Derby County left-back Max Lowe.
However they were stunned in the 70th minute when Mark McGuigan punished poor defending to equalize.
Aberdeen made five changes to the side that defeated Livingston 2-1 in the final game before the Premiership shut down.
New signings Greg Stewart and Max Lowe were both handed starts following the completion of loan deals earlier this week.
Attacker Stewart completed a loan deal until the end of the season from Birmingham City.
Stewart, who spent last season on loan at Pittodrie, had been on loan at Kilmarnock for the first half of the season and hit impressive form.
Birmingham recalled him from the loan deal at Rugby Park and the Reds swooped to bring him back.
With Stewart’s contract set to expire at the end of the season the option will be there to potentially secure Stewart on a permanent deal.
Derby County left-back Lowe also made a welcome return to the Dons when completing a loan deal for the second half of the campaign.
Lowe impressed on loan from the Championship side during the first half of the season but returned to his parent club at the turn of the year.
Derby boss Frank Lampard sanctioned a fresh loan deal and Lowe was pitched straight into the starting line-up.
There was also a welcome return for Scotland international winger Gary Mackay-Steven who had been sidelined since suffering concussion in the BetFred Cup final on December 2.
Lewis Ferguson returned from suspension whilst Niall McGinn was back after missing the Livingston game with a groin strain.
Aberdeen created the opening chance in the fifth minute when Shay Logan found Sam Cosgrove in the penalty area with a cross from the right but he fired wide from 10 yards out.
The Dons grabbed the lead in the 21st minute through a swift passing move that ripped the Stenhousemuir defence wide open.
Returning left back LOWE started the move with a pass inside to Stewart who released Graeme Shinnie down the left side of the penalty area.
The Reds captain squared a pass back across goal and on loan Derby County full-back LOWE confidently converted from eight yards out.
Aberdeen were nearly gifted a second goal in the 33rd minute when a low 15 yard drive from Cosgrove was fumbled by keeper Graeme Smith.
With the ball trundling towards goal centre-back Morgyn Neill hooked it clear.
In the 40th minute Shinnie drove powerfully from the edge of the penalty area but the shot was deflected wide for a corner that came to nothing.
In the 50th minute Andy Considine redirected a Shinnie shot goal wide from 15 yards out but it was straight at keeper Smith.
Moments later McGinn slid a low pass to the onrushing Mackay-Steven who drilled in a powerful 15 yard shot but keeper Smith did well to block.
Soon after McGinn was again involved when he brilliantly brought down a long cross-field ball from Logan on the run before delivering a low cut back into the penalty area.
Stewart met it but his low shot from 15 yards was blocked.
Aberdeen were denied in the 63rd minute when McGinn’s powerful shot from the edge of the penalty area was headed clear by Morgyn Neill.
The ball fell as far as Stewart who unleashed a vicious drive that crashed off the under-side of the cross-bar.
Stenhousemuir shocked the Dons in the 70th minute with a leveller as Ruaridh Donaldson was allowed far too much time and space on the left flank to deliver a cross.
Striker Mark MCGUIGAN met the cross and unleashed a superb 12 yard diving header that beat Joe Lewis.
Suddenly it was game on.
Moments later McKenna rose to meet a McGinn corner kick but his header from 15 yards flew well wide. At full time the Red Army made their frustration known by booing.
ABERDEEN: Lewis, Logan, Lowe, Considine, McKenna, Shinnie, Ferguson, Mackay-Steven, McGinn, Stewart, Cosgrove.
Subs: McLennan (for Mackay-Steven 63), May (for McGinn 77),
Subs not used: Cerny, Ball, Gleeson, Wilson, Wright.
STENHOUSEMUIR: Smith, Duthie, Munro, Donaldson, Neill, Dickson, McBrearty, Ferry, Cook, Dingwall, McGuigan.
Subs: Reid (for Cook 46),
Subs not used: McMinn, Vaughan, Halleran, Garcia Tena, Paterson.
Referee: Barry Cook