Destiny back in Aberdeen’s own hands as home side cope better with terrible conditions at Pittodrie

Dundee's Darren O'Dea (left) and Anthony O'Connor compete for the ball

Aberdeen now hold their destiny in their own hands in the race for runners-up spot and must grab that opportunity.

In a weekend where the momentum shifted in the bid to be Scotland’s second force the pendulum swung from Ibrox back to Pittodrie.

The Dons ground out a first win in four Premiership games in atrocious conditions to capitalise on Rangers’ 1-0 loss to Kilmarnock in Govan.

Derek McInnes’ Reds have slashed the gap on second-placed Rangers to just two points but crucially have a game in hand – away to Motherwell on April 3.

However, this toe-to-toe slug-out for second could ultimately come down to the head-to-head between Aberdeen and Rangers after the split.

The Dons have lost all six games to the Old Firm this season – if they can end that winless streak against the Glasgow two it would help secure second and could land them Scottish Cup glory.

As the season careers towards an exciting climax it will be a test of nerves as much as footballing prowess.

Unfortunately, the conditions at Pittodrie made it difficult for either team to produce extended periods of attractive football. The conditions were just too bad.

The Pittodrie pitch continues to cause problems as it is rutted and patchy.

The players can’t effectively judge the run of the ball as it pinballs between ruts and it is clearly affecting their passing game.

If the pitch is poor the next option is aerial but the wild wind off the North Sea made that difficult, too. Aberdeen adapted the quickest and dominated the second half.

This victory saw the Reds emerge from a pivotal week on a high – with a Scottish Cup semi-final slot secured and valuable ground made up in the Premiership.

That quarter-final replay was a defining game in the season.

Facing Dundee was not as crucial, but it was vital the Reds put the brakes on their recent league slump after just one point from the previous possible nine.

That was achieved and now the Reds are piling the pressure on Rangers without hitting anywhere near their potential.

Aberdeen have battled to the last two wins and have so much more quality left in the tank.

They will have to rediscover that in the run-in.

Skipper Graeme Shinnie is the only player to score from open play in the last six games.

The Reds hit 14 goals in four games earlier this year so the goals are definitely there.