Aberdeen’s 2-1 loss to Ross County with 10 men on Saturday was sure to be a painful one, given they looked to be holding on for a point at Pittodrie.
The result means it’s four home Premiership games where Derek McInnes’ team have lost as they slipped to fourth in the division.
They return to Scottish Cup action this weekend against St Mirren in Paisley.
Here are four things we learned from the Reds’ Staggies defeat.
Potential for strike pair to be magic?
The front two of Sam Cosgrove and Curtis Main employed by Aberdeen – lined up in a 4-4-2 formation – showed flashes of being a workable strategy, with the latter, the more game runner, setting up the club’s top scorer early on.
It was then top scorer Cosgrove’s headed knockdown to his strike partner which allowed Main to net the opener, before Dean Campbell’s second yellow made a change of shape necessary. This cut short the promising experiment early.
Chemistry between strikers sometimes isn’t there, but the Red Army will be left hoping there is some magic between the two.
Dean’s first red
Dean Campbell will have been gutted to earn a second yellow in the first-half and experience his first early bath as a Dons player.
The 18-year-old’s dismissal for failing to back away sufficiently from a free-kick was harsh and can certainly be chalked up to inexperience.
Having been booked early, he should’ve kept himself clear of the referee.
It changed the game from one that Aberdeen, a goal to the good, would’ve been looking to run away with to a more testing and ultimately disappointing afternoon.
Aberdeen’s home attendance reached a low point for the season so far when Kilmarnock visited in the Scottish Cup during Storm Ciara.
The 14,860 who turned up to watch the Dons play the Staggies on AFC Community Trust Day might show belief has returned to the Red Army there can be a successful end to the season in national trophy as well as the league.
Will this remain despite the result?
Ross County’s sharp attack
Ross County might not be doomed if there attacking play is anything to go by.
They now have a second away win this season.
They have, however, shown some ropey defending in recent weeks.
The Dons first goal was a case in point. Dean Campbell’s low delivery wasn’t the best, but Liam Fontaine and Callum Morris totally failed to clear the danger.
County started the day just six points above the relegation play-off place.
They will want to show the same killer instinct in front of goal which earned this win, shore up defensively and kick on.