Aberdeen’s patched-up side squeezed past St Johnstone courtesy of a late goal from substitute Ryan Hedges to register the first points of the sesaon.
This was the first game for the Reds since the opening day defeat to Rangers on August 1.
Since then three games were postponed due to coronavirus breaches from eight Aberdeen players and Celtic’s Boli Bolingoli.
Summer signing Jonny Hayes was the only one of the four available from the Aberdeen eight, who broke Covid-19 rules by visiting a busy city centre bar, to start in Perth.
The other three available, Matty Kennedy, Craig Bryson and Dylan McGeouch were on the bench.
The remaining four – Sam Cosgrove, Mikey Devlin, Bruce Anderson and Scott McKenna were all unavailable.
Dons boss Derek McInnes was missing all four recognised senior strikers and three centre-backs for this clash.
McInnes set up with a 3-4-3 formation with new signing Ross McCrorie, secured earlier this week from Rangers, making his debut in the three-man defence.
Upfront, Lewis Ferguson played through the middle of a three-pronged attack with Niall McGinn and Scott Wright either side.
Aberdeen created the opening chance in the eighth minute when McGinn shot at goal, but the effort was easily saved by keeper Elliott Parish.
In the 14th minute, Saints’ Danny McNamara ran at goal and was allowed the space to fire off a shot from 22 yards. Keeper Joe Lewis tipped the left-footed drive over.
Aberdeen looked nervous at the back and to compensate effectively reverted to five at the back as the two wing backs Ronnie Hernandez and Jonny Hayes were dropping back.
The Dons were dismal in the opening 45 minutes against Rangers in the opening game of the season.
This flat, turgid performance with too many stray passes was in danger of being worse.
Aberdeen came close to scoring what would have been a fabulous goal in the 38th minute when Hayes drilled a cross in from the left that Funso Ojo met with an acrobatic volley.
His right-footed drive flew inches over the bar. It was far better from the Dons.
Aberdeen boss McInnes made a double switch at half-time with Matty Kennedy and Connor McLennan coming on for Dean Campbell and Ronnie Hernandez.
McInnes switched from the 3-4-3 to a 4-3-3.
Just after the hour mark, Liam Craig fired in a left-footed shot from outside the box, but it flew high and wide.
Aberdeen’s salvation came when substitute Hedges came off the bench and scored with a deflected shot from just inside the box.
ABERDEEN: Joe Lewis, Ronnie Hernandez, Ash Taylor, Tommie Hoban, Jonny Hayes, Ross McCrorie, Lewis Ferguson, Dean Campbell, Funso Ojo, Scott Wright, Niall McGinn.
Subs: Matty Kennedy (for Campbell 46), Connor McLennan (for Hernandez 46), Craig Bryson (for Ojo 69), Ryan Hedges (for McGinn 79), Shay Logan (for Wright 83).
Subs not used: Tomas Cerny, Jack McKenzie, Dylan McGeouch, Michael Ruth.
ST JOHNSTONE: Parish, Kerr, Gordon, McCart, McNamara, Tanser, Craig, McCann, Wotherspoon, O’Halloran, Hendry.
Subs: Conway (for Hendry 69),
Subs not used: Sinclair, Duffy, Rooney, Olaofe, Robertson, Ballantyne.