Aberdeen extended their winning streak to five games with a 1-0 defeat of Kilmarnock – with 300 home supporters there to witness it.
Recent signing Ross McCrorie’s superb first half goal secured the three points and continued the winning momentum ahead of Thursday’s one legged Europa League second qualifying round clash with Viking FK in Norway.
This was the first time Aberdeen had played in front of supporters in more than six months.
For the first time since the 3-1 home defeat of Hibs on March 7 supporters were in attendance.
Only 300 season ticket holders who secured their socially isolated seats in the South Stand via a ballot we’re in the ground.
Those supporters could not shout, cheer or chant in support of their team and had to wear face masks throughout the 90 minutes of action.
However this was a huge positive step forward in the bid to get more supporters through the turnstiles in Scottish football in higher numbers and regularly.
This was one of two test matches with Ross County’s home clash against Celtic also attended by 300 supporters.
Cheers were replaced by polite clapping.
Supporters in face masks scattered across the South Stand unable to show any passion during the game made for a strange spectacle.
But not as strange as a completely empty stadium.
It was a welcome return for a reduced Red Army.
Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes went with the same starting XI that defeated Hibs 1-0 at Easter Road prior to the recent international break.
The Dons created the opening opportunity in the ninth minute when a corner from Matty Kennedy was headed back across goal by Tommie Hoban.
Racing in at the far post Andy Considine met the ball but headed wide under pressure from close range.
The Reds were causing major problems with their passing, movement and pace and an inevitable opener came in the 13th minute when Marley Watkins picked out Scott Wright who then crossed in from the right to find Ross McCRORIE.
Scotland U21 international McCrorie fired in a superb volley from 15 yards out for his first goal for the club.
There was concern for the Reds on the half hour mark when McCrorie went down following a collision with Kirk Broadfoot that also left the Kilmarnock centre-back poleaxed.
Both received treatment on the pitch and both were able to continue.
In the 33rd minute Aberdeen keeper Joe Lewis got down quickly to push behind a powerfully hit low 20 yard drive from Greg Kiltie.
A vital clearance came from Scott Wright close to the Dons goal-line in the 39th minute when he managed to head a Ross Millen cross clear under pressure. It was a vital clearance.
Aberdeen came close in the 63rd minute when Jonny Hayes cut in from the left and fired in a powerful 20 yard shot that keeper Danny Rogers tipped over the bar.
It should have been 2-0 in the 71st minute when Marley Watkins played Wright clean through on goal.
Racing into the penalty box he had only keeper Rogers to beat and side footed past him but also beyond the far post.
Wright, who has been in impressive form this season, should have netted.
In the 73rd minute Scott McKenna produced a superb block to get a foot to McKenzie’s goal bound effort and push it wide.
With two minutes remaining Hayes unleashed a powerful shot from inside the box but Rogers denied him with a vital block.
ABERDEEN: Joe Lewis, Tommie Hoban, Scott McKenna, Andy Considine, Jonny Hayes, Ross McCrorie, Lewis Ferguson, Matty Kennedy, Scott Wright, Ryan Hedges, Marley Watkins
Subs: Shay Logan (for Kennedy 76), Niall McGinn (for Hedges 80), Dylan McGeouch (for McCrorie 80), Ash Taylor (for Wrigtht 87).
Subs not used: Tomas Cerny, Funso-King Ojo, Connor McLennan, Curtis Main, Bruce Anderson.
KILMARNOCK: Rogers, Broadfoot, Dicker, Brophy, Kiltie, Kabamba, Findlay, Waters, Millen, Tshibola, Burke.
Subs: Dikamona (for Broadfoot 46), McKenzie (for Brophy 64), Pinnock (for Burke 64), Rossi (for Dikamona 90)
Subs not used: Doyle, McGowan, Haunstrup, Whitehall, Cameron.
Referee: Bobby Madden