Aberdeen suffered a disastrous 4-1 heavy loss to Premiership bottom club Ross County in a dismal afternoon where defenders Ash Taylor and Jonny Hayes limped off injured.
The Dons were left reeling when going behind after only a minute to a goal from Oli Shaw.
Poor defending was punished again in the 20th minute when Charlie Lakin was allowed too much space in front of goal and punished it by netting.
Aberdeen hit back just before half time through an Alex Iacovitti deflected own goal.
A bad afternoon for the Reds got even worse in the 84th minute when Ross Draper headed a cross back across goal at the back post and SHAW fired home.
— Aberdeen FC (@AberdeenFC) January 16, 2021
A dismal day was completed when Ross County grabbed a fourth through Jermaine Hylton in injury time.
Aberdeen created chances but their inability to convert them through lack of composure in front of goal cost them.
Rock bottom of the table Ross County were ruthless in front of goal. It was a costly defeat as Aberdeen lost third place in the table to Hibs who leap-frogged above them.
Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes retained faith with attacker Scott Wright as Premiership leaders Rangers edge closer to securing the 23-year-old on a pre contract.
Rangers are also keen to fast forward the move by taking Wright to Ibrox during the January transfer window.
Wright is out of contract at the end of the season and has been free to talk to any interested clubs since the January transfer window opened.
McInnes made one change to the starting line-up for the ill-fated clash at Livingston on Wednesday that was postponed 10 minutes after the scheduled 7.45pm kick-off due to a water-logged artificial pitch.
It was the second time the fixture had fallen foul to the weather in two weeks as the original December 30 clash was called off two hours before kick-off due to a frozen pitch.
McInnes dropped midfielder Dean Campbell to the bench and elevated striker Sam Cosgrove to the starting line-up.
Aberdeen suffered a nightmare start against the Premiership’s bottom side inside the opening minute.
Defender Tommie Hoban misjudged a clearance on a pass upfield and the ball fell to Oli SHAW who fired a powerful, low right footed shot from 12 yards area beyond Joe Lewis.
In the seventh minute Aberdeen threatened when Matty Kennedy found Wright with a superb reverse pass. Wright then passed to Curtis Main but his effort went wide of goal.
Ross County doubled their advantage in the 20th minute as slack defending was again punished.
Harrison Paton was allowed too much space to cross from the right and his delivery found LAKIN unmarked. He took a touch and then shot beyond Lewis from 12 yards.
Dons boss McInnes was apoplectic with fury and frustration on the sideline. Moments later Cosgrove fired a weak 25 yard speculative shot well wide – it lacked power and direction – a succinct summation of Aberdeen’s performance so far in the game.
Ross County then had a penalty claim denied when a cross hit the arm of of Kennedy in the box.
However Kennedy had his arm tucked into his body and did not make his body bigger.
Moments later Lewis Ferguson fired in a powerful 22 yard drive that hit the defensive wall and spun wide of goal for a corner.
Aberdeen suffered another set back when centre-half Ash Taylor had to come off with what appeared to be a back injury, to be replaced by Shaleum Logan.
In the 32 minute a cross from Hayes dropped to Kennedy but he blasted a shot straight at keeper Ross Laidlaw from five yards out.
Then in the 38th minute Wright steered a low 15 yard shot at goal but keeper Ross Laidlaw spread himself well to block with his left foot and sent it wide for a corner.
Aberdeen should have been awarded a penalty in the 44th minute when Sam Cosgrove was bundled over in the box by Callum Morris as he readied to meet a cross.
Referee Bobby Madden waved play on to the frustration of the striker.
Aberdeen hit back on the stroke of half time when an inswinging corner from Hayes on the right found Hoban who headed at goal from eight yards.
The defender’s header deflected off IACOVITTI to take it beyond Laidlaw.
It was a lifeline Aberdeen’s play for the final 20 minutes of that opening half deserved.
Aberdeen pushed on after the break and had the Staggies pegged back.
In the 61st minute Kennedy had a shot charged down after impressive play from Wright to set him up.
In another defensive blow Hayes was forced off injured having received treatment and was replaced by Kieran Ngwenya in the 63rd minute.
Aberdeen had a great opportunity in the 74th minute to equalize when a low cross from the right found Cosgrove in space deep inside the box.
However the striker took a poor first touch and the chance disappeared.
Moments later Shaw burst upfield and unleashed a vicious 25 yard strike that flew inches above the diving Lewis’ near post.
Ross County killed off any notion of Aberdeen salvaging anything from this game when Ross Draper headed a cross back across goal from the back post in the 84th minute and SHAW fired home.
To compound a miserable day for the Reds it was 4-1 in injury time when a long ball up field released HYLTON through on goal.
Lewis raced out of his box to close it down but the ball crashed up off the keeper and fell to Hylton to rolled the ball into the empty net.
ABERDEEN: Joe Lewis, Tommie Hoban, Andy Considine, Curtis Main, Ash Taylor, Sam Cosgrove, Jonny Hayes, Lewis Ferguson, Scott Wright, Matty Kennedy, Ross McCrorie.
Subs: Shaleum Logan (for Ash Taylor 30), Kieran Ngwenya (for Hayes 63), Bruce Anderson (for Main 75)
Subs not used: Gary Woods, Funso-King Ojo, Niall McGinn, Connor McLennan, Dean Campbell, Miko Virtanen,
ROSS COUNTY: Ross Laidlaw, Connor Randall, Callum Morris, Oli Shaw, Iain Vigurs, Jermaine Hylton, Alex Lacovitti, Regan Charles-Cook, Charlie Lakin, Jason Naismith, Harry Paton.
Subs: Ross Draper (for Charles-Cook 63), Billy McKay (for Shaw 89)
Subs not used: Ross Munro, Michael Gardyne, Keith Watson, Stephen Kellym Jordan Tillson, Tony Andreu, Josh Reid.
Referee: Bobby Madden.