Goal shy Aberdeen suffered further scoring frustration in being held 0-0 by relegation battling Hamilton at Pittodrie.
The Dons’ lack of cutting edge was again glaringly obvious in a game where they created enough opportunities to win.
They spurned three clear chances in the first half.
Dons boss Derek McInnes started with three in attack in Florian Kamberi, Callum Hendy and Niall McGinn but still that scoring problem could not be fixed.
Aberdeen have scored just one goal in the last nine games.
It is now 11 games since the Dons scored a goal from open play – when Matty Kennedy netted in the 2-1 loss to Rangers at Pittodrie on January 10.
There was added frustration for the Dons as they failed to fully capitalise on third placed Hibs losing 1-0 away to St Johnstone.
Aberdeen should have slashed the gap on Hibs by three points, not one.
It is another wasted opportunity with games quickly running out.
There were two changes to the starting line-up that lost 1-0 to Celtic at Parkhead.
On loan St Johnstone striker Callum Hendry came in for his first start since his arrival on winter transfer deadline day.
Hendry netted the winner in the recent 1-0 defeat of Kilmarnock at Pittodrie after coming off the bench for the injured Fraser Hornby.
However Hendry remained on the bench for last weekend’s trip to Celtic.
Midfielder Dylan McGeouch also returned to the starting line-up with Dean Campbell and Connor McLennan dropping to the bench.
Aberdeen enjoyed the opening possession without threatening goal.
In the 12th minute Florian Kamberi collected a pass from Dylan McGeouch before unleashing a powerful shot.
The effort from the on loan St Gallen striker from outside the box flew just wide.
Aberdeen’s front three were linking up well and created a run clear chances- all wasted.
First a slip from Jamie Hamilton allowed Niall McGinn to race through unchallenged on goal.
With only the keeper to beat rather than shoot McGinn opted to cut the ball back to Kamberi who had raced into the box in support.
The decision appeared to take Kamberi by surprise as a shot from McGinn would have been the expected outcome.
With the ball then falling to him Kamberi took a touch which delayed unleashing a shot.
It was enough time for three defenders to race back into the box.
When Kamberi unleashed his 12 yard effort it deflected off Aaron Martin and spun up into the air.
McGinn attempted to capitalise with an over-head kick but it went tamely wide.
Moments later McGinn burst into the left hand side of the box and drilled in a low cross.
It found Hendy five yards out but his powerful shot on the turn rose over the bar.
Again Aberdeen threatened when a corner kick from McGinn fell to Hendry who shot on the turn from six yards but the effort was blocked.
In the 25th minute Kamberi burst down the right side of the penalty area before crossing from the byline.
The cross took a deflection but fell to the unmarked Hendry.
With the goal beckoning Hendry kneed an effort that went inches wide of the far post with keeper Ryan Fulton stranded.
Aberdeen’s lack of cutting edge in front of goal which has dogged them since the turn of the year was brutally evident in a quick-fire spell of clear chances and missed opportunities.
Hamilton threatened in the 38th minute when David Moyo’s vicious shot was blocked by Tommie Hoban.
The loose ball fell to Lee Hodson but Andy Considine blocked his effort as the rear-guard held firm.
Aberdeen keeper Joe Lewis produced a superb diving save in the 43rd minute to push behind a Ross Callachan strike.
Ash Taylor gave away possession but got his body in front of Callachan’s 25 yard strike which spun towards goal and Lewis dived to push it wide with an outstretched hand.
Moments later McGinn raced at goal but shot wide from the edge of the penalty area.
A half of missed chances and what-ifs.
Half-time: Aberdeen 0 Hamilton 0
In the 49th minute Kamberi was denied when keeper Ryan Fulton saved his header.
Again Aberdeen threatened in the 58th minute when Hayes burst down the left flank and found McGinn near the front post.
McGinn took a touch and unleashed a low drive but keeper Fulton was well placed to block.
Another chance was spurned by the Dons in the 62nd minute when Ash Taylor met a delivery from McGinn but his header from the centre of the penalty area went wide.
Hamilton called for a penalty in the 66th minute when a shot from Callum Smith appeared to hit Andy Considine’s arm.
Hamilton raced upfield on the break in the 78th minute and Scott Martin unleashed a powerful shot from 15 yards that Lewis did well to save.
Dons boss McInnes brought on Matty Kennedy for Ash Taylor in the 79th minute in a bid to revitalise the attack. Ross McCrorie dropped into defence.
However it could not bring the breakthrough.
Full-time: Aberdeen 0 Hamilton 0
ABERDEEN: Joe Lewis, Tommie Hoban, Andy Considine, Callum Hendry, Niall McGinn, Ash Taylor, Dylan McGeouch, Jonny Hayes, Lewis Ferguson, Florian Kamberi, Ross McCrorie.
Subs: Connor McLennan (for Hendry 66), Matty Kennedy (for Taylor 79), Michael Ruth (for McGinn 88).
Subs not used: Gary Woods, Shay Logan, Ethan Ross, Dean Campbell, Miko Virtanen, Jack MacKenzie.
HAMILTON: Ryan Fulton, Hakeen Oduffin, Scott McMann, Brian Easton, Jamie Hamilton, Scott Martin, Aaron Martin, David Moyo, Nathan Thomas, Lee Hodson, Ross Callachan.
Subs: Callum Smith (for Thomas 41), Kyle Munro (for Easton 69), Ronan Hughes (for Moyo 90).
Subs not used: Kyle Gourlay, George Stranger, Ben Stirling, Reegan Mimnaugh, Charlie Trafford, Andrew Winter.
Referee: Bobby Madden