Aberdeen striker Curtis Main netted a double to sink Ross County 2-0 at Pittodrie.
Main’s goals ended a four game run without victory for Aberdeen who moved level on points with troubled defending Premiership champions Celtic who are in action on Sunday.
Aberdeen are one point behind second placed Hibs, although Derek McInnes’ Reds hold a game in hand on the Easter Road outfit.
McInnes’ decision to drop last season’s leading goal scorer Sam Cosgrove in favour of Main paid dividends.
Having been dogged by injury this season this was only Main’s second domestic start of the campaign.
He made it count.
Main’s introduction was one of three changes to the side that drew 1-1 at St Mirren.
Midfielder Lewis Ferguson was suspended having been sent off due to a second yellow card against the Buddies.
Dean Campbell came in to replace Ferguson.
Full-back Greg Leigh was out having picked up a hamstring injury in training on Thursday. He was replaced by Connor McLennan.
It took Main just five minutes to repay the faith shown in him when he netted.
A corner from Ryan Hedges was headed down by Tommie Hoban.
The Ross County defence failed to clear as the ball bounced around the box and MAIN, in the right place at the right time, stroked home from eight yards.
It was the perfect start for Aberdeen after four games without victory.
In the 18th minute Jonny Hayes went on a rampaging run down the left flank and fired across a low drive that keeper Ross Laidlaw got down to palm at his near post.
The ball bounced into the box but there were no Aberdeen takers before it was cleared to safety by the Staggies.
Aberdeen were dominating possession and probing to try to break down a compact five man Ross County defence.
In the 32nd minute Ross McCrorie was booked for a foul on Coll Donaldson.
In the 37th minute a second substitution was made by County with striker Billy McKay coming on for Connor Randall. County switched from 4-5-1 to 4-4-2.
They came more into the game following that formation change.
Ross County threatened when substitute McKay was left unmarked from a free-kick but his header from eight yards flashed over.
Straight from the restart after half-time Aberdeen forced a save with a well worked move when Main played in Matty Kennedy but his low drive from the edge of the box was blocked by keeper Laidlaw.
There was a moment of concern for the Dons in the 58th minute when Jonny Hayes clattered to the pitch following a challenge from Jordan Tillson as he cleared the ball on the left flank.
Hayes was clearly in discomfort and required treatment.
However, to boss Derek McInnes’ relief, Hayes recovered and returned to the pitch.
Ross County should have netted in the 56th minute when Josh Reid’s shot was deflected and sent up spinning deep into the penalty box.
Defender Ash Taylor was posted missing as Ross Stewart nipped onto the ball and to shoot at the near post with the outside of his right foot from five yards.
It flashed inches wide.
Within a minute Aberdeen were 2-0 up when Hayes crossed into the ball from the left and MAIN unleashed a superb shot on the turn that flew past keeper Laidlaw.
In the 66th minute Michael Gardyne unleashed a left footed shot from the edge of the box but it flew just wide.
Aberdeen keeper Joe Lewis produced a superb save to deny Ross Stewart’s powerful shot from just inside the box in the 79th minute.
Lewis blocked the effort with a strong right hand.
With seven minutes remaining Cosgrove was taken on.
If Cosgrove and Main could forge a strike partnership it could be potent.
ABERDEEN: Joe Lewis, Tommie Hoban, Andy Considine, Curtis Main, Ryan Hedges, Ash Taylor, Jonny Hayes, Connor McLennan, Dean Campbell, Matty Kennedy, Ross McCrorie.
Subs: Shaleum Logan (for McLennan 73), Sam Cosgrove (for Kennedy 83), Niall McGinn (for Main 90), Funso Ojo (for Hayes 90), Kieran Ngwenya (for Campbell 90)
Subs not used: Tom Ritchie, Ronald Hernandez, Ryan Edmondson, Calvin Ramsay.
ROSS COUNTY: Ross Laidlaw, Connor Randall, Callum Morris, Iain Vigurs, Alex Iacovitti, Regan Charles-Cook, Stephen Kelly, Jordan Tillson, Harry Paton, Coll Donaldson, Ross Stewart.
Subs: Josh Reid (for Iacovitti 18), Billy McKay (for Randall 36), Michael Gardyne (for Tillson 64), Jermaine Hylton (for Paton 64)
Subs not used: Ross Doohan, Matthew Wright, Ben Williamson.
Referee: Nick Walsh