Aberdeen blew the chance to jump into the Premiership top six when drawing 1-1 with bottom side St Johnstone at Pittodrie.
In the first game since Stephen Glass was axed as manager, the Reds battled back from a goal behind via a Lewis Ferguson penalty.
Barry Robson was in interim charge as the Dons hunt for a new boss.
Aberdeen had an approach to talk to St Mirren manager Jim Goodwin turned down by the Buddies earlier on Tuesday.
In a frustrating night for the Dons, captain Scott Brown limped off injured midway through the second half.
Robson made five changes to the starting XI that crashed out of the Scottish Cup at Motherwell.
During a previous period in interim charge along with Paul Sheerin following the sacking of Derek McInnes in March last year, Robson gave youth a chance.
He handed first team debuts to Calvin Ramsay and Jack MacKenzie.
This time he pitched in 19-year-old midfielder Connor Barron for his first Aberdeen start.
Winger Matty Kennedy also made his first start of the season having been sidelined for eight months with a double stress fracture in his back.
Keeper Joe Lewis returned, too, having missed the last three games, all losses, through illness.
MacKenzie and Ramsay were back in the starting line-up. Ramsay came in for the injured Ross McCrorie who limped off in the loss at Fir Park at the weekend.
Dutch winger Vicente Besuijen dropped to the bench for the first time since arriving on a four-and-a-half year contract from ADO Den Haag in January.
Also dropping to the bench were Gary Woods, Adam Montgomery and Funso Ojo.
St Johnstone grabbed the lead in the sixth minute when Glenn Middleton burst past Jonny Hayes and fired in a low drive that was blocked, but spilled, by keeper Joe Lewis.
The ball fell to Ali Crawford, but his shot hit Lewis.
Callum Hendry, on loan at Aberdeen for the second half of last season, pounced to shoot home from six yards.
Aberdeen responded quickly to going behind when a minute later Ramsay’s cross from the right flank found Hayes racing in at the back post.
Hayes’ header from six yards was saved by keeper Clark.
Moments later Scott Brown unleashed a vicious 30-yard drive that cracked off the cross-bar and behind.
In the 19th minute, a cross from Barron on the right found Hayes with his back to goal.
He spun round quickly and shot on the half-volley from 12 yards, only for Clark to tip the effort over the bar.
Aberdeen were pushing forward and, in the 27th minute, MacKenzie blasted a 25-yard shot high and wide.
Keeper Clark was again involved when he dived to his right to push behind a deflected Lewis Ferguson drive.
Aberdeen came close in the 39th minute when Barron opened up space for a shot and unleashed a curling 22-yard effort.
It flashed inches wide of Clark’s far post. Clark, who had been injured earlier in the game, went down again and had to be substituted.
Half-time: Aberdeen 0 St Johnstone 1
In the 49th minute, Ferguson fired off a shot, but it didn’t have enough power to trouble substitute keeper Elliot Parish.
Starved of service for much of the game, Christian Ramirez had a shot in the 56th minute, but it was comfortably saved by Parish.
Aberdeen suffered an injury set-back in the 65th minute when captain Brown limped off injured, to be replaced by Funso Ojo.
Scotland international midfielder Ferguson dropped back to centre-back.
Aberdeen were awarded a penalty when Ramsay was bundled over by Callum Booth after breaking into the penalty area in the 71st minute.
Ferguson has never missed a penalty for Aberdeen, and calmly slotted home with a right-footed shot for his 11th goal of the season.
Aberdeen have now converted 23 straight penalties in all competitions.
The Reds had a goal disallowed for offside soon after when Jonny Hayes’ shot was saved.
Substitute Vicente Besuijen pounced onto the loose ball and fired home. But the goal was ruled out as Ramirez was offside.
Deep into injury time, Ramirez nearly secured the win with a shot, but keeper Parish saved.
Full-time: Aberdeen 1 St Johnstone 1
ABERDEEN (4-2-3-1): Lewis 6, MacKenzie 4 (Montgomery 52), Bates 6, Gallagher 4 (Besuijen 46), Ramsay 6, Brown 6 (Ojo 65), Barron 7, Hayes 7, Ferguson 6, Kennedy 6 (Emmanuel-Thomas 73), Ramirez 6.
Subs: Woods, McGeouch, McLennan, Jenks, Ruth.
ST JOHNSTONE (3-4-1-2): Clark 5 (Parish 41), McCart 6, Gordon 6, Cleary 6, Booth 6 (Gallagher 73), Butterfield 6, Halberg 6(Craig 73), Brown 6, Crawford 6, Middleton 6, Hendry 6 (May 61).
Subs: Mahon, Sang, Gilmour, Bair, Hector-Ingram.
Referee: Gavin Duncan
Man-of-the-match: Connor Barron