A frustrating evening at Pittodrie ended with Aberdeen squandering their second chance in a week to move top of the Scottish Premiership in front of their own support.
Having failed to beat Caley Thistle on Boxing Day, the postponement of Celtic’s trip to Dundee meant the Dons were given a second bite at the cherry but they could not make their opportunity count against Partick Thistle.
Dons manager Derek McInnes made two changes to the side which drew 2-2 with Caley Thistle on Saturday. Mark Reynolds replaced Paul Quinn in central defence while Willo Flood returned in midfield after recovering from illness.
He replaced Andrew Considine while Graeme Shinnie, who had deputised for Flood, resumed duties at left back while Ryan Jack led his team out in what was his 200th appearance for the club.
Partick Thistle, who were idle at the weekend, made two changes from the side which beat Ross County on December 19 with David Amoo and Ryan Edwards replacing Robbie Muirhead, who dropped to the bench and Sean Welsh, who was suspended.
The Dons had the chance to go top of the Scottish Premiership with victory but Partick arrived at Pittodrie as a side in form following four straight league wins. They last won five in a row in the top flight in January 1972.
The home side started brightly with Jonny Hayes and Niall McGinn pushing the Partick full backs back to the edge of their own penalty area and they forced four early corners as they searched for an opener but Jags goalkeeper Tomas Cerny was equal to all that came his way including a low drive from Hayes which he turned round the post.
But Cerny was beaten in the 19th minute when McGinn set-up Shinnie on the edge of the box, only for the full back’s drive to rebound off the crossbar.
Hayes and McGinn were Aberdeen’s best hope of a breakthrough and Adam Rooney sent McGinn clear on goal but the Northern Irish international was foiled by Cerny after overrunning the ball.
Partick struggled to impose themselves in an attacking sense but they showed great composure defensively against the Dons, protecting their goalkeeper well and soaking up all Aberdeen could muster.
All the action was played out in front of the Jags backline as the Dons struggled to get their wide players in behind a well organised Partick defence and it was a measure of the confidence of Alan Archibald’s men that the frustration began to grow within Pittodrie among supporters following their side’s failure to make their pressure count.
The mood soured further when referee Kevin Clancy booked Kenny McLean just before the break for a foul before lecturing manager Derek McInnes, who had complained at the decision.
For all Aberdeen’s first half pressure they lacked penetration in the final third and there was little change to proceedings at the start of the second half with the home side again pushing the Jags back into their own half but seemingly unable to deliver a telling final ball or test Cerny.
McGinn fired weakly at Cerny with his attempted lob easily taken by the Partick goalkeeper before Dons captain Jack fired wildly over the crossbar with his 25 yard effort.
The tempo and urgency which had been absent in the first half was building as the pressure intensified towards the Jags goal and McInnes increased his attacking options with 25 minutes remaining, sending Peter Pawlett into the action for captain Jack, whose milestone appearance ended prematurely with a hamstring strain.
With McGinn and Hayes staying wide and Pawlett playing off Rooney the intent of the home side was clear and McLean forced Cerny into his first save of the second half with a low drive which was well held by the Jags goalkeeper.
Pawlett’s pace and drive brought a new challenge for the visitors to face and he almost created the breakthrough when a burst of speed took him into the penalty area but Cerny made a fine block to deny the Dons the goal they craved.
With the Dons seemingly drawing a blank the Jags fancied their chances of turning a valuable away point into three and they finally imposed themselves in the closing 10 minutes when substitute Paul Pogba created a chance for himself but he dragged his shot wide of Danny Ward’s left post.
With the tension at fever pitch the Dons created their best chance of the game with two minutes remaining when Rooney played the ball to Shinnie but his shot from six yards was blocked by the Jags defence.