Match ends, St. Johnstone 1, Aberdeen 1.
Adam Rooney's spectacular 25-yard strike salvaged a point for Aberdeen against St Johnstone in Perth.
The Irishman's 20th goal of the season cancelled out an impressive close-range volley by Saints' Simon Lappin.
Aberdeen's David Goodwillie and St Johnstone's Lee Croft hit the woodwork in a contest laden with chances.
A draw means the Dons stay second in the the Premiership but level on 48 points with leaders Celtic, who have two games in hand.
The first of those is the lunch-time kick-off on Saturday, when Ronny Deila's men travel north to face Ross County, who are bottom of the league.
Deila was in the stand to watch this encounter first-hand and almost witnessed both sides snatch all three points near the end.
Saints goalkeeper Alan Mannus and his Dons counterpart, Scott Brown, played their part in ensuring that did not happen.
Mannus watched Cammy Smith flash a diving header wide before saving well from Rooney and Lawrence Shankland, while Brown made a terrific triple save to deny Murray Davidson and then Michael O'Halloran twice.
The absence of at least five St Johnstone first-team regulars through injury or suspension painted a drastic picture in the build up to Aberdeen's visit to McDiarmid Park.
But Saints manager Tommy Wright would have been heartened as he witnessed arguably the most attacking start his side has made to a match this season.
Chris Kane, not long back in Perth after a second fruitful loan spell at Scottish Championship team Dumbarton, and a bit of an unknown package, was at the heart of everything during the opening 10 minutes.
Dons goalkeeper Brown rushed out to prevent the 20-year-old scoring after nipping in to steal the ball from a sloppy Aberdeen throw-in.
Minutes later, the striker won a free-kick from which Lappin went close, then Kane himself sent another low strike just wide of the post.
The recent contract extension awarded to local boy David Wotherspoon had clearly given him a spring in his step, too, the former Hibs midfielder directing a fierce 20-yard drive narrowly over the crossbar.
Aberdeen's defence, missing the injured Ash Taylor, were rattled and it was Wotherspoon who gave them some respite at the other end when his poor back-pass nearly let Peter Pawlett poke past Mannus.
However, Wotherspoon's contribution became positive once more as St Johnstone took the lead.
The 25-year-old's jump put Andrew Considine under pressure when a cross came in from the right-hand side and the loose ball dropped for Lappin to volley home his first St Johnstone goal from 10 yards.
That opener gave the Dons a kick up the back-side. Jonny Hayes had his sliced narrowly over by Saints defender Brian Easton then, approaching half-time, Goodwillie hit the crossbar with a header from Niall McGinn's chipped delivery.
St Johnstone once again hit the ground running on the blow of referee Bobby Madden's whistle for the second half as an offside-looking Croft's low angled effort hit the base of Brown's far post.
Sustaining such attacking menace when this was their third game in six days was the test for Saints, especially when Aberdeen equalised in superb style.
Goodwillie's headed flick-on proved crucial in setting up Rooney to unleash a dipping half-volley from 25-yards that, despite his best efforts, Mannus failed to prevent finding the top right corner.
- 19MillerBooked at 40minsSubstituted forWrightat 90'minutes
- 22CroftSubstituted forCaddisat 75'minutes
- 18DavidsonBooked at 35mins
- 10WotherspoonBooked at 58mins
- 25KaneSubstituted forO'Halloranat 80'minutes
- 9MacLeanBooked at 27mins
- 6ReynoldsBooked at 44mins
- 16PawlettSubstituted forRobsonat 87'minutes
- 22JackBooked at 87mins
- 8FloodSubstituted forSmithat 45'minutes
- 17GoodwillieSubstituted forShanklandat 77'minutes
- 9RooneyBooked at 83mins
- Bobby Madden
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, St. Johnstone 1, Aberdeen 1.
Corner, St. Johnstone. Conceded by Scott Brown.
Attempt saved. Michael O'Halloran (St. Johnstone) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.
Attempt saved. Murray Davidson (St. Johnstone) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.
Foul by Cameron Smith (Aberdeen).
Steven MacLean (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Substitution, St. Johnstone. Frazer Wright replaces Gary Miller because of an injury.
Foul by Adam Rooney (Aberdeen).
David Wotherspoon (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt saved. Lawrence Shankland (Aberdeen) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.
Substitution, Aberdeen. Barry Robson replaces Peter Pawlett.
Ryan Jack (Aberdeen) is shown the yellow card.
Foul by Ryan Jack (Aberdeen).
Murray Davidson (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Attempt missed. Peter Pawlett (Aberdeen) header from the centre of the box is just a bit too high.
Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Alan Mannus.
Attempt saved. Adam Rooney (Aberdeen) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner.
Attempt blocked. Lawrence Shankland (Aberdeen) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
Shaleum Logan (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the attacking half.