Aberdeen win with 10 men at Ross County to keep pressure on Celtic
Ten-man Aberdeen closed the gap on Ladbrokes Premiership leaders Celtic to three points after an inspired performance against Ross County at the Global Energy Stadium.
Aberdeen were a man short for over an hour after Mark Reynolds was red-carded by referee Crawford Allan for a professional foul on Alex Schalk.
County took the lead seconds later with an Ian McShane free-kick but an Adam Rooney penalty and a Shay Logan goal in the space of three minutes saw the Dons go 2-1 up.
Aberdeen stretched their lead on the hour mark when Logan scored again from close range and although McShane pulled one back eight minutes from the end with a long-range effort the visitors held out for the points.
Aberdeen started brightly and Johnny Hayes tested County goalkeeper Scott Fox who tipped his fierce drive over the crossbar in the second minute.
The Dons threatened again a couple of minutes later and it took a last-ditch tackle from Marcus Fraser to deny them.
The home side had the chance to go ahead against the run of play in the 15th minute when Michael Gardyne slipped the ball through to Richard Foster but the former Aberdeen man shot straight at Scott Brown.
County had strong claims for a penalty turned down five minutes later when Taylor appeared to bring down McShane just inside the box but play continued and Schalk fired weakly at Brown.
Aberdeen found themselves down to 10 men in the 27th minute when Reynolds was red-carded and McShane compounded their misery by firing his free-kick into the bottom corner of the net for the opener.
But the Dons were back on level terms in the 33rd minute when Chris Robertson hauled Rooney down inside the box and he got up to convert the spot-kick himself.
Incredibly, Aberdeen went ahead three minutes later when a Hayes ball across goal ended up in the net after Logan bundled it home the ball into the net despite an attempt from Jamie Reckord to keep it out.
There were chances at either end before the break, which included a Hayes shot which just cleared the bar and a downward header by Brian Graham at the other end which Brown somehow kept out.
County made a couple of changes at the start of the second half with Jackson Irvine and Raffaele De Vita coming on for Stewart Murdoch and Fraser.
Irvine was soon involved in the action when he got on the end of a McShane free-kick but Brown kept his effort out at the back post.
Logan and Rooney both went close for Aberdeen before the former added his second and his team's third of the day on the hour mark.
A deep cross from Graeme Shinnie was helped on by Rooney to Logan, who tucked the chance away from three yards to make it 3-1.
Irvine came close with a header from a McShane cross in the 74th minute which flashed over the bar, and then County sub Greg Morrison pushed the ball wide after Graham laid it off inside the box.
But County were thrown a lifeline in the 82nd minute when McShane scored with a stunning 30-yard drive which flew into the net.
However, despite a spirited finish from the home side Aberdeen held out for all three points.