Match ends, St. Mirren 0, Aberdeen 0.
Aberdeen failed to significantly cut the gap on third-placed Motherwell after a turgid draw with St Mirren.
Derek McInnes' side were booed off after passing up the chance to narrow the gap to two points, sitting four adrift after the Premiership stalemate.
Jon Obika hit a post for the hosts, while the visitors looked blunt in attack throughout.
St Mirren do move a point further away from second-bottom Hamilton, now two clear of the relegation play-off spot.
Aberdeen had named new signing Matty Kennedy in the starting line-up, but in three games in 2020 they have yet to score from open play.
Fresh faces, same performance
The game had a huge significance for both sides; St Mirren looking to put distance between themselves and the bottom two, while Aberdeen arrived in Paisley as a team under pressure.
They needed a big performance to appease a support who had witnessed just one win in their previous four league games after Wednesday's home loss to Motherwell, at a venue where they had lost 1-0 on their last visit in August.
Seldom has an Aberdeen signing made his debut under such expectation. Kennedy, fresh from joining from St Johnstone, was named in the starting line-up looking to fix Aberdeen's lack of pace and goal threat, and add an entertainment value sorely missing from McInnes' team.
He could do little about Aberdeen's inability to put away their early chances. Ash Taylor headed over from close range while Niall McGinn should have finished when St Mirren goalkeeper Vaclav Hladky handed him a chance on a plate with a poor pass.
Sam Cosgrove had a strong shout for a penalty when Conor McCarthy grabbed his waist and knocked him to the floor, before a deflection denied Scott McKenna's goalbound shot, but it was all scrappy from Aberdeen as once again they huffed and puffed.
The frustration for home manager Jim Goodwin was how easily his side were gifting away possession to give the visitors the impetus.
St Mirren are crying out for consistency. December had brought two wins, two draws and two defeats, and they only have 11 goals scored on their home patch this season. That number should have grown to 12 when Dylan McGeouch's short-back pass was pounced on by Obika, but he cracked his effort off a post.
It was a big miss, but more chances would come their way. McCarthy could have given St Mirren a half-time lead, but he headed straight at goalkeeper Joe Lewis. Ilkay Durmus and Tony Andreu both threatened after the break as they began to grow in confidence.
Durmus shot over again as St Mirren broke on the counter, as Aberdeen drifted out of the game as an attacking force. But with 20 minutes to go McInnes switched Kennedy to the middle, moved Lewis Ferguson deeper, and briefly things began to click for the visitors.
They had another penalty shout when McKenna volleyed the ball off the arm of a defender. Then Ryan Hedges collected the ball on the edge of the box but spun his shot wide. Ferguson too had an opportunity but elected to pass rather than shoot. Funso Ojo's long-range shot was a simple enough save.
But Aberdeen ran out of ideas and it is now just five points taken from their last 15, and nine from their last 24.
Man of the match - Ryan Flynn
BBC Scotland's Martin Dowden at the Simple Digital Arena
Aberdeen debutant Kennedy was the subject of much attention pre-match with McInnes hoping he might spark something positive in the final third.
He failed to do so largely because of the performance of St Mirren's Ryan Flynn who didn't put a foot wrong all afternoon. He read the game well and nullified any threat on his flank.
Full-back isn't his natural position but Flynn increasingly looks like first pick in that role in a defensive structure that is proving very effective.
Both managers frustrated - reaction
St Mirren manager Jim Goodwin: "When you take a point from the Old Firm or Aberdeen it's a positive, but I don't remember my goalkeeper being tested too much.
"I'm frustrated in that we didn't create enough clear-cut opportunities. I'm delighted that my team managed to stand up to Aberdeen's physical threat."
Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes: "I thought we controlled the game. Defensively I thought we were solid throughout. I thought we passed the ball well, we got into some threatening areas but we didn't work the goalkeeper enough. It's stuff we've been speaking about for a period of time now where we have to make more of our possession.
"We came here and did a lot right. But getting a point is frustrating because I thought we had enough possession to get more from the game."
- 24MacPhersonBooked at 24mins
- 10AndreuSubstituted forCookeat 80'minutes
- 11DurmusSubstituted forMcGinnat 90+2'minutes
- 17McGeouchSubstituted forHedgesat 73'minutes
- 10McGinnSubstituted forAndersonat 85'minutes
- Don Robertson
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, St. Mirren 0, Aberdeen 0.
Substitution, St. Mirren. Paul McGinn replaces Ilkay Durmus.
Attempt missed. Lewis Ferguson (Aberdeen) right footed shot from the left side of the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Ryan Hedges.
Attempt blocked. Scott McKenna (Aberdeen) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Ryan Hedges with a cross.
Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Ryan Flynn.
Attempt saved. Funso Ojo (Aberdeen) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner.
Attempt blocked. Bruce Anderson (Aberdeen) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Andrew Considine.
Substitution, Aberdeen. Bruce Anderson replaces Niall McGinn.
Foul by Sam Cosgrove (Aberdeen).
Akin Famewo (St. Mirren) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Ilkay Durmus.
Shaleum Logan (Aberdeen) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Jonathan Obika (St. Mirren).
Foul by Funso Ojo (Aberdeen).
Cameron MacPherson (St. Mirren) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Substitution, St. Mirren. Cody Cooke replaces Tony Andreu.
Attempt missed. Ryan Hedges (Aberdeen) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Lewis Ferguson.
Attempt saved. Sam Cosgrove (Aberdeen) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Funso Ojo with a cross.
Lewis Ferguson (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.