Nicky Low free-kick gives Aberdeen 1-0 victory over Ross County at Pittodrie
Nicky Low's second minute free-kick on his return to the starting line-up gave Aberdeen a 1-0 win over Ross County.
Last Updated: 29/12/13 6:39pm
Low's strike in the game's opening stages was the only goal of a contest in which County only managed two shots, both of which were from Graham Carey and neither of which were on target.
Aberdeen came straight out of the traps and it took them just two minutes to break the County resistance.
Peter Pawlett was fouled on the edge of the area and Low, recalled to the side in place of Barry Robson, stepped up to curl the ball in off the post with a superbly taken left-footed free-kick.
Pawlett was in the thick of it and just 10 minutes later he won a penalty for the home side when he was brought down in the area by Ross County midfielder Marc Klok.
But Scott Vernon was unable to convert the spot-kick with County goalkeeper Michael Fraser leaping to his right to tip the ball wide.
Aberdeen dominated the remainder of the half and almost doubled their lead just before the break when County defender Scott Boyd diverted the ball onto his own post and out for a corner.
The second half was a slightly more tepid affair with the first chance falling to the goalscorer Low in the 58th minute but he fired his shot over the crossbar.
Moments later Niall McGinn had two chances to extend the home side's lead but was unable to find the target on both occasions.
Five minutes from time, Cameron Smith - on as a second half substitute for Pawlett - tried to chip Fraser but the goalkeeper read his intentions and was able to save comfortably.
Carey had a shot in the game's dying embers but his effort was blocked as Aberdeen claimed all three points and moved up two places to third in the league behind Celtic and Motherwell.