Hamilton Academical’s Scottish Premier League relegation worries deepened following a 1-0 defeat to Aberdeen on Tuesday.
Christopher Maguire’s penalty in the 30th minute at Pittodrie handed hosts Aberdeen all three points.
Craig Brown’s side remain ninth but are now 15 points clear of bottom side Hamilton, who are five points adrift of second-last St Mirren.
Flavio Paixao sent an early chance for visitors Hamilton harmlessly over the bar, while former Birmingham City trainee Sone Aluko should have put Aberdeen in front on 13 minutes but volleyed wide from the back post.
Striker Mickael Antoine-Curier headed over for the visitors and Dougie Imrie also missed, but Hamilton have not won in the league since October and their odds of ending that abysmal run lengthened considerably when Jim McAlister fouled the lively Aluko inside the box.
Striker Maguire – on penalty duty in place of the benched Paul Hartley – converted the spot kick for his ninth goal of the season.
The unmarked Alexander Diamond should have made it 2-0 when he headed wide from Aluko’s corner on 43 minutes.
Soon after the restart Maguire disposed defender Martin Canning and played in Robert Milsom, but the midfielder put his shot just wide of the post.
Hamilton spurned a glorious opportunity to equalise on 50 minutes when Imrie shot straight at goalkeeper Jamie Langfield rather than passing to Antoine-Curier.
Maguire should have put the result beyond doubt when he took possession after a mistake from Irishman David Elebert, but despite missing the resulting chance Aberdeen saw off a late effort from Imrie to hang on for the win.
In Tuesday’s other match, St Johnston played out a 0-0 draw against visitors Dundee United at McDiarmid Park.
Dundee United remain seventh after the draw, with St Johnstone a place behind in eighth.
They are level on 30 points, but St Johnstone have played two matches more.