Scott Vernon climbed off the bench to secure maximum points for the home side against table-toppers Inverness at Pittodrie.
Vernon struck with ten minutes remaining to inflict a first defeat of the season on Butcher’s Battlers, turning brilliantly on a Peter Pawlett flick-on to fire a right-footed volley past Dean Brill.
In a hard-fought 90 minutes, there was little to separate the teams, but Dons gaffer Derek McInnes will feel his men just about deserved it in front of an 11, 251 strong crowd.
The first opening of the afternoon came when Joe Shaugnessy headed towards goal following a Jonny Hayes corner but the defender saw his effort come off Calvin Zola and bounce to safety.
Keen to build on last week’s win over Partick Thistle, Aberdeen began to find their feet. The rejuvenated Peter Pawlett threatened to open the scoring but dragged his shot wide of Brill’s left-hand upright.
But the keeper was soon called in to action, beating away Cammy Smith’s fierce shot after a neat exchange involving Pawlett and Zola on 18 minutes.
The Englishman in the away goal was again performing heroics in a bid to deny McInnes’s side the half-time lead that they craved, this time instinctively clawing a Michael Hector header over the top from another Hayes set-piece.
With Terry Butcher’s promptings ringing in their ears, Inverness emerged for the second 45 with renewed vigour.
The gloves of Langfield were warmed just after the restart when Billy McKay tried his luck after a strong run but his effort was gathered easily by the Dons’ number 1.
Josh Meekings then came within inches of handing the visitors the lead but his header from a Graeme Shinnie corner was cleared off the line by Cammy Smith, as referee Craig Thomson waved away hopeful claims that the ball had crossed the line.
Danger man McKay then hooked over as the Pittodrie faithful grumbled with the clock running down.
McInnes was forced to go all out for the points throwing on Magennis and Vernon, opting for a two-pronged attack – and it worked.
Youngster Nicky Low lofted the ball into the edge of the area on 80 minutes and as Vernon controlled a flick-on by Pawlett, he spun sharply and lashed a volley past the despairing fingertips of the deflated Brill and Pittodrie erupted.
The home side were forced to endure a nervy finish but held out with relative ease, marshalled brilliantly all afternoon by sponsors’ man of the match, Mark Reynolds.
Terry Butcher’s post-match fish supper tasted of defeat for the first time this season but as he lead his team home along the A96, the Northern Lights shone that little bit brighter over Pittodrie.