Another game, another VAR drama.

Aberdeen huffed and puffed without the penetration they needed, while Hibs threw away a glorious opportunity as star striker Kevin Nisbet had his late penalty kick heroically saved by Kelle Roos, the Dutch keeper helping preserve his side’s third sport in the Premiership table with three games remaining.

An incident 15 minutes from the end when Hibernian substitute Harry McKirdy’s strike went wide brought video assistant referee Andrew Dallas into the equation. He spotted that the shot was diverted by the arm of Hayden Coulson and after a wait of several minutes, match official Nick Walsh awarded the spot-kick.

The save was made and the visitors, much the better side, had to settle for a draw, although manager Lee Johnston told a dejected Nisbet that he admired his courage for stepping-up to take the penalty.

Johnston said: "I told him, 'listen, I wish I'd had the bravery as a player to take those penalties'.

“It takes a brave man to take that penalty. He's got a lot of belief in himself and he'll make sure he scores the next one."

So, is ending the season in the bronze medal position, in the Dons’ grip at the moment, realistic?

"I still believe we can do it,” Johnston added. “The realist is telling me that. But I believe if we play like that consistently for three, five, ten, 20 games, that's exactly what I'm after.

“If we don't make third, it won't be this run or this moment that's cost us, it will be earlier in the season.

"What an unbelievable week we have coming up. We have to be energised and positive, and the boys have played well individually and as a team, and that's all you can ask for going into three massive games [against Rangers, Celtic and Hearts].”

Robson admitted his team were off the pace and didn’t perform well in front of an 18,000-plus attendance, many of them there to see the Gothenburg Greats take a bow on the 40th anniversary week the Dons European Cup-Winners’ Cup in Sweden’s second city.

He remained upbeat, however, with positive post-match words in praise of his squad during what he called “a big, emotional day”.

“I'm also proud of the players and what they've given us over the past three months,” he insisted. “They've been outstanding.

“They've kept another clean sheet and, in football, you don't always play well.

“The most pleasing factor for me is that when you don't play well – and that's right across the board – they dig, they fight and they come out with a point. That's what I want to see.

“I'm so pleased on that side of it because we never had a good day and the boys never played well.

“But we never got beat and we kept a clean sheet. I said that to them. Can I sit here and get angry after what these boys have given me? No chance.

“I'm happy we kept the points tally where it is against the other teams on a big emotional day.

“Roos was terrific and you need that. You need him at his best and he was today. I was really pleased with him.”

The early vibrancy and tempo of the visitors was palpable with attacking winger Elie Youan seeing much of the ball as he tormented the Dons defence and forced Roos into a dramatic save to prevent the hosts from going behind.

This kind of enforced rear-guard action was not what a big Pittodrie crowd wanted to witness.

Nor did they enjoy Nisbet’s cheeky effort late in the first half which slipped only inches past Roos’s right-hand post.

Youan, however, brought a little excitement into this battle with a stunning strike early in the second half, only to see it re-bound off the post.

The Frenchman certainly looked set to open the scoring in the 67th minute until the timely intervention of Reds centre-back Angus MacDonald whose block-come-challenge rescued the hosts.

Soon after, though, it was Roos who needed to be at his best, diving to turn Youan’s low shot past.

It was from the resultant corner-kick that the drama came, as McKirdy smashed his volley wide, aided, said VAR, by Coulson’s arm.

The long wait did not unnerve Roos, though, and the towering Dutchman saved Nisbet’s 79th minute spot-kick.