Aberdeen were suffering from a Dons Dubai hangover after suffering a frustrating 1-1 draw against Stenhousemuir.
The returning Max Lowe put the Dons in front in the first half, only for Mark McGuigan to equalise for Stenhousemuir in the middle of the second half.
Aberdeen made five changes to the line-up that face Livingston, with the returning Greg Stewart and Max Lowe starting and were joined by Gary Mackay-Steven who had been sidelined after suffering concussion in the BetFred Cup Final at the start of December.
Lewis Ferguson returned from suspension and Niall McGinn was in the starting XI after missing the Livingston match with a groin strain.
Aberdeen were in the lead in the 21st minute after Graeme Shinnie squared a pass back across goal for Max Lowe to slot the ball into goal to put the Dons ahead.
From there on in there were the chances but nothing hitting the target, with Stenhousemuir tight at the back. Greg Stewart was unfortunate in the 63rd minute after his drive hit the underside of the cross-bar.
However Stenhousemuir shocked the Pittodrie crowd after Ruaridh Donaldson delivered a cross to Mark McGuigan who hit a 12-yard diving header into goal to give them the equaliser.
Aberdeen tried, but failed to make any headway to avoid the replay, but the sides will have to do it all again at Ochilview on Tuesday 29 January 2019.
Derek McInnes told the club website: “It’s not so much anger.
“Truth be told we’ve got to be relieved because when it’s one each in a cup tie it could have gone either way, even though we were still expected to win.
“Although we had the bulk of the possession chances, you just felt we weren’t doing enough to win the game. It was a disjointed performance and brought moments of quality to the game, but it was too sporadic and it should have been far more intensified pressure on Stenhousemuir. While we’re really disappointed with the level of our performance in terms of quality I think you’ve got to praise Stenhousemuir.
“To a man they stuck to their game plan and got everybody behind the ball first half. Although we had a lot of possession, we never had too many chances at goal. For me we looked like a team that were rusty and never looked sharp. It’s always my biggest concern coming off the back of a break that we are ready to go again.
“We’ve had a couple of games we’ve come to in the cup in the cup scoring four goals against Stranraer and St Mirren and there’s been moments in those games where we’ve been a bit patchy.
“We had opportunities to get the second goal, which would have put the tie to bed and kill their resilience. When the goals don’t come it gives them that belief that they might just get the one chance and they got it.
“We gave away possession of the ball, but I’m disappointed we’ve not defended the cross.
“Stenhousemuir thoroughly deserve their replay and I wish I could play the game tomorrow. I just want us to get it out their system and take them on down there. We’ll be better for it having a couple of games going into that one.
“The credit today goes to Stenhousemuir and there’s frustration in my team’s performance.
“There was enough effort from the team but I thought it was too disjointed and too loose at times and as a consequence we weren’t as bright as we normally are.
“We’re expected to win and we all expected to win the game today, we’re firm favourites and we should have won. We didn’t and it doesn’t matter because any game you play you’ve still got to go take your chances and bring those moments of quality.
“Stenhousemuir made very few mistakes and they kept their discipline and shape so the onus was on us to bring the quality and we never. We all feel the same, it was a game we clearly wanted to win, but we didn’t. We’ve got another chance to do that in ten days’ time.
“We’re still in it and sometimes the poorest results come with defeats.
“We’re still in the cup and I’ve been around football long enough now that sometimes in the cup when you’re performance isn’t on the money you’re out. We’re still in it.
“As a player and manager, I can’t remember being involved in a cup shock in the Scottish game myself. I remember we lost a game at Morton to Danny McGrain’s Arbroath team when they were in the Second Division and that still resonates with me and I still feel that pain how I felt that day.
“I’ve always prided myself for my team to do the job professionally and bring enough quality to the game. I thought we were professional enough today, but we weren’t good enough certainly in that final third to cause enough problems to get the second and third goal.
“Ultimately the credit should go to Stenhousemuir. We’ll look at our own selves and the preparation going into it has been the exact same as in previous years, but today we never performed to our level.
“We’ll look forward to the Hamilton game and we’ll be better for it having played today in terms of the match sharpness and getting the minutes in the legs again. I’ve always felt we get better as we go along in the second half of the season. It’s hard to think about that game at the minute as that was a real disappointment.
“We’ve got a lot of players in there disappointed in their own performance, but collectively we feel the same pain and we’ve missed the opportunity to get ourselves into the next round. We’re thankful we’ve got another opportunity in ten days’ time to try and rectify a lot of the wrongs we brought to the game today.
Finally, the manager confirmed that the club have made an approach to Joe Shaughnessy to sign on a pre-contract.
“We spoke with Joe Shaughnessy’s agent and notified Tommy Wright about that and we’ve made an offer to Joe for next season. I’m sure we’re not the only club and we’ve made a pitch to bring him back to the club. Hopefully that can be the case, but I think he’s got other things to explore at the minute. Staying at St Johnstone is still an option for him as well, but we’ve made a pitch for it and hopefully Joe can be with us next season.”
Goalscorer, Max Lowe said: “Personally, for me it felt like a game of two halves.
“We should confidence and patience in the first half and managed to get the goal with a good bit of play.
“Second half we struggled to be as creative and the delivery in the final third wasn’t up to standard for us.
“We’re lucky and we can go to their place now and try do our best to get into the next round.
“We’re very disappointed and it is another game as we’ve got a lot of games coming up. But it’s opportunities for players in the squad as it’s really strong.
“I think at times we were a bit too urgent and panicked a little bit.
“When we were 1-0 up we were in a really good position to go and get the second goal, but we stopped doing things we did in the first half, which is always going to be a problem. We gave them a little bit of hope and the goal they scored – there were a couple of moments leading up to it, so we could see it coming. We should have been more on our toes.
“The Gaffer told us everything (about the fixture) and no matter who we play we need to take each game seriously and we did do that, but the second half we slowed down and it cost us. We’ve got to keep performing in the right way.”
“We’re going to have to get the performance out our system quickly with the game on Wednesday and it’s probably good for us that we’ve got it. It’s going to linger over night, but you’ve got to move on quickly and we need to as a team. We’ve got to take any positives out of the game and take them into next week as we start to prepare for Hamilton.
“The league’s important for us now and we need to start winning.
“I’ve came back to make new experiences and getting to one cup final was fantastic. That’s a target for us again this season and I can’t see why we can’t go one step further if we can win the replay.
“The squad’s got really strong and a lot of key players are back fit, which is massive for us. With the games coming thick and fast we’re going to need a big squad. We’ve got the squad to do well in the league and the cup, despite what happened today.”