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Aberdeen 0 - 3 St. Mirren

HT Score: Aberdeen 0 - 1 St. Mirren

Scottish Premiership
St. Mirren scorers: O'Hara 12, Ayunga 78, Kiltie 93 (pen)

30/12/2023 | KO: 15:00

No festive cheer for Dons as Saints win

2023 ended in defeat for the Dons as St Mirren handled the horrendous weather conditions at Pittodrie the better to complete a 3-0 win.

There were two changes for the Dons from the side that beat Livingston in the game before Christmas. Slobodan Rube i and Jamie McGrath returned to the team with Angus MacDonald and Dante Polvara starting on the bench.

After losing 1-0 at home to Kilmarnock on Wednesday night, there were two changes for St Mirren too, Lewis Jamieson and Mikael Mandron coming in for Olutoysi Olusanya and Jonah Ayunga, who were both among the substitutes.

The game opened in very blustery conditions that made judging the flight of the ball difficult, a couple of early Aberdeen passes towards the Red Shed being blown too long by the wind. It was an aggressive start from Aberdeen though, both Duk and Graeme Shinnie causing trouble with strong runs down the left.

At the other end, a loose header from Rube i gave the Buddies a sight of goal in the ninth minute, but the Dons were able to clear, the conditions making defending a difficult occupation.

Saints were in front on 12 minutes. A raking pass out from Gogic sent Kiltie away down the left.

He crossed into the middle for Mandron whose shot was well blocked by Richard Jensen, but O’Hara was quickest onto the loose ball to drill it in.

The Dons gave away good possession on 18 minutes, St Mirren working the ball out to Jamieson who fired goalwards from the edge of the box. It clipped Jensen’s hand and, after a VAR check, a penalty was given. O’Hara stepped up to take it but dragged the ball well wide of the goal to give Aberdeen a real let off.

Nicky Devlin was in the book on 25 minutes as he challenged Mandron on the halfway line. From the free-kick, there was another scramble in the Aberdeen box after Kiltie was found unmarked, but eventually the danger passed. It was very much the visitors on top at this stage.

Aberdeen began to rally as we headed towards the half hour, a left wing corner resulting in the ball pinballing about, a Rube i header cleared in the six yard box, before the ball flew out towards Bojan Muovski some 15 yards out. Hitting the volley on the swivel, the ball whipped across the face of goal and just wide of the far post. Better from the Dons.

Stefan Gartenmann was next to threaten with a cross floated into the box on 32. It was half cleared but only to Leighton Clarkson who caught it beautifully on the volley, Hemming pawing it away at the foot of the post.

The Dons were screaming for a penalty on 42 minutes when James McGarry looked to have been pushed over from behind by a Fraser challenge, which did look clumsy, but the protests were waved away by the referee.

HALF-TIME: ABERDEEN 0 ST MIRREN 1

The conditions were continuing to worsen as the sides came out for the second half, the pouring rain now virtually horizontal on the wind.

St Mirren had the half’s first shot on target on 51, Jamieson charging away on the counter-attack, cutting inside but producing a weak effort that Roos was able to save with ease.

Aberdeen came back and three minutes later, Hemming had to produce a terrific save to parry a ferocious McGarry shot behind for a corner, a Clarkson pass setting up the shot. A string of corners followed as the Dons began to raise the tempo and pinned the visitors back.

O’Hara went down injured on 58 minutes and he had to make way for Boyd-Munce. Aberdeen made their first changes on the hour, Shayden Morris, Dante Polvara and Jack Milne coming on for Shinnie, Jensen and Devlin as the hosts went to a back four. The visitors responded by withdrawing Mandron and Jamieson for Olusanya and Ayunga.

Good possession from Polvara and McGarry created a shooting opportunity for Duk on the angle of the area, but he spooned his effort well over the bar on 68 minutes. Moments later, Morris played into Polvara who wriggled into the box but had his shot blocked.

Polvara was inches away from the equaliser on 72, a late run into the box getting him onto the end of Gartenmann’s cross, his header shaving the outside of the near post. Ester Sokler then replaced Duk.

Olusanya could have made the points safe a minute later, Rube i caught in possession, the ball worked from there to Olusanya just inside the area, but Roos was equal to his effort.

It was 2-0 on 78 minutes though, Ayunga darting in at the back post to slot the ball into the net from five yards out, Tanser’s arcing cross from the left unerringly picking him out.

The Dons piled forward to try to find a way back, a Polvara ball through the box missing everyone before creeping just wide of the far post in the 79th minute. Jonny Hayes replaced McGarry two minutes later.

A Gartenmann ball looked to have got Miovski in on 88 but it was superbly defended by Taylor to mop up the danger, St Mirren defended extremely well all afternoon.

A Morris cross speared into the box on 89 minutes was hooked out of his goalkeeper’s hands and over the bar by Gogic, but the resulting corner came to nothing.

As we headed into added time, Olusanya was given offside but as he raced into the box, Gartenmann came across to tackle. The referee initially gave the offside decision before VAR first concluded the offside flag was incorrect and that Gartenmann had fouled Olusanya, the eventual outcome another penalty kick, which Kiltie rattled into the roof of the net, completing a miserable afternoon for Aberdeen.

2 minutes added at end 1st half.
5+2 minutes added at end 2nd half.
Aberdeen Teamsheet
Roos, Devlin (Milne 60), Shinnie (Polvara 60), Jensen (Morris 61), Gartenmann, McGrath, Miovski, Clarkson, Lopes (Sokler 72), McGarry (Hayes 81), Rubezic.

Unused Subs: Doohan, Barron, Duncan, MacDonald.

Bookings:  Devlin (25).
St. Mirren Teamsheet
Hemming, Bolton, Tanser, Taylor, O'Hara (Boyd-Munce 58), Mandron (Ayunga 64), Kiltie, Gogic, Baccus, Fraser, Jamieson (Olusanya 64) Unused Subs: Urminsky, Dunne, Small, Flynn,, Grieve, Nahmani
Attendance: 17,029
Visitors:373
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
Referee: Grant Irvine
Next Match
St. Johnstone
H
28 Feb 2024 / 19:45 / Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen