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St. Mirren 1 - 1 Aberdeen

HT Score: St. Mirren 0 - 0 Aberdeen

Scottish Cup Quarter Final
St. Mirren scorers: McGowan 77
Aberdeen scorers: McArdle 90.

12/03/2011 | KO: 12:15

McArdle Completes Great Escape

Aberdeen are still in the Scottish Cup thanks to a last gasp equaliser from Rory McArdle. The Dons substitute will gain the plaudits, but the Dons can thank Jamie Langfield for a series of world class saves that kept them in the match. Aberdeen probably shaded the first half, but the home side created many chances after Higdon and Mclean entered the play. They grabbed a deserved lead in the 76th minute when McGowan was presented with a tap in when a cross was headed across the face of goal by Higdon and McGowan's run was not tracked. Saints had several chances to seal the win, but thanks to Langfield they failed to double their advantage and in the final minute of injury time McArdle ensured a replay at Pittodrie on Wednesday night.

A reshuffled Dons line up had Considine at left back as Smith moved forward into the left side of the midfield with Diamond and Vujadinovic at the heart of the defence. Aberdeen kicked off, but it was the Saints that started on the front foot as they took the game to the Dons. In the 5th minute Aberdeen won a free kick wide right, but the home defence handled the threat comfortably. A second free kick followed a minute later and again Saints were first to Hartrley's delivery.

There were strong claims for a penalty in the 9th minute when Maguire appeared to be pushed to the ground, but there was nothing doing. Seconds later Vernon was closed down quickly as the Dons looked to have settled well. A Saints free kick in the 12th minute came to nothing and a minute later McNamee was forced off after picking up a knock and McArdle took his place. Two minutes later Maguire laid the ball off to Hartley, but his shot was blocked. Gallacher then had to look smart to cut out a Maguire cross.

Milsom collected the first yellow card of the game in the 16th minute and from the resultant free kick Hartley sliced the ball out of play for the first corner of the match. That came to nothing and the game fell into a spell of midfield battling. In the 25th minute Maguire looked to be taken out of play but nothing was given. Seconds later a Saints player ran into Hartley and a free kick in a dangerous area was awarded. Langfield managed to claim the ball and turned defence into attack. Unfortunately the final cross from Maguire was too high for Vernon.

Smart play from Magennis won Aberdeen their first corner of the match and a Vernon header was blocked for a second corner. That produced a real goalmouth scramble before Saints broke. That attack ended with an effort that went wide of Langfield's goal. Aberdeen looked exposed in the 35th minute when the ball was played across the face of the goal before it was eventually cleared. At the other end Vernon got onto the end of a Considine cross, but could only steer it wide under pressure.

A great Smith cross in the 42nd minute failed to find a Dons striker and seconds later Maguire crashed into the advertising hoardings for the second time. A corner was won in the final minute of the half and despite a sustained spell of pressure the Dons could not create a clear chance. Deep in injury time Diamond had to look smart to concede a late corner. Aberdeen cleared and Maguire was taken down as he tried to break. Neither side had time to create anything else and the whistle ended a disappointing first half.

The second half started in a similar vein to the first with neither side creating too many chances. In the 51st minute Magennis looked to have had enough of the stalemate and went for goal forcing Gallacher to bundle the effort round the post. Aberdeen produced a small period of sustained pressure from the corner, but failed to create. Maguire tried a similar attempt from distance, but he was well wide. In the 57th minute Potter went off to get stitches and Aberdeen nearly took advantage as Milsom stepped forward and was inches wide with Gallacher looking beaten. Seconds later Magennis broke on the right and a last gasp lunge cut the cross out.

On the hour mark Aberdeen won a corner as Higdon replaced Potter and it was the substitute who headed clear. Blackman replaced Vernon three minutes later and Mair collected the second caution as Maguire tried to break on the right. As the free kick was played into the area Gallacher could only punch, but Hartley couldn't keep his shot down as he pounced on the loose ball. At the other end a Saints free kick skidded in front of Langfield and out for a goal kick. McLean then replaced Goodwin and Diamond had to go off for treatment and the referee, staring at the Dons defender, took an eternity to let him back on.

Aberdeen had Langfield to thank as he made a double save from substitutes McLean and Higdon. At the other end Blackman was closed down by Mair as he went for goal before Higdon controlled the ball with his arm and fired wide. Aluko then replaced Smith in the 71st minute, but it was Aberdeen who almost went behind when a Higdon header crashed off the bar and hit the back of Langfield's legs before the keeper managed to fall onto the ball.

At the other end Maguire forced a corner with 75 minutes on the clock, but Saints were able to clear. A minute later Aluko cut inside, but fired his effort wide before Saints grabbed the lead that the previous fifteen minutes play deserved. A cross was turned back across goal by Higdon and McGowan was free in the middle to tap in as the Dons conceded for the first time in the competition. A minute later Langfield was forced into another fine save from McLean. A corner in the 80th minute saw Considine head wide as the Dons looked for a way back into the game.

However it was poor control from Higdon that prevented a second goal and allowed the Dons keeper to gather. Langfield was the hero again in the 82nd minute as he saved at the feet of Dargo. At the other end Aberdeen won a free kick 30 yards out and Hartley rolled the ball to Maguire, but his effort went well over. The youngster was then cautioned as he made a challenge when backtracking. Higdon fired the free kick wide then Dargo collected a yellow for a similar indiscretion to Maguire.

Aberdeen were pushing forward, but creating little with Considine weakly heading towards Gallacher with five minutes remaining. They were struggling to get forward and Langfield slipped as he cleared allowing the ball to land at the feet of Moy. Fortunately the defence tidied up. In the first minute of injury time Blackman waltzed through the Saints defence, but fired over. Aluko then broke and was taken out resulting in another caution and presenting Aberdeen with a great chance, but the ball was cleared.

Another chance presented itself when a free kick was awarded 30 yards out and the Dons completed a great escape. McGowan was booked before Hartley delivered the ball into the danger area and Saints failed to clear their lines. Loud shouts went up for a penalty when Murray appeared to handle. McArdle wasn't waiting for a decision and lashed the ball into the net to hand Aberdeen a draw that they barely deserved. It has to be said that although Aberdeen had McArdle to thank, it was a series of world class saves from Langfield that kept the Dons in it.

St. Mirren Teamsheet
Paul Gallacher, Lee Mair, John Potter (Michael Higdon 60), Darren McGregor, David van Zanten, Hugh Murray, Jim Goodwin (Kenny McLean 67), Steven Thomson, Jure Travner, Paul McGowan, Craig Dargo (Aaron Mooy 87). Unused Subs: Craig Samson, Marc McAusland.

Bookings:  Mair 64,   Dargo 85,   Travner 90+2,   McGowan 90+3.
Aberdeen Teamsheet
Langfield, McNamee (McArdle 13), Diamond, Considine, Vujadinovic, Magennis, Hartley, Milsom, Smith (Aluko 71), Vernon (Blackman 63), Maguire.

Unused Subs: Howard, Young.

Bookings:  Milsom (16),  Maguire (84).
Attendance: 4,120
Venue: St Mirren Park (Greenhill Road), Paisley
Referee: Euan Norris,
Next Match
23 Jul 2024 / 19:45 / Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen