St Mirren 2 Aberdeen 1

Clydesdale Bank Scottish Premier League - Saturday 30th October 2010
St Mirren Park, Paisley

Aberdeen slipped to their sixth defeat of the season in Paisley this afternoon. The Saints, who started the day bottom of the league, led at the interval thanks to a McAusland header on 28 minutes, after a disappointing first half performance from the Dons. An improved second half showing saw Aberdeen draw level through Rory McArdle, but as they searched for a winner, Travner popped up at the other end to steal the points with just 15 seconds left.

Aberdeen have not been short in the penalty department this season, but today two strong shouts would be ignored by referee Crawford Allan. The first of these came in the ninth minute, when van Zanten appeared to handle inside the box, the ref waving play on.

McArdle made an important challenge on Wardlaw in the 14th minute, as the forward threatened to break through. Hartley then sent a ball over the top of the defence for Aluko in the 22nd minute, but the Nigerian couldn’t quite reach it.

A St Mirren throw-in into the box was missed by Diamond three minutes later. The ball fell to Higdon who wasn’t expecting it and blazed his shot over the bar. The home side went ahead in the 28th minute, the fifth headed goal the Dons have conceded in four games. Howard came to claim a cross but got nowhere near it, allowing McAusland a loop his header over the keeper and defenders on the line, into the net.

The Saints continued to press after their goal, Diamond having to make a vital interception to stop Higdon. A decent bit of play from the Dons came to nothing in the 41st minute, with nobody seeming to want to shoot. Mark McGhee described his team’s opening 45 minutes as “diabolical” and “inept”; it’s hard not to agree.

Half Time: St Mirren 1-0 Aberdeen

Just moments into the second half, St Mirren were awarded an indirect free kick inside the box after a pass back. The Aberdeen players had formed a wall, and the Saints seemed ready to take it, when the referee bizarrely changed his mind, restarting play with a drop ball. This will no doubt be the subject of media speculation and debates for weeks to come now... right?

In the 49th minute, Maguire cleared the stand with a volley from just outside the penalty area. And a minute later, Ifil received the first yellow card of the game, following a foul on the left.

Aberdeen equalised in the 57th minute, after being awarded a free kick on the by-line. Hartley cleverly rolled the set piece back to Maguire, who fooled everyone with an amazing dummy/fresh air swipe, leaving McArdle free to drill the ball home into the bottom corner.

A double substitution then ensued for the Dons, Aluko and Ifil (who was having a shocker) were replaced by Paton and Robertson. Mackie was shown a yellow card for a strong challenge in the 61st minute. Three minutes later a decent passing move culminated in Hartley firing a shot wide from the edge of the box.

In the 68th minute, McArdle did well to put the ball out for a corner, as Travner charged into the box. The resultant corner was headed just wide by McGregor under pressure from Vernon. On 72 minutes, Maguire won a corner after some good work down the right. The corner was half cleared to Folly, whose subsequent cross, with Diamond free at the near post, was too close to the keeper.

St Mirren had their own penalty shout turned down in the 74th minute, claims that Jack had fouled McGowan being ignored. Aberdeen were then awarded a free kick from 25 yards after a foul on Velicka, who had come on for Maguire. However, Hartley’s free kick clipped the top of the wall and was cleared.

With 10 minutes to go, Wardlaw let rip from 25 yards, his dipping effort flying just over. In the 86th an Aberdeen corner was headed out to the edge of the box, where the onrushing Hartley sent an emphatic half-volley over the bar.

Two minutes later, Aberdeen had another penalty shout. Higdon the one alleged to have handled this time, but once again the ref was uninterested. In the final minute on the 90, Robertson was booked for a foul on van Zanten, Travner then blasted the free kick wide of the target.

Vernon sent a back post header over the bar in the 91st minute. And that looked to be that, but with 15 seconds to go, McGowan fed the ball through to Travner who cut inside, and broke Aberdeen hearts, flashing a shot across Howard into the far corner of the net.

Full Time: St Mirren 2-1 Aberdeen

So a return to losing ways for the Reds, against the team at the foot of the table, and who had only won one game previously. The defensive problems continue, particular in the air. We have now conceded five similar headed goals in our last four games. With a trip to each half of the Old Firm, separated by a visit from high-flying Inverness coming up in the next two weeks, things aren’t looking too good.


Danny McKay won RedTV's Junior Reporter competition: click here

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