Michael Devlin returned to the Aberdeen starting eleven for the first time in three months, partnering Andrew Considine at centre half. Shay Logan missed out through injury and Stevie May dropped to the bench in place of last week?s super-sub Niall McGinn who earned himself a start after setting up two and scoring one in the 4-1 Scottish Cup victory over Queen of the South.
Returning to league duty, the stakes were high for both teams, but for very different reasons. Prior to kick off The Dons sat third, level with Kilmarnock and five points behind Rangers. At the other end, The Buddies were in desperate need of points ? sitting rock bottom and three points adrift of safety.
The visitors started well, winning a couple of early corners which The Dons dealt with comfortably. McGinn, Ferguson and Cosgrove all had early sniffs at goal in the opening ten minutes but none of them tested St Mirren goalkeeper Václav Hladký.
Tommie Hoban looked lively down the right-hand-side and did well to fizz a ball across to Ferguson who took it down and got a shot away at goal which was deflected out for a corner. Moments later McGinn was causing trouble on the same flank, putting in an inviting cross which only needed a touch from Cosgrove to open the scoring.
The Dons continued to press in a search for the opening goal. Brad Lyons was the first player of the afternoon to go into the book for taking out GMS in the final third.
But it was the visitors who drew first blood in the tie. Good work down the right from Nazon won a corner on the counter attack for St Mirren. From the resulting set-piece Sam Cosgrove was penalised for pulling down Brad Lyons in the penalty area and referee Craig Thomson showed no hesitation in pointing to the spot. Nazon made no mistake from 12 yards, his penalty clipping the post on the way in past Lewis to give The Buddies the lead.
The Dons responded well, creating a few chances of their own. Greg Stewart had an opening after latching onto a pass from Cosgrove. Hladký was out quick though and cut down the angle well to deny Stewart the equaliser.
Just after the half-hour mark The Dons levelled through Lewis Ferguson. St Mirren defender Jack Baird nearly stuck it into his own his own net but it fell on the favourable side of the post to spare his blushes. The resulting corner was taken short, GMS to McGinn who whipped in a perfect ball onto Devlin who flicked it to Ferguson who headed in from 5 yards out at the back post.
The Dons should have had the lead minutes later. Cosgrove flicked on a long ball over the top to Stewart. It was 2 on 1 and Stewart unselfishly picked out Niall McGinn who with the goal at his mercy, clipped it over from 10 yards ? a major let off for St Mirren.
Just before the break Tommie Hoban went down clutching his knee after changing direction unchallenged. The defender immediately looked to be in a lot of pain and it looked serious. The physios and medical team were on immediately and after a five minute stoppage in play Hoban was stretchered off and replaced by Stephen Gleeson.
Eight minutes of time were added on at the end of a frantic first half. GMS continued to look threatening down the right hand side, covering a lot of ground and beating his opposite number on numerous occasions but The Dons didn?t threaten after Hoban?s injury and the sides went in level at the break.
Both teams came out for the second half with St Mirren making two changes ? goalscorer Nazon and Muzek off for Jackson and Erhahon. The visitors nearly regained the lead moments after the game restarted via the head of Brad Lyons. The Buddies looked dangerous on the counter and they worked it well to Lyons, who probably should?ve done better with his free header. A real let off for Aberdeen.
Considine and Ferguson both had efforts on the St Mirren goal in response but neither could trouble Hladký. The Buddies were holding firm and looked to slow the game down at every occasion and make it as scrappy as possible not allowing Aberdeen to play their free-flowing game.
St Mirren were forced into making their final change after Anton Ferdinand was forced off due to injury, former Don Greg Tansey came on to replace him.
St Mirren defended patiently and they took their chance after Mikey Devlin lost possession in the middle of the park with a stray pass. The Buddies pounced and worked the ball out to Kyle McAllister. The winger cut inside and as Considine slipped at the vital moment, McAllister fired home past Lewis to give the visitors the lead.
McInnes responded immediately by throwing another striker into the mix with James Wilson coming on for Max Lowe.
The Dons huffed and puffed but were struggling to create any clear cut opportunities. Jackson nearly doubled the visitors advantage on the break again. The striker got in behind and flashed his shot across the goal and inches wide.
The Dons began to up the ante after a Greg Stewart shot from distance lifted the crowd. His shot was tipped round the post, although it looked as if it may have been going wide. Wilson had a sight of goal which was again blocked at the final moment and Greg Stewart grazed the post before GMS passed up a great opportunity blazing a volley over from 12 yards from a corner.
The pressure eventually paid off and with 15 minutes left to play The Dons levelled it through Sam Cosgrove. Graeme Shinnie took his time out on the left wing and picked out Cosgrove who smartly converted with a first-time volley.
All square with just over 10 minutes to go and McInnes made his final change of the afternoon, McLennan on for McGinn.
Moments later The Dons missed a golden opportunity to take the lead. This time it was Greg Stewart who picked out Sam Cosgrove who got up well but he couldn?t direct his header on target.
All of a sudden if there was going to be another goal in this one it was bound to be for the home side.
St Mirren were forced to play out the remaining four minutes of additional time with 10 men after McAllister limped off injured. The home side threw everything at the visitors in the final few moments but unfortunately they couldn?t make the extra man count and had to settle for a share of the spoils.