Aberdeen were mugged in Paisley tonight as they failed to take their chances in a game they had dominated. After creating all the clear-cut opportunities, the home side won a corner in the 74th minute and defender Innes fired a shot into the roof of the net. St. Mirren, who had looked out of sorts, gained confidence and comfortably held on to their lead. So despite twice hitting the woodwork Aberdeen head north with nothing and spurn the chance to close on the teams above them.
Aberdeen kicked off but it was St. Mirren who had the first opportunity after winning a free kick in the second minute, but Langfield was not threatened. Two minutes later the home side went close when poor defending allowed a chance for Dorman that was turned round the post by Langfield. Aberdeen then raced up to the other end as Mackie showed great determination to set up Pawlett, but the youngster found the wrong side of the post. Seconds later Fyvie fired over as both sides made a positive start.
Foster showed great pace in the eighth minute but his cross was headed clear then at the other end Mehmet caused the Dons defence problems before he was halted. After the hectic start the game settled down as both sides probed for the opener. In the 18th minute Mehmet got the better of Ifil, but Langfield was up to the task. At the other end Aberdeen won their first corner of the match after a Foster shot was deflected, but the set play failed to threaten. A minute later Pawlett fired inches wide under pressure.
Pawlett then had to leave the field as he had been given a bloody nose in the previous incident. Aberdeen won a second corner in the 28th minute, but again the home defence stood firm. Ifil was given a lecture for a late challenge a minute later then Young was caught on the shin by Thomson, but the referee was happy to keep his cards in his pocket at this stage. Good play from Dorman was wasted by Barron with a poor shot in the 34th minute. Potter then collected the first yellow card in the 36th minute when he took Pawlett down on the edge of the D after Foster released him with a great pass.
The keeper did well to turn the free kick wide as Mulgrew looked to have opened the scoring. Foster was having an immense game and he won another corner in the 39th minute, but Ifil headed the loose ball wide. A minute later Marshall went close as his left foot shot was turned wide by Gallacher. Aberdeen were finishing the half strongly, but had yet to make the breakthrough. Pawlett, who was causing problems, won another corner in the 43rd minute, but it was half cleared before Gallacher gathered the second delivery into the box.
Fyvie was taken late in the opening minute to win an early free kick for the Dons, but the set play came to nothing. Two minutes later Mackie picked up a knock as he used his pace to try and latch on to a ball over the top as Aberdeen continued to push for the opener. Aberdeen won the first corner of the half in the 52nd minute but the home defence stayed firm under the Dons pressure. A misplaced pass from Mulgrew allowed Dorman to break, but fortunately nothing came of the move. Aberdeen then had to defend a free kick, but they also stood firm.
Potter made a clumsy challenge on Mackie in the 55th minute and was lucky to avoid a second yellow. Kerr tried to set up Mackie a minute later after good play from Young and Marshall, but the ball went wide. Dargo replaced Higdon on the hour mark as the home side looked to change the pattern of the game. Aberdeen tried to pick up the tempo and they put the home side under pressure. They won another corner in the 63rd minute as the Saints struggled with a Young cross. Seconds later Fyvie won a free kick on the left and Mulgrew whipped the ball in. It deflected off the wall and hit the bar with the keeper beaten.
Another good move in the 68th minute was scrambled clear then Maguire replaced Marshall as Mark McGhee went for the win. Maguire's first contribution was to win a free kick as he shielded the ball and was pushed over by Barron. Aberdeen had surrendered some of their control now and they appeared to be running out of ideas. Mulgrew was then caught in possession and the home side won a rare corner and punished the Dons. Against the run of play Innes met the delivery fired the ball into the roof of the net to give St. Mirren the lead. Not for the first time Aberdeen were rueing their missed chances, but from the kick off Kerr won a corner kick, but the move ended with Grassi firing well off target.
Paton replaced Derek Young, who had played a fine game, but Aberdeen now had to throw bodies forward. Fyvie won a free kick in the 79th minute and when the ball fell to Kerr he screwed his effort wide. The Dons won another corner three minutes later, but Mulgrew delivered the ball straight into the arms of Paul Gallacher. A disappointing free kick from Foster in the 85th minute wasted more time for Aberdeen as they looked a different proposition from the team that dominated the opening hour.
The luck truly had deserted the Dons when a drilled shot from Maguire crashed off the post with four minutes to go. Wright replaced Pawlett as the Dons looked to level, but the chances had dried up when the fourth official indicated three minutes of added time. Aberdeen didn't have the guile to break the home defence down as St. Mirren now played with a lot more confidence. As the final whistle blew Aberdeen had once again been punished for their inability to take their chances and Mark McGhee will be hoping to address this in the transfer window.