Aberdeen ended their run of eleven games without a win as they defeated St. Mirren 2-1 at Pittodrie this afternoon. The Dons were leading 2-0 and in total control of the match when St. Mirren pulled one back ten minutes from time. Three minutes later MacLean was controversially red carded for a second booking and it required two world class saves from Jamie Langfield to hold on to the three points. Referee Winter had infuriated the red army throughout, turning down three penalty claims as well as handing out the two soft yellow cards to Maclean. So as the team left to a rousing reception, the fans turned their jeers to the man in the middle
St. Mirren kicked off, but it was Aberdeen who threatened first when Aluko worked his way down the right and cut the ball into the middle, but Duff was unable to convert. A minute later a Paton header was easily saved by Gallacher as Aberdeen continued to dominate. MacLean was pulled to the ground outside the box, but referee Winter was uninterested. Then in the sixth minute the assistant referee missed a blatant hand ball and a frustrated MacLean made his point to the referee about the poor decisions. Unfortunately he only earned a yellow card for his troubles.
Aberdeen went close in the 12th minute when he played a neat one-two with MacLean and was inches from opening the scoring. Poor defending a minute later won St. Mirren the first corner of the match when Grassi lost possession and Diamond had to clear. After the ball was half cleared St. Mirren returned the ball and Mulgrew was forced into a goal line clearance from a Higdon header. Young then required lengthy treatment for a face knock before Duff forced the Dons first corner in the 17th minute.
Aluko swung the ball in, but the St. Mirren defence held firm. A minute later Aluko won a free kick in Mulgrew territory, but the defender hit it well over. Good work from Aluko released Foster in the 22nd minute. The full back cut into the middle and hit a decent shot that unfortunately deflected off of MacLean and was collected by Gallacher. Duff was penalised in the 26th minute as the Saints won a free kick in a dangerous position. Fortunately the ball was played too long, but Derek Young went down again and he was replaced by Fyvie.
Just after the half hour mark St. Mirren won a very soft free kick 25 yards out, but the home defence held firm. A minute later Dargo was found free at the back post, but he fired well over. Saints were enjoying more possession now and the Dons were having to do some defending. Aberdeen then went ahead when they won a corner in the 37th minute as a Kerr cross caused havoc at the back. Fyvie swung the corner into a dangerous area and Diamond won the header. Gallacher could only parry the ball and Diamond was first to react as he fired the loose ball high into the roof of the net.
Three minute later Aberdeen were unable to convert as a huge melee saw blocked efforts from Aluko and MacLean. A free kick in the 44th minute was nodded down by Fyvie, flicked on by MacLean and Aluko failed to get behind the shot allowing Gallacher to gather. St. Mirren pushed for an equaliser in the closing minute, but Aberdeen were worthy of their half time lead as they left the field to the welcome sound of cheers ringing in their ears.
There were loud shouts for a penalty in the 47th minute when Paton was hauled down by Ross, but referee Winter was not interested. Aberdeen should have doubled their lead two minutes later when Duff found Paton on the left and he cut inside and played a neat cut back to Aluko, but his effort screwed inches wide. A minute later Aluko had another effort from a similar area and he wasn't too far away from hitting the target. Aberdeen had started well again and they were looking for an early second goal to try and create some distance between the two sides.
In the 53rd minute Foster and MacLean set up Paton, but his shot was saved by Gallacher. Aluko then picked up a knock and required treatment. Fortunately the Nigerian, who was having a great game, was able to continue. Just after coming on he made it 2-0 when Kerr fed Fyvie and the birthday boy cut the ball back to Aluko. His shot was deflected and agonisingly spun into the net as the Saints defender failed to clear. Aberdeen should have made it three in the 59th minute when Paton headed a Foster cross towards goal, but with the ball bouncing about MacLean couldn't get his foot round the loose ball.
Three minutes later there was another loud shout for a penalty when Diamond was bundled over in the box, but again referee Winter was disinterested. Aberdeen were looking confident and dangerous now and a third goal would surely secure the win. Higdon totally conned the referee in the 66th minute when he fell over in front of Mulgrew at the edge of the box. Fortunately the effort came to nothing as the wall blocked the effort. An acrobatic effort from MacLean went wide and at the other end a great interception from Duff denied the visitor's.
A cross from Fyvie failed to find support in the box then in the 73rd minute Fyvie turned striker as his fierce shot was deflected by Mair. Two minutes later Ross barged into the back of MacLean and somehow won himself a free kick. The Dons went close again in the 75th minute when a Fyvie header was turned round the post by Gallacher after the youngster latched on to a long ball from MacLean. With Aberdeen in total control St. Mirren pulled a goal back. Mehmet fired the ball across the goal and with the Aberdeen defence sucked into the middle, the ball was missed by everyone and full back Robb came in at the back fired the ball past Langfield.
Mackie replaced Paton then matters got worse for Aberdeen when MacLean was given another yellow card for an innocuous challenge on Carey in the 83rd minute. Five minutes later St. Mirren went close again when a Billy Mehmet shot went inches wide. A minute later Langfield rescued the Dons with a great save from a Loy lob. Aberdeen should have broken up field from the corner but a wayward pass brought St. Mirren back on top of them. The referee was not endearing himself to the red army with a series of contentious decisions. Deep in injury time Langfield saved the day again with a point blank save from Higdon.