Poor defending cost Aberdeen tonight as St. Mirren moved to within three points of the Dons. Although Saints opened the scoring in the 6th minute Aberdeen then took control and did everything but score in the first half. The equaliser came within a minute of the re-start when a deflected shot from Maguire beat Gallacher. It looked as if there would only be one winner after that, but poor defending allowed Saints to regain the lead in the 56th minute. Matters took a turn for the worse twelve minutes later when Paton gifted the ball to Thomson and the Saints man accepted by scoring the third goal. That was enough to sink the Dons and Milsom's late strike was merely a consolation. McArdle and Diamond went off injured and in the final minute Langfield went down with an injury as the Dons injury woes deepened.
St. Mirren threatened first when they won a free kick in the second minute. The Dons defence held firm and a minute later Maguire was threatening at the other end, but failed to win a free kick in a dangerous position despite appearing to be impeded. McArdle did well in the 5th minute as he cleared a dangerous looking ball, but a minute later the in-form Higdon fired Saints ahead. An initial threat was only half cleared and Dargo found the striker and he made no mistake from 18 yards.
Two minutes later the Dons defence didn't look too clever as they conceded the first corner of the match. That threat was easily dealt with allowing Aberdeen to break, but a heavy touch from Magennis ended the threat. Magennis and Maguire then combined well in the 10th minute, but as the ball was played to Milsom the midfielder slipped. A lot of the Dons attacks were being halted by the assistant referee's flag and the early goal hadn't really set the game on fire.
In the 16th minute a Maguire cross ended on the roof of the net, but a minute later he won a free kick and Higdon was back to clear a dangerous cross from Paton. In the 19th minute Aberdeen won their first corner, but it failed to get beyond the first defender. Two minutes later Maguire almost levelled when he had a dig at goal from about 30 yards and he wasn't too wide of the target. The youngster was then taken completely out of play by Potter who earned himself a deserved yellow card.
From the free kick the Dons won their second corner and after the threat was half cleared Milsom returned the ball and Considine headed over. Seconds later Pawlett was inches wide as the Dons started to enjoy their best spell of the game. Paton then produced some great wing play in the 26th minute, but he failed to find a colleague although he did latch on to the loose ball. He fired the ball into the ground and tamely into Gallacher's arms.
Chris Maguire was scythed down by Murray on the half hour and the Saints guy was lucky to avoid a caution. Aberdeen were dominating now, but couldn't make the breakthrough as highlighted by an ambitious effort from Magennis that failed to worry Gallacher. A dangerous delivery into the box almost produced an equaliser as McGregor sliced the ball over the bar for another corner. However the set play failed to produce the vital breakthrough.
Another Dons corner followed in the 35th minute and Magennis was able to steer Pawlett's delivery on target, but it lacked any power. Aberdeen continued to probe, but the final ball was again disappointing then a tight decision went against Smith who went on to dispatch the ball into the net with a good finish. Another corner followed in the 39th minute following good work between Paton and Maguire. Once again Higdon was forced to do all his work in the defence.
In the final minute Paton went on a run and appeared to be brought down inside the box. Nothing was given, but seconds later the Dons won a free kick on the edge of the box as Murray collected a second caution. As the ball came into the box Gallacher flapped at the ball and landed in a crowd of players and was awarded a free kick. There was no stoppage time, but Craig Brown will be asking the Dons to continue in the same manner and surely it will just be a matter of time before the goals come.
At the re-start Aberdeen were straight on to the attack as Pawlett worked his way into the box and forced the first corner of the second half. Pawlett played a short one to Maguire who worked his way into the box and fired in a great shot that took a wicked deflection before nestling in the Saints net. Three minutes later Saints won a free kick 30 yards out, but Aberdeen defended well and broke up field. McArdle then picked up a nasty knock and had to be replaced.
He looked to have damaged his shoulder although that didn't stop sections of the home crowd hurling abuse in his direction. Jack replaced McArdle as Young moved into the left back area. A Magennis effort went wide in the 54th minute and two minutes later Gallacher claimed a Paton cross. Unbelievably St. Mirren regained the lead in the 56th minute in what was their first attack since taking the lead. The Dons defending was poor as van Zanten played the ball across goal and first Higdon took a fresh air swing at the ball before Dargo had the simplest of tasks to score.
Saints then won a corner a minute later, but the defending was a bit better and the ball was cleared. Langfield then made his first save of the match in the 62nd minute and a minute later Considine was cautioned as all the good early play appeared to have been forgotten. A minute later another corner was conceded before Maguire won a free kick to ease the pressure. Matters got worse for the Dons in the 68th minute when a poor clearance from Paton was collected by Thomson and he lashed the ball home to make it 3-1.
The small band of red army supporters were left wondering how this could have happened considering the early dominance shown by Aberdeen. Vujadinovic replaced the injured Diamond in the 69th minute as the Dons injury woes mounted. Three minutes later Vernon replaced Magennis as Aberdeen looked for a way back into this match. The Dons forced a corner in the 78th minute and a Vujadinovic header appeared to be deflected wide, but a goal kick was awarded. At the other end there were loud shouts for hand ball and Aberdeen were lucky to escape that decision.
Aberdeen then put Saints under more pressure, but they couldn't convert the chance. In the 82nd minute Aberdeen forced another corner, but van Zanten cleared. A minute later Young hit the crossbar when his cross beat Gallacher, but the Dons appeared to have lost the fight. A late consolation arrived in the first minute of injury time when a low 30 yard effort from Milsom beat Gallacher. A late rally failed to produce an equaliser and Aberdeen now must lick their wounds and look forward to home matches.