Derek McInnes was forced to make two changes to the side that won so brilliantly last week at Celtic Park. Barry Robson and Jonny Hayes both picked up knocks and were unable to travel with the squad. Nicky Low and Joe Shaughnessy both came into the team. The Dons lined up with Langfield in goal, Shaughnessy at right back, Anderson and Reynolds in central defence with Considine at left back. Logan moved forward to a right midfield position, Flood and Low were in the centre with McGinn on the left side. Pawlett was in his usual role just playing off Rooney.
The game went ahead in dry but very cold conditions. Considering how bad the weather has been in Scotland in the past 24 hours the pitch was actually in reasonable condition. It would cut up though as the game went on and a strong wind would make things tricky for the players.
After the highs of the past two weeks it was always going to be interesting to see how the Dons approached this game. The opening stages can best be described as uneventful. Both teams were guilty of giving the ball away too easily. Then the Dons enjoyed a good little spell. On 8 minutes Aberdeen from nothing forced the first corner. McGinn swung in a great ball which Kello just managed to get a touch to. The ball went out for another corner and when Low's ball was cleared the Saints very nearly set former Don Gregg Wylde free. It was strange seeing him lining up against his old team mates.
The Dons then broke forward and Low did brilliantly down the right to beat his man but his cross could not find a man in red. On 10 minutes Pawlett and Rooney linked up well which led to Shaughnessy winning the Dons a corner. Low put over a great ball which Kello at full stretch struggled to deal with and Anderson at the back post area almost made contact. McGinn then took a corner from the left which he played short to Logan. He fired in a shot but it just went over the cross bar.
On 14 minutes the home side had their first opening when McGowan first showed a good touch and then twisted and turned inside the area. Anderson did not give him any room and in the end he tried to curl a shot round the Dons skipper but the ball went comfortably wide. A minute later out of nothing Pawlett was almost in the clear but McGregor made a great tackle. On 20 minutes a Rooney knock down almost found Pawlett but the ball was just out of his reach. It was not quite happening for the Dons so far in the final third.
On 24 minutes Wylde had some clear space in front of him and for a second it looked like he would have a shooting chance but out of nowhere Reynolds came over to cover. Saints did have their first corner and although they won the initial header Langfield claimed the ball well despite being under pressure. On 26 minutes Wylde fouled Logan in a good area. It was a silly foul to give away as it was only 25 yards out. McGinn and Low both took an interest in it and both are normally deadly from this area. McGinn stepped forward and his effort was well struck but hit the last man in the wall.
On the half hour mark Flood got himself in a mess after good pressing from the Saints and his over hit pass back was way too strong for Langfield and went behind for a corner. Great tackling twice by Low cleared the danger and led to a break and a chance for McGinn. Although the Dons top scorer did everything right to create an opening he wasted the opportunity by firing over. On 35 minutes it was corner number five to the Dons after poor defending by St Mirren. McGinn's ball to the near post looked for Anderson but the Saints defence reprieved themselves by clearing.
Derek McInnes made a tactical change that saw McGinn and Logan swap wings.
On 38 minutes the Dons won a free kick midway inside their half. A training ground move saw Low play a low ball to Pawlett on the edge of the area who flicked it on but his touch was way over hit and he had fluffed his lines. On 40 minutes a decent ball in by Anderson caused panic in the Saints defence. From the corner Kello again did not look convincing as he punched clear. On the stroke of half time Anderson set McGinn free down the right but his low cross was cut out.
Not the most enthralling 45 minutes of the season.
The second half started with a chance for St Mirren but Newton's cross was way over hit. He should have done better as he had acres of room down the Dons left. The same player did better a minute later though to cover back and stop McGinn in his tracks. Shortly after that St Mirren again got down the Dons left flank way too easily. McLean put a good ball over to the front post area and Thompson got in ahead of Anderson to get a shot in. Thankfully for the Dons, he put the ball just wide. The former Scotland striker probably should have done better so a let off for the Dons. Paul McGowan was then just caught offside and Thompson set Wylde free on the half way line but again Reynolds came over to cover. The home side had started the second half strongly.
Shaleum Logan had a fine second half. On 50 minutes he played a quick ball into the feet of Peter Pawlett. Inside the area three players came over to cover at the expense a corner. The Dons players spend a lot of time at training practicing set pieces but again they were unable to create anything from this one. On 52 minutes Logan played a brilliant ball forward to Rooney. The forward, who had quite a tussle with Jim Goodwin all afternoon, held him off and the ball hit Goodwin on the arm. Calum Murray gave a free kick and booked the St Mirren player. In truth the yellow card looked harsh. Although there have been a few times over the years when Goodwin should have received a yellow card against the Dons but has not! The Dons had a free kick in a good area which Low this time took but his effort just went over the bar.
On 56 minutes Aberdeen finally forced a chance from a corner. Low got his delivery spot on and Considine won the ball in the air. His header was well directed but Kello did well to save and to hold onto the ball.
The Dons had dominated possession in the first half but it was a far more even affair in the second period. They certainly did not have the same control over the midfield area. Both teams though were struggling to show any quality in the final third of the park.
On 65 minutes a long throw by Shaughnessy was flicked on by Considine and it looked as if McGinn would score but he could not get a touch despite throwing himself at the ball. You thought at that point it was going to be one of those days. Two minutes later Logan played it to Shaughnessy who had made an over lapping run. The Ireland U21 International put over a good cross but this time Kello held on.
The St Mirren defence were sitting very deep which did not allow the Dons to get the ball forward at any pace. For most of the second half they were forced to play long balls.
On 73 minutes Low did well to make room for a shot blocked but his effort was blocked. McGinn then picked the ball up in a good area but his cross was frustratingly over hit. Pawlett then picked up the ball in a promising area in a good area but over ran it. More frustration. On 76 minutes, Aberdeen put together a good move- there had not been many in the game- and Anderson set Logan free down the right. Logan, Pawlett and then Flood all had the ball outside the box but the move petered out.
It seemed no one wanted to take responsibility. It needed someone to try and take control of the game. Step forward Nicky Low.
On 77 minutes Low picked the ball up in the area and instead of looking for someone to pass to he elected to shoot. He hit a great effort which bounced just in front of the keeper and in the end Kello did well to turn the ball round the post. The resulting corner was half cleared but Nicky Low bravely threw himself into a tackle on the edge of the area. The ball spun in the direction of Peter Pawlett who showed a lightning burst of pace to surge into the box. His pace was too much for Djemba-Djemba who brought him down. It was a silly tackle but the only question for the referee was whether the contact was inside or outside the box. Ref Murray pointed to the spot. Penalty! Djemba-Djemba had already been booked and admitted himself to the press after the game that if it was a penalty he should have received a second yellow. The player also felt the contact was outside the box.
There was some debate who would take the penalty but Adam Rooney grabbed the ball and showed some class by putting the keeper the wrong way. It was one of the few moments of class in the game. Nicky Low also deserves a lot of credit for his role in the goal. Suddenly the Dons were playing with confidence and as St Mirren pushed players forward the Dons looked very threatening going forward. They put over a couple of crosses and corners but the Saints defence held out.
On 84 minutes Nicky Low, who had just been booked was replaced by Alan Tate. A minute later St Mirren had the ball in the net. Flood had jumped into a tackle and got turned in the middle of the park. The ball was played through to defender Darren McGregor who produced a brilliant finish to beat Langfield but he was correctly flagged offside.
Then on 87 minutes a major let off for the Dons. From a corner the ball found its way to Wylde and his volley went through a ruck of players but Langfield produced a brilliant save with his leg and Flood on the line also got a touch to stop a goal. Another vital save from Langfield. How many points has he won the Dons this season?
Aberdeen then really should have made the game safe. Pawlett got the break of the ball on the half way line and sent Rooney clear. The Dons striker was through on goal and had McGinn up with him in support. Adam hit a shot which Kello parried, the ball came back to Rooney and this time he tried to play it across to McGinn nut the ball was over hit and the chance gone.
In the past you would worry a miss like that would prove costly but this Dons team are different. With Tate in there to help them the Dons defence help firm and kept another clean sheet. Not a classic but three more points.