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St. Mirren 0 - 2 Aberdeen

HT Score: St. Mirren 0 - 1 Aberdeen

Scottish Cup Quarter Final
Aberdeen scorers: Ferguson 7, Cosgrove 93 (Pen).

29/02/2020 | KO: 19:20

Dons leap into the last four

A goal at either end of the game completed a thoroughly professional away display from the Dons as they booked their passage back to Hampden Park for a Scottish Cup semi-final.

After last weekend's 2-1 home defeat to Ross County, Derek McInnes made two changes to his starting XI, with Funso Ojo and Matty Kennedy both drafted in to replace Sam Cosgrove, who started on the bench, and Connor McLennan. Craig Bryson also returned to the matchday 18, starting among the substitutes.

St Mirren won 2-1 at Motherwell in the SPFL on Tuesday to maintain their recent good run and so manager Jim Goodwin named an unchanged team for the quarter-final tie.

With the rain and sleet lashing down on an absolutely foul night in Paisley, there was a frenetic start to the game. The Dons created the first chance in the fourth minute after Matty Kennedy was flattened, Dean Campbell bending in a free-kick from the left wing. Curtis Main was onto it at the near post but he couldn't the angles right on his header to turn it towards goal.

Aberdeen had the lead in the seventh minute though, Campbell releasing Kennedy to make a strong run down the left before feeding Lewis Ferguson. He drove into space and then produced a cleverly fashioned shot with the outside of his boot from the edge of the box that flew into the top corner of the net with Hladky floundering. A superb finish from Ferguson to add to fine approach work from Kennedy who had started very strongly.

The game entered a bit of a lull thereafter, the Dons managing things comfortably enough as St Mirren tried in vain to mount any kind of attack on Joe Lewis' goal. Hodson carried the biggest threat, first in the 21st minute, getting forward well before putting too much on a cross that went sailing behind for a goal kick. Three minutes later, Hodson was in good space again, Campbell deflecting his cross behind for a corner that subsequently came to nothing.

Niall McGinn looked to be in for a chance of an Aberdeen second after 29 minutes, doing well to harry MacPherson and win the ball well inside the St Mirren half, setting off for goal with just Hladky to beat, only to be penalised for a foul. It was a poor looking decision with which Niall was less than pleased.

The hosts picked things up after the half hour, but Aberdeen were keeping their shape well and keeping the Buddies away from Lewis' goal, despite much of the game being played in the Dons' half. Shay Logan then collected the game's first card for ending a Foley run in the 41st minute.

Kennedy was definitely the major Aberdeen threat and another darting run in the 44th minute caused panic in the St Mirren backline, but his final ball was behind Main as he headed into the penalty area.
The hosts had a chance of their own at the death, MacPherson bending in a free-kick from the left that saw the ball go loose, Lewis quick to pounce on it at the feet of McCarthy. Even then, there was still time for Aberdeen to force a corner at the other end, but McGinn's delivery in was cleared by the home defence.


St Mirren withdrew Jakubiak at the break, replaced by McAllister as they looked to try and ask Aberdeen some different questions in the second half in improving conditions, the rain having eased off.

A slip by Ash Taylor on the slippery surface in the opening minute of the second half gave Saints a chance to get the ball into the box, Ojo coming across to make an important block to concede a corner that was easily cleared.

Five minutes into the half, Scott McKenna chased a long ball with Obika but immediately pulled up with a hamstring injury. McKenna instantly signalled to the bench that a change needing making, Michael Devlin coming on to replace him.

The Dons were within inches of 2-0 in the 55th minute, lovely approach play culminating in a fine cross from Kennedy to the back post where Main met it with a diving header that he planted back across goal and into the far corner, only to be denied by the offside flag, a real hairline decision.

Much of the play was still taking place at the other end though and Lewis made his first real save in the 62nd minute, straightforward enough away to his left from McGrath's 20 yarder.

Another terrific solo run from Kennedy had St Mirren on the back foot in the 67th minute, the winger slaloming past several challenges before eventually being crowded out just inside the penalty area as the visitors tried to carry more of a threat. Chabbi joined the action to make his debut for the home side on 72 minutes, replacing MacPherson. Cosgrove became Aberdeen's second change two minutes later, Campbell making way.

Twelve minutes to go and some fine defending by Kennedy on Foley was somehow penalised by the referee, giving the hosts a free-kick wide on the right, 25 yards out, Main up well to head the delivery clear. Saints had the Dons penned in at this stage, throwing everything forward, making their third change when Andreu replaced Durmus in the 82nd minute.

A dangerous run from McAllister came to nothing, Lewis dominating his area again, coming out to catch the cross in the 84th minute as the hosts became increasingly desperate. Craig Bryson was introduced in the 87th minute in place of Main as the Dons looked to keep hold of the ball and see the game through its dying moments.

Cosgrove almost sealed it in the 89th minute, Taylor's long ball forward from the free-kick reaching him inside the box at a tight angle, Sam putting his effort behind just before the fourth official put up the board to show five minutes of added time.

As we edged into injury time, great pressing by Kennedy and then Cosgrove deep in the St Mirren half put the hosts in trouble, Cosgrove collecting a loose ball that Kennedy had forced before being bundled over by Foley in the area - a clear penalty.

Up stepped Sam to place the spot kick into the bottom corner, just beyond Hladky's grasping hand, to send the Dons into the semi-finals of the Scottish Cup, collecting a yellow card for enjoying the moment too much. Some 1,459 members of the travelling Red Army were every bit as joyful!

Weather: Heavy rain, sleet, windy
St. Mirren Teamsheet
Hladky, Hodson, McCarthy, Famewo, Waters, McGrath, Foley, MacPherson (Chabbi 72), Durmus (Andreu 83), Jakubiak (McAllister 46), Obika

Subs: Lyness, Wallace, Mullen, Morias
Aberdeen Teamsheet
Lewis, Logan, Taylor, McKenna (Devlin 52), Considine, Ojo, Campbell (Cosgrove 74), Ferguson, Kennedy, McGinn, Main (Bryson 87).

Unused Subs: Anderson, Hernandez, Cerny, Cerny, McGeouch.

Bookings:  Logan (41),  Cosgrove (93).
Attendance: 4,479
Venue: St Mirren Park (Greenhill Road), Paisley
Referee: Don Robertson