After last week's League Cup defeat on the same ground, Derek McInnes made three changes for the trip to St Mirren on league duty. Aberdeen were able to welcome back Lewis Ferguson and Ross McCrorie after their enforced isolation following Scotland Under 21 duty, while Ash Taylor also returned to the defence. Funso Ojo, Dean Campbell and Niall McGinn therefore missed out. Connor McLennan returned to the bench after also missing out because of Covid protocols, Shay Logan joining him after missing out through suspension in the League Cup.
St Mirren made two changes from their side last week, Jim Goodwin introducing Ethan Erhahon and former Don Joe Shaughnessy to his team in place of Sam Foley and Cameron MacPherson who both dropped to the bench.
Saints had the game's first sighter as the sides looked to settle, Obika playing Durmus through, Joe Lewis tipping his shot over after three minutes. Moments later, Ferguson's return to the ranks was greeted with a yellow card after a robust challenge on McGrath.
McGrath was on the break in the 10th minute, pulling the ball back for Connolly from the by-line, but from eight yards out, he spooned his shot well over the bar, a let off for the Dons. St. Mirren's pace on the break was causing real issues for Aberdeen.
Another good run in behind from Connolly created more danger after 20 minutes, Lewis saving with his legs at the near post. The same player than flashed a low ball through the six yard box a couple of minutes later but no St. Mirren man could get on the end of it.
McCrorie had Aberdeen's first threat on goal, firing just over from the edge of the box after a quickly taken free-kick in the 28th minute. The hosts responded and Andrew Considine had to be across quickly to get a block on a McGrath shot after he drove into space in the box from midfield. From the resulting corner, Tommie Hoban's header clear dropped perfectly for Durmus, Lewis parrying his volley over the bar.
From nowhere, a little bit of magic from Matty Kennedy put the Dons in front after 37 minutes. Good footwork and a burst of acceleration got Kennedy away from Tait and to the by-line and his cross to the back post was well placed, Jonny Hayes getting on the end of it, generating power and precision to put the ball in the top corner. Doyle-Hayes was booked for complaining about the goal in the aftermath, then Erhahon followed him into the book for trying to slice Ferguson in half in a tackle.
A penalty shout from the hosts just before the break saw referee Madden point to the spot, Obika's shot clipping the hand of Hoban, no arguments about it under the new rules - except to say that the new rules are daft. McGrath sent Lewis the wrong way from 12 yards to tie the game up at 1-1.
HALF-TIME: ST. MIRREN 1 ABERDEEN 1
Shay Logan was introduced at the break for the Dons, replacing Ash Taylor, Hoban moving back inside to centre-half.
Six minutes into the half, Ferguson collected a second yellow card after bundling into the back of Obika, who had stopped dead in the centre circle, and taking an elbow in his face for his trouble. It looked, from first viewing, a harsh decision from the referee. Derek McInnes collected a yellow card too for expressing his disappointment to the whistler. A couple of minutes later, Hayes was then booked, presumably for dissent - it couldn't have been for another nothing foul.
St. Mirren replaced Obika with Erwin in the 59th minute, Funso Ojo coming on for Hedges two minutes later, then Curtis Main joined the fray in place of Sam Cosgrove after 64 minutes, MacPherson replacing Erhahon at the same time. Durmus appealed for a penalty out of nothing moments later - why not, given some of the decisions? ? Logan doing really well to ease him off the ball as a dangerous cross came through the six yard box.
Durmus had a more legitimate opportunity in the 70th minute, a slick move from the hosts giving him a shooting chance from the edge of the box, but it ended up more of a back pass to Lewis. There was more danger a minute later a low drive from MacPherson saved by Lewis at the near post, the ball initially escaping his grasp before he batted it away to safety as the Buddies' strikers closed in on him.
Twelve minutes left and Durmus and Connolly made way for McAllister and Dennis, Aberdeen responding with the introduction of Ryan Edmondson and Mikey Devlin for Kennedy and Hayes. The Dons, now with two up top, put the home side under pressure from a Logan free-kick, Devlin keeping the ball alive before Considine stabbed his shot over. MacPherson was next to threaten at the other end, a bending, dipping effort from 25 yards arcing just wide of goal with six minutes to go.
The Dons had a chance to win it in the 87th minute, Main sliding Edmondson through in the inside-right channel, but with the ball just running away from him, he couldn't get quite enough angle on his shot to beat Alnwick who made a sprawling save down to his right.
From a St. Mirren corner in the first minute of injury time, the hosts had their chance to win it. Tait found himself in acres of space six yards out, but Lewis was off his line like lightning to smother his shot. In the final seconds, it was Considine to the rescue, clearing the ball off the line from Erwin after the ball got away from Lewis, securing a hard earned point for the Dons.