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Aberdeen 3 - 0 St. Mirren

HT Score: Aberdeen 2 - 0 St. Mirren

Scottish Premiership
Aberdeen scorers: Clarkson 14, Shinnie 43, Shinnie 49.

24/05/2023 | KO: 19:45

Graeme Shinnie's two goals inspired Aberdeen to a comfortable victory over St Mirren to confirm a third place finish in the league and guarantee European football next season, their point and level of entry still to be determined by Inverness Caley Thistle's fortunes against Celtic in the Scottish Cup final in ten days.
As anticipated, Barry Robson made three changes to the Aberdeen side beaten at Hearts on Saturday, welcoming back skipper Graeme Shinnie, Ross McCrorie and Duk in place of Connor Barron, Jayden Richardson and Marley Watkins, who all start from the bench. Hayden Coulson also returns to the subs' bench with Matty Kennedy, Dilan Markanday and Patrik Myslovic dropping out of the matchday squad.
St Mirren drew 2-2 at Celtic Park on Saturday and, unsurprisingly, Stephen Robinson named an unchanged side and bench for the trip to Pittodrie.
It was a beautiful night for football as the game kicked off with the Dons attacking the RDS. It was a pretty stuffy opening period with the two sides feeling one another out, neither goalkeeper being called into any kind of action.
The first real incident came a dozen minutes in, Jonny Hayes intercepting a pass around the centre circle inside the St Mirren half, Kiltie coming across to chop him down 22 yards out, to the left of the D. Up stepped Leighton Clarkson to put the ball just over the wall and just inside the post. 1-0 Aberdeen!
Graeme Shinnie was prowling on the edge of the area on 18 minutes, collecting an errant defensive header from Taylor and hitting a volley on the turn, but it was always rising over the bar.
A Hayes free-kick wide on the left caused consternation on 19 minutes, Liam Scales up at the back stick, only for his header to be blocked behind. From the corner, Mattie Pollock tangled with Shaughnessy and took the back of the St Mirren man's head on the bridge of his nose, necessitating lengthy treatment and plenty of cotton wool up the nostrils before he carried on.
St Mirren found their first opportunity on 22 minutes, a curling cross in from Small finding Main, Kelle Roos forced to tip his powerful header over the bar. From the corner, Main was first to the ball at the near post but fortunately, he put this header wide when he really should have done better.
Small was booked on 29 minutes for a late tackle on Bojan Miovski, Miovski requiring long treatment for the lunge to the top of his ankle. While that was going on, the referee was called over to inspect the VAR monitor and Small's yellow card was rightly traded for a red. With Miovski's night clearly over, the stretcher was called for and he was carried into the dressing room, clearly in considerable distress. Marley Watkins replaced him.
The Dons could have had a second on 36, Ylber Ramadani on the counter-attack before playing in Duk. His shot was straight at Carson but the goalkeeper spilled it and had to be quick to smother it as McCrorie quickly followed it in.
It was 2-0 on 43 though, the skipper on hand to nod the ball over the line following a good save by Carson. It came from Watkins' low cross from the right that ricocheted off Shaugnessy, Carson down to his right to make a fine stop as the ball flashed goalwards, but his parry ballooned up into the air and Shinnie was on the spot to head in from six yards out to end the half on a real high.


There were two changes for St Mirren at the break, Taylor and Baccus replaced by Tanser and Offord.
Shinnie surely made the game safe for the Dons on 49 with his second goal as Aberdeen put the ten men to the sword. McCrorie played a long ball forward into Duk, who helped it on to Ramadani. From the byline, he pulled it back to Shinnie who took a touch and then beat Carson at his near post from 14 yards out.
Duk wasn't far away from a fourth on 55 minutes, accelerating onto a beautifully played diagonal pass from Clarkson over 50 yards. The angle was too tight for Duk and his jabbed shot rustled the wrong side of the side netting. Gogic collected his yellow card after 58 minutes a rugby tackle on Shinnie on halfway.
The visitors earned a free-kick on 62 minutes some 20 yards. Strain's effort went past the wall but Roos was smartly down to his right to complete a routine save. Roos made an altogether more difficult save seven minutes later, Main played clean through on goal, but Roos stood tall and forced the St Mirren man to try and shoot through him. That wasn't happening, good intimidating goalkeeping from the Dutchman as he made the stop.
Ramadani was replaced by Barron on 71 minutes, then Duk made way for Alfie Bavidge in Aberdeen's last change on 75 minutes, with St Mirren introducing Jamieson and Gallagher for Main and Strain.
O'Hara was given plenty of space to unleash a piledriver from 25 yards on 77 minutes, Roos diving away to his right to push the ball to safety, before launching into his defenders for switching off for a moment. St Mirren made their last substitution, Kiltie replaced by Taylor on 80 minutes.
Watkins should have been on the scoresheet two minutes later, collecting a pass from Clarkson before bending his shot just wide of the goal from a dozen yards out. It mattered little in the scheme of things as Aberdeen clinched a third place finish in the Premiership.
4 minutes added at end of 1st half
2 minutes added at end of 2nd half.
St. Mirren Teamsheet
Carson, Strain (Gallagher 75), Fraser, Shaughnessy, Taylor (Tanser 46), Small, Gogic, Baccus (Offord 46), O'Harra, Kiltie (F Taylor 80), Main (Jamieson 75)

Unused Substitutes: Dunne, Boyd-Munce, Urminsky, Kenny

Bookings:  Gogic 59  Small 29
Attendance: 16,303
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
Referee: Don Robertson
Next Match
East Kilbride
20 Jul 2024 / 15:00 / K-Park Training Academy, East Kilbride