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Aberdeen 2 - 1 St. Mirren

HT Score: Aberdeen 1 - 1 St. Mirren

Aberdeen scorers: Stavrum 4, Perry 88.
St. Mirren scorers: Gillies 36

05/08/2000 | KO: 15:00

Last gasp winner seals the points

The Dons recorded their first win of the season as Pittodrie hosted it's first match of the season. The Dons made a whirlwind start when Dow set up Stavrum for the opener after only four minutes. Ricky Gillies then returned to haunt the Dons with an equaliser before the break. In a frantic finish Perry popped up to bundle the winner into the net to claim all three points and send the red army home happy.

Aberdeen made two enforced changes to last week's starting line up as Phil McGuire replaced the injured Thomas Solberg and Hicham Zerouali replaced the suspended Derek Young. The Dons started well with Zerouali causing the St. Mirren defence all sorts of problems on the right hand side. The positive start was rewarded in the 4th minute when Andy Dow delivered an exquisite pass to Stavrum and the Norwegian made short work of dispatching the ball into the back of the net from 12 yards. Unfortunately this was Dow's one contribution to the match as he looked slow and out of sorts.

Instead of consolidating their position, the Dons got forced further and further back as the first half progressed. Fortunately for Aberdeen some of the Buddies finishing was woeful. McGarry should have a done a lot better in the 14th minute when he was through on Esson and produced a virtual pass back. Darren Young picked up the only booking of the game for a bad challenge on 20 minutes, as the Dons were limited to the odd chance. Darren Young should have done better in the 28th minute but his shot was blocked. A few minutes later Stavrum swung in a dangerous cross only to see his effort cleared for a corner.

Then in the 34th minute St. Mirren gave the Dons a warning of things to come when Gillies shot narrowly wide. A couple of minutes later a Quitongo cross was volleyed over the bar. Saints eventually got on level terms when ex Don Gillies was given too much space and drove the ball past Esson. Two minutes later, Zero attempted a speculative curler into the top corner but the effort was wide and not so handsome. Aberdeen should have regained the lead on the stroke of half time. Great work by Zerouali ended with the player cutting a perfect pass back to Stavrum. Unfortunately the striker completely fluffed his shot and the ball went wide.

McNaughton replaced McAllister at half time and proved to be a revelation. However, St. Mirren came out determined and Ross turned Rowson before smacking his shot off the post. McNaughton had a chance for instant glory in the 49th minute when he was sent clear on the left from a quickly taken free kick. However the youngster hurried his shot and sent his effort wide. At the other end, the impressive Quitongo was causing all sorts of problems in the Dons rearguard. Then in 51 minutes Jess won the ball well in midfield and sent Zero through on goal, but the Moroccan hit his effort wide of the target. A minute later Guntveit replaced a limping Dow.

This was a good spell for the Dons and efforts by Young and Stavrum both went wide. In 62 minutes Winters had a good run on the right. His cross was met acrobatically by Zerouali but steered wide. Guntveit and Stavrum were linking well and Zerouali was producing some excellent mazy runs. Unfortunately the shooting boots were left in the dressing room as efforts continued to go wide of the target. St Mirren were still dangerous however and Quitongo had a great chance to seal the points but his effort crashed of the post. Winters was then replaced by Clark in the 82nd minute.

Aberdeen were finishing the far stronger team and in the 88th minute a goal scramble ensued with Stavrum turning the ball onto the bar. Perry was the first to react and headed home what proved to be the winner. There was one more heart stopping moment when Esson fumbled a free kick and the ball had to be booted clear for a corner. So four points out of six and fifth place in the league is a much better start than last year and although the Dons are by no means the finished article there is a lot more fight in the team.

Aberdeen Teamsheet
Esson, Perry, McAllister (McNaughton 46), Young, McGuire, Dow (Guntveit 54), Zerouali, Jess, Winters (Clark 82), Stavrum, Rowson.

Unused Subs: Preece, Inglis.

Bookings:  Young (20).
St. Mirren Teamsheet
Roy, Drew, McGowan, McLaughlin, Rudden (Nicolson 58), Gillies, McGarry (McKnight 65), Ross, Murray, Quitongo, Yardley (Paeslack 78) Unused Subs: Scrimgeour, Turner

Bookings:  McGowan 83
Attendance: 11,996
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
Referee: D. McDonald, Edinburgh