Graham Carey's blistering free-kick completed a St Mirren comeback to spoil Aberdeen's hopes of celebrating Craig Brown's year in charge with a victory.

The Dons took the lead after only 40 seconds when Scott Vernon fired in off the crossbar and Rory Fallon headed in 16 minutes later.

But Kenny McLean slotted a reply after 34 minutes and Carey fired home the equaliser from 30 yards.

Aberdeen's Fraser Fyvie was sent off in stoppage time for dissent.

But the Dons secured a point that lifts them off the bottom of the table on goal difference ahead of Dunfermline Athletic, whose game was postponed because of fog, and Hibernian.

Influential Iceland midfielder Kari Arnason returned from injury for Aberdeen, replacing Chris Clark, while Ryan Jack was preferred to Rory McArdle in defence.

St Mirren manager Danny Lennon shuffled his pack after last week's defeat by Inverness, with Carey, David van Zanten and David Barron coming in for Nigel Hasselbaink, Illias Haddad and Lee Mair.

But the rearranged side looked all at sea as they went behind before a minute was out.

Arnason's long throw into the box was flicked on by Fallon to Vernon, who chested the ball down before half-volleying into the top corner past helpless goalkeeper Craig Samson for his sixth goal of the season.

The Dons doubled their advantage after 17 minutes when Fyvie was given too much time and space on the edge of the area to pick out Fallon at the back post and the New Zealand forward stooped to head home his first goal in the SPL from only three yards out.

St Mirren looked listless until they pulled a goal back 10 minutes before the break.

The previously ineffectual McLean raced onto a Steven Thompson header and calmly slotted the ball past goalkeeper Jason Brown for his third goal of the season.

Suddenly, the Buddies were a side reborn and young midfielder had a chance to restore parity only minutes later when he was played in by Paul McGowan, but Jack managed to make a vital block.

The Dons had appeals for penaties for challenges on Vernon waved away either side of the break.

St Mirren were back level seven minutes into the second half when Carey's thunderbolt of a free-kick from 30 yards went in off the underside of the crossbar.

Samson parried away a head flick from Vernon as Aberdeen tried to respond, while Thompson should have done better than head wide from another dangerous Carey free-kick.

Thompson was denied a winner after he acted quicker than the Dons defence only to have his effort thwarted by the leg of goalkeeper Brown.

Fyvie was shown a red card for foul and abusive language as St Mirren, who had beaten the Dons in four of their previous five league fixtures, made sure of a disappointing end to Brown's anniversary exactly a year to the day since he took charge at Pittodrie.

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