Scottish Premiership
St MirrenSt Mirren0AberdeenAberdeen0

St Mirren 0-0 Aberdeen: Visitors remain four points adrift of third

By Andrew SouthwickBBC Scotland

Aberdeen failed to significantly cut the gap on third-placed Motherwell after a turgid draw with St Mirren.

Derek McInnes' side were booed off after passing up the chance to narrow the gap to two points, sitting four adrift after the Premiership stalemate.

Jon Obika hit a post for the hosts, while the visitors looked blunt in attack throughout.

St Mirren do move a point further away from second-bottom Hamilton, now two clear of the relegation play-off spot.

Aberdeen had named new signing Matty Kennedy in the starting line-up, but in three games in 2020 they have yet to score from open play.

Fresh faces, same performance

The game had a huge significance for both sides; St Mirren looking to put distance between themselves and the bottom two, while Aberdeen arrived in Paisley as a team under pressure.

They needed a big performance to appease a support who had witnessed just one win in their previous four league games after Wednesday's home loss to Motherwell, at a venue where they had lost 1-0 on their last visit in August.

Seldom has an Aberdeen signing made his debut under such expectation. Kennedy, fresh from joining from St Johnstone, was named in the starting line-up looking to fix Aberdeen's lack of pace and goal threat, and add an entertainment value sorely missing from McInnes' team.

He could do little about Aberdeen's inability to put away their early chances. Ash Taylor headed over from close range while Niall McGinn should have finished when St Mirren goalkeeper Vaclav Hladky handed him a chance on a plate with a poor pass.

Sam Cosgrove had a strong shout for a penalty when Conor McCarthy grabbed his waist and knocked him to the floor, before a deflection denied Scott McKenna's goalbound shot, but it was all scrappy from Aberdeen as once again they huffed and puffed.

The frustration for home manager Jim Goodwin was how easily his side were gifting away possession to give the visitors the impetus.

St Mirren are crying out for consistency. December had brought two wins, two draws and two defeats, and they only have 11 goals scored on their home patch this season. That number should have grown to 12 when Dylan McGeouch's short-back pass was pounced on by Obika, but he cracked his effort off a post.

It was a big miss, but more chances would come their way. McCarthy could have given St Mirren a half-time lead, but he headed straight at goalkeeper Joe Lewis. Ilkay Durmus and Tony Andreu both threatened after the break as they began to grow in confidence.

Durmus shot over again as St Mirren broke on the counter, as Aberdeen drifted out of the game as an attacking force. But with 20 minutes to go McInnes switched Kennedy to the middle, moved Lewis Ferguson deeper, and briefly things began to click for the visitors.

They had another penalty shout when McKenna volleyed the ball off the arm of a defender. Then Ryan Hedges collected the ball on the edge of the box but spun his shot wide. Ferguson too had an opportunity but elected to pass rather than shoot. Funso Ojo's long-range shot was a simple enough save.

But Aberdeen ran out of ideas and it is now just five points taken from their last 15, and nine from their last 24.

Aberdeen's Shay Logan and St Mirren's Ilkay Durmus

Man of the match - Ryan Flynn

BBC Scotland's Martin Dowden at the Simple Digital Arena

Aberdeen debutant Kennedy was the subject of much attention pre-match with McInnes hoping he might spark something positive in the final third.

He failed to do so largely because of the performance of St Mirren's Ryan Flynn who didn't put a foot wrong all afternoon. He read the game well and nullified any threat on his flank.

Full-back isn't his natural position but Flynn increasingly looks like first pick in that role in a defensive structure that is proving very effective.

Both managers frustrated - reaction

St Mirren manager Jim Goodwin: "When you take a point from the Old Firm or Aberdeen it's a positive, but I don't remember my goalkeeper being tested too much.

"I'm frustrated in that we didn't create enough clear-cut opportunities. I'm delighted that my team managed to stand up to Aberdeen's physical threat."

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes: "I thought we controlled the game. Defensively I thought we were solid throughout. I thought we passed the ball well, we got into some threatening areas but we didn't work the goalkeeper enough. It's stuff we've been speaking about for a period of time now where we have to make more of our possession.

"We came here and did a lot right. But getting a point is frustrating because I thought we had enough possession to get more from the game."

Line-ups

St Mirren

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Hladky
  • 8Flynn
  • 5McCarthy
  • 22Famewo
  • 3Waters
  • 24MacPhersonBooked at 24mins
  • 16Foley
  • 19Morias
  • 10AndreuSubstituted forCookeat 80'minutes
  • 11DurmusSubstituted forMcGinnat 90+2'minutes
  • 9Obika

Substitutes

  • 2McGinn
  • 18Mullen
  • 20Cooke
  • 21Broadfoot
  • 25Erhahon
  • 26Lyness
  • 39Henderson

Aberdeen

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Lewis
  • 2Logan
  • 14Taylor
  • 5McKenna
  • 4Considine
  • 22Ojo
  • 17McGeouchSubstituted forHedgesat 73'minutes
  • 10McGinnSubstituted forAndersonat 85'minutes
  • 19Ferguson
  • 23Kennedy
  • 16Cosgrove

Substitutes

  • 6Devlin
  • 9Main
  • 11Hedges
  • 20Cerny
  • 21Gallagher
  • 24Campbell
  • 25Anderson
Referee:
Don Robertson
Attendance:
5,302

Match Stats

Home TeamSt MirrenAway TeamAberdeen
Possession
Home38%
Away62%
Shots
Home8
Away19
Shots on Target
Home2
Away4
Corners
Home2
Away11
Fouls
Home13
Away8

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, St. Mirren 0, Aberdeen 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, St. Mirren 0, Aberdeen 0.

  3. Substitution

    Substitution, St. Mirren. Paul McGinn replaces Ilkay Durmus.

  4. Post update

    Attempt missed. Lewis Ferguson (Aberdeen) right footed shot from the left side of the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Ryan Hedges.

  5. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Scott McKenna (Aberdeen) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Ryan Hedges with a cross.

  6. Post update

    Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Ryan Flynn.

  7. Post update

    Attempt saved. Funso Ojo (Aberdeen) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

  8. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Bruce Anderson (Aberdeen) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Andrew Considine.

  9. Substitution

    Substitution, Aberdeen. Bruce Anderson replaces Niall McGinn.

  10. Post update

    Foul by Sam Cosgrove (Aberdeen).

  11. Post update

    Akin Famewo (St. Mirren) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  12. Post update

    Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Ilkay Durmus.

  13. Post update

    Shaleum Logan (Aberdeen) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  14. Post update

    Foul by Jonathan Obika (St. Mirren).

  15. Post update

    Foul by Funso Ojo (Aberdeen).

  16. Post update

    Cameron MacPherson (St. Mirren) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  17. Substitution

    Substitution, St. Mirren. Cody Cooke replaces Tony Andreu.

  18. Post update

    Attempt missed. Ryan Hedges (Aberdeen) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Lewis Ferguson.

  19. Post update

    Attempt saved. Sam Cosgrove (Aberdeen) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Funso Ojo with a cross.

  20. Post update

    Lewis Ferguson (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic22191261144758
2Rangers21172255134253
3Motherwell2313283427741
4Aberdeen2310763027337
5Livingston238783531431
6Hibernian237883137-629
7Kilmarnock2365121929-1023
8St Johnstone215881836-1823
9Ross County2257102245-2322
10St Mirren2355131730-1320
11Hamilton2346132340-1718
12Hearts2338122036-1617
View full Scottish Premiership table

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