Buddies and Dons share spoils
Last Updated: 25/02/12 3:13pm
Vernon: Earned a point for Aberdeen
St Mirren and Aberdeen ended their recent goal droughts but neither side could get back to winning ways in a 1-1 draw in the SPL.
Nigel Hasselbaink gave St Mirren a 57th-minute lead that brought to an end a run of four SPL games without a goal, but the hosts were pegged back almost immediately as Scott Vernon netted Aberdeen's first league strike in three matches to earn his side a point.
The result is St Mirren's fourth consecutive league draw while Aberdeen had to settle for a third successive tie despite having the better chances throughout today's game.
St Mirren manager Danny Lennon was forced into one change and opted for another following his side's 0-0 draw away to Dundee United last Saturday.
Jeroen Tesselaar missed out with a knee injury as David Van Zanten deputised at full-back. Further forward, Hasselbaink was preferred to Gary Teale as Lennon looked to increase his attacking options and end a run of four consecutive SPL games without a goal, a fact not helped by top-scorer Steven Thompson's continued absence through suspension.
Visitors Aberdeen were forced into one change following their 0-0 draw with St Johnstone. Stephen Hughes' hamstring injury is not meant to be as serious as first thought, but this fixture came too soon for the midfielder with Youl Mawene his replacement.
Hasselbaink and Dougie Imrie were the home side's preferred strike partnership and the duo linked early to create a chance for Hasselbaink.
Imrie's flick-on gave the Dutchman some space inside the penalty area but the striker mis-hit his attempt and Jason Brown gathered comfortably.
Aberdeen started slow but gradually started to take control and had their first chance in the 23rd minute. McArdle's deep cross found space for Kari Arnason to volley at the back post, but the midfielder hit his shot into the ground and the effort lacked the pace to beat Craig Samson.
Having forced one chance, the visitors responded with two more in as many minutes.
First Arnason's shot flew wide after space opened up 18 yards from goal, then Fraser Fyvie latched onto a direct ball into the penalty area and his shot across goal just went wide of the far post.
Aberdeen thought their pressure had paid off when they had the ball in the back of the net a minute before half-time, only for the goal to be disallowed. Ryan Jack stabbed the ball home after Fyvie's flick-on, but the midfielder was adjudged to have drifted offside.
Fyvie then wasted a glorious opportunity five minutes after the restart. The youngster latched onto a short back-pass by Lee Mair but hooked his shot wide with the goal gaping.
Aberdeen midfielder Ryan Jack was then unfortunate for the second time not to break the deadlock as his shot from 10 yards was twice blocked by David Barron.
Despite the recent barren spells from both sides, the crowd was then treated to two goals in as many minutes.
Hasselbaink turned his marker 25 yards from goal, headed into the centre of the penalty area and placed a left foot shot into the far corner of the net, giving the home side a fortuitous lead on the balance of play.
However, within seconds the match was level.
Mitchell Megginson controlled the ball on the edge of the six-yard box before touching off for Scott Vernon to place his shot into the far corner from eight yards.
The pace of the match picked up and St Mirren constructed arguably their best move with Imrie switching play to the advancing Graham Carey on the left. Carey spotted the central run of Teale but the ball in missed the stretching substitute by inches.
With three minutes remaining Aberdeen substitutes Rory Fallon and Peter Pawlett almost combined to take all three points, the latter shooting wide under pressure after being played in by his team-mate.
Deep into stoppage time Teale almost won it but his shot on the run from 20 yards was well held by Brown.