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Aberdeen’s Barry Robson Looking Ahead To Europa League Playoff After Draw At St Mirren

Aberdeen’s Barry Robson Looking Ahead To Europa League Playoff After Draw At St Mirren

St Mirren 2-2 Aberdeen

Kiltie, 59 (Pen)          Hayes, 42

Greive, 76                    Miovski, 90+10 (Pen)

By Callum McFadden at the SMiSA stadium

Barry Robson was relieved to leave Paisley with a point after a 2-2 draw against St Mirren as he turned his attention to a Europa League Playoff tie on Thursday evening with BK Hacken of Sweden

St Mirren started the match positively and controlled possession in the opening half hour without creating too many clear-cut opportunities aside from an Olutoysi Olusanya strike that was ruled out for offside in the 22nd minute. Aberdeen looked like a side who played an important European tie a few days before this game such was their lack of energy in comparison to Saints.

The home side continued to press forward for the opener and came close in the 33rd minute when Caolan Boyd-Munce’s cross was met by the head of Greg Kiltie which Kelle Roos did well to tip over the bar.

Remarkably, it was Aberdeen who took the lead — totally against the run of play — in the 42nd minute when a Jonny Hayes free kick from the right-hand side of the pitch made its way into the back of the Saints net without a touch from another player. The goal resulted in St Mirren manager Stephen Robinson being booked for dissent from referee John Beaton.

His frustration was understandable given how well his team had played prior to the Dons goal.

Despite the half-time deficit, St Mirren started the second half just as they had started the first and pushed ahead for an equaliser. They thought they had just that when Greg Kiltie scored from close range in the 50th minute only for a VAR check to rule the goal offside.

Following more pressure on the Aberdeen goal, Saints did manage to equalise in the 59th minute from the penalty spot via Greg Kiltie. The penalty was awarded following a handball from Aberdeen defender Angus MacDonald which was confirmed after a lengthy VAR review.

Both sides were evenly matched until the 76th minute when Alex Greive finished off a quick counterattack for St Mirren assisted by Mikael Mandron. Both substitutes working to devasting effect to punish Aberdeen.

A scrappy last fifteen minutes followed as both teams fought for every ball without any clear-cut chances being recorded until the 97th minute when Aberdeen were awarded a penalty for handball after Alex Gogic tried to block a long-range shot from Leighton Clarkson. Bojan Miovski duly converted from the spot to level the scoring and delight the large Aberdeen following in the away end.

The full-time whistle eventually sounded after fifteen minutes of injury time were played and Stephen Robinson’s first-half frustration turned to full-time disbelief as the Paisley side dropped two points in a game that they dominated for large parts.

After three games, St Mirren go joint top of the Scottish Premiership with Celtic and Motherwell after two wins and a draw from their opening three matches. Meanwhile, Aberdeen are still looking for their first league win of the campaign under Barry Robson ahead of a crucial Europa League play off second leg tie against BK Hacken of Sweden on Thursday evening.

St Mirren: Hemming, Fraser, Gogic, Taylor, Strain, Tanser, Baccus, Boyd-Munce (Bolton, 80), Kiltie (Greive, 70), McMenamin (Flynn, 86), Olusanya (Mandron, 70).

Substitutes: Urminsky, Bolton, Dunne, Small, Flynn, Jamieson, Greive, Nahmani, Mandron.

Aberdeen: Roos, MacDonald, Rubezic, MacKenzie (Jensen, 56), Devlin, Hayes (McGarry, 52), Shinnie, Clarkson, Polvara (McGrath, 56), Duk (Morris, 77), Miovksi.

Substitutes: Doohan, Jensen, McGrath, Barron, McGarry, Sokler, Morris, Duncan, Dadia.

Stephen Robinson:

“[The players] feel that they should have another two points after that performance. Ultimately, they don’t but we passed the ball well and opened up a good Aberdeen side that have done very well [domestically] and are doing well in Europe.

I felt that we made them look average at times today because of our performance. I thought our performance was outstanding and all I can say to the boys is, ‘keep going’ because we are going in the right direction.”

Barry Robson:

“We are looking forward to [the Europa League Playoff on Thursday] and we will look to freshen the team again and see where we are at for the game.

“If you look at the results in Scotland, [from the teams currently playing European football] you will see that Hearts have been struggling, Hibs have been struggling and Michael Beale has been speaking about that too.

“It is difficult but we have to help each other because the competition [Europa League] is one that we want to be in.

We have to get the balance right and not lose too many points in the league because another manager [Lee Johnson at Hibernian] lost his job and if one competition starts to go wrong for us then the pressure comes.”