St Mirren 1-1 Aberdeen

By David McDaidBBC Scotland

St Mirren and Aberdeen shared the points in Paisley in a Scottish Premier League mid-table tussle that only came to life in the second half.

Ryan Jack had the ball in the net at the end of a quiet first period, but the Aberdeen man had strayed offside.

Nigel Hasselbaink ended three goalless matches for St Mirren with a cool finish before the hour mark.

Only 90 second later, Aberdeen's Scott Vernon thumped the ball high past Craig Samson to claim a share of the spoils.

St Mirren had drawn their last three league matches 0-0 and for much of the first half it looked like neither team would be able to alter that trend.

Hasselbaink had a glimpse at goal early on, when Youl Mawene misjudged a high ball ball, but the the Dutchman was caught off guard and could not dig the ball from under his feet in time to test Dons goalkeeper Jason Brown.

For 20 minutes, that was the height of the action until a deep cross from Aberdeen's Rory McArdle found Mitch Megginson arriving at the back post to volley into Craig Samson's arms.

Aberdeen enjoyed a good spell around the half-hour mark, with Kari Arnasen shooting inches wide from the edge of the box then Megginson firing across goal from a difficult angle.

Graham Carey wasted a free-kick for Saints, blasting it into the wall, while Arnason watched a similar effort squirm wide after a heavy deflection.

Just before the halt-time whistle, Jack thought he had given Aberdeen the lead from close range, but a team-mate's touch on the back-post cross had rendered him just offside.

The Dons had their best chance of the match so far within minutes of the restart.

Lee Mair fluffed a pass-back, allowing Fraser Fyvie to go one-on-one with Samson, but he slipped the ball past the far post when he also had the option of Vernon in a good position.

St Mirren had been growing back into the match and Hasselbaink ended their scoring drought on 57 minutes.

A lovely flick from Steven Thompson set the forward free and he picked his spot inside the far post with a composed finished to record the Buddies' first league goal since 14 January.

No sooner had the Buddies fans retaken their seats than their team had been pegged back.

A high hopeful ball from Mawene reached Megginson in the box and the teenager laid the ball into the path of Vernon, who stroked it high into Samson's net.

Those goals lifted the tempo of the match and manager Danny Lennon introduced Gary Teale as St Mirren signalled their intention to go for all three points.

Almost straight away, the former Scotland player was a stud's length from converting Carey's dangerous ball across the Dons goal.

With a few minutes remaining, Peter Pawlett had a good chance to score a winner, but the Dons substitute skewed his shot poorly wide and then Teale had a strike at the death that Brown held with ease.

Aberdeen manager Craig Brown: "We'll likely do something daft and beat Celtic and Motherwell in our next two.

"It's not likely, but that's how this league works, that's how we've operated this season.

"We've won games which were unexpected and struggled when we've been expected to win the game. We don't thrive on expectation, unfortunately.

"We had the chances to win the game but didn't take them, again. I think we did enough in the second half.

"Hopefully we'll go to Celtic Park and have one or two of the injured players fit. We've got a very good squad and a lot in the treatment room."

St Mirren manager Danny Lennon: "We scored a wonderful goal, but not to hold on to that for a longer period of time, and not build upon that, was very disappointing.

"Once we scored, we tried to get the ball in to Nigel again and I wondered if maybe we should maybe try and kill the momentum and their excitement.

"As much as they've built themselves up, they need to come back down as quickly and keep their focus.

"Overall, I felt a draw was a fair result and it was a very valuable point."

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