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Match Preview | St Mirren v Aberdeen
Competition: Betfred Cup Last 16
Match: St Mirren v Aberdeen
Venue: The SMISA Stadium
Kick Off: 17:15
TV Coverage: Premier Sports & RedTV International. Audio Commentary is available to RedTV UK Subscribers. For full details on how to watch Saturday’s match, please click here.
The manager carried out his pre match media duties on Friday lunchtime ahead of our Betfred Cup tie with St Mirren.
“Niall travelled with us on Wednesday despite not doing any full training with the squad prior to the Hamilton Accies match so that was a bonus. We don’t have anyone else back from Wednesday. I thought Funso Ojo and Dean Campbell were excellent on Wednesday. It is not easy when you have been out for a while with injury or have not been first pick.
“I am delighted with a lot of the performance from the other night. You are not going to get a dominant performance for 90 minutes, but I did think in the first half it was as dominant as we have ever been at Hamilton. We just needed to score more goals in that period.
“The disappointing part is that we did not score more goals and conceded a goal that was offside.
“The intensity in the second half maybe wasn’t as strong as it had been in the first half. I thought that we finished the game strongly and searched for the winner, but it wasn’t to be.
“I do think with the challenges we have at the minute there are some positives that we can take from the game and we have to take them into the cup game.
“We need to find ways to win, we don’t have to be perfect, but we need to find ways to win.
“It is a tricky cup tie for us, and it is a tough draw for us but it is also a tough draw for St Mirren and it is important they see that.
“At the moment it is not just injuries you have to deal with, it is Covid issues as well that you have to contend with.
“The speed in the team has been really important to us this season and we haven’t been able to have that over the last couple of games. Hedges is probably the only one with that real out and out pace in the team.
“Sometimes that is just the way it is. We are really looking forward to the game and will try and get maximum rest into the players, we will travel down tonight. We will set about the task of trying to get the club into the next round of the cup.
“I thought St Mirren were good in the game against us last time at Pittodrie. They have got a very good squad of players. I think they have gained a bit of confidence through the Betfred Cup and I think they are six games unbeaten going into this one. Winning at Livingston is never easy and having watched the game back I thought that they were worthy winners.
“What we have to do is be ready for a determined St Mirren team. They have accumulated a squad that has given them high hopes from within their camp, they feel they can be a top six team.
“I think a few teams would maybe see us a bit vulnerable at the minute, but it is important for us to demonstrate that is not the case.
“We are going to be without so many key players, players who would ordinarily be starting in the team and who have brought an identity to the team. Everybody has said to me for long enough that this is the strongest Aberdeen squad for many a year and it is an opportunity now for the players who are available to get the club into the next round of the cup.
“It is not always the team that plays the better stuff that wins the tie. We want to go down there and play well and show the best of us and get through and win the game. It is a test of the squad, our third away game in six days. Sometimes that happens, the players have a good level of motivation to get the club into the next round.”
Head to Head Record in the League Cup
Played 17, Won 11, Drawn 4, Lost 2. Scored 40, conceded 19.
Read the full history between St Mirren and Aberdeen in the League Cup by clicking here.
The Last Time in the League Cup
The sides last met in this competition back at the start of the 2018-19 season with The Dons running out 4-0 winners at Pittodrie. Two goals from Gary Mackay-Steven and a goal apiece from Stevie May and Graeme Shinnie saw Aberdeen progress to the next round.
Aberdeen Line Up: Lewis, Shinnie, Considine, Gleeson, Ross (Forrester 61), Mackay-Steven, Wright (Anderson 71), May (McLennan 79), Devlin, Ferguson, Ball.
Unused Subs: Campbell, Cosgrove, Roscoe, Cerny.
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Report | Dons exit League Cup
ST MIRREN 2 ABERDEEN 1
League Cup Round 2
Saturday 28th November 2020
St Mirren Park
Ref – Don Robertson
A late mistake by Joe Lewis saw Aberdeen fall to League Cup defeat in Paisley after an evening in which the Dons could never really get going.
There were two changes from the Dons team that started the 1-1 draw at Hamilton Accies on Wednesday night. Derek McInnes was able to welcome Jonny Hayes back to the side following his spell out injured and Niall McGinn also started the game – Ash Taylor and Curtis Main dropped to the bench. Shay Logan is missing from the subs through suspension.
Andrew Considine made his 535th appearance for Aberdeen, equalling Jim Leighton’s total, and moving into joint fifth spot in the all-time AFC list. Tommy Hoban made the 100th senior appearance of his career whilst Ryan Hedges played game number 50 game for the club. Lewis Ferguson, Ross McCrorie and Connor McLennan continued to be unavailable because of the Covid-19 protocols following their spell with Scotland Under-21s. Scott Wright, Dylan McGeouch, Marley Watkins and Tomas Cerny remain out injured.
There were two changes for St Mirren too, fresh from their 1-0 win at Livingston last Saturday and coming into this tie on a six game unbeaten run since the last minute 2-1 defeat at Pittodrie on October 2nd. Out went Ethan Erhahon and Brandon Mason, to be replaced by Ilkay Durmus and Cameron MacPherson.
A mazy run from Connolly, coming inside from the right, opened the game up in the second minute, Hayes bringing him down on the edge of the box. From the free-kick, Durmus placed the ball over the wall, a deflection off Funso Ojo wrongfooting Lewis and dropping the ball into the bottom corner for a nightmare start for the Dons.
It could have been worse in the seventh minute, Tait drifting inside from the left flank and drilling in a shot from 25 yards that had Joe Lewis beaten, the ball thumping into the post and bouncing to safety as Aberdeen struggled to get going in the teeth of a very lively St. Mirren start.
The Dons gradually settled to the game as the half wore on but were struggling to get sight of the opposition goal as St. Mirren were in no rush to commit too many men forward now they had a one goal advantage to protect. A good move in the 24th minute involving Greg Leigh and Hayes ended with a McGinn effort being charged down in the box, the first real action in the Buddies’ goalmouth.
Connolly was a thorn in the Dons’ side and a quick turn away from Leigh got him into a shooting position, Lewis standing up to make a good save in the 38th minute, a vital intervention. Obika had an even better chance two minutes later, a ricochet off Ojo dropping perfectly for him in the six yard box but with the goal gaping, he prodded the ball wide as Lewis came towards him.
But against the run of play, Aberdeen were level in the 42nd minute, a chipped ball into the box from Hayes chested forward by Sam Cosgrove and falling nicely into McGinn’s sharp forward run around the penalty spot. He controlled neatly and then showed Obika how it should be done.
HALF-TIME: ST. MIRREN 1 ABERDEEN 1
Mikey Devlin and Curtis Main were introduced in place of Cosgrove and McGinn for Aberdeen as the sides came back out, the Dons going to a back four.
Tommie Hoban should have had Aberdeen in front in the 48th minute, making a good strong run to get on the end of Hedges’ corner but glancing his header wide of goal, a great opportunity. The pace of Connolly at the other end caused problems four minutes later, Considine picking up a booking for bringing him down.
Main had his first look at goal from 25 yards out in the 64th minute, a sharp strike pushed away from Alnwick. The game was much more in the balance now, Aberdeen having much more of the play, but neither side really creating anything of note. MacPherson was next to go in the book, late on Hayes. The hosts then replaced Obika and Durmus with Erwin and McAllister in the 72nd minute.
A great run by Hoban in the 77th minute caused chaos, his ball slung into the box being sliced away by Fraser, straight into the arms of his goalkeeper unfortunately for the Dons. Hoban, now at right-back, was away again two minutes later, a low cross winning the visitors a corner. From the ball in, there was a scramble in the box, Main driving the ball at goal, the Dons making claims for a penalty as it was blocked to safety.
Aberdeen were building up a head of steam now, Kennedy winning an 81st minute corner, but St. Mirren just managed to get the ball clear again. Morias came on to replace Connolly to try to get the home side going again in the 83rd minute. It almost worked, Fraser getting space to drag in a low shot from a dozen yards out, Lewis down well to save at the foot of the post. In the 86th minute, Morias was able to wriggle into the box, Lewis making another good save low down. Doyle-Hayes was then shown a yellow card for a trip on Kennedy.
Disaster for the Dons in the 88th minute though, Lewis allowing a routine shot from McGrath from the edge of the box to squirm through his hands and over the line, a rare but costly error from the skipper.
Ryan Edmondson was thrown on in place of Campbell in the 90th minute as Aberdeen chased the game but the damage had already been done in Paisley.
ST MIRREN: Alnwick, Fraser, McCarthy, Foley, Tait, Connolly (Morias 83), McGrath, Doyle-Hayes, Durmus (McAllister 72), MacPherson, Obika (Erwin 72).
Subs not used: Lyness, Sheron, Finlayson, Flynn, Dennis, Jamieson.
GOAL: Durmus (3), McGrath (88)
BOOKED: MacPherson, Doyle-Hayes
ABERDEEN: Lewis, Hoban, Considine, Leigh, Kennedy, Ojo, Campbell (Edmondson 90), Hayes, Hedges, McGinn (Devlin 46), Cosgrove (Main 46).
Subs not used: Woods, Taylor, Hernandez, Ngwenya, Ramsay, Duncan.
GOAL: McGinn (42)