Aberdeen vs St Mirren. Scottish Premiership.
Match report as St Mirren beat Aberdeen 3-1; Curtis Main scored twice for the visitors against their 10-man hosts; Barry Robson took charge of Dons after Jim Goodwin's dismissal
Thursday 2 February 2023 11:31, UK
Aberdeen started life after Jim Goodwin with a 3-1 home defeat to St Mirren after playing 83 minutes with 10 men.
The Dons, who had Barry Robson in caretaker charge following the sacking of Goodwin after Saturday's 6-0 rout at Hibernian, were down to 10 men in the seventh minute when Ross McCrorie was sent off.
Former Aberdeen forward Curtis Main scored twice for Saints, either side of Bojan Miovski's equaliser, before Declan Gallagher added a third at the death.
McCrorie had already flashed a header into the arms of Trevor Carson and his rampaging run seemed to be brought to an end by a Charles Dunne bodycheck.
Referee Grant Irvine saw it differently and not only gave the foul the other way, but after a VAR check decided McCrorie had thrown an elbow and issued a red card.
Aberdeen's well-documented recent form should have seen them crumble, but instead they showed a new-found determination, keeping the visitors at bay for long spells.
New signing Mattie Pollock got in the way of an Alex Greive effort as the Buddies forced a rare effort on goal, before Irvine found himself at the centre of the action once more.
Dunne lunged in on Graeme Shinnie as the Aberdeen captain mopped up a loose ball in midfield, and tempers frayed as the defender was shown only a yellow card.
Further bookings followed for St Mirren's Greive, and Aberdeen duo Ylber Ramadani and Luis Lopes in the ensuing melee.
Perhaps wisely, Dunne was substituted at the break with Gallagher taking his place, but it was another ex-Aberdeen player who finally broke the deadlock.
A free-kick on the byline saw Ryan Strain swing a neat delivery to Main at the front post and he bulleted a header past a helpless Joe Lewis to give his side the lead.
Aberdeen survived an old-fashioned stramash, including a customary handball check, before drawing level.
Lopes twisted and turned his way into the area before being tugged back by Marcus Fraser. Irvine pointed to the spot and Miovski stepped up to drill into the bottom-left corner as Carson went the other way.
However, Main was on hand to put his side back in front with a smart flick and volley with 10 minutes remaining.
Then another former Aberdeen player Gallagher headed home a third in the final minute, after a VAR check to confirm both that there was no offside and that the ball had crossed the line.
Aberdeen caretaker manager Barry Robson speaking to Sky Sports
"I thought we were outstanding. For 75-80 minutes we were outstanding. We got in a good shape. We forced them down the sides of us, and we weren't really threatened. Joe Lewis had one save to make so for me it's very pleasing in that aspect.
"I thought they were very good. I thought the two centre-backs came in and did well. They won their headers; they cleared their lines. It was hard to get onto the ball and move them about because we were down to 10 men. You know in life when things are going against you, you keep fighting, and I'm looking forward to the next game because I know if those boys play like that they'll be ok."
St Mirren manager Stephen Robinson speaking to Sky Sports:
"Keanu Baccus I thought dominated, ran the game and we deserved to win. Curtis Main didn't know whether to celebrate with me or not in case he got a bit of stick, but Declan Gallagher made up for it. They both got a bit of stick. Curtis and Deccy maybe didn't work out as they wanted up here but they're two very good players. We win and lose as a team and the togetherness in there is fantastic."
Aberdeen host Motherwell in their next Scottish Premiership match on 1 February, while St Mirren are at home to Hibs on the same day.
Both games kick-off at 3pm.