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Page last updated at 21:46 GMT, Tuesday, 3 March 2009

St Mirren 1-1 Aberdeen

By Colin Moffat

Aberdeen players celebrate Tommy Wright's last-gasp equaliser
Aberdeen players celebrate Wright's last-gasp equaliser against St Mirren

Tommy Wright looped in a header deep into stoppage time to earn Aberdeen a share of the spoils at St Mirren Park.

Craig Dargo had fired home from a Billy Mehmet cross on 80 minutes to put the home side ahead in a cracking match.

With play raging from end to end in driving rain, then snow, there were chances galore at both ends.

Dons keeper Jamie Langfield made good saves to deny Andy Dorman and David Barron, while Aberdeen striker Lee Miller hit the post with a header.

St Mirren had looked on course for their first win over Aberdeen in eight years only to be denied a first league win at their new stadium.

However, a defeat would have been hard for the visitors to swallow after their full-blooded contribution to a fantastic evening's entertainment.

Home goalkeeper Chris Smith suffered the ignominy of conceding seven goals to Celtic at the weekend and got off to a very shaky start, flapping at fresh air from a Charlie Mulgrew free-kick on eight minutes.

However, the custodian enjoyed a lucky break when Miller's header crashed off a post and squirmed across the face of goal before going wide.

The home side responded with Dorman shooting wide after running on to a great delivery from Barron.

Barron then raced away from the Dons defence but could not lift his shot over the sprawling figure of Langfield, who did well to stick out a hand and make the save.

Miller headed a long ball into the path of Lee Mair but the defender's smart half-volley from the edge of the penalty box was snaffled up by Smith at the second attempt.

Early in the second half Aberdeen wide-man Chris Maguire sent in an inviting cross from the right which evaded Smith, and the sliding Wright was inches away from connecting at the far post.

From a similar position, Maguire sent in another great delivery but this time a stretching Darren Mackie scooped the ball over the crossbar from six yards out.

With the high tempo showing no signs of abating, Dargo set up Garry Brady for a shot from 16 yards but the Buddies midfielder's side-foot strike curled wide of the target.

A swift counter-attack saw the home side enjoy numerical advantage but Barron could only shoot straight at Langfield after a lung-bursting run out of defence.

Aberdeen substitute Sone Aluko flashed a shot narrowly wide after some trickery in a crowded penalty box.

However, it was the home side who made the breakthrough with 10 minutes remaining.

Mehmet did well to fizz a low delivery in from the right and defender Zander Diamond failed to intercept, allowing Dargo to place a neat first-time finish beyond Langfield.

St Mirren came close to doubling their advantage in the final minutes but Langfield made an impressive stop to keep out Barron's venomous drive from 18 yards.

Aberdeen poured forward in the closing stages and saw a Lee Mair effort hooked off the goal-line by John Potter before Wright's dramatic late equaliser.

Aluko swung in a cross from left and the former Darlington man sent a strong, looping header over the outstretched Smith from 12 yards.


St Mirren manager Gus MacPherson:
"At half-time we said it was going to be one goal that wins the game. When you get the goal, you think 'just hang in there, defend properly'.

"To lose a goal as late as we did was cruel. That's what this game can do to you.

"We'll find out who took it. For my call, it is the fourth official's tool of his job. That hasn't cost us the three points but it's just a lack of professionalism.

"We knew the three minutes were nearly gone. If we had cleared it, the game would have been finished. That's a lesson for somebody at the club to learn. Maybe just a wee bit 'naive' - that's what we'll call it.

"We knew we'd get a reaction out of the players. They didn't disappoint anybody. They're a pleasure to work with.

"Saturday was a low, but tonight they have gone some way to make amends for that.

"Over the piece we defended well and I'm just disappointed to lose so late on."

Aberdeen manager Jimmy Calderwood:
"Once St Mirren went ahead, they were dominating us. Their two strikers did very well - Billy (Mehmet) and Craig Dargo.

"I think it was a wonderful game, a very open game.

"I'm not too happy with my team, passing-wise. We've had a bit of luck - a wonderful header by big Wright. I'm chuffed for him. He has been working hard and he has had to be patient.

"It could be an important point for us at the end of the season.

"They looked like winning it and probably deserved it in the end. All credit to the boys. I'm raging at them for certain things but they kept going, we kept throwing people forward.

"It was a wonderful game for the supporters. The travelling support are absolutely fabulous."


St Mirren: Smith, Barron, Potter, Cuthbert, Camara, Murray, Dorman, Brady (McGinn 79), Thomson, Dargo (Wyness 90), Mehmet (Hamilton 86).
Subs Not Used: Howard, Mason, Haining, Burns.

Goals: Dargo 78.

Aberdeen: Langfield, Vidal (Duff 58), Diamond, Mair, Mulgrew, Aluko, Severin, Kerr, Maguire, Mackie (Jamie Smith 73), Miller (Wright 39). Subs Not Used: Bossu, Considine, Stewart, Young.

Booked: Severin.

Goals: Wright 90.

Attendance: 4,383

Referee: C Boyle



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