Mulgrew scores the winner from a free-kick three minutes from time
A late Charlie Mulgrew free-kick gave Aberdeen a narrow win over 10-man St Mirren in the Scottish Premier League.
Lee Miller could have taken the lead for the hosts after 10 minutes, but St keeper Paul Gallacher parried and Andrew Considine missed on the rebound.
Craig Dargo set up Stephen McGinn on 22 minutes but his effort went wide.
Mulgrew hit the bar with a free-kick after 72 minutes, but found the net 11 minutes later from a set-piece before Lee Mair was sent off for dissent.
Sone Aluko returned to the Aberdeen squad after leaving to join his Nigeria team-mates at the under-20 World Cup without permission.
St Mirren made two changes to the side that drew 1-1 with St Johnstone last weekend, with Garry Brady and Dargo coming in to replace Michael Higdon and Andy Dorman.
Aluko seemed keen to impress from the start, but fired a poor shot effort on goal in the early stages of the match.
Aberdeen should have taken the lead in the 10th minute but Gallacher kept out Miller's close-range header and Considine volleyed wide of the target from the rebound.
Dargo set up McGinn on 22 minutes who flashed an effort wide from the edge of the area.
The Buddies came into the game after half an hour when McGinn fed Brady to fire a powerful effort wide.
Aluko earned the Dons a free-kick in a promising position but Mulgrew failed to get the ball beyond the first man.
Dargo's shot on the turn from a David Barron pass sailed harmlessly high and wide as the half drew to a close with St Mirren on top.
After the break, Aluko went on a run and fired in a testing shot, but St Mirren keeper Gallacher held well to make only his second serious save of the match.
The second half drifted into a scrappy, start-stop affair with neither keeper being significantly tested, although Mulgrew hit the crossbar with a 72nd-minute free-kick and Miller made a bold attempt with an overhead kick on the rebound, but his shot was saved by Gallacher.
With five minuets left on the clock, Mark Kerr rushed on the St Mirren goal and with Gallacher to beat, contrived to blast his shot out miserably for a throw-in.
Mulgrew found the back of the net with a fine free-kick in the 87th minute after Darren Mackie was fouled by John Potter, driving low into the bottom right-hand corner of the St Mirren goal.
No sooner was the ball in the net, but Mair was red-carded for protesting to the referee.
An injury-time Billy Mehmet free-kick failed to find the much-needed equaliser for the Buddies and Aberdeen collected all three points.
Aberdeen manager Mark McGhee: "It was a hard-earned three points, but I think in balance of the game, we deserved them.
"We had chances, mostly from set-pieces, but I think Sone Aluko played well and deserves credit for his attitude to the game and for coming back and playing in this game.
"He's one of us and he wants to be one of us, and he showed that today.
"We huffed and puffed at times, some people got opportunities today, but won a game against a determined and well-organised St Mirren side.
"I think we're quite satisfied with that."
St Mirren manager Gus MacPherson: "We're disappointed. To lose a goal at such a late stage when we've played well.
"We defended really well in the second half. The only real problem was set-pieces from Charlie Mulgrew - and that causes a lot of teams problems.
"The accuracy he can delivery from corners or free-kicks, or ultimately a free-kick that wins the game for them.
"But there was a lot of positives for us, in the manner of the performance.
"If I'm going to be critical, it's in that final pass."
Live text and stats
Saturday, 19 September 2009
18 Grassi (Pawlett 60)
11 Aluko (Mackie 82)
24 Paton (Maguire 51)
05 Mair yellow card, red card
19 Barron yellow card
14 Brady (Higdon 90+3)
18 Dargo (Dorman 79)
Ref: ThomsonAtt: 10,103
Attempts on target
Attempts off target
94:19 The game is over, as the referee blows his whistle.
90:00+3:08 Peter Pawlett concedes a free kick for a foul on Michael Higdon. Indirect free kick taken by Billy Mehmet.
90:00+2:51 Charlie Mulgrew fouled by Steven Thomson, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Jamie Langfield.
90:00+2:15 Substitution Michael Higdon joins the action as a substitute, replacing Garry Brady.
88:46 Sent off The referee red cards Lee Mair for foul and abusive language.
Correction - 88:46 Sent off The referee red cards Lee Mair for second bookable offence.
87:40 GOAL - Charlie Mulgrew:Aberdeen 1 - 0 St Mirren Charlie Mulgrew finds the net with a goal direct from the free kick from just outside the box to the bottom right corner of
the goal. Aberdeen 1-0 St Mirren.
Correction - 87:03 John Potter concedes a free kick for a foul on Darren Mackie.
87:03 Unfair challenge on Darren Mackie by John Potter results in a free kick.
84:40 The ball is crossed by Charlie Mulgrew, Paul Gallacher makes a save.
83:19 Corner taken right-footed by Garry Brady, save made by Jamie Langfield.
81:38 Substitution Sone Aluko goes off and Darren Mackie comes on.
80:20 Lee Miller gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on John Potter. John Potter takes the indirect free kick.
79:08 Steven Thomson fouled by Gary McDonald, the ref awards a free kick. The free kick is swung in right-footed by John Potter,
save made by Jamie Langfield.
78:29 Substitution Andy Dorman on for Craig Dargo.
Correction - 74:37 Booking Lee Mair goes into the referee's book for unsporting behaviour.
Correction - 74:37 Charlie Mulgrew shoots direct from the free kick, Lee Miller has an effort at goal. Save by Paul Gallacher. Gary McDonald
challenges Lee Mair unfairly and gives away a free kick. Paul Gallacher takes the indirect free kick. Richard Foster produces
a right-footed shot from just outside the box that misses to the right of the goal. Inswinging corner taken from the right
by-line by Charlie Mulgrew.
74:37 Charlie Mulgrew restarts play with the free kick, Jack Ross takes a shot. Shot from 12 yards by Lee Miller. Paul Gallacher
makes a save. Lee Mair fouled by Gary McDonald, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Paul Gallacher. Richard Foster
produces a right-footed shot from just outside the box that misses to the right of the target. Inswinging corner taken from
the right by-line by Charlie Mulgrew.
74:37 Booking John Potter is given a yellow card.
Correction - 74:21 Lee Miller fouled by John Potter, the ref awards a free kick.
74:21 John Potter gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Lee Miller.
73:09 Lee Miller is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Paul Gallacher takes the free kick.
72:15 Craig Dargo challenges Andrew Considine unfairly and gives away a free kick. Indirect free kick taken by Jerel Ifil.
70:17 The official flags Craig Dargo offside. Jamie Langfield takes the free kick.
69:37 Craig Dargo is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Jamie Langfield takes the free kick.
65:33 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Andrew Considine by Craig Dargo. Free kick taken by Jamie Langfield.
65:04 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Garry Brady by Sone Aluko. Free kick taken by Jack Ross.
61:58 The offside flag is raised against Craig Dargo. Jamie Langfield restarts play with the free kick.
59:51 Substitution (Aberdeen) makes a substitution, with Peter Pawlett coming on for Davide Grassi.
59:51 The official flags Billy Mehmet offside. Indirect free kick taken by Jamie Langfield.
59:17 Garry Brady concedes a free kick for a foul on Charlie Mulgrew. Jamie Langfield restarts play with the free kick.
58:31 Sone Aluko takes a shot. Save made by Paul Gallacher.
56:02 Free kick awarded for a foul by Lee Mair on Christopher Maguire. Free kick crossed left-footed by Charlie Mulgrew, save made
by Paul Gallacher.
54:59 Sone Aluko fouled by Steven Thomson, the ref awards a free kick. The ball is delivered by Jerel Ifil, Lee Miller takes a shot.
Paul Gallacher makes a save.
54:25 Free kick awarded for a foul by John Potter on Lee Miller. Andrew Considine takes the direct free kick.
53:48 Unfair challenge on Christopher Maguire by David Barron results in a free kick. Sone Aluko restarts play with the free kick.
53:09 Foul by Mark Kerr on Hugh Murray, free kick awarded. The free kick is delivered right-footed by Jack Ross from right channel,
Charlie Mulgrew manages to make a clearance.
50:48 Substitution Michael Paton leaves the field to be replaced by Christopher Maguire.
49:33 Corner taken right-footed by Garry Brady, Charlie Mulgrew manages to make a clearance.
48:44 Billy Mehmet is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Free kick taken by Jamie Langfield.
46:42 Jack Ross concedes a free kick for a foul on Davide Grassi. Jamie Langfield restarts play with the free kick.
45:01 The game restarts for the second half.
45:00+0:05 The whistle is blown to end the first half.
Correction - 43:58 Outswinging corner taken by Garry Brady from the right by-line, clearance made by Sone Aluko.
43:58 Outswinging corner taken by Garry Brady, clearance made by Andrew Considine.
43:22 Foul by Richard Foster on Stephen McGinn, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Stephen McGinn.
41:23 Garry Brady takes a outswinging corner from the right by-line to the near post, Charlie Mulgrew makes a clearance.
40:38 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Steven Thomson by Mark Kerr. Jack Ross takes the direct free kick.
38:58 David Barron challenges Lee Miller unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick crossed by Richard Foster.
36:54 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Gary McDonald by Steven Thomson. Free kick taken by Gary McDonald.
36:03 Free kick awarded for a foul by Charlie Mulgrew on Hugh Murray. Paul Gallacher takes the indirect free kick.
34:57 Free kick awarded for a foul by Hugh Murray on Sone Aluko. Charlie Mulgrew crosses the ball in from the free kick, John Potter
makes a clearance.
32:39 The official flags Craig Dargo offside. Free kick taken by Jamie Langfield.
30:51 Steven Thomson has an effort at goal from outside the penalty box which goes wide left of the goal.
23:34 Michael Paton challenges John Potter unfairly and gives away a free kick. Indirect free kick taken by Paul Gallacher.
Correction - 21:52 Corner taken left-footed by Charlie Mulgrew.
21:52 Inswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Jack Ross.
21:03 Stephen McGinn produces a right-footed shot from just outside the area that goes wide left of the goal.
19:14 Free kick awarded for a foul by Garry Brady on Mark Kerr. Charlie Mulgrew takes the free kick.
14:59 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Hugh Murray by Lee Miller. Indirect free kick taken by David Barron.
12:55 The assistant referee signals for offside against Craig Dargo. Jerel Ifil takes the direct free kick.
11:35 Craig Dargo fouled by Andrew Considine, the ref awards a free kick. Jack Ross takes the direct free kick.
10:40 Charlie Mulgrew crosses the ball from the free kick left-footed from right channel, clearance by John Potter.
10:40 Booking Caution for David Barron.
10:31 Sone Aluko fouled by David Barron, the ref awards a free kick.
9:04 Lee Mair concedes a free kick for a foul on Lee Miller. Charlie Mulgrew produces a cross, Lee Miller takes a shot. Andrew
Considine produces a left-footed shot from close range which goes wide of the left-hand upright.
7:28 Long range shot by Sone Aluko goes wide right of the target.
0:00 The game gets underway.
Live text and data provided by The Press Association.
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