Aberdeen are careering into a nightmare month with concerning and damaging form after imploding when down to 10 men against St Mirren.
The pressure was on the Dons when going down to 10 men at 2-1 up, but they didn’t cope as a winless streak extended to eight games.
Leading and looking good for a much-needed morale-boosting victory, the Reds’ game completely changed with the dismissal of Teddy Jenks in the 51st minute.
The midfielder’s exit was the catalyst for the collapse that was so swift and damaging- with two goals conceded in just 11 minutes of Jenks’ leaving.
However,Aberdeen should have recovered from that setback and coped better.
Aberdeen have taken just two points from a possible 15 as they crashed to three consecutive Premiership victories for the first time since May 2016.
No clean sheets in 11 straight games is concerning under normal circumstances – they are a major worry with tough fixtures looming.
Aberdeen face Celtic next Sunday to kick-start a testing month that will also bring games against Dundee, Hearts, Rangers and Hibs and need to find the right formula to deliver wins quickly.
Even the much-anticipated return of attacker Ryan Hedges could not end the winless streak.
Hedges was pitched into the starting line-up, having missed the last six games due to a hamstring injury.
The 26-year-old’s worth to Aberdeen has been brutally underlined with the win ratio dropping dramatically when he is not in the team.
Since the start of the 2020-21 campaign, Aberdeen have won 58% of the games Hedges has started.
That win return is reduced to just 27% when Hedges has been out injured.
Although he did bring a much-needed creative spark and intent, which was evident when Aberdeen deservedly went ahead, the Welsh attacker is no miracle worker.
The entire Aberdeen team must be clicking – and for that devastating period after Jenks was dismissed they weren’t. And it was costly.
St Mirren went ahead in the 15th minute when a poor pass out by keeper Joe Lewis was intercepted by Matthew Millar who passed to Ethan Erhahon.
He drove forward and found Connor RONAN, who shot from 15 yards with his effort deflecting off the outstretched boot of David Bates, who had raced in to cover. The ball spun beyond Lewis.
Aberdeen hit back three minutes later with a bizarre goal when Calvin Ramsay’s free-kick was headed on by Scott Brown.
Christian Ramirez dived to head and his stretched effort bounced off the heel of BROWN and was redirected into the goal.
There may have been some good fortune about the goal, but it was the ideal reaction from Aberdeen after falling behind.
Aberdeen went ahead in the 34th minute with a superb header from RAMIREZ.
Right-back Ramsay delivered a dangerous cross into the box and the striker raced to meet it and fired an unstoppable header in from 12 yards that left keeper Jak Alnwick with no chance.
GOAL! St Mirren 1-2 Aberdeen (Ramirez, 34)
🗣 "That is a brilliant header! Aberdeen have turned it around in style!"
📺 Watch live on Sky Sports Football pic.twitter.com/HFrnoavnKu
— Sky Sports Scotland (@ScotlandSky) September 26, 2021
Whilst in the air he brilliantly directed the ball with his head into the far corner.
It was admirable technique from Ramirez.
The role of captain Brown in the goal cannot be underplayed as he blocked off Ramirez’s marker Marcus Fraser to make way for the striker’s run.
Half-time: St Mirren 1 Aberdeen 2
Aberdeen were reduced to 10 men in the 50th minute when Jenks received a second yellow after taking a poor touch then catching Jamie McGrath on the foot when trying to win it back.
In the 58th minute RONAN received a pass from McGrath down the inside right channel before unleashing a superb right-footed thunderbolt into the bottom corner beyond Lewis from 12 yards.
The day was to get even worse in the 61st minute for 10 man Aberdeen in the 61st minute when a ball hoisted into the box from FRASER somehow found its way into the net.
Keeper Lewis was undecisive in coming off his line and Curtis Main went to head, but missed. It was a mistake from Lewis and bad defending from the back-line as Main should not be unmarked in the box.
It should have been 4-2 in the 80th minute when Scott Tanser was given far too much space down the left and crossed along the face of goal to Eamonn Brophy at the back post. He somehow shot wide from close range.
ABERDEEN (4-2-3-1): Lewis 5; Ramsay 6, McCrorie 6, Bates 6, MacKenzie 6, Ferguson 6, Brown 6, Jenks 5, Hedges 6 (Samuels 72), Ramirez 6 (Emmanuel-Thomas 72), Hayes 6.
SUBS: Woods, Gallagher, McGeouch, Campbell, Longstaff
ST MIRREN (3-1-4-2): Alnwick 6; , Fraser 6 (Flynn 72), McCarthy 6, Shaughnessy 6, Erhahon 5 (Main 61), Millar 7 (Miller 72), Ronan 7, Power 6. Tanser 6, McGrath 7, Brophy 6 (Dennis 83).
SUBS: Lyness, Tait, Erwin.
REFEREE: Willie Collum
MAN OF THE MATCH: Jamie McGrath (St Mirren).