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Aberdeen blow the chance to move fourth as they crash 1-0 at St Mirren

Aberdeen's David Bates rises for a header against St Mirren.
Aberdeen's David Bates rises for a header against St Mirren.

Aberdeen blew the opportunity to jump up to fourth in the Premiership with a 1-0 loss to St Mirren in Paisley.

The Dons’ disappointing away form continues to damage their league campaign.

With only two wins in 10 Premiership away games this term the Reds have the joint second worst record on the road.

Stephen Glass’ side have the same return of eight points away from home as St Johnstone, the side rock bottom of the table.

Only Dundee, on four points, have a poorer return.

It was a dismal night for an Aberdeen side that had 70% of possession but could only muster one shot on target.

The incentive was there for the Reds to jump up to fourth in the table with a win in Paisley.

Yet flat and uninspired from the start and throughout the 90 minutes they failed to take the chance.

The conundrum is how Aberdeen’s performance levels can so drop so far, so quickly from the excellent shift in the 1-1 draw with Rangers just seven days earlier.

This was the start of a run of fixtures where Aberdeen should have been looking to slash the gap on third place Hearts, nine points ahead.

Starting with St Mirren the Reds have bottom side St Johnstone and bottom six Ross County and Livingston.

In contrast Hearts face top four Rangers, Celtic, Hibs and Motherwell.

New signing Vicente Besuijen had to wait for his Aberdeen debut as the club were awaiting a visa for the winger.

Aberdeen hope the visa will be secured in time for the 20-year-old to make his debut against St Johnstone at Pittodrie on Saturday.

Having played 25 games for ADO Den Haag in the Dutch second tier Besuijen is match sharp and fit to face St Johnstone.

Besuijen also played 30 games for ADO Den Haag in the Eredivisie, the Dutch top flight, last season.

Having pitched in with six goals and 10 assists this season hopes are high he can make a major impact to the Dons attack.

St Mirren’s Joe Shaugnessey and Aberdeen’s David Bates in action.

Aberdeen made one change to the side that defeated League Two Edinburgh City 3-0 in the Scottish Cup fourth round at the weekend.

Dean Campbell came in for Jonny Hayes at left-back.

St Mirren also welcomed back midfielder Jamie McGrath who had missed the last two games.

Last week Aberdeen pulled the plug on a move to sign the Republic of Ireland international who is out of contract with St Mirren at the edge of the season.

Midfielder Jamie McGrath in action against St Mirren in Paisley.

McGrath, 25,  has been linked with Birmingham, Middlesbrough and Wigan.

St Mirren created the opening opportunity in the first minute when a Scott Tanser corner was cleared by Scott Brown as far as Jay Henderson who blasted over from 20 yards.

Moments later St Mirren again threatened from a corner when a McGrath corner found Marcus Fraser who headed wide from 12 yards.

Aberdeen started poorly with the back four looking concerningly shaky.

There was no cohesion in Aberdeen’s build up play in that early spell.

Aberdeen attacker Ryan Hedges in action against St Mirren.

In the eigth minute Greg Kiltie slashed a shot into the side netting from the edge of the penalty area.

Aberdeen were struggling to gain a foothold in midfield with the tenacious Connor Ronan making his presence felt in the centre.

In the 22nd minute a drive from the edge of the box by Teddy Jenks was blocked.

Aberdeen threatened in the 26th minute when Lewis Ferguson unleashed a powerful 20 yard drive that fizzed just wide of keeper Jak Alnwick’s left hand post.

Moments later Calvin Ramsay found David Bates with a driven corner from the right but the centre-back flicked a header well wide from 18 yards.

St Mirren’s Eamonn Brophy and Aberdeen left-back Dean Campbell battle for the ball.

The Dons passing lacked any cohesion or spark with far too many stray passes.

In the 44th minute a curling 22 yard effort from Ramsay on the right forced keeper Alnwick to tip over the bar.

It was the final act of a dire 45 minutes that will have left the sizeable and vocal travelling support sighing in relief when the half-time whistle sounded to end the torture.

Aberdeen’s Calvin Ramsay in action against St Mirren.

Half-time: St Mirren 0 Aberdeen 0

Aberdeen threatened in the 48th minute when Bates chipped a long ball upfield to find Ramirez who brilliantly controlled the ball at waist height with his outstretched right foot.

Ramirez then squared a pass to Hedges who found Brown but the captain’s guided shot went just over.

In the 54th minute Teddy Jenks was allowed the space and time to fire off a shot but the 25 yard effort lacked pace and direction, trundling wide.

Aberdeen midfielder Lewis Ferguson and Alan Power of St Mirren fight for possession.

St Mirren went ahead in the 61st minute when a pass along the edge of the 18 yard box found Connor Ronan completely unmarked.

Ronan was allowed the time to brilliantly curl a right footed 22 yard shot beyond the diving Joe Lewis into the left corner of goal.

Immediately after conceding manager Glass replaced Hedges with Jay Emmanuel-Thomas.

Aberdeen’s Ryan Hedges in action against St Mirren

Aberdeen failed to create anything  of note after going behind.

There was plenty of effort but little creativity.

Full-time: St Mirren 1 Aberdeen 0

ABERDEEN (4-2-3-1): Lewis 6; Campbell 5, Bates 6, McCrorie 6, Ramsay 5 (Kennedy 77), Ferguson 6, Brown 6, Ojo 6, Jenks 5 (McLennan 73), Hedges 5 (Emmanuel-Thomas 61), Ramirez 6.

Subs: Woods, Gallagher, McGeouch, Barron,  Milne.

ST MIRREN (4-2-3-1): Alnwick 6; Tanser 6, Dunne 6, Shaughnessy 7, Fraser 6, Ronan 7 (Erhahon 78), Power 6, McGrath 6, Kiltie 6, Henderson 6, Brophy (Greive 71).

Subs: Lyness, Tait, Flynn, McAllister, Dennis, Reid, Erwin.

Referee: Grant Irvine

Man of the Match: Connor Ronan (St Mirren)

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