Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner. Facebook Messenger An icon of the facebook messenger app logo. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Facebook Messenger An icon of the Twitter app logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. WhatsApp Messenger An icon of the Whatsapp messenger app logo. Email An icon of an mail envelope. Copy link A decentered black square over a white square.

St Mirren 3-1 Aberdeen – The Verdict: Player ratings, talking points and star man as Dons’ away day woes continue

Aberdeen's Anthony Stewart walks after seeing red against St Mirren. Image: Alan Harvey/SNS Group
Aberdeen's Anthony Stewart walks after seeing red against St Mirren. Image: Alan Harvey/SNS Group

Aberdeen’s horrific start to the post winter break continued with a 3-1 defeat at St Mirren.

The Reds have now lost all three games since returning from the World Cup shutdown.

Aberdeen’s damaging away Premiership form is in danger of obliterating the bid to finish third.

Aberdeen have now taken just seven points from a possible 27 on the road this season.

It all began so positively when the Dons went ahead in the ninth minute via a superb strike from Matty Kennedy.

However the game turned on the dismissal of Dons captain Anthony Stewart in the 35th minute – and subsequent converted penalty.

It was the first of three spot kicks for St Mirren with Mark O’Hara converting two and Kelle Roos saving from Jonah Ayunga.

St Mirren’s Mark O’Hara celebrates scoring to make it 2-against Aberdeen. Image: SNS.

Aberdeen were backed by a die-hard 2,219-strong support who had made the commitment of travelling to Paisley on Christmas Eve.

But there was to be no Christmas cheer for the Red Army who witnessed another away loss from their team.

After going 2-1 behind the Dons reacted positively and pushed on looking for a leveller with Ylber Ramadani rattling the bar with an 18-yard drive in the 75th minute.

Connor Barron forced a save late on and Ryan Duncan somehow headed wide from close range.

The Reds deserved a point.

However they were hit on the break with keeper Roos up for a corner and Jack MacKenzie was dispossessed and St Mirren broke upfield with Greg Kiltie shooting into an empty net.

Talking points

Aberdeen’s damaging away form continues

Aberdeen’s woes on the road in the Premiership continued as they slumped to another away league loss.

The Reds have won just twice in nine Premiership away matches this season, drawing one and losing six.

A return of seven points from 27 is a major problem and the away form is threatening to derail the Reds’ bid to finish third.

It is a problem boss Jim Goodwin inherited as the away day misery goes deep into last season.

St Mirren are given a second penalty for a challenge on Curtis Main. (Photo by Alan Harvey / SNS Group)

Since the start of last season the Dons have the joint worst away Premiership record.

Aberdeen and Hibs have both lost 17 away Premiership games since the start of last season – more than any other club.

Dons boss Jim Goodwin spent the five week winter shutdown working on a plan to end that shocking away form.

It looked to be working until Anthony Stewart was red carded which turned the game on its head.

The resurgence of Matty Kennedy after injury hell

Aberdeen goal hero Matty Kennedy is rediscovering his top form having recovered from the nightmare of long term injury.

The majority of last season was wiped out for Kennedy having suffered two stress fractures in his back.

Kennedy was restricted to three starts last season with a further four appearances off the bench.

The 28-year-old was ruled out of the 3-2 loss to Rangers on Tuesday and boss Jim Goodwin rated him ’50-50′ for the trip to St Mirren.

He returned to the starting line-up in the right-wing back role replacing Jayden Richardson, who dropped to the bench.

Kennedy began with a bang and after eight minutes burst past Scott Tanser on the right before cutting inside.

He unleashed a vicious 15-yard drive that smashed off the near post.

It was a warning shot.

Aberdeen’s Matty Kennedy (l) celebrates scoring to make it 1-0 against St Mirren. (Photo by Alan Harvey / SNS Group)

Within a minute Kennedy collected a pass from Barron before unleashing a superb right-footed shot from outside the box that flew into the top corner.

It was a sensational finish that underlined Kennedy’s quality.

The goal was Kennedy’s first in the Premiership this season although he netted twice in the League Cup group stages.

With his pace, creativity and intention cutting in from wide expect Kennedy to pitch in with more goals.

As a wing back Kennedy not only had to bring an attacking intent out wide but also pitch in defensively.

He back-tracked and made covering challenges and interceptions, linking up well with right-sided centre-back Ross McCrorie.

In injury time he came close to salvaging a point with a 25-yard free kick that keeper Trevor Carson did well to save.

Aberdeen’s Matty Kennedy celebrates putting Aberdeen ahead against St Mirren. Image: SNS.

Slack defending from captain Stewart proves costly

Aberdeen were reduced to 10 men and conceded a goal as a direct consequence of slack defending by captain Anthony Stewart.

However referee Nick Walsh and VAR were also culpable as the foul was outside the box.

Centre-back Stewart lingered on the ball and that hesitancy was costly as he was dispossessed by Jonah Ayunga.

Ayunga broke in on goal and in an attempt to win back possession skipper Stewart brought him down – in  a foul that appeared to be outside the penalty area.

Aberdeen’s Anthony Stewart (Centre) is sent off for a challenge against St Mirren. Image: SNS.

Referee Nick Walsh raised a red card and after a VAR check a penalty was awarded to the frustration of the Reds.

Boss Jim Goodwin in his post match conference said he had no problem with the red card – but from his angle it looked like the challenge was outside the box.

Mark O’Hara rubbed salt in the Dons’ raw wounds by converting the spot kick with the ball bouncing off the post and hitting Roos before finding the net.

There had been a warning sign just two minutes earlier when a slack pass from Stewart was intercepted by Ayunga who failed to score.

The warning was not heeded by Stewart and the Dons paid the price.

It was yet another defensive lapse from the Reds following the implosion against Rangers when conceding twice in the final two minutes to lose 3-2.

Mark O’Hara converts to make it 1-1 against Aberdeen. Image: SNS.

There was to be more penalty woe when Kelle Roos brought down Curtis Main early in the first half, with O’Hara converting.

Then another spot kick was awarded for a foul by Ross McCrorie on Jonah Ayunga who opted to take the penalty.

Keeper Roos dived to his right to save.

Talking tactics

Aberdeen made one change to the starting XI that lost 3-2 to Rangers at Pittodrie on Tuesday.

Having missed the Rangers game due to injury Matty Kennedy returned and replaced Jayden Richardson in the right wing-back position.

There was no place on the bench for Dutch winger Vicente Besuijen who was a key player in the opening months of the season.

Besuijen has netted seven goals this season but has fallen out of favour since the switch to  back three.

Aberdeen’s Duk is tackled by St Mirren’s Ethan Erhahon at the SMiSA Stadiu. (Photo by Alan Harvey / SNS Group)

The winger’s last Premiership start was the 4-0 loss at Dundee United on October 8.

Since then Besuijen has played just 66 minutes in the league in five substitute appearances.

He has not featured since returning from the winter break.

Boss Jim Goodwin retained the 3-5-2 formation which allows him to utilize the strike partnership of Bojan Miovski and Duk.

Referee watch

Nick Walsh: The whistler had a shocker with the wrong call in awarding the first penalty for Anthony Stewart’s foul on Jonah Ayunga.

It was poor defending from the Dons’ captain but the challenge was outside the box.

Player ratings

ABERDEEN (3-5-2): Roos 6; McCrorie 6, Stewart 3, Scales 6; Kennedy 7, Barron 6, Ramadani 6, Clarkson 4 (Duncan  46), Coulson 6 (Ramirez 66); Miovski 6, Duk 4 (MacKenzie 46).

Subs not used: Lewis, Morris, Watkins, Polvara, Richardson, Milne.

ST MIRREN (5-3-2): Carson 6; Strain 6, Fraser 6, Gallagher 6, Dunne 6, Tanser 6; Baccus 6, Erhahon 4 (Kiltie 46), O’Hara 7, Ayunga 7 (Gogic 89), Main 6 (Brophy 83).

Subs not used: Urminsky, Shaughnessy, Flynn, Henderson,  Reid, Olusanya.

Attendance : 7,394

Star man

Matty Kennedy (Aberdeen). Netted a superb opening goal and rattled the post with a shot.

Was an attacking threat on the right wing and also did a shift defensively.