2014/15 Scottish Premier League, 2014/2015 Scottish Premier League
  • Mark Reynolds (45')
  • Peter Pawlett (56')
  • Callum Ball (57')
  • Kenny McLean (86' PEN)

McLean rescues draw for Buddies

Kenny McLean's late penalty earned St Mirren a 2-2 Scottish Premiership draw at Aberdeen.
Aberdeen's stand-in skipper Mark Reynolds had a mixed evening after a day that had seen the in-form defender named in the Scotland squad for next month's Euro qualifiers against Georgia and Poland.
Reynolds gave his side a deserved half-time lead when he scored from close range on the stroke of half-time, and when Peter Pawlett added a second 10 minutes after the break, it looked like the Dons were on the way to a fourth home win in 10 days.
But Callum Ball netted after defensive hesitation, and Reynolds' hand-ball in the final five minutes allowed McLean to level the scores from the spot, and ensure the points were shared.
The match had suffered a scrappy start as both sides struggled to impose themselves, and after just six minutes, St Mirren captain Marc McAusland went into referee Crawford Allan's book for a timely foul on David Goodwillie as the Dons threatened an early counter-attack.
And though the home side would go on to enjoy the better of the first half, they were almost undone by their own poor defending after 16 minutes. Ash Taylor was well short with a back-pass, allowing former Don Gregg Wylde an opening, but Jamie Langfield stood firm to block.
A few moment later, and the visitors had rattled the woodwork. Former Derby striker Ball held the play up nicely before squaring for McLean, whose sweetly-struck shot clipped the bar on its way over.
Having survived that scare, the home side kicked on, and the Buddies had Marian Kello to thank for a fine save from McGinn's 20-yard effort after 25 minutes.
Goodwillie had created that chance with a neat flick, but the former Dundee United man should have had the Dons ahead seven minutes from the interval.
A Reynolds cross found Rooney at the back post and he flicked back across goal for Goodwillie, but the striker could only sidefoot straight at Kello as the goalkeeper was quickly out to narrow the angle.
It was the stroke of half-time before the Dons got the goal their enterprising play deserved, and typically it was a scrappy effort.
McGinn's left-wing corner caused mayhem in the St Mirren defence and despite their valiant efforts to get the ball clear, it fell kindly for Reynolds to fire home through a ruck of bodies from eight yards.
But the Saints started the second half strongly, Ball's deflected effort from the edge of the area began a spree of corners, but as has often been the case this term, they just could not make the pressure tell.
At the other end, Barry Robson sent a free kick narrowly over the crossbar, with Jim Goodwin going into the book for the foul that led to the opportunity.
And a couple of minutes later, Aberdeen doubled their lead, albeit with luck on their side. Hayes' delivery from the left was sweet as they come, and Pawlett netted with aplomb, but the way the ball sat up after striking the grounded Rooney - who had slipped as the ball came in - was fluke in its purest form.
Their fortune didn't last however, and the home defence were not slow in allowing Tommy Craig's men back into the game just two minutes later. Wylde's low cross from the left evaded everyone in a red shirt, but drew Langfield off his line and allowed Ball, unmarked at the back post, the easiest of tap-ins.
And from there the game opened up again, with the visitors hunting a leveller, and the home side desperate to take the three points. The flow was disrupted, perhaps by the flurry of substitutions that saw Andrew Considine and Cammy Smith enter the fray for the Dons and Ross Caldwell for the visitors.
The best of the chances in the midst of those changes saw Kello spill Rooney's shot, but recover quickly to dive on the loose ball.
But if Reynolds' day had started on a high, it ended on a sour note. He raised his arm to block John McGinn's cross, and allowed McLean to stroke home the leveller.