Jim Goodwin left floored again as 10-man Aberdeen 'shoot themselves in foot' in St Mirren defeat
It means Aberdeen have now lost three successive matches since returning after the World Cup although they do remain third in the league.
“It’s a tough one to take,” Goodwin said after a remarkable match at the SMISA stadium.
"To give away three penalties in any game is quite strange. To be in front and to have played as well as we did in the first 15 minutes, (and then) to shoot ourselves in the foot in the manner we did is the hardest part of it.”
Aberdeen started as if they meant business after the two recent setbacks against Celtic and Rangers and went ahead after just ten minutes. Matty Kennedy’s effort from 25 yards looped beyond Trevor Carson. The same player had struck the post moments earlier.
The visitors then began getting into the spirit of things at Christmas by giving away gifts.
The first was when defender Anthony Stewart was caught in possession by Jonah Ayunga. The skipper’s attempt to retrieve the situation saw him trip Ayunga on the fringe of the box. He was handed a red card before what was originally given as a foul by referee Nick Walsh was upgraded to a penalty following a VAR check.
Mark O’Hara’s effort from 12 yards hit the post but was diverted into the net off Kelle Roos, which meant a very unfortunate own goal was marked down in the goalkeeper’s name eight minutes before half-time.
O’Hara got his name on the scoresheet via another penalty after Roos brought down Curtis Main six minutes into the second half. O’Hara made no mistake this time, blasting beyond Roos. St Mirren were handed yet another chance from the spot just after the hour mark when Ross McCrorie was adjudged to have brought down Ayunga.
The big striker was desperate to take it and O’Hara, the St Mirren skipper, conceded it might be prudent to shake things up. However, he was regretting stepping aside when Ayunga saw Roose save his kick after a long wait following the inevitable VAR check.
St Mirren did score a third in the eight minutes of injury time added on at the end and after Ylber Ramadani had struck the bar for the ten-man visitors.
Roos was waved up at a corner and while the ‘keeper almost got his head to Kennedy’s corner the Aberdeen goal was completely exposed as St Mirren broke up field. Substitute Greg Kiltie did well to keep his composure and roll the ball into the empty net from midway inside the Aberdeen half.
Goodwin had few complaints afterwards. He admitted Aberdeen had been their own worst enemy.
“You don’t mind losing goals if the opposition does something special and cuts you open,” he said. “I think we need to play (the ball) forward in the first occasion but ended up coming back towards. Anthony is an experienced enough player to know he has to do a lot better in that situation.
“He has made a mistake." he added. "The angle that I have watched back it looks like Anthony fouls him outside the box. He (the referee) gave a free kick initially but VAR overruled it. I was quite surprised the referee did not come over and have a look at the monitor and make his own decision.
“My angle is not as good as the angle they had so I don’t want to say they have got it wrong until I have seen it again. No arguments over the red card. The red card would have happened either way whether it was a free kick or a penalty. It was a sore one.”
St Mirren manager Stephen Robinson was understandably delighted with the three points, which means his side are now nine games undefeated at home. He was happy to have left the decision to his players with regards to who took the third penalty, even though Ayunga failed to score.
“The boys made that decision on the pitch themselves," he said. "We always criticise players for not being brave or making decisions so I won’t be criticising anybody. It was a brave decision. Psychologically when you’ve taken two penalties, or even one, does the advantage go to the goalkeeper? Unless you’re Mbappe, I don’t know.
"But that was the decision the boys made on the pitch so there’s certainly no blame. Jonah was brave enough to step up. He won that penalty and the first one as well.”
Robinson praised the home fans, who turned out in big numbers. Nearly 7,500 attended, including just over 1200 from Aberdeen.
“I think that was our biggest crowd outside the Rangers and Celtic games so that’s fantastic,” said Robinson. “That’s credit to the fans at this time of year when money is tight. You can see what it means to people. And credit to the players as people are coming to watch a team that’s full of energy and enthusiasm and desire.”
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