Point at Pittodrie can kick-start St Mirren’s season, insists Paul McGinn

It might seem a touch optimistic to see this result as a turning point in St Mirren’s season, given that even League One’s bottom club Stenhousemuir drew at Pittodrie recently, but Paul McGinn is willing to cling on to any sort of encouragement in their fight to remain in the Premiership.

Paul McGinn plays the ball under pressure from Aberdeen forward James Wilson. Picture: SNS Group

Initially the Buddies captain was just happy to be in the team to face Aberdeen after fearing retrospective punishment for a clash with Cammy Smith in the previous weekend’s Scottish Cup defeat to Dundee United.​

Relief turned to delight as Oran Kearney’s team showed grit and determination to pick up a first point in seven games against a team who had hit them for eight goals in two previous visits earlier in the season.​

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There’s no doubt the changes in personnel the St Mirren manager made last month has had a positive impact, and they still have to face relegation rivals Hamilton and Dundee twice on the run-in, but this was only the fifth point collected from the last 36 available.​

In fact, for all their efforts in making Aberdeen twice come from behind to salvage a point, they actually slipped further adrift at the foot of the table ahead of next weekend’s trip to Tynecastle.​

Daunting the task may be, but McGinn prefers to accentuate the positives and said: “We came up here earlier in the season and they took four off us. We need to look at it as a turning point that they couldn’t do it to us again. ​

“We are further adrift, but that is going to happen and we have home games that we need to take advantage of. We are in a better place and we have to take the point up here as a real positive going forward.​

“They seemed to throw eight people forward at the end and were launching it in. We are not the biggest team either, so it was a good sign that we were able to see it out.”​

This they did with ten men as Kyle McAllister typified their energy-sapping effort overall when he was forced off with severe cramp after all three substitutes had been used, after also making a direct contribution to the result.​

It was the on-loan Derby County youngster who curled in a sublime second goal in 61 minutes after the teams had turned around level when Lewis Ferguson marked his new five-year contract by wiping out Duckens Nazon’s penalty in 20 minutes.​

Nazon was withdrawn at the interval for his own good as well as that of the team’s after compounding a silly booking with some stupid incidents afterwards that tested referee Craig Thomson’s patience nearly to breaking point.​

Aberdeen’s dismal defending did likewise for Derek McInnes but at least he could count on Sam Cosgrove, as long as the striker was in the opponents’ penalty area as, in his own, it was he who inexplicably conceded the spot kick by wrestling down McGinn.​

At least he redeemed himself with the equaliser 13 minutes from time, an adroit finish to make it 15 goals in the last 14 games and four in three against St Mirren, but it still left the Dons with just one win from their last six home matches.​

Rangers’ own insipid form at Ibrox meant there wasn’t too much damage done, but a disappointing afternoon for the home side was made even worse by the latest serious injury sustained by the luckless Tommie Hoban.​

The on-loan Watford defender missed the whole of last season with cruciate ligament damage and was just six games into a return following shoulder surgery in August when he suffered a dreadful knee injury just before half-time.​

His studs caught in the turf and he left the ground on crutches for an assessment that seems certain to lead to another lengthy spell on the sidelines.