St Mirren 0 - 0 Aberdeen: Goalless in Paisley

ST MIRREN manager Danny Lennon replaced substitute Lewis Guy just 16 minutes after he had sent him on as a second-half replacement for Esmael Goncalves after the English striker became involved in a verbal altercation with his assistant, Tommy Craig.
St Mirren's Esmael Goncalves. Picture: SNSSt Mirren's Esmael Goncalves. Picture: SNS
St Mirren's Esmael Goncalves. Picture: SNS

The player stormed straight up the tunnel after being taken off and Lennon struggled to contain his anger afterwards.

“He was showing disrespect to one of my staff and I’m not having that,” said Lennon. “You’ve got to lead by example and what he did was totally unjust.

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“We have standards at this football club and that was unacceptable. My actions showed how disappointed I was by it.”

It was, in fairness, an afternoon chock full of disappointment. Never mind the anniversary of Gothenburg. It was also 30 years ago this month that plain old Alex Ferguson (as he was then) savaged his Aberdeen players for what he considered to be an unsatisfactory display after they had beaten Rangers at Hampden to retain the Scottish Cup.

Quite what he would have made of the Dons’ anaemic display in Paisley yesterday doesn’t really bear thinking about, although it’s fairly certain that the expletives would not have been deleted.

It took 18 minutes before the shivering spectators had an effort on target to distract them from the unseasonal chill. A Dougie Imrie free-kick from fully 30 yards was touched over the bar by Jamie Langfield at full stretch.

Mark Reynolds then made a last-second intervention to head clear just as Sam Parkin was about to provide the decisive touch to an Imrie cross.

If the home side had edged the first half then the visitors can claim to have had the better of it after the break.

Even though top scorer Niall McGinn was deployed wide on the left, Aberdeen should still have scored at least once.

Scott Vernon looked certain to give them the lead when he met Johnny Hayes’ delivery a yard out but Marc McAusland managed to get his body between the ball and the goal and divert it to safety.

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Ryan Jack hit the outside of Craig Samson’s left-hand post with a volley from Vernon’s headed pass and Hayes had the ball in the net only for assistant referee Alasdair Ross to flag, incorrectly, for offside.

“We’ve had three clean sheets in four matches but we’re not scoring enough goals,” said Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes.

“Aberdeen have probably had a lot of games like that this season. We were the better team and we should have won. It was two points dropped.”

Lennon also confirmed afterwards that Saints goalkeeper Samson, whose contract is due to expire, will hold talks with Motherwell next week.