Barry Robson knocks wind out of Saints’ sails

Scott Vernon celebrates in front of the Aberdeen fans. Picture: SNS Group
Scott Vernon celebrates in front of the Aberdeen fans. Picture: SNS Group
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THE on-off argument about whether this season’s Aberdeen are the “real deal” was interrupted over the weekend by speculation that Derek McInnes might be tempted to abandon his Pittodrie project in favour of a return to the Hawthorns. The other debate was provoked by the on-field action and it was the playful kind that Dons fans would happily have every week.

Aberdeen 2-0 St Mirren

Scorers: Aberdeen - Vernon (20), Robson (66)

Did Barry Robson mean to score with that corner?

The former Scotland midfielder insisted that he did, that the corner that ended St Mirren’s hopes of getting something out of their trip north was no fluke. He was equally adamant that Aberdeen’s win at Pittodrie was just reward for their hard work.

The hosts took the lead when Scott Vernon pounced upon hesitancy between Buddies goalkeeper Marian Kello and Marc McAusland to lift the ball over the goalkeeper and then fire into an empty net, before Robson made sure of the points with a corner which curled in past Kello.

The win kept the Dons among the pack chasing second place in the Scottish Premiership. Inverurie-born Robson joined his local club on a free transfer from Sheffield United in the summer and while conditions undoubtedly played a part, the midfielder knew exactly what he was doing in scoring his first goal for the club.

“Of course I meant it,” he said. “You can check the record books, but I think I’ve scored a few direct from corners. You know when you can hit a dangerous area and the wind is there you’ve always got a chance.

“It was a good goal, but it was a decent performance from the lads in the weather conditions. The manager made the point to us well before the game that the weather would be no excuse – both sides have to play in it, so let’s come back in here with no regrets and thankfully we did.

“We went about our business the right way. St Mirren came up and battled hard, but so did we. We were prepared for it and deserved our win.”

Three of the Dons’ next four games are against sides around them, including Robson’s former clubs Inverness and Dundee United, but he is sure they can continue their good form this season over the busy festive period.

“I don’t think it defines our season. All of the top six seem to be winning at the moment but we’re up there on merit. It’s an old cliche but it is just one game at a time,” he said.

“It’s a massive game for us next weekend and that’s all we’re focused on. We know how good Inverness are and we know it’ll be a tough place to go. There’ll be no excuses, we’ll try our best and hopefully take home some points.”

St Mirren goalkeeper Kello accepted culpability for the Dons’ first goal but felt he had been impeded in his attempts to keep out the second.

The former Hearts goalkeeper said: “The first goal was a mix-up. We both tried to play the ball, but on the first bounce the wind was a bit different and Marc wasn’t sure. I called to play the ball, but he didn’t block off Scott Vernon to hold him up. It was our mistake and we didn’t cope well with the situation.”

On Robson’s corner, he added: “I was blocked by Vernon and I thought it was a foul. I spoke to the referee after the game and he admitted that I might have a good point.”

The Buddies face a trip to Motherwell next Saturday, and the goalkeeper is focused on securing a better result at Fir Park. “The guys are playing quite well. We got a bad result, but we need to focus on the good points from this game and try to learn from our mistakes,” he added.

“Busy times are coming. We cannot cry about this game and just need to look forward.”