Saints have to settle for a point after VAR drama

Saints have to settle for a point after VAR drama

Saints had to settle for a point after a dramatic VAR-filled afternoon at The SMiSA Stadium. 

The Buddies had two goals disallowed and conceded a penalty in the 100th minute as Aberdeen snatched a point at death. Stephen Robinson took great pride in his team's performance as they dominated the proceedings, but just couldn't hold on to the three points.

The manager made one change to the side that defeated Motherwell in the Viaplay Cup last weekend with Toyosi Olusanya coming into the starting eleven in place of Mikael Mandron who dropped to the bench.  

After a bright start, The Buddies had the ball in the net on 22 minutes when Ryan Strain's deflected effort fell to the feet of Keanu Baccus who knocked beyond Kelle Roos in the Aberdeen goal. But the linesman flagged for offside and a quick VAR check confirmed the Australian midfielder was indeed offside. 

Keanu Baccus found the net in the first-half but the goal was disallowed for offside (Image: Jeff Holmes)

Saints were well on top and their best chance of the opening 45 came with just over 10 minutes of the half remaining when Roos made a wonderful save to tip Greg Kiltie's header over the bar. That came just two minutes after the Dutch goalkeeper saved another header from Olusanya. 

But Saints were hit with a sucker punch on 42 minutes when Aberdeen took the lead. Jonny Hayes' free-kick from the right evaded everyone and sneaked in at the back post to give the visitors the opener. 

Despite the first-half setback, Saints were right at it after the restart and thought they had drawn level when Kiltie knocked home from close range after Roos spilled Baccus' shot at the midfielder's feet. A lengthy VAR check ensued and the goal was disallowed with Olusanya seemingly offside during the phase of play.

Olusanya had a glorious chance to equalise just a few minutes later when he broke forward and strode clear of the Aberdeen defence from his own half. But as he bore down on goal, his effort was blocked by Roos. 

Saints were awarded a penalty just before the hour mark when Strain's cross came off the hand of Dons defender Angus MacDonald. VAR checked, but the penalty stood and Kiltie would get his goal as he sent Roos the wrong way to make it 1-1.

Greg Kiltie nets from the penalty spot to draw us level (Image: Allan Picken)

Stephen Robinson made two changes with 20 minutes to go as Alex Greive and Mikael Mandron replaced Kiltie and Olusanya. And the subs combined soon after their introduction to put us ahead. Mandron's brilliant driving run saw him pick out Greive with a wonderful pass through the Aberdeen defence. The New Zealand forward made his way into the box and slammed into the near post to give Saints a well deserved lead. 

Even though eight minutes were added it looked like the Buddies would see the game out, only for VAR to intervene yet again. This time Alex Gogic was penalised for a handball in the box. Bojan Miovski stepped up and scored despite seeming to take two touches. The protestations from the Saints players fell on deaf ears as we had to settle for just a point that keeps us joint top of the cinch Premiership after matchday three. 

Full-Time: St Mirren 2-2 Aberdeen

St Mirren: Hemming, Fraser, Gogic, R.Taylor, Strain, Baccus, Boyd-Munce (Bolton 81), Tanser, Kiltie (Greive 70), Olusanya (Mandron 70), McMenamin (Flynn 87)
Subs Not Used: Urminsky, Dunne, Small, Jamieson, Nahmani 

Aberdeen: Roos, Rubezic, MacDonald, MacKenzie (Jensen 56), Devlin, Clarkson, Shinnie (c), Hayes (McGarry 52), Polvara (McGrath 56), Miovski, Duk (Morris 77)
Subs Not Used: Doohan, Barron, Sokler, Duncan, Dadia

Referee: John Beaton
Assistant Referee: Douglas Ross
Assistant Referee: Ross Nelson
Fourth Official: Stewart Luke
VAR: Euan Anderson

Attendance: 7,492 

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