St Mirren 3-1 Aberdeen: Mark O’Hara scores a penalty and misses another as St Mirren beat Aberdeen 10 men

St Mirren added to the misery of 10-man Aberdeen at the end of a difficult week as the Saints won 3-1 at home despite missing two of their three penalties in the Scottish Premier League clash.

Jim Goodwin’s Dons, who have already lost to Celtic and Rangers this week, took an early lead through Matty Kennedy before losing captain Anthony Stewart to a red card in the 35th minute.

This saw the Saints being awarded the first of their three penalties, with Mark O’Hara taking one of the kicks but bouncing across goalkeeper Kelly Ross’ back to score an own goal.

O’Hara scored from the penalty spot in the 53rd minute to give the hosts the lead before Jonah Ayunga missed the opportunity to extend their lead with a third penalty.

Aberdeen sent Ross into a late corner, but the Saints responded and Greg Keltie managed to roll the ball into an empty net from 30 yards out.

St Mirren’s Mark O’Hara celebrates scoring from the penalty spot to make it 2-1 against Aberdeen

Among the Saints was Keanu Backus, fresh from his World Cup achievement with Australia, in their squad for their first match for six weeks.

The Dons made one change from the team the Rangers beat in midweek, as Kennedy replaced Jayden Richardson.

Kennedy came close to scoring when he hit the near post with a ferocious shot but was not denied in the ninth minute with a stunning long-range strike that found the top corner of the net.

Aberdeen's Anthony Stewart walks off after seeing Reid against St Mirren
Aberdeen’s Anthony Stewart walks off after seeing Reid against St Mirren

The Saints pushed for the equalizer and Backus played in Curtis Main who saw his shot get trapped and from Backus’ rebound deflected for a corner kick.

Former St Mirren defender Hayden Coulson was next to make a threat but his effort was parried out by goalkeeper Trevor Carson.

At the other end, Ayunga took advantage of some of the Dons’ lax defending to only create an opening and then blast his shot high over the bar.

Aberdeen's Matthew Kennedy (left) celebrates scoring to make it 1-0 during the St Mirren match
Aberdeen’s Matthew Kennedy (left) celebrates scoring to make it 1-0 during the St Mirren match

However, the visitors did not learn their lesson and Stewart was sent off for dragging Ayunga on the edge of the area.

The VAR took a look and confirmed that it was a penalty and a red card. O’Hara’s kick hit the post only to hit Ross on the way back and bounce into the net.

The second half began with the hosts being awarded a second penalty. Ross and Ross McCrory both hesitated when O’Hara hit a puck in the box allowing Maine to tackle.

St Mirren's Mark O'Hara (second left) celebrates with his team mates after making it 1-1 against Aberdeen
Mark O’Hara (second left) celebrates with relief after St Mirren’s goal against Aberdeen

The goalkeeper caught the striker as he ran past him and referee Nick Walsh again signaled the spot. O’Hara went the same way with his shot but this time found the bottom corner to give the Saints the lead.

Remarkably, the home team was awarded a third penalty soon after. McCrory brought down Iunga and the striker opted to take the penalty himself. However, his effort was weak, allowing Ross to make a save.

This gave Aberdeen a lifeline and they came close to equalizing when Yelber Ramadan’s shot hit the underside of the crossbar before Coulson headed home a corner kick.

The Saints were hanging on but an injury-time strike by Keltie ensured victory.

What then?

St Mirren returned to the Scottish Premier League on 28 December away to Livingston.

Aberdeen travel to face Kilmarnock the same night. Both matches start at 7.45pm.

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