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Aberdeen 2 St Mirren 0: Aberdeen weather storm well and look for higher ground in league table

Even the excuse seemed to sag in the rain.

Scott Vernon scored the opening goal for Aberdeen after taking advantage of a breakdown in communication within the St Mirren defence. Picture: SNS
Scott Vernon scored the opening goal for Aberdeen after taking advantage of a breakdown in communication within the St Mirren defence. Picture: SNS

Danny Lennon had implied that the foul weather had affected his St Mirren side as they faltered to a defeat on Saturday but the storm which enveloped Pittodrie should not cloud the issue that the home side were worthy of their win. Aberdeen were buffeted by the swirling wind and rain but stood up to it well enough to later dry off with another three points safely secured.

It punctured St Mirren's run of 10 matches without defeat and although their effort could not be questioned, the clean passing which has brought the Paisley side admiration became muddied by the driving rain. Aberdeen were perhaps not pristine either but they coped with the stormy conditions in a more effective manner and came to rest level on points with Dundee United in the SPFL Premiership table and on the shoulder of second-place Inverness Caledonian Thistle.

It would be left to Lennon to look back on Saturday but the St Mirren manager chose not to point the finger of blame at Marian Kello, a beleaguered goalkeeper on the day, whose breakdown in communication with Marc McAusland had allowed Scott Vernon to score after 20 minutes, before Barry Robson's corner kick swung over the Slovakian's head and into the net. Lennon would suggest simply that defensive responsibilties are shared by all in his team - "We are all in this together" or words to that effect.

Aberdeen are sharing the demands of remaining in touch with second place too, having linked arms and gone off in pursuit of Inverness. They will face the Highland side this weekend and it is a match which has caught the interest of the Pittodrie side, and their captain in particular.

"The festive period is especially important for us this year when you look at our fixtures," said Russell Anderson, the Aberdeen defender. "The top teams - Celtic, Inverness Caledonian Thistle, Motherwell and us - all won again at the weekend so there is a lot of good form there going into the Christmas spell.

"We've all got to play each other in the coming couple of weeks. These are the games you want to be involved in. If you can beat your closest rivals it sets you up nicely for the rest of the campaign."

Anderson would produce another impressive performance on Saturday but would prefer that his side do not get ahead of themselves. "It is good to go into these games having beaten our nearest rivals already but we also know that if we don't perform to the standards we are capable of then we could come a cropper against any of them," he added.

It might have been assumed that the 35-year-old was referring to his goalkeeper since Jamie Langfield's reputation as one capable of a gaffe tends to precede him. The Aberdeen goalkeeper has found commendable form this season and has now registered 12 clean sheets in 16 matches this season. Those will be on the line against Inverness but Anderson is quite confident that Langfield will stand up to the challenge.

"It's another clean sheet but we rode our luck a bit against St Mirren and had Jamie to thank," he said. "I know that the Scotland guys are looking and it can only be a matter of time before they take notice. It's not down to luck or coincidence that he is collecting all these clean sheets.

"For me, Jamie is in the best form of his career. In the two spells I have been here this is the best he has played, but it's credit to the organisation and effort throughout the team that we have built this clean sheet record."

Kello would assume some of the responsibility for ruining his own chances of a shutout and accepted that he was partly at fault for Aberdeen's opener. "The first goal was a mix-up," said the St Mirren goalkeeper. "We [Kello and Marc McAusland] 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. It was our mistake and we didn't cope."

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