FEW teams stretch an unbeaten run to eight matches while simultaneously slumping to the bottom of the table but these are strange times for St Mirren.

The decision by the SPFL to punish the Paisley club for the inefficacy of their coronavirus prevention measures by handing out 3-0 wins to Hamilton Accies and Motherwell whipped away two of their three games in hand and also impaired their goal difference by six goals in one fell swoop.

If their performance against Aberdeen on Saturday, therefore, was fuelled by a burning sense of injustice then by the end of the 90 minutes they had nobody but themselves to blame for not chalking up a victory against a team who played most of the second half with 10 men after Lewis Ferguson had been sent off.

Manager Jim Goodwin has tinkered with his line-up this season more often than an engineer fiddles with the engine on a Formula One car but appears to have eventually alighted on a selection that functions perfectly in all but one key area: they cannot score.

Eight goals from the 13 league matches in which they took to the field is a wretched return, this match a perfect microcosm of that sequence overall.

The match stats showed St Mirren produced 25 shots throughout the 90 minutes, 12 of which were on target, but only managed the one goal and that a penalty from Jamie McGrath.

“I thought we really dominated and we should’ve scored with the chances we had in the second half, including at the very end,” said captain Joe Shaughnessy, referring to an injury-time miss from substitute Lee Erwin.

“We should’ve been putting the ball in the net. It is frustrating but it’s also a good thing because if you weren’t winning games and not creating chances then you’d be worried. But we’re creating a lot and it’s just coming down to that final bit needed.

“The performance was good and in fact over the last six or seven games the performances have been decent. We just need to put our chances away and if we do that I think we’ll be fine.”

St Mirren appear to have suffered more than most in Scottish football from the effects of the pandemic. From being made to play a match with no available goalkeepers to the latest sanctions, it is in danger of overshadowing their season.

Shaughnessy, though, was stoic about it all.

“It’s disappointing especially when we’re trying to do everything right. Two 3-0 defeats as a punishment is never good.

“But you just use it as motivation. After the investigation they came out with that and we would’ve preferred them to come to a different decision.

“We’ve had a lot of issues with the virus. But thankfully we’re out the other end of it and hopefully that will now be it and we can concentrate on football.

“I think it does make our spirit stronger. A little sense of injustice and we’ll use it to our advantage, try to pull together even more and kick on to getting more results to push us up the league.”

Aberdeen have similar desires to do so, with defender Andy Considine speculating that a second-place finish might not be out of the question.

They will need to perform substantially better than they showed here when, Jonny Hayes’ header for the opening goal aside, they struggled to create much in the way of chances.

“It’s been a disappointing couple of results,” admitted goalkeeper Joe Lewis. “Rangers then Hamilton now here. We should have won the Hamilton game and probably feel like we could have won last week as well. It happens.

“Teams go through ups and down and I don’t think the boys feel they are lacking in confidence. You just have to work hard, make sure you don’t get too low when the lows come and don’t get carried away when the highs come.

“The aim is to try and push on in the league. We have a big week to train ahead of the Ross County game and will try to take full points there.”

Lewis had been the fall guy when Aberdeen were knocked out the Betfred Cup by the same opposition the previous weekend but more than atoned for that mistake with a number of key saves.

“You just have to use your experience and put things like that behind you. You feel pretty rubbish throughout the week and you make sure you stay off social media!

“You just batten down the hatches and work hard. There’s no secret to it - just get on the training pitch, get your head down, be positive and then put yourself in the same position and make confident, positive decisions through the game. I think I did that.”