CONNOR Ronan’s third strike in as many matches against gave his side the win in a largely uneventful 90 minutes at the SMiSA Stadium.

The 23-year-old Irishman curled in a wonderful second-half effort, lifting his side above Livingston and into eighth in the cinch Premiership in a 1-0 victory.

"It was a brilliant goal," said St Mirren manager Jim Goodwin. "I said to the players at half-time that in the first half of the season we always seem to find ourselves on the wrong end of those tight games. Tonight it was important that that didn't happen. 

"I did think it was going to take a bit of magic to win it."

Both sides made changes from their weekend Scottish Cup victories, with Jim Goodwin bringing in Eamonn Brophy, Jamie McGrath and Alan Power for Kristian Dennis, Ethan Erhahon and Kyle McAllister. Stephen Glass brought Dean Cambell in at left-back with Jonny Hayes missing out altogether.

The first half was a drab affair, despite both sides going into this on decent form and a lively start from the home side. Greg Kiltie, on form at the moment, saw his hopeful effort blocked in the opening minute and Marcus Fraser later headed just wide from a corner. Kiltie later had a second first-half opportunity he skewed wide.

Aberdeen settled into the match with around 10 minutes on the clock, showing some of the neat passing play. However, they had to contend with their opponents holding their shape and biting into tackles and forcing them to play in their own half at times. Despite their neat play the visitors lacked the ability to carve out opportunities and it wasn’t until just before half-time that Saints keeper Jak Alnwick was forced into a save, pushing Calvin Ramsay’s cross-cum-shot.

Before that the closest the Dons came was a terrific effort from Lewis Ferguson, following a surging run in the 26th minute, which swerved narrowly away from the goal after alluding the keeper.

The second half was livlier and within moments of the break Aberdeen’s Scott Brown saw an edge-of-the-box strike dip just over the bar before minutes later watching as Scott Tanser cleared his goal-bound effort off the line. The ball had broken to the Dons captain after Alnwick had come through a pack of players for a Ryan Hedges cross and missed it completely.

When St Mirren took the lead on the hour it came slightly against the run of play. As they had many a time in the first half, St Mirren sprung after retrieving possession, aiming a ball down the channel for Kiltie. His cutback was initially missed by everyone before being collected by Connor Ronan, who curled an excellent strike beyond Joe Lewis.

It was the Wolves loanee’s third strike against the Dons after his double in this fixture earlier in the season. Just as they had against Dundee United, a patient approach while taking an opportunity at the other end had paid off for Goodwin.

Glass responded by sending on Jay Emmanuel-Thomas for Hedges, although it may have been influenced by the Welshmen taking a knock during a previous passage of play.

Connor McLennan and Matty Kennedy were also introduced but between them they failed to give Aberdeen the spark they needed to break down a stubborn St Mirren with something to defend. If anything it was the Buddies who looked more likely to score with Kiltie failing to pick out Alex Gerive – the new signing from New Zealand making his home debut – in the dying minutes.

It means Aberdeen have failed to win away to St Mirren in the league since December 2018.

“It was a disappointing performance,” said Glass. “One moment of quality in the game wins it for St Mirren. I think it’s disappointing given the amount of possession we had that one of our players didn’t do it. 

“We gave up quite a cheap goal, a brilliant finish from their player but a cheap goal from our point of view. 

“We didn’t do enough to threaten their goal. As a result, you get what you get.”

St Mirren (4-2-3-1): Alnwick; Fraser, Shaughnessy, Dunne, Tanser; Ronan, Power, Henderson, Kiltie, McGrath; Brophy.

Aberdeen (4-3-3): Lewis; Ramsay, McCrorie, Bates, Campbell; Ferguson, Jenks, Brown; Hedges, Ramirez, Ojo.

Attendance: 4,829