6:14:15 PMSt Mirren 0-1 Aberdeen
St Mirren 0-1 Aberdeen
Billy Mehmet fired just wide, while Stewart Kean and Marco Miranda headers went close for the Buddies during a dismal first half.
Miranda sent another header past as the second half action failed to improve.
But Lovell pounced after Alan Reid was short with a back-header and the striker provided the clinical finish.
St Mirren had been unchanged following the Boxing Day victory away to Hearts. But Jimmy Calderwood was forced to ring the changes after a draw with Gretna that angered the Aberdeen boss.
Fit-again Scott Severin and Chris Clark came in along with Daniel Smith for injured trio Jackie McNamara, Andrew Considine and Zander Diamond.
The home side were first to threaten and Billy Mehmet slid the ball just wide of the left-hand post after latching on to a mis-hit drive from Franco Miranda.
Foster - so assured at left-back against Gretna - was given a torrid time at right-back in the early stages by Miranda, who St Mirren looked to feed at every opportunity.
Indeed, Calderwood's reshaped defence - with Severin playing sweeper behind man-markers Richie Byrne and Lee Mair - was far from secure in the early stages and Gus McPherson's men looked capable of capitalising.
And, from Alex Burke's inswinging corner, Stewart Kean found himself in space six yards from goal, but the forward wastefully headed over.
Miranda was next to head over as Aberdeen started to come to grips with Buddies strikers Mehmet and Kean.
But the half ended without the visitors creating any danger at the other end.
The second half did not bring an improvement to the quality of football.
Some neat footwork on the edge of the box and a clever chip by central defender Ian Maxwell in the 50th minute was the only bright moment in a dispiriting start to the second period.
A glimmer of a chance arrived just after the hour mark when Burke's low free-kick evaded several Aberdeen defenders and reached Miranda.
But the St Mirren midfielder headed over as he tried to inject power into his effort.
The clearest chance of the match arrived with seven minutes remaining, Sone Aluko crossing well from the left and Lovell's firm strike forcing Chris Smith to scramble the ball around his post.
But Lovell broke the deadlock a minute later.
And Reid's attempt to make amends for his mistake was well held by goalkeeper Jamie Langfield after a drive from the edge of the box as Aberdeen held on for a barely-deserved three points.
St Mirren: Smith, van Zanten, Maxwell, Potter, Reid, Mason, Burke (Molloy 72), McGinn, Miranda, Mehmet, Kean (Corcoran 81).
Aberdeen: Langfield, Daniel Smith (Aluko 67), Mair, Severin, Byrne, Young (Lovell 67), Nicholson, Foster, Clark, Miller, Jamie Smith.
Goals: Lovell 85.
Ref: M McCurry
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