The Dons returned to Pittodrie for the first time in a month, for the first of five home matches in a hectic December schedule. McInnes made two changes to the side that triumphed over Rangers for the second time this season with Stevie May and Scott Wright entering the starting line up in place of Niall McGinn and the suspended Sam Cosgrove.
The visitors, St Johnstone came into this fixture off the back of a terrific run of form ? unbeaten in their last 7 games, winning five and keeping six clean sheets in thos ematches. The Dons started brightly, but it was the visitors who had the better opportunities in the opening stages.
Ross Callachan should?ve done better when he found himself unmarked in the penalty area, but he couldn?t make a solid connection with his header and it sailed wide. Matthew Kennedy also had a shot from range which was tame and didn?t trouble Joe Lewis in goal. After weathering a solid start The Dons created their first opportunity of the game. Stevie May latched onto a through ball from Wright, although the angle was tight May did well to fire a shot across which crept just past the far post.
Shinnie should?ve done better with an effort from range as the ball dropped to him 25 yards out. The captain had time to take it down and steady himself but the end product wasn?t there and he dragged his shot wide.
Joe Lewis was called into action on 20 minutes, producing a smart save at his near post to deny Kennedy. The Saints striker latched onto a ball over the top and looked to catch Lewis off guard taking his shot early, but The Dons keeper was equal to it. Just before the half-hour mark Shinnie became the first player to enter referee Don Robertson?s book. After a poorly misplaced pass The Dons captain caught Tony Watt as the Saints looked to break and received a yellow card.
Liam Craig, joined Shinnie in the book for a poor challenge. The free kick was in a good position for May to try his luck but his attempt was poor and went straight into the wall.
The Dons continued to press for an opening goal which you felt was coming. Max Lowe looked dangerous down the left hand side and was causing problems with his deliveries into the box, unfortunately there were no takers in red shirts to capitalise. McKenna had a header scrambled away by Clark just before the break and the sides went in goalless at half-time.
Half-Time: Aberdeen 0-0 St Johnstone
Both teams had early appeals for a penalty waved away by Don Robertson. Lewis Ferguson went down in the box before Logan slid in on Callachan. The Pittodrie faithful had their hearts in their mouths but Robertson adjudged that Logan got the ball much to the disapproval of the visitors.
Scott Tanser was booked for persistent fouling after he took out Shinnie on the half way line.
The home side had their first decent chance of the second half through Connor McLennan. After some good team pressing the ball squirted out to the Dons midfielder who shot was on target but lacked the power to beat Clark between the sticks. Minutes later, McLennan had another shot from distance which he fired over.
Lewis Ferguson was next to chance his arm from range forcing a decent stop from Clark who parried out into the danger area, luckily for the Saints there were no red shirts following in the rebound to capitalise.
On the hour mark, McInnes opted to change things up with a double substitution. McLennan and Wright made way for Niall McGinn and Bruce Anderson, switching to a 4-4-2 formation.
Lewis was called into action once more, reacting well to close down Alston and block for a corner and from the resulting corner, Shaughnessy rose highest and nodded in from 8 yards out to give the visitors the lead.
Things went from bad to worse for The Dons when Blair Alston doubled their lead just 3 minutes later. Alston found himself in plenty of space on the edge of the penalty area. The midfielder got his head up and made the finish look easy, curling it up and over Joe Lewis into the top corner. It was perhaps a bit harsh on Aberdeen who were not doing enough to be winning the game but did not deserve to be two goals behind.
McInnes reacted immediately, bringing James Wilson on for Dom Ball. McGinn then went close from a free-kick forcing a decent stop from Clark who tipped it over the bar for a corner which eventually came to nothing.
Frustratingly the final 10 minutes were incident free, The Dons huffed and puffed but couldn?t break down the rigid Saints defence who held on for a 2-0 victory.