Aberdeen completed their tenth match without a win as they lost 1-0 in Perth tonight. Any hopes of a top six finish now look all but gone as St. Johnstone draw away from Aberdeen leaving them firmly in eighth spot. The damage came in the 22nd minute when a corner was swung across and no one tracked the run of Grainger. His volley was parried by Langfield and the first to react was Sheridan as he tapped in the rebound. Aberdeen did improve after the break, but they also had Jamie Langfield to thank for some important saves. Third placed Dundee United visit Pittodrie this Saturday for yet another tough test for Mark McGhee's side.
St. Johnstone kicked off as Aberdeen lined up with Mulgrew back in a familiar left back role with Paterson pushed forward into midfield. Aberdeen won a free kick in the 4th minute, but the delivery from Fraser Fyvie was poor. Two minute later Mulgrew delivered a decent cross and the home keeper looked nervous as he went to cut the ball out. At the other end a long throw caused a few problems, but Paterson did well to clear. Saints won the first corner of the match in the 8th minute, but Langfield punched clear and Foster completed the clearance.
Ifil was penalised on the edge of the box in the 10th minute when he was adjudged to have pushed Deuchar. The wall held well and the ball failed to threaten Langfield in the Dons goal. St. Johnstone were almost caught on the break in the 14th minute when Paton raced forward and fired in a decent shot that was turned round the post by the keeper. Incredibly a goal kick was awarded by the official. Two minutes later the Dons did win a corner and Maclean almost caught the home side out with a quick corner, but the shot from Kerr was deflected and the home side were awarded a soft free kick to ease the pressure.
Smith bravely dived at the feet of Maclean in the 18th minute as he tried to pounce on a Paton cross. A minute later Paterson was flagged offside as he latched on to a great through ball from MacLean. It was a very tight decision that gave the benefit of the doubt to the defender. The home side won a second corner in the 22nd minute and from the set play they took the lead. As the ball was swung across no one tracked the run of Grainger and his volley was parried by Langfield and the first to react was Sheridan as he tapped in the rebound. The home side had a chance to double their lead three minutes later when Paterson conceded a free kick.
Fortunately the delivery from Craig was poor and the danger was easily cleared. The home side won another corner in the 29th minute and Aberdeen had Jamie Langfield to thank for a terrific save from another free header. The home side had received a boost of confidence from the goal and in the 34th minute McDonald pulled up and had to be replaced by Mackie. The home side were now playing good football and Aberdeen were struggling to get back on terms. MacLean won a free kick on the right five minutes from the break, but Mulgrew went for goal and the effort failed to test Smith. There were no further chances, but Aberdeen will need to dig deep if they are to turn this round in the second half.
The home side were first to threaten after the break when Langfield again pulled off a great save to deny Deuchar. At the other end Paton tried a snapshot, but the keeper saved comfortably. Aluko replaced Paterson in the 51st minute, but before he had touched the ball St. Johnstone created another chance as the long throw from Grainger continued to cause the Aberdeen defence big problems. There were shouts for a penalty in the 58th minute when Diamond went down, but nothing was given as Aluko fired in a shot that was deflected wide for a corner. From the set play Aberdeen threatened and Diamond went down again, but Charlie Richmond was not interested.
On the hour mark Maclean beat MacKay and was heading for goal before the defender recovered well to win the ball. Another tight flag denied Mackie a minute later then the striker was clearly fouled and play was waved on. The pace of the game had picked up and in the 65th minute Langfield was smartly off his line to prevent a second goal. Three minutes later Sheridan broke into the box and again Langfield was on hand to deny him. Aberdeen raced up field and MacLean won a free kick that earned Duberry the first caution of the match.
From Mulgrew's free kick Aberdeen won a corner and as the ball was swung across Diamond headed wide. St Johnstone won a corner in the 76th minute and when the ball came across Duberry had a free header but also screwed it wide. Three minutes later Mackie was booked for a soft challenge before Aberdeen won a corner in the 82nd minute. The cross was easily cleared as time started to run out for the Dons. Foster found MacLean deep inside the box, but once again the flag ended that attack. Aberdeen should have levelled in the 87th minute, but their luck deserted them.
A wicked shot from Mulgrew took a deflection and Smith managed to get down as Maclean tried to turn the ball into the net. Unfortunately the ball just ended in the arms of the keeper. A minute later the space opened up for Foster, but his shot went high. It was all Aberdeen now, but it looked to be too little too late. Aluko and Mulgrew combined well in the final minute to win a corner after another penalty claim was turned down. The second half had seen a long delay and several substitutions, but the fourth official only indicated three minutes. A Diamond header was all that Aberdeen could conjure up before the final whistle ended the game.