A frustrating afternoon at a blustery Pittodrie as the Dons failed to break down a well organised St Johnstone side. Ryan Jack was sent off in the goal-less SPL opener and although the Dons were the better team they were clearly handicapped by referee Steve Conroy's decision to send off the youngster in the 64th minute.
The Dons enjoyed the majority of possession in the first half but apart from two long range shots from man of the match Richard Foster they never looked like scoring. After the break the Dons were well on top. Fraser Fyvie send Mackie through but from a difficult angle the strike could only hit the goalkeeper. Fyvie then hit the post after his cross had completed deceived Enckelman when the wind caught the ball.
Just after the hour mark the Dons were beginning to really pin their opponents inside their own half when Ryan Jack caught Murray Davidson and Steve Conroy produced a straight red card. At the time the decision looked harsh. TV replays show Jack did catch the midfielder but it still looked a harsh decision. Despite being down to ten Aberdeen continued to create a couple of decent changes, the best of which fell to Josh Magennis who produced a fine run but he dragged his shot wide.
It was a result that clearly suited the visitors more than the Dons.
The Dons lined up in a 4-4-2 formation with Ryan Jack at right back, Mawene and Considine in central defence and Foster at left back. Fyvie played wide right, Milsom and Osbourne in the middle with Pawlett on the left, given access to come off his wing. Vernon and Mackie started up front.
There were a number of debutants in both starting XIs.
On-loan Manchester City keeper David Gonzalez, Youl Mawene and Isaac Osbourne all made their competitive starts for Aberdeen. Callum Davidson make his second coming for Saints, while new signings Frazer Wright, David Robertson and on-loan Cillian Sheridan were all in from the start.
The game started slow start the blustery conditions making it hard for both teams to settle. This highlighted when a St Johnstone cross saw Gonzalez and Mawene almost get in a muddle as the ball held up in the wind but between them they managed to clear the danger.
The Dons slowly started to come into the game and on 10 minutes Foster hit a free kick that almost caught Saints keeper Peter Enckelman out as he shaped to cross and then curled a free kick that flew just past the near post. Foster then let fly from 20 yards forcing Enckelman to palm away.
On 19 minutes Mackie almost charge down an Enckleman clearance. The keeper was very fortunate the ball went out of play. On 20 minutes Darren Mackie caught Wright. Payback after Wright stood on Darren earlier on. And the Saints keeper was then called into action to take a Rob Milsom corner off Malwene's head and then he came out bravely to block at Mackie's feet, as he was awarded a foul for the Aberdeen striker's challenge.
Aberdeen stepped it up at this point and Vernon's shot at the back post went across goal but not red jersey was there to knock it in. Palwett then had a good run into box which forced a corner. Then the keeper took the ball off Mawene's head.
On 34 minutes another corner but even with good deliveries from Pawlett and a more physical looking Dons team they were unable to create any clear cut chances from the set pieces. The Dons also continued to enjoy good possession but were failing to create any clear cut chances.
Fraser Fyvie got the first caution for a late challenge on Robertson in the 36th minute.
New signing Sheridan almost broke the deadlock just before half-time but was denied by the feet of Columbian international Gonzalez. This was after Mawene had been short with his back past. If the Dons defence were troubled by the wind in front of the RDS it was nothing compared with the problems the Saints had second half.
The second period actually started off as the first had finished with the Saints slightly on top.Marcus Haber had come on at half time for Liam Craig and he was having an influence on the game. Derek McInnes also revered to a more adventurous 4-4-2 formation.
The Dons started to take control again and the visitors keeper Enckelman then caused panic in his defence as he misjudged a Foster cross but managed to clear at the second attempt. The Finn had a number of uncomfortable moments with cross balls although he did make a fine stop on 52 minutes to deny Mackie, who had been sent clear by Fyvie. This was probably the best chance of the game but to be fair to Darren he did everything right and kept his shot on target but the angle was difficult. On 55 minutes Sheridan then found himself in space at the back post but headed Robertson's cross wide at the back post.
The Dons than almost scored a fluke. After a good move between Jack and Mackie, Fyvie cut in from the right hand side and his cross, in the swirling wind, came back off the back stick, where Steven Anderson was on the line to clear for St Johnstone.
The Dons were by now well on top and you felt a goal was coming however the games main talking point came on 64 minutes. Ryan Jack put his foot in and caught Rangers target Davidson.It was a yellow card at worst but the official went straight for his top pocket and flashed a straight red.
Aberdeen boss Craig Brown immediately shuffled his pack with new signing Kari Arnason coming on for his debut and Peter Pawlett making way. Saints manager Derek McInnes counter-acted that by sending on Stevie May and Kevin Moon for Sheridan and Robertson.
The visitors could have found themselves down to ten men after 70 minutes. Fraser Wright picked up the first Saints booking for stopping a Mackie break. The challenge was on the half way line but if he was not last man, he was very close to it.
Josh Magennis came on for Scott Vernon after 75 minutes and almost made an immediate impact, as he skinned two defenders but with the target opening up in front of him he dragged his shot wide of goal.
The Dons continued to push forward in the closing stages and got themselves in some good positions in the box but the final pass never managed to pick out a team mate. Chris Millar was cautioned in stoppage time.
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