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AFC - Match Report
match report 2014-15 fixture list
Scottish Premiership 
23/08/2014
 
St. Johnstone 1 - 0 Aberdeen
Kick Off:  3:00 PM   S MacLean 80.        
Attendance: 6,377 (Visitors: 3,124)
Venue: McDiarmid Park, Perth
Saints take Spoils from below par Dons
Match summary & report | see below
Quotes from the Press Room | please click here

REDTV reaction
Derek McInnes | please click here
Niall McGinn | please click here
Andrew Considine | please click here

Match summary

St Johnstone had the better of it in the opening 45 minutes. 0n 20 minutes Ex Don Steven MacLean was clean through after a mistake by Jonny Hayes. The striker had plenty of time to pick his spot but clipped the outside of the post. Then two minutes later an even better chance. Langfield spilled a low MacLean free kick and Gary McDonald from a few yards out was unable to hit the target. Before all that Dave Mackay had also missed a chance from a few yards out after the ball was played across the face of goal. It took a brilliant tackle from Mark Reynolds to stop him from scoring.

At the other end the Dons best chances came around the half hour mark. Hayes picked up the ball in a good area and drove into the box. He could have shot but was caught in two minds and instead of picking out Rooney or getting an effort on goal, he miskicked and the ball trundled through to the keeper. A minute later Logan crossed from the right and Considine's thumping header hit the bar. From the resulting corner McGinn found space in the box. He played the ball across the face of goal and Reynolds had a shot which was deflected wide.

In the second half there was not much between the sides as the game became a real midfield battle. There was very little room for any creativity and both defences were well on top, however on 80 minutes the deadlock was finally broken by the home side. O'Halloran played in the ball from the right and Steven MacLean was able to sweep the ball home from 10 yards out. Shortly before that Russell Anderson had gone off injured and was replaced Barry Robson.

Aberdeen pushed forward in the closing stages, Goodwillie and McGinn had chances and there was a penalty shout when Pawlett went down in the box. Instead of pointing to the spot, referee Thomson booked the Aberdeen player.

Match report

Derek McInnes made one change to the side that beat Kilmarnock last time out. Skipper Russell Anderson returned to the starting XI in place of Ashton Taylor. The match kicked off in warm sunshine in Perth watched by a travelling Dons support of over 3,000.

The Dons lined up in their usual 4-4-1-1 formation with Langfield in goal, Logan at right back, Anderson and Reynolds in the centre of defence with Considine at left back. Flood and Jack were the sitting midfielders with Hayes on the right and McGinn on the left. Pawlett played in front of the midfield and Rooney was up front.
The early stages, between last season's two cup winners, was understandably cagy. It was in fact a tense cagy battle throughout.

On 10 minutes a real chance for the home side. Considine was forced to give away a corner which was cleared as far as Chris Miller. His effort was mishit and appeared to be going well wide. Everyone almost stopped to watch the ball go behind but it stayed in play and Croft from the byline was able to put the ball right across the face on goal. Mackay coming in at the back post was only a few yards out but he couldn't get a touch. Reynolds did really well to make a challenge that did enough to stop him scoring. From the resulting corner McDonald headed the ball just over at the near post.

After that period of pressure from St Johnstone there was a bit of a lull in play. The match was becoming quite a physical encounter.

On 19 minutes Considine put a long throw into the box but the Saints defence headed clear easily. As the ball was moved up the park Jonny Hayes had a moment to forget when he lost concentration and passed the ball straight to Steven MacLean. The striker was clean through and had all the time in the world to pick his spot. He curled the ball around Langfield but it did not come back quite enough and clipped the outside of the post. A major let off. Then two minutes later an even worse miss from another ex Don. Anderson was penalised for a foul on MacLean. MacLean took a low free kick which Langfield spilled and McDonald- reacting first- should have scored but put his effort wide. Again Reynolds did well to make a block. Another major let off though - two glaring opportunities for the home side.

After another poor spell where the ball spent most of the time in the air, on 29 minutes the first real chance for the Dons. On the break Hayes picked the ball up in a great area and was able to drive into the box. He had room for a shot but appeared to be caught in two minds and in the end failed to have a shot or find the unmarked Adam Rooney and his mishit shot trundled through to Mannus.

Then on the half hour mark Logan played in a great ball for Andrew Considine who had stayed up in attack and he sent in a thumping a header from about 12 yards which beat Mannus but hit the cross bar. The ball rebounded down to safety and Steven Anderson put it behind for a corner. McGinn then picked the ball up from the corner and was completely unmarked. He put a ball across goal which missed everyone before falling for Reynolds, his shot though was deflected and the keeper was able to save.

On 33 minutes Rooney created space for a shot but his shot from 20 yards went over. It was about the only sighting at goal Adam had all afternoon. Two minutes later Hayes put over a good cross from the right but Alan Mannus' handling was good.

Before the break Aberdeen first of all enjoyed a good little spell. Considine played in a good ball from the left but there were no takers. Then from the right Logan played in a low cross which Pawlett dummied. Unfortunately there was no one coming in behind him. Then the home side put on some more pressure but they could not create a clear cut opening - Croft's weak shot from 30 yards was all they could muster. On the stroke of half time Hayes hit a powerful effort but it sailed over. Jonny really can hit a ball when he catches it.

HT 0-0

On 47 minutes Lee Croft picked the ball up in a good area in the box but his crosses were blocked twice by Mark Reynolds. Then five minutes later Reyolds had to make a good block on Mackay. St Johnstone were on occasion getting in behind the Dons back four, but everytime they did, Anderson or Reynolds were there to cover. On 54 minutes Langfield produced a very good save from the impressive Chris Miller. However a free kick had already been awarded for handball anyway, not that Jamie would have known that.

The Dons were defending well up to this point but struggling to get anything going in an attacking sense. The Saints playing a 4-5-1 formation were no allowing them room in the middle of the park. They were closing Aberdeen players down very well. The game then became a real midfield battle with nobody getting any space or time on the ball to create anything. You felt if a goal was going to come, it was going to come from a mistake or a piece of brilliance.

On the hour mark the first change. David Goodwillie replaced Adam Rooney in a straight swap. Then six minutes later Croft was replaced by Michael O'Halloran. Croft looked to be injured. O'Halloran had a fine game for the half hour or so he was on.

On 70 minutes a chance for the Dons. In a free kick which was pre-planned, Hayes played it short to McGinn who broke away from everyone in the area. He was completely unmarked but from about 20 yards out he frustratingly failed to connect. His shot would have had a lot of bodies to go through but he should have hit the target. A minute later a great ball in by Logan and McGinn got his head on it but could only direct the ball over the bar. It was a much harder chance.

On 71 minutes new signing Simon Lappin came on for Brown. He also looked impressive. On 77 minutes Russell Anderson had picked up a knock and had to go off. He was replaced by Barry Robson. Jonny Hayes went to left back and Considine moved over to the centre of defence.

The game looked to be heading for a draw but on 80 minutes the deadlock was finally broken by the home side. O'Halloran played in the ball from the right and the unmarked Steven MacLean was able to sweep the ball home from 10 yards out. It was a good finish but poor defending from the Dons. There was no way O'Halloran should have been able to put over a ball so easily.

Aberdeen pushed forward in the closing stages, Goodwillie first of all broke in the area and from very close range, but a tight angle, David hammered the ball off the chest of Mannus who stood up well to the shot. McGinn had two half chances. Firstly, he controlled a cross well but lifted the ball over the bar and then he fired a shot wide. Hayes did well on a couple of occasions down the left but his crosses could not find a red jersey and there was also a penalty shout when Pawlett went down in the box. Instead of pointing to the spot though, referee Thomson booked the Aberdeen player.

In the dying minutes Smith replaced Pawlett but in truth the Dons never looked like scoring. A poor performance from the Aberdeen.
St. Johnstone Teamsheet:  01.Alan Mannus, 02.David Mackay, 03.Thomas Scobbie, 06.Steven Anderson, 24.Brian Easton, 07.Christopher Millar, 10.David Wotherspoon (19.Gary Miller 89), 20.Scott Brown (04.Simon Lappin 72), 22.Lee Croft (29.Michael O'Halloran 67), 08.Gary McDonald, 09.Steven MacLean.

Unused Subs: 05.Frazer Wright, 11.Adam Morgan, 15.Steve Banks, 25.Christopher Kane.

Bookings:  T Scobbie (76),   S MacLean (82).

Aberdeen Teamsheet:  Langfield, Logan, Considine, Anderson (Robson 77), Reynolds, Flood, McGinn, Pawlett (Smith 89), Jack, Rooney (Goodwillie 61), Hayes.

Unused Subs: Low, Robertson, Shaughnessy, Brown.

Bookings:  Robson (77),  Pawlett (89).

Referee: Craig Thomson

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