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Aberdeen 1 - 0 St. Johnstone

HT Score: Aberdeen 1 - 0 St. Johnstone

SPFL Development League
Aberdeen scorers: Ross 28.

26/09/2017 | KO: 18:00

After a free week, it was back to Development League action for the Young Dons as they entertained St Johnstone at Glebe Park, having already enjoyed success against the Perth second string in the opening round of the Irn Bru Cup last month. David Craddock made his first League start of the season while the side featured three men with the surname Ross - brothers Ethan and Seb lining up alongside Frank. The visitors' line-up included experienced keeper Zander Clark and on loan striker Denny Johnstone.

St Johnstone won an early free kick in a dangerous area but David Craddock made a comfortable catch from the set piece. The visitors continued to press but Craddock was again well positioned to cut out Johnstone's cross from the left. A fine long ball out of defence from Roscoe sent Harrington clear on the Dons right but great defending by Cameron Thomson snuffed out the danger. Frank Ross forced a smart save from Clark on 8 minutes after a good spell of pressure from the Dons. It had been a bright start from both sides on a foggy, autumnal evening.
Denny Johnstone was looking good in the visitors' attack and he wasn't far away with a powerful right footed effort. Aberdeen were guilty of giving possession away cheaply but Saints weren't able to profit. Liam Gordon strode forward from central defence but his long-range effort was well wide. The Dons responded and Chris Antoniazzi raced forward before firing in a fine left footed effort which Clark saved well. Ryan Harrington looked set to fire the Dons into the lead after Clark spilled a Wells cross but a combination of Quigley and McCann kept the full back's shot out.
Brothers Seb and Ethan Ross combined well but a fine tackle from left back Thomson prevented Ethan getting a shot away. On 24 minutes Roscoe rose highest to meet a Frank Ross corner but his header flashed over. After an indifferent quarter of an hour the Dons were starting to come into the game and were causing the Saints rearguard problems. On 28 minutes the Dons took the lead. Harrington won the ball on the halfway line and sent Ethan Ross racing down the right. When the Scotland Under 17 starlet crossed, Dangana dummied the ball to let in run through for Seb Ross who calmly beat Clark from 10 yards. An excellent goal - Seb's fourth of the season for which he had to thank his younger brother. Antoniazzi came close then Harrington headed wide from a corner as the Dons pushed for a second. A defensive slip saw Dangana shoot for goal - his powerful effort was blocked on the line by the arm of Cameron Thomson but the referee was unmoved by the shouts for a penalty saying the left back hadn't moved his arm towards the ball.
Frank Ross saw a right foot shot deflected wide in the 37th minute but the resulting Wells' corner - Aberdeen's fifth of the first half - came to nothing. Saints rallied and won a second corner of their own but Craddock did well to punch McClean's flag kick clear despite pressure from Johnstone. A brilliant break from Seb Ross saw him free Antoniazzi whose shot was well saved by Clark although Chris did look as though he was being pulled back as he pulled the trigger. Harrington again came close after a fine Frank Ross pass. Another fine burst of pace from Ethan Ross created a chance for Antoniazzi hut Clark spread himself well to save.
Aberdeen had dominated the second quarter of the match and were good value for their half time lead.

Half time Aberdeen 1 St Johnstone 0

A fine cross from Johnstone was brilliantly headed clear by Mbayo as Saints tried to make a fast start to the second half. Callum Henry of St Johnstone was booked on 49 minutes for a foul on Mbayo. A superb ball from Campbell sent Harrington off down the right and when his cross came in both Seb Ross and David Dangana had efforts at goal blocked by desperate Saints defending. Ballantyne was replaced by Docherty on the hour mark as Saints coach Alex Cleland looked to introduce fresh legs to his team. The sub was quickly into the action firing narrowly wide after a short corner from the right. Dons skipper Campbell was the game's second booking on 65 minutes after a foul on the lively Docherty. Seconds later a fine through ball from Frank Ross sent Dangana racing in on goal but a last-ditch tackle from Quigley prevented the striker making it 2-0 to the Dons.
On 69 minutes Dangana and Ethan Ross were withdrawn, Connor McLennan and Bruce Anderson, who played at the weekend for Brechin and Elgin respectively, coming on to pep up the Dons attack. Dangana was shown a yellow card for departing the scene too slowly. Saints brought on Robertson for Spence shorty after. The game was becoming a bit scrappy as Saints tried desperately to get an equaliser but Harlain Mbayo and Sam Roscoe were very solid in the centre of the Aberdeen defence. A mazy run from Craig Thomson ended with the Saints youngster who scored on first team duty at Pittodrie at the end of last season flashing his effort just over.
A fine Seb Ross run should have led to a second Dons goal but his cross couldn't pick out a man in red. It was a mystery to all watching how we hadn't scored more than one goal in the game so far. Ryan Harrington was yellow carded five minutes from the end for a tug on the shirt of Saints left back Cameron Thomson. As the game went into stoppage time goal-scorer Seb Ross came off to be replaced by Sam Robertson. Saints pressed for an equaliser right to the death and came within a whisker of getting a goal but a late header from a free kick came back off the bar and was cleared to safety.

Overall a richly deserved win for Aberdeen's young guns, the only disappointment being that their superiority wasn't truly reflected in the final score-line.
Aberdeen Teamsheet
Craddock, Harrington, Wells, Campbell, Mbayo, Roscoe, Ross (McLennan 69), Ross (Robertson 90), Dangana (Anderson 69), Ross, Antoniazzi.

Unused Subs: MacKenzie, Shanks, Mair.

Bookings:  Campbell (65),  Dangana (70),  Harrington (85).
St. Johnstone Teamsheet
Clark, Craig Thomson, Cameron Thomson, Quigley, Gordon, McCann (C ), McClean, Ballantyne (Docherty 60), Johnstone, Henry (Robertson 71), O'Reilly Unused substitutes - Sinclair (GK), Lumsden, Brian, Wilson

Bookings:  Henry 49
Venue: Glebe Park, Brechin
Referee: Chris Fordyce
Next Match
East Kilbride
20 Jul 2024 / 15:00 / K-Park Training Academy, East Kilbride