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St. Johnstone 0 - 0 Aberdeen

HT Score: St. Johnstone 0 - 0 Aberdeen

Scottish Premiership

27/01/2021 | KO: 18:00

Goalless in Perth

A completely dominant display from Aberdeen on their travels wasn't enough to take all three points in Perth, plenty of really good approach play let out down by a lack of a cutting edge in the final third.

There was just the one change for the Dons following the weekend's 2-0 win over Motherwell, and something of a surprise it was too, Ross McCrorie fit again to take his place in the midfield in place of Funso Ojo. Curtis Main suffered an injury in the warm up and Kieran Ngwenya replaced him among the substitutes.

After thumping Hibs 3-0 in the League Cup semi-final on Saturday, St Johnstone made two changes to their starting XI, Craig Bryson and Michael O'Halloran replacing Alistair McCann and David Wotherspoon who both dropped to the bench.

Just three minutes in and there was a nasty clash of heads between McCrorie and Tommie Hoban as they went up to head clear, both of them requiring treatment. McCrorie was back to his feet relatively quickly but it was Hoban who took the brunt of it, heading the back of McCrorie's head and opening up a nasty looking cut on his forehead. Dean Campbell was brought on to replace him in the seventh minute, the Dons rightly not taking any chances with Hoban's health, McCrorie dropping into the back three.

Hayes was the next on the ground a minute later, hacked down by Tanser down the right, the Saints man lucky to escape a card. From Matty Kennedy's free-kick, Ash Taylor won the header but under pressure, he put it just over the bar. In the 17th minutes, Davidson took a piece out of Kennedy, playing with the bit between his teeth against his old club, but again, no card was forthcoming.

It was one way traffic through the opening 20 minutes of the game, Aberdeen utterly dominant and producing some impressive approach play, but unable to find the telling shot or final ball. Kennedy was the real thorn in the Saints' side ad he produced again in the 23rd minute, a lovely run down the left to the by-line before crossing, Sam Cosgrove up to it but heading straight at the goalkeeper from six yards.

The referee did finally find his yellow card in the 24th minute, Andrew Considine in the book for a poor tackle, his first of the night, but no worse than the two at the other end which had gone unpunished. Tanser then clobbered McCrorie, his second bad foul of the night, but still no card. There was another good delivery from Kennedy from the free-kick, Taylor winning the first header, Lewis Ferguson trying to chase on to it but the ball just ran away from him.

Just to maintain the whistler's run, Bryson was so late on a tackle we were in the second half by the time he got there, but again, no card. Taylor then got away with a late lunge, which could only lead you to conclude that Considine must have run over the referee's dog.

Scott Wright seized on a loose ball on the half hour, his shot blocked away by McCart, then a nicely disguised pass from Wright set Ryan Hedges in, his shot very well charged down by McCart again as Aberdeen remained on the front foot.

Saints finally created danger after losing the ball cheaply on halfway in the 36th minute. Conway darted off down the left and centred for O'Halloran but at the near post, he got his angles wrong and headed wide of the target.

Kennedy took a pop at goal from fully 25 yards in the 40th minute, the ball flying through the box and wide of goal as Aberdeen looked to get the goal that their first half display deserved.

HALF-TIME: ST JOHNSTONE 0 ABERDEEN 0

Saints made a brighter start to the second half but Aberdeen were comfortable at the back as they tried to mount a couple of early attacks. It was the Dons who came close in the 52nd minute, started by Wright with a pass out to Hayes. The ball found its way to Cosgrove via Campbell, his shot deflected behind, Aberdeen unable to make anything of the two corners that followed.

Joe Lewis made his first save of the night in the 56th minute, pushing the ball behind at the near post from a Conway drive. Saints were turning the game into a real scrap now, making it ugly, no real flow to the football in the second half.

Aberdeen did produce some beautiful, sweeping football in the 64th minute, Wright, Hayes and Hedges all involved, the ball finally reaching Kennedy, his shot taking a deflection and looping up, Clark tipping the ball over. From the corner, the Dons made strong appeals for a penalty for a foul on Ferguson, only for the decision to go the other way.

Saints made their first change a minute later, Wotherspoon replacing O'Halloran as the visitors began to up the tempo again. May replaced Kane in the next change in the 72nd minute. Tanser totalled Kennedy as he was on the break two minutes later but again, no card. Gordon finally did get a yellow card after cutting Wright in half as he was on the run. Middleton then replaced Conway.

Wotherspoon had a glorious chance for the home team in the 82nd minute, pouncing on a loose ball 12 yards out but swiping his shot into the stands. Aberdeen responded, the ball flying about the Saints box before looping up to the back post, Ferguson stretching to get his head on it, but he couldn't generate enough power to beat Clark.

Connor McLennan came on for Wright with six minutes to go as Aberdeen continued to hunt that elusive goal. He almost helped create something in the 89th minute, playing in to Hedges who tried to feed Cosgrove, but he was on his heels and the chance went begging. It was a good opening and Ryan might have the shot instead of looking for Sam who was not expecting the pass.

Saints almost pinched it in the 92nd minute, Middleton thumping one at goal from 25 yards, Lewis down sharply to his right to make a good save to preserve the point.

St. Johnstone Teamsheet
Clark, Rooney, Gordon, Kerr, McCart, Tanser, Davidson, Bryson, Conway (Middleton 81), Kane (May 72), O'Halloran (Wotherspoon 65)

Unused Substitutes: Parish, Booth, Brown, McCann, Craig, Melamed

Bookings:  Gordon 80
Aberdeen Teamsheet
Lewis, Hoban (Campbell 7), Considine, Hedges, Taylor, Cosgrove, Hayes, Ferguson, Wright (McLennan 84), Kennedy, McCrorie.

Unused Subs: Woods, Logan, Leigh, Ngwenya, McGinn, Anderson, Virtanen.

Bookings:  Considine (24).
Venue: McDiarmid Park, Perth
Referee: Don Robertson