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St. Johnstone 0 - 1 Aberdeen

HT Score: St. Johnstone 0 - 0 Aberdeen

Scottish Premiership
Aberdeen scorers: Clarkson 56.

20/08/2022 | KO: 15:00

Clarkson cracker gives Dons deserved win

The Dons were back to winning way, another goal for the showreel from Leighton Clarkson the difference between the sides as Aberdeen produced a textbook away display at St Johnstone.

There was just the one change for the Dons after last Saturday's defeat at home to Motherwell, fit again Hayden Coulson replacing the injured Matty Kennedy. He slotted in at left-back, Liam Scales moving to central defence and Ross McCrorie slotting into the midfield again. Jonny Hayes made his 300th appearance for Aberdeen.

Following their 4-0 defeat at Ibrox last weekend, there were two changes for St Johnstone, Cameron MacPherson and Adam Montgomery both missing out, making room for Daniel Phillips and James Brown to get on up and replace them in the starting XI.

The game finally got underway 15 minutes late, Perth bathed in sunshine but with a strong breeze blowing across McDiarmid Park. Two minutes in, Vicente Besuijen whipped in a wicked cross from the right, Bojan Miovski not quite able to get the contact he wanted on a header that squirted wide.

It was part of a start that saw the Dons much quicker out of the blocks than they had been against Motherwell. That continued on seven minutes, Jayden Richardson's cross finding Besuijen who went for the spectacular with an overhead kick that flew wide. The Dons thought they were in front on 10 minutes, Miovski's diving header flying in, only for the offside flag to go up, a very tight decision but probably a right one.

A lovely through ball, hooked through the box from Leighton Clarkson opened St Johnstone up on the quarter hour but it was just a fraction too far in front of Miovski for him to get a crucial touch. Considine went in the book for the hosts on 18 minutes for a high boot as he went into a challenge on Besuijen.

Saints enjoyed a better spell midway through the half, winning a couple of corners in quick succession, but the Aberdeen defence was secure and kept the home side at bay.

They did come close on 38 minutes though. Carey had a free-kick wide out on their right and he whipped the ball in at goal with his left foot, Kelle Roos punching the ball away to safety. Hallberg was in the book a couple of minutes later, cynically pulling Richardson back as he was away on the counter-attack, then Phillips followed him on 43 for a foul on McCrorie.


The Dons were on the front foot from the start of the second half, a sweeping move from back to front winning a 47th minute corner, though Saints were eventually able to clear it. Carey became the fourth home man to collect a yellow card for a swipe on Coulson on 49 minutes. Coulson then had to clear his lines with an important defensive header a couple of minutes later as a dangerous cross flew through the six yard box.

Clarkson almost gave Aberdeen the lead after 52 minutes, drifting inside onto his right foot and firing a 20 yarder just wide of goal. Carey wasn't far away from a second booking after a thumping challenge on Hayes a minute later.

Justice was done from the free-kick though. Up stepped Clarkson and, from fully 30 yards out, he curled it over the top of the wall and into the top corner - three goalkeepers and a stepladder wouldn't have stopped that one.

McCrorie tried to join the party on the hour, cutting across a left footed drive from 25 yards out, Matthews up to tip the ball over. From the corner, the ball was worked back to McCrorie and on the volley, he pulled a right footed shot just wide of the target.

The home side made three changes on 62 minutes, Phillips, Carey and Bair replaced by Davidson, Kucheriavyi and May.

Matthews made a terrific save on 66 minutes, Hayes cutting a cross back to Miovski, his low shot well saved by an outstretched leg when the ball looked bound for the back of the net. In the scramble that followed, McCrorie put a shot onto the roof of the net. Aberdeen's first change came on 71 minutes, Besuijen replaced by Shayden Morris.

Wright had a chance to level things up a minute later, free at the back post to get on the end of a Davidson cross, but he directed his header wide, a real escape for the visitors.

Davidson went down injured on 74 minutes, falling awkwardly in a challenge with McCrorie and needing treatment before continuing. Aberdeen used the opportunity to replace Clarkson with Duk.

Roos was called into sharp action on 83 minutes after a fine run by Murphy past a couple of defenders. Firing his left shot back across goal, Ross was down sharply to his left to make a very good save. Aberdeen responded and, within a minute, Duk's header from a Hayes corner drifted just past the post.

Miovski was replaced by Dante Polvara on 87 minutes as the Dons looked to shore things up and see out the game.

A minute later, a great ball out of defence from Hayes picked out Morris in the centre circle and he looked to be away towards goal until Brown hauled him down and was booked. Morris was played in again a couple of minutes by Polvara who picked out a neat pass into this path, but the winger's drive flashed past the post.

It was Morris again in the 93rd minute this time played in by Duk. The angle was tight as he fired back across goal, Matthews down to his right to save comfortably enough. That second goal just wouldn't come, but in the end, it didn't matter. One was enough.

St. Johnstone Teamsheet
Matthews, Brown, Mitchell, Considine, Wright, Phillips (Davidson 62), Hallberg, Carey (Kucheraivyi 62), Bair (May 62), Murphy, McGowan

Unused Substitutes: Parish, Gordon, Crawford, Ballantyne, O'Halloran, Mahon

Bookings:  Considine 18,   Hallberg 40,   Phillips 42,   Carey 49,   Brown 88
Attendance: 5,871
Venue: McDiarmid Park, Perth
Referee: Craig Napier
Next Match
East Kilbride
20 Jul 2024 / 15:00 / K-Park Training Academy, East Kilbride