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Aberdeen 0 - 2 St. Johnstone

HT Score: Aberdeen 0 - 1 St. Johnstone

Scottish Premiership
St. Johnstone scorers: Clark 44 (pen), Kimpioka 77

28/02/2024 | KO: 19:45

It was a ninth league game without a win for the Dons as they were defeated by a goal in each half from visitors St Johnstone.

Following defeat at Kilmarnock on Saturday, Neil Warnock made four changes to the Aberdeen team, recalling Angus MacDonald, Jack Milne, Jonny Hayes and Leighton Clarkson, with Nicky Devlin, Jack MacKenzie, Duk, and Dante Polvara all starting from the bench.

St Johnstone lost 2-0 at St Mirren at the weekend, and Craig Levein made five changes to his side with Andrew Considine, Tony Gallacher, Kerr Smith, Graham Carey and Adama Sidibeh replaced by Ryan McGowan, Diallang Jaiyesimi, Sven Sprangler, Benjamin Kimpioka and David Keltjens.

The evening began with a minute’s applause for Harry Melrose, the Dons’ 1967 Scottish Cup final skipper, who passed away earlier this week.

The visitors made a confident opening, Jaiyesimi flashing a cross through the six yard box in the eighth minute, Aberdeen adapting to a return to playing three at the back.

The Dons’ first sighter came on 16 minutes, Bojan Miovski getting away down the left, but he dragged his shot wide of the target. Saints were straight up the other end, Smith crossing into the box, Clark hurling himself at it in the six yard box, only contriving to chest the ball to Kelle Roos. Four minutes later, Sprangler pulled an effort wide from 20 yards out as Saints had the better of the early exchanges.

Kimpioka took a tumble in the box after MacDonald went shoulder to shoulder with him on 28 minutes, but the referee waved away any thoughts of a penalty.

Graeme Shinnie won a free-kick 30 yards out, very central, on 32 minutes when he was clattered by Phillips. Jamie McGrath stepped up and his drive flicked off the top of the wall and flew just over the bar.

Shinnie tried to spark the game into life with a twinkle-toed run on 39 minutes before firing a shot off at goal on 39, the ball blocked by an opposition defender.

On 43, the Dons conceded a penalty, McGowan heading the ball against Jensen’s arm from a Saints corner. Purely accidental from Jensen who had his back to the ball, but the arm was raised and the kick was given. Clark had the responsibility and he drilled the ball into the bottom corner, sending Roos the wrong way.


Jack Mackenzie came on at the break, replacing Jensen as Aberdeen returned to a back four.

There was much more urgency from the Dons at the start of the second half as the wind started to pick up, the breeze carrying a Hayes corner through the box and out the other side in the 50th minute. Smith had a chance on the volley on 53 minutes, out wide on the left of the box, but fortunately he sliced his effort over the bar. Stefan Gartenmann then had to win a race back towards his own goal as Kimpioka tried to collect a Phillips pass, the defender doing just enough to protect his goal.

McGrath had an opportunity on 57 minutes, a cross in from Clarkson reaching him close in, but he couldn’t get enough on his header to beat Mitov. Route 1 almost did the job a minute later, Roos launching the ball forward, Clarkson accelerating away from the defenders but from a tight angle, Mitov was equal to his shot. Hayes then was a whisker away with a shot across the face of goal drifting just wide of the far post as the Dons finally started to turn up the temperature. Sprangler was booked a minute later for impeding MacKenzie on the run down the left.

There was a double change for Aberdeen on 61, Duk and Junior Hoilett replacing Hayes and McGrath. Hoilett set Clarkson away with a clever backheel on 68 minutes, Clarkson firing over the bar from just inside the area. A Duk header from a Connor Barron was deflected wide three minutes later, Killian Phillips then replacing Clarkson. From the corner, Mitov almost dropped the ball into his own net, Miovski having a shot deflected over following a scramble.

Finally a bit of pressure and it was all Aberdeen now and on 74 minutes, Hoilett’s corner found Gartenmann at the back post. His powerful header down was well saved by Mitov and Saints then managed to protect the goalkeeper sufficiently for him to fall on the loose ball. Jaiyesimi was injured in the scramble and needed the help of the physios before carrying on.

But as the Dons kept pushing disaster followed on 77 as St Johnstone doubled their lead from a quick break with a long ball over the top. From Phillips, played with the outside if the boot. Kimpioka accelerated away from Kimpioka and produced a fine finish across Roos and into the far corner. He then ripped off his shirt, celebrated wildly and got a yellow card.

St Johnstone made two changes on 80 minutes Clark and Keltjens off for Kucheryavyi and Gallacher. James McGarry then came on for the injured MacKenzie. The Dons created a couple of goalmouth scrambles in the following few minutes, but again an Aberdeen man couldn’t get the finishing touch.

There was another double change for the visitors on 86 minutes, Jaiyesimi and Kimpioka replaced by Carey and May. Kucheryavyi was then booked for elbowing McGarry in the face and drawing blood from his nose. Another Saints break in the 89th minute saw May bursting forward, his shot from the edge of the area deflecting off MacDonald and going wide. Saints then made their final change, Matty Smith replaced by Connor Smith.

Phillips was booked for a high boot on Shinnie in the 93rd minute. From the free-kick, Duk shot into the wall, Hoilett picking up the loose ball but his cross was safely gathered by Mitov.

1 minute added at end 1st half.
5 minutes added at end 2nd half.
Aberdeen Teamsheet
Roos, Shinnie, Jensen (MacKenzie 46), Gartenmann, McGrath (Hoilett 61), Barron, Miovski, Clarkson (Phillips 72), Hayes (Lopes 61), MacDonald, Milne.

Unused Subs: Sokler, Doohan, Polvara, Devlin.
St. Johnstone Teamsheet
Mitov, McGowan, Gordon, Clark (Kucheriavyi 81), Jaiyesimi (Carey 86), Robinson, M. Smith (C. Smith 91), Sprangler, Kimpioka (May 86), Keltjens (Gallacher 80), Phillips Unused Subs: Richards, Considine, K. Smith, Franczak,

Bookings:  Sprangler 59,   Kimpioka 78,   Kucheriavyi 88,   Phillips 83
Attendance: 14,226
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
Referee: Don Robertson
Next Match
East Kilbride
20 Jul 2024 / 15:00 / K-Park Training Academy, East Kilbride