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AFC - Match Report
match report 2018-19 fixture list
Scottish Premiership 
St. Johnstone 1 - 1 Aberdeen
    Dons Held by Saints as McGinn Nets Free Kick
Kick Off:  3:00 PM   McMillan 13       McGinn 69.  
Attendance: 4,880 (Visitors: 2,399)
Venue: McDiarmid Park, Perth
Dons Brighten in Second Half to Secure a Draw
Lewis Ferguson joined the long list of players missing for the Dons after picking up a knock in midweek. There was a welcome return though for Scott McKenna.

A bright start from the home side who are on a decent run at the moment but Aberdeen dealt with that then enjoyed some good possession in the St Johnstone half.
In the third minute McGinn found space after an early throw from Logan but his left footed shot was never going to trouble Zander Clark. Aberdeen won the first corner of the game in the sixth minute after Clark fumbled a McGinn deflected cross - good work from Stevie May who put pressure on the keeper.
The ball was knocked out for a second corner from the other side which was headed clear as far as McGinn on the edge of the area. Niall caught his volley sweetly, but the ball deflected off a defender and fell kindly into the hands of Clark.
Aberdeen continued to press and there were appeals for a penalty on eight minutes when May was taken down inside the area. There was contact, but it would have been a soft one. Also it is unlikely the striker would have got on the end of the Shinnie through ball.
Liam Craig set up Foster who forced the first Saints corner in the 12th minute. Craig took the corner and he held it up nicely at the front post for David McMillian who was able to lose his marker Logan and head into the net from close range. Joe Lewis, making his 100th Aberdeen appearance today, had no chance and looked non-too impressed with the marking.
Craig was booked on 17 minutes for bringing down Shinnie. From the free kick the ball found McKenna at the back of the area and his downward volley was blocked then cleared. There was then a massive let off a few minutes later for Aberdeen when Watt powered down the right and his cross was about to be tapped in by Kennedy but Considine, on the ground, just did enough to get the ball behind for a corner.
On 25 minutes a dangerous ball in from Gleeson looked for Forrester but was well defended by the St Johnstone defence who were looking solid. Aberdeen then won a number of throw-ins on the right and the running tack allowed Logan to take a long run up. On each occasion Shay aimed it in for McKenna at the front post and on each occasion he was man handled by two defenders. The third time Shaughnessy was having a real tussle with McKenna and the Saints captain was maybe a bit fortunate not to get penalised.
On the half hour mark Blair Alston headed a Foster cross just wide. He was in far too much space and it was a decent chance.
Four minutes later, after Aberdeen had defended a corner, Gleeson played a good ball to Logan and his cross found May inside the area. The striker with his back to goal managed to get a shot on target but it was straight at Clark. A minute later after a patient build up McKenna swung over a ball from the left which found Logan but he could not get any direction on his header.
The last ten minutes of the half were very slow paced, and the lack of tempo was not suiting Aberdeen. The home side had time to get into their defensive shape.
A frustrating first 45 minutes as Aberdeen were unable to give the fans behind the goal in the South Stand anything to get excited about.

Half time: St Johnstone 1 Aberdeen 0

At half time Sam Cosgrove came on for Forrester and within 30 seconds Clark was forced to make a fine save from a Niall McGinn shot. On 47 minutes Considine was booked for a foul on Watt. Looked a slightly harsh decision. After 51 minutes Gleeson played McGinn down the right with a neat pass and the winger was able to get down the by-line and force a corner. It was taken quickly and the two on one which was created allowed GMS to run across the box and fire in a shot which was going in but Kerr on the goal line did really well to hold his position and head the ball off the line.
Kennedy should have been booked for diving at the other end when he fell over inside the area. On 54 minutes Callachan jumped over Lewis as he went for the ball and when he went to ground there were appeals for a penalty. There was absolutely no contact whatsoever.
In the 57 minutes Watt, who looked to be backing into McKenna, won a free kick on the edge of the area. The striker fired in the set piece which bounced up off the wall and then cleared.

Back came the Dons.

On 59 minutes McGinn had a shot blocked by Tanser and again the ball broke kindly for the home side inside the area. Then Aberdeen had three chances within a couple of minutes.
A fierce GMS shot from the edge of the area was only parried by Clark but no one was close enough in a red shirt to make the keeper pay. Then from a Logan cross, Cosgrove won a header which was well saved by Clark. It was an instinctive save from close range but the ball was at a comfortable height for him. Then Considine headed a McGinn cross from the left just wide. The keeper was rooted to the spot but the ball back across goal went past the post.
On 65 minutes more pressure as the Dons began to build up a real head of steam. A minute later a double change; May off Anderson on and Gleeson off Ball on.
A corner found Logan at the back of the six yard box but his header landed on the roof of the net with Clark stranded.
Finally on 69 minutes Aberdeen got an equaliser that they thoroughly deserved. A direct GMS run forced Alston into a foul on the edge of the area. The Saints player was booked. McGinn stepped forward to take the free kick from 25 yards and curled it past the wall into the keepers near post. Brilliant technique.
On 70 minutes Lowe was booked. A bit unlucky as he appeared to slip whilst making the challenge. The left back had another very encouraging game. Two minutes later Foster played in Alston who forced Lewis into a brilliant save. Poor defending again from the Dons as the St Johnstone player was able to run off his marker but outstanding from the Dons number one who made himself big.
A few minutes later Anderson almost created a chance for Cosgrove. Then Dom Ball threaded a nice ball in for McGinn but his first time shot from an awkward angle went over. Might have been better cutting the ball back as there were players getting up in support.
It was a really open game in the last 10 minutes as both teams trying to find a winner.
McGinn almost found Cosgrove with a deep cross - big Sam certainly caused things to happen in the second half. On 86 minutes Max Lowe, who was still willing to get forward, cut inside from the left and things opened up for him. He tried to put over a cross which was too strong and he probably would have been better having a crack at goal. Then in the last minute of the two that were added on in stoppage time GMS went down inside the area. He looked to be tripped but Willie Collum waved play on and Aberdeen had to settle for a point.

Some positives to take from the second half performance.
St. Johnstone Teamsheet:  Clark, Foster, Tanser, Alston, Kerr, Shaughnessy, Wright, Craig (Vallachan 45), Watt, McMillan (Swanson 78), Kennedy (Wotherspoon 78)


Aberdeen Teamsheet:  Lewis, Logan, Shinnie, Considine, McKenna, Forrester (Cosgrove 46), Gleeson (Ball 67), McGinn, Mackay-Steven, May (Anderson 66), Lowe.

Unused Subs: McLennan, Campbell, Dangana, Cerny.

Bookings:  Considine (47),  Lowe (70).

Referee: Willie Collum

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