The Maguire and Vernon combination was enough to kill off the St Mirren challenge at Pittodrie this afternoon. The duo combined in the 50th minute when Maguire collected a great pass from McArdle and swung in a fantastic cross that was met by Vernon, who bundled home. They repeated the process in the 67th minute as Maguire swung in another great cross and Vernon headed home at the far post. New signing Robert Milsom showed his worth with a couple of long range efforts that went close and Ryan Jack was unlucky not to grab his first senior goal with a couple of efforts that went inches over. A nice gap has now been created as Aberdeen prepare for a triple header with Celtic and they look to lay the ghost of the early season drubbing at Celtic Park.
Aberdeen kicked off and Vernon had half a chance to break in the 2nd minute, but lost the flight of ball allowing Saints to clear. A minute later Magennis was given a long lecture following a poorly timed challenge. Vernon should have done better in the 5th minute when he had a chance to release Maguire, but he needed three attempts to get the ball through and by that time the youngster was closed down. A Considine cross was cleared in the 10th minute allowing Saints to break quickly and Dargo went close with his finish as he pulled his low drive inches wide.
Thompson was lucky to escape a caution with an ugly challenge on Jack. From the resultant free kick the ball was half cleared and Maguire had a fierce shot deflected for the first corner of the match. Maguire then turned provider as his corner was headed inches over by Considine. In the 18th minute Young won a free kick on the edge of the box and the ball was cleverly played to Milson, but he was closed down quickly as his shot was blocked.
A great interception by Considine in the 23rd minute was played early and Maguire was unlucky not to collect. A minute later good play from Jack almost produced the opener, but his dangerous ball across the face of the goal was missed by Vernon at the front post and taken off the toes of Magennis at the back post. Aberdeen were turning up the heat now and a great cross from Maguire was turned wide by Magennis as the Dons looked for the opener. Two minutes later Milsom broke into the box and appeared to win the corner, but a goal kick was awarded.
Jack had a great chance in the 28th minute, but he caught the volley all wrong and sliced the ball wide. Magennis then cut inside, but his shot was blocked as the Saints defence started to wobble. Just as we think Saints are under the cosh they enjoy a good spell of possession that ends with a long ball being floated over the bar. Milsom forced a fine block from Gallacher in the 36th minute, but the Saints defence were able to scramble the ball clear before Vernon or Magennis could capitalise.
St. Mirren forced a corner a minute later after a couple of poor attempts at a clearance. Once the corner was defended McNamee had to be replaced by Vujadinovic after collecting a knock. Derek Young then collected a very soft caution after making, what looked like, a fair challenge. Aberdeen passes were going astray now and half time was probably coming at the right time. Just at the death Milson showed his value with a fierce low drive that shaved Gallacher's post with the keeper beaten.
Aberdeen made the perfect start to the second period with an opening goal in the 50th minute. Maguire collected a great pass from McArdle and swung in a fantastic cross that was met by Vernon who bundled home. Two minutes later a long ball found Dargo, but his effort was poor and rolled harmlessly wide. In the 55th minute McGowan was flagged offside as he latched on to a through ball and a minute later Lynch fired the ball wildly over. Aberdeen had been warned now that Saints were coming out of their shell.
Just before the hour mark Maguire and Jack combined well as Jack almost claimed his first goal for the club when his effort went inches over. Seconds later a shot from Considine tested the keeper as Aberdeen looked to double their lead. In the 64th minute Saints pushed forward again, but the header from Dargo went wide as he was put under pressure. Vujadinovic made a great challenge a minute later allowing Vernon to break. The big striker delayed then played a perfect pass into the path of Jack, but the youngster fired over.
Aberdeen doubled their lead in the 67th minute and it was a carbon copy of the first as Maguire swung in another great cross and Vernon headed home at the far post. Goodwin collected a caution for a poor challenge on Magennis before Maguire broke on to a clearance in the 72nd minute, but he delayed and the Saints defence got back to clear despite the claims by Chris that he had been fouled. Another shot from Milsom was blocked before Magennis forced another corner. A second quickly followed before Gallacher claimed the ball.
A mistake from Vujadinovic almost gave St. Mirren a foot in the door, but the lob from McQuade ended in the roof of the net and the Italian apologised. Saints then earned a corner, but Langfield claimed the ball on his 200th start and quickly released Maguire. The youngster was held up, but Aberdeen won a free kick 25 yards out and following a dummy run from Milsom, Maguire was inches wide with his effort. It was almost same again in the 80th minute with the Maguire/Vernon combination, but Gallacher was out quickly to foil the hat trick attempt.
Pawlett replaced Magennis with eight minutes remaining and seconds later Vujadinovic was cautioned for a challenge that was a free kick, but hardly malicious. Substitute Mooy had an effort that went wide as Saints tried to claw their way back into the game. Megginson replaced Jack in the 88th minute and the game ended with another important win and a clean sheet for Jamie Langfield on his 200th start. Aberdeen now pull eight points clear of bottom club Hamilton and have St. Johnstone firmly in their sites in eighth place.