Aberdeen and St Johnstone played out a goalless game at Pittodrie as the home side failed to score for the third game in a row at Pittodrie. They did have the better of the game though with several chances but all too often found Steve Banks in good form in the Saints goal.
Derek McInnes made 4 changes to the side which eventually overcame Alloa on penalties in the league cup a few days earlier. Willo Flood and Johnny Hayes dropped out through injury while Calvin Zola and Craig Murray dropped to the bench. In came Joe Shaughnessy, Josh Magennis, Michael Hector and Greg Wylde.
The opening stages were poor with neither side playing at any real tempo. The Dons created their first real chance on 7 minutes when Pawlett swung in an inviting cross which Frazer Wright had to head behind to stop Niall McGinn nodding the ball into the net. From the resultant corner kick, Michael Hector -playing in midfield- headed wide of the post. At the other end, Nigel Hasslebaink went down under the attentions of Russell Anderson but referee Steven McLean booked the attacker for simulation.
On 13 minutes Michael Hector tried an effort at goal from long range but the powerful effort went just wide of Banks' post. Jamie Langfield was forced into a fine save from Dave McKay's superb free kick as both sides made occasional forays out of midfield into attacking positions.
Niall McGinn- yet to score in open play so far this season- then went in search of the breakthrough but he was knocked off his stride by McKay 25 yards out. The resultant free kick was taken by the Northern Ireland international but flew well over the bar.
The home side kept up the pressure though as the half progressed and were passing the ball about well for long spells. On one occasion, Mark Reynolds found himself down the left wing and then played a great ball into Greg Wylde who unleashed a good effort at goal. Banks was there to save the day for Saint Johnstone and parried the ball away to safety.
Chris Millar then attempted an effort at the Dons goal which was weak and went well wide of the target but seconds later Saints picked up again in midfield and Hasslebaink found himself through the Dons defence. Langfield tried to close the former St Mirren man down but Hasslebaink evaded the attention and found Wotherspoon who curled an excellent ball towards the goal. Luckily for the Dons, Langfield had scampered back to his goal and managed to tip the ball away and out for a corner kick.
A poor first half came to end after good play between Magennis and Wylde set McGinn up for a header but he headed wide of the post.
The manager made a change at half time as he attempted to up the tempo with Michael Hector replaced by Cammy Smith in midfield. 5 minutes in Peter Pawlett forced Banks into a fine finger tip save before many of the crowd thought Josh Maggenis had scored when he headed a delightful ball sent into the box- but headed it into the side netting.
The Dons were playing with much more vigour in the second half but it was Saints who had the games' next chance when Murray Davidson found himself in acres of space but swept his effort at goal over the cross bar after good play by Hasslebaink down the right.
Cammy Smith made a difference to the Dos in the second half and on 59 minutes he went on a run from the halfway line but as he advanced towards goal Frazer Wright hacked him down and was booked for his efforts.
A minute later the Dons created a couple of excellent chances. Firstly, Smith tried a low powerful drive which Banks saved then Magennis shot just wide of Banks' left hand post as he attempted to curl the ball into the far corner of the net.
The visitors then had the best of the next spell and passed the ball out well as they attempted to stop the Dons from creating any further chances. But the home side did create another super chance when Magennis played the ball through the Saints defence to the on rushing McGinn who smashed his effort at goal off the crossbar. Magennis continued his run into the box but as the rebound came to him he was flagged offside.
The game had been, and continued to be, broken up by the shrill of the referee's whistle and Ryan Jack found himself booked for what looked like a perfectly timed tackle on Davidson.
On 73 minutes Banks made another great save, this time defying McGinn as he tried to curl an effort into the far post. Craig Murray- who played superbly in his first start versus Alloa midweek- replaced Joe Shaugnhessy as the Dons tried to find a winning goal. Saints stood firm though and only a dangerous run into the box by Murray on 88 minutes caused them any real moment of panic.
Just before the end of the game Calvin Zola replaced Greg Wylde but he had no time to make an impact and the game ended goalless. Derek McInnes will be looking for much more ruthlessness from his side after the international break as they continue to create so many chances but so often fail to find the target.