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Aberdeen 0 - 0 St. Johnstone

HT Score: Aberdeen 0 - 0 St. Johnstone

Scottish Premiership

10/12/2016 | KO: 15:00

Stalemate Again with Stubborn Saints

Derek McInnes was forced to drop Shay Logan to the bench ahead of kick off with the defender suffering from a slight knock. Fortunately it wasn't too serious and meant Shay could still make the squad. Ryan Jack returned to the starting line-up and Peter Pawlett deservedly kept his place in the team following an impressive display against Kilmarnock on Tuesday night.

The Dons last met St Johnstone in the league on the first day of the season and battled their way to a 0-0 draw. The sides also met in the Quarter Finals of the League Cup and that was as equally a close game until Adam Rooney's last minute winner. So there was not much expected to be between the sides this afternoon.

The first chance of the game was a Jonny Hayes free kick that James Maddison laid off. Hayes' shot hit the wall failing to trouble Zander Clark in the Saints goal. The Dons failed to do enough to trouble Clark all afternoon as they struggled to break down a very well organised defence.

It was an even encounter for the first 15 minutes of the match, but St Johnstone almost took the lead when Murray Davidson missed from 10 yards. He was on his way to ground when MacLean crossed the ball so couldn't quite get his footing right to knock it past Lewis.

Minutes later The Dons came even closer when a brilliant Maddison corner went straight to Andrew Considine, his late run had last his marker, but he headed over the bar. It was to be the Dons best chance.

Shortly after that some lovely one touch football was played in the middle of the park with Pawlett, McLean and Maddison pulling the strings. It opened up a chance for Pawlett on the half hour mark when Peter tried his luck with a half volley, his shot just went past the post. It was one of the few times the Dons got some real pace into
their attack. Too often it was slow ball which allowed St Johnstone to get back into their shape.

The first half was very even. It wasn't littered with chances as both sides showed their strength at the back. As the break approached James Maddison lit up Pittodrie with a lovely piece of skill that took him right past the Saints midfield, a reminder of the talent the young man possesses. Sadly there was to be no dazzling individual goal as his shot from 20 yards was blocked by Steven Anderson.

At the end of stoppage time Pawlett was ready to try his luck from outside the box with the Dons looking dangerous. Unfortunately Kevin Clancy decided there wasn't enough time left, much to the frustration of The Red Army who sensed an opening.

HT Aberdeen 0 - 0 St Johnstone

Aberdeen made a double change at the start of the half with Pawlett and McGinn making way for Logan and Stockley. The introduction of Shay allowed Ryan Jack to push into the midfield, an area the Dons had struggled to control in the first half, and Jayden's physical presence up front would be a different threat for the Dons.

Right at the start of the half Jonny Hayes did well to create an opening, then forcing a save out of Zander Clark, but the keeper did well to hold the shot. Maddison and Logan linked up well five minutes later forcing a corner from the shot. McLean managed to get his head on the cross but Clark was alert to make the save. It was another good chance from a set-piece. Either side of the keeper and it might have gone in.

At this stage, midway through the half, Aberdeen had a lot of possession but were struggling to get in behind at any point.

The visitors then got themselves on the front foot for the first time in the half when Richard Foster's run fooled Considine and O'Connor. He won a corner, which Stockley managed to clear.

The game opened up on the hour mark with Aberdeen winning several set piece chances, but failing to do anything with them. It was a similar story at the other end of the pitch with St Johnstone struggling to find a way through the Dons defence. They did manage to test Joe Lewis when Steven MacLean tried a shot from outside the box, with Joe taking no chances and tipping the ball over the bar.

There was a real heart stopping moment with 10 minutes to go when Shinnie's short back pass allowed Liam Craig in, but Joe Lewis put him under enough pressure to stop him sliding the ball underneath his body. Instead, it rolled past the post. The visitors at this point were looking the more likely team to score and wasted a couple of decent chances on the break. A bit more care with the final pass and the Dons couple have been in trouble.

With five minutes to go McLean gave away a foul at the edge of the box, giving Wotherspoon the chance to hit a free kick. The winger hit the post with his strike, almost identical to what happened in the League Cup Quarter Final. And just like that chance, Joe Lewis manage to get a touch on the ball to put it on the post. A quite superb save. The ball actually bounce off Lewis on the way back but thankfully went across the six yard box and was cleared by Considine with MacLean very close to getting on the end of the rebound.

Sadly, unlike the cup game, there was to be no late winner despite a late flurry of activity by Aberdeen. Once again, the two teams had failed to find the net against another each other and a draw was probably a fair result in the end

Up next for The Dons, it's Motherwell on Tuesday night as the busy run of fixtures in December continues. There are still fifteen points to be played for before the winter shutdown.
Aberdeen Teamsheet
Lewis, Shinnie (Burns 88), Considine, O'Connor, Jack, McLean, McGinn (Logan 46), Hayes, Maddison, Rooney, Pawlett (Stockley 46).

Unused Subs: Reynolds, Taylor, Storey, Alexander.

Bookings:  McLean (87).
St. Johnstone Teamsheet
12.Alexander Clark, 06.Steven Anderson, 14.Joseph Shaughnessy, 19.Richard Foster, 24.Brian Easton, 08.Murray Davidson, 10.David Wotherspoon, 17.Michael Coulson (04.Blair Alston 68), 26.Liam Craig, 09.Steven MacLean, 25.Christopher Kane (29.Graham Cummins 71). Unused Subs: 01.Alan Mannus, 03.Thomas Scobbie, 07.Christopher Millar, 22.Keith Watson, 32.Connor McLaren.

Bookings:  08.Murray Davidson (58),   25.Christopher Kane (67),   09.Steven MacLean (68).
Attendance: 11,501
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
Referee: Kevin Clancy
Next Match
Queen of the South
13 Jul 2024 / 17:15 / Palmerston Park, Dumfries