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Aberdeen 2 - 0 St. Johnstone

HT Score: Aberdeen 0 - 0 St. Johnstone

SPFL Development League
Aberdeen scorers: McKenna 78, Anderson 79.

14/04/2017 | KO: 18:00

The young Dons travelled to Brechin looking to make it a double over Saints who are currently at the foot of the Development League albeit only on goal difference behind Dundee. The Perth youngsters, who have impressed in recent seasons, gained a creditable 2-2 draw away to high flying Hamilton on Tuesday so the task for Paul Sheerin's men was far from straightforward. With the first team facing St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park tomorrow, several first team squad men were absent for this clash which meant we fielded a relatively young team. Dean Campbell made his second start of the season while Sam Robertson, Joe MacPherson and David Dangana all featured. Harlain M'bayo wore the captain's armband with Jamie Henry suspended.

Seb Ross had the game's first shot after only 40 seconds, charging down an attempted clearance then firing a twenty yard effort wide. Saints enjoyed a fair bit of possession without causing the Dons defence any problems while the home side had a couple of forays into enemy territory but couldn't produce the final pass. On 15 minutes a miscued clearance by the Saints keeper let Anderson cross for Seb Ross but the midfielder's shot was well blocked by the retreating visiting defence. A minute leader Bruce Anderson was sent clear by David Dangana but he fired his shot over the top. Paul Simpson was booked on 21 minutes for a tug on the shirt of Anderson. An accurate long ball out of defence from Sam Roscoe nearly set Seb Ross free but Brian did well to cut out the danger.
Aberdeen had enjoyed the better of the opening quarter of the game but couldn't get the breakthrough they just about deserved. Anderson burst through in the inside left channel in the 28th minute but his effort on goal was deflected behind for a corner. Saints forward Joe Johnson was forced off after 34 minutes after appearing to twist his ankle and was replaced by Cameron Ballantyne.
The game was becoming a bit scrappy as both sides struggled with a fiery, bobbly pitch but both coaches will have been frustrated with the quality of some of the passing on show. As half time approached a great ball in from the left by Toby Wells nearly picked out Dangana but the visiting defence did well to clear the danger.

Half time Aberdeen 0 St Johnstone 0

Saints brought on Hurst for Hunter for the second half. The Dons almost snatched the lead with their first attack of the second half as Dangana fed Anderson. The striker dragged his shot wide of the keeper and into the path of Wells but the Dons number three fired into the side net from a tight angle. Campbell and Ross combined well to send Anderson scurrying forward but his attempted cross was turned behind for a corner. From the flag kick Scott McKenna powered a header goalwards but it was blocked thanks to some desperate defending.
The Dons had the ball in the net on 52 minutes but MacPherson was ruled to be offside. It had been a bright start to the second period by the Dons who were applying some serious pressure on the Perth defence. On 56 minutes substitute Hurst had Saints best effort, taking a throw in on the turn and hitting a vicious swerving, dipping shot in which just cleared the bar. A fine cross from Dangana was fired narrowly over the bar by Anderson as the Dons tried to increase the tempo. As the game went into its final quarter it looked like the first goal was going to be pivotal to the result.
Saints passed up a glorious chance in 72 minutes when the ball broke to skipper Jardine ten yards out but he screwed his left foot shot horribly wide. On 74 minutes, Ethan Ross replaced his older brother Seb while Chris Antoniazzi took the place of Sam Robertson.
The Dons finally broke the deadlock on 78 minutes when Scott McKenna fired home a Wells corner. Sixty seconds later it was 2-0 as Bruce Anderson
coolly lobbed the ball over the keeper after a fine through ball from Antoniazzzi. Ethan Ross picked up a booking when he kicked ball away after being penalised although his challenge for the ball looked perfectly fair.
Aberdeen made their final change on 85 minutes when young Jack McKenzie made his Under 20 debut replacing Toby Wells who had put in a fine shift at left wing back. Seconds later Bruce Anderson was inches away from scoring a picture goal as his spectacular twenty yard strike just dipped over the bar. Saints introduced O'Reilly for Lumsden for the final few minutes but the sub had no opportunity to make any impact as the Dons ran out comfortable winners regaining seventh spot in the league table.
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Aberdeen Teamsheet
Craddock, Mbayo, Wells ( 85), Campbell, McKenna, Roscoe, Robertson (Antoniazzi 74), MacPherson, Dangana, Anderson, Ross (Ross 74).

Unused Subs: Sharp, Hutchison.

Bookings:  Ross (81).
St. Johnstone Teamsheet
B McKenzie, Lumsden (O'Reilly 88), Thomson, Brian, Wilson, McCann, Docherty, Jardine (C), Hunter (Hurst 45), Simpson, Johnson (Ballantyne 34). Unused substitutes - J McKenzie, Brown

Bookings:  Simpson 21
Venue: Glebe Park, Brechin
Referee: Dan McFarlane
Next Match
Ross County
A
19 May 2024 / 15:00 / Victoria Park, Dingwall