The Dons had to settle for a point in Perth, despite taking the lead, a lively second half seeing both sides miss opportunities to win the game.
Following the 2-0 win against Clyde in the Scottish Cup last Friday night, Barry Robson named both an unchanged starting XI and bench.
St Johnstone lost their Scottish Cup tie 1-0 at Airdrieonians at the weekend and Craig Levein made five changes to their team with Jaiyesimi, Robinson, Phillips, Sprangler and Keltjens replacing Franczak, Kucheriavyi, Gallacher, Kimpioka and Clark. The previous meeting between the two teams this season at Pittodrie finished 0-0.
It was a sprightly start from Aberdeen, In the second minute a good run forward by Connor Barron, playing a couple of one-twos, drew the foul about 30 yards out. Leighton Clarkson took it and the training ground routine saw the ball played in low to McGrath who had broken free from the pack. The Irishman had time and plenty of space but his cross was cut out at the front post. Then a chance for Bojan Mioski but he did not quite get the break of the ball.
Four minutes later, Dante Polvara created a yard of space for himself on the right edge of the area after good hold up play by Bojan, his left footed shot bending towards the far corner, Mitov going full length to paw the ball to safety. The hosts had their first effort after 11 minutes, Phillips dragging an effort well wide from 25 yards. Carey did likewise on the half hour after a lengthy spell where neither side could find a way past the other’s defence.
Jack MacKenzie tried to get things moving again with a driving run down the left on 33 minutes, but his low ball across the top of the six yard box was just in front of Polvara coming in at the back post.
After such a positive start, it had turned out to be a very uneventful first half.
HALF-TIME: ST JOHNSTONE 0 ABERDEEN 0
The hosts looked like they were in front four minutes into the second half, a goal out of nothing after the Dons had cleared their lines from Carey’s free-kick into the box from out on their right flank. The clearance dropped nicely for Carey, running into the right edge of the area, and his volley beat Kelle Roos at the near post. VAR intervened from there though and the goal was ruled out for a foul on Bojan Miovski by Gordon as he made the clearance.
Saints took heart from that though and Roos made to make a terrific reflex save, low down and away to his right in the 54th minute, Jayesimi poking a low Smith cross goalwards from six yards out.
The game was certainly bursting into belated life now, for within a minute, Graeme Shinnie was driving forward into the home team’s penalty area, his low shot across goal well saved by Mitov.
In the 56th minute, Jayesimi was chasing down a long ball forward, only to pull his shot wide from the edge of the box. A minute later, a looping cross from Nicky Devlin almost crept in under the bar, Mitov stretching to tip it over.
From the corner, Gordon and Rube i challenged for the ball at the near post, a penalty given after a VAR check. Smith was booked for dissent before Miovski teed up the ball and buried it into the bottom corner beyond Mitov’s despairing dive to his left. 1-0 Aberdeen.
In the aftermath, there was a double change for the Dons, Ester Sokler and Jonny Hayes replacing Barron and Polvara. St Johnstone mase their first switch on 73 minutes, Spangler making way for Kucheriavyi, MacKenzie replaced by Richard Jensen at the same time.
Saints were level on 78 minutes, a looping cross pumped into the box by Carey from the left wing. Roos came to claim it, but Keltjens got there in front of him to nod the ball into the empty net from eight yards out.
Aberdeen responded well, Leighton Clarkson producing a similar cross to Carey’s, Miovski there first, but he could only guide his header over the bar. Next, Rube i went on a marauding run down the right but as he cut inside, he fell to the ground and was promptly booked for simulation. Immediately, Saints replaced Jaiyesimi with Kimpioka with five minutes left.
Rube i was down and needing treatment in the 88th minute after a collision on halfway with McGowan, the two banging knees against each other, the Aberdeen man coming off worst. Lengthy treatment ensued before Angus MacDonald replaced him.
Carey was next to be booked for simulation as we headed into the second of eight added minutes, the Saints man throwing himself to the ground in the penalty area. Gordon followed him into the box two minutes later, hauling Sokler over as he sprinted away from him.
Sokler had a good chance to win it from the free-kick, the Dons recycling ball, Clarkson picking out a cross to the back post, but Sokler’s diving header back across goal was too close to the goalkeeper who gratefully gobbled up the ball.
Keltjens was booked on 96, hacking Shinnie down as Aberdeen were on the break. It was Saints who were on the counter-attack a minute later, Kucheriavyi thumping a shot from 20 yards against the crossbar with Roos beaten.
In the final seconds, St Johnstone won a free-kick 35 yards out, the hosts loading the box, but it came to nothing, the Dons clearing their lines, the spoils shared.
0 minutes added at end 1st half.
8 minutes added at end 2nd half.