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Aberdeen 1 - 1 St. Johnstone

HT Score: Aberdeen 0 - 0 St. Johnstone

Aberdeen scorers: Winters 74.
St. Johnstone scorers: Sylla 65

09/09/2000 | KO: 15:00

Dons fail to overcome ten men saints

In a scrappy match at Pittodrie, Aberdeen were unable to get the better of ten man St. Johnstone. The Dons made two changes from the side that performed so well against Rangers in midweek. The experienced Paul Bernard and Andy Dow replacing Rachid Belabed and the injured Derek Young.

The early play was littered with misplaced passes and stoppages. The Dons had a lot of possession but were struggling to get in behind the Saints defence. Kernaghan had the ball in the Dons net after three minutes but he was clearly offside then ex Don Paul Kane picked up the first yellow card of the match for tripping Winters and Jones followed him into the book a short while later. Aberdeen continued to press and created an opening when Guntveit drilled in a cross that Winters sent over the bar. A few minutes later the roles were reversed when Winters swung in a free kick and Guntveit headed wide. Saints threatened when Jones was released on the right but he hit a weak finish straight at Esson.

Aberdeen almost broke the deadlock on the stroke of half time when Guntveit headed a corner back into the danger areas, but Kerrigan managed to clear as McGuire looked set to bundle the ball home. Dasovic was then booked for a wild challenge on Guntveit. Clark replaced Dow at half time before the game took a dramatic turn when a through ball from Guntviet had Winters bearing down on Main. Weir took the striker down just outside the box and being the last man, the ref had no option but to send him off. A few minutes later McGuire was booked for the second game running after a bit of shirt pulling. The Dons should have taken the lead when Clark was pulled down on the left. Bernard got on the end of the free kick but screwed the header wide of the target. Mackie then made a great run through the centre of the Saints defence before setting up Clark, but the youngster stumbled as he prepared to shoot.

Disaster then struck the Dons in the 64th minute when St. Johnstone took a sensational lead. Sylla picked the ball up on the right then was allowed time and space to waltz along the 18 yard line before firing a low drive past Esson. Minutes later Belabed replaced the tiring Darren Young and the Moroccan made an immediate impact with a fine run and shot that forced Main into a save. Aberdeen finally found the net after 74 minutes when Clark caused more trouble down the left. He drilled in a low cross and Winters nipped in front of Main, turned and sent the ball into the back of the net.

Minutes later, the Dons had a penalty claim turned down when Clark was bundled off the ball inside the Saints box. The Dons were laying siege to the Saints goal and Belabed was unlucky when he latched on to a Winters corner and fired in from 18 yards only for Main to make a brilliant finger tip save from the effort. In 83 minutes Belabed made a lovely reverse pass which sent Clark clear in the box. The youngster tried to chip Main but sent it high over the crossbar. Sylla was the last player booked after scything down Clark. Saints almost stole the points in the last minute when Jones, looking suspiciously offside, burst through one on one on Esson. The young keeper spread himself well and blocked the effort.

Aberdeen Teamsheet
Esson, Rowson, McNaughton, Young (Belabed 68), McGuire, Whyte, Guntveit, Mackie, Winters, Bernard, Dow (Clark 46).

Unused Subs: Preece, McAllister, Perry.

Bookings:  McGuire.
St. Johnstone Teamsheet

Bookings:  Kane,   Jones,   Dasovic,   Sylla  Weir
Attendance: 11,026
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
Referee: T. Brown, Edinburgh