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St. Johnstone 3 - 1 Aberdeen

HT Score: St. Johnstone 1 - 1 Aberdeen

St. Johnstone scorers: Tade 33, Vine 68, MacKay 70.
Aberdeen scorers: McGinn 44.

30/01/2013 | KO: 19:30

Dons slip up in Perth as Poor Defending Costly

Two points from a possible twelve in 2013 is not going to buy a ticket to Europe so the cup-tie in Edinburgh this weekend takes on a huge significance. Shocking defending cost the points tonight and following two minutes of madness in the second half the Dons never looked like taking anything from the match. Saints opened the scoring in the first half when Osbourne was short with a pass back allowing Tade to pounce and coolly round Langfield to open the scoring. A minute from the break McGinn was back to his predatory best when he pounced on a cross from Magennis and fired the ball into the roof of the net. Two minutes of madness midway through the second half sunk the Dons just as they had taken control of the match. Manager Craig Brown will be disappointed with the manner of this defeat as his team continues to slip down the SPL.

The match kicked off inside a sparse stadium as the Dons lined up in a 4-4-2 formation. In the second minute McGinn tried to create some danger on the left, but he was crowded out and two minutes later the striker had an effort blocked. Following early pressure from the Dons, Saints won the first corner in the sixth minute and Hughes was forced to head a goal bound effort off the line. Saints threatened again four minutes later, but the Dons defence snuffed out the danger and broke quickly. Unfortunately they couldn't carve out a chance as the match started to lose some of the early energy.

With a quarter of an hour on the clock Robertson broke on the left, but his cross was cut out by Wright with Vernon threatening. Two minutes later Vernon drilled a shot wide of the target following good forceful play in the middle of the park. Quality was certainly lacking at this stage as both sides struggled to generate any excitement. The Saints keeper made an easy save from McGinn in the 21st minute and two minutes later the referee failed to play advantage as Stephen Hughes broke into acres of space.

Both sides appeared to be content to batter high balls up and down the park, but it was simply playing into the hands of both defences. Mannus then struggled for about two minutes to take a goal kick as the wind was determined the ball would not stay in place. Aberdeen won their first corner on the half hour mark and Mannus clumsily punched the ball clear. That old Dons nemesis, Gregory Tade, then went one-on-one with Langfield and the keeper spread himself well to keep the score level. However a minute later Osbourne made a complete mess with his pass back allowing Tade to pounce and this time he was coolness personified as he rounded Langfield to open the scoring.

The Dons tried to hit back quickly and won a second corner, but Fallon couldn't control the ball allowing the Saints to clear. Another Tade shot was comfortably held by Langfield in the 39th minute and seconds later Fallon again failed to control the ball when he had a good chance to level. Aberdeen reshuffled at the back as Shaughnessy moved into the centre with Osbourne moving to full back. A minute from the break McGinn was back to his predatory best when he pounced on a cross from Magennis and fired the ball into the roof of the net to level the match.

Aberdeen got the second half underway with Osbourne moving forward into the middle of the park and Magennis becoming the third player to slot into the full back position. There were 500 Dons fans in the 2,167 crowd - the lowest SPL crowd of the season to date. Scott Vernon went close to giving the Dons the lead in the 51st minute when he collected a Hughes pass, but his shot was well blocked. Aberdeen went close again three minutes later when Vernon released McGinn and his cross was headed inches over by Gavin Rae. Saints player Vine was then booked for simulation, but it looked a bit harsh.

McGinn then created a half chance before McCracken cleared the danger amid appeals from the Dons fans behind the goal. Saints then enjoyed a period of possession culminating in Craig hitting an effort wide of the Dons goal. At the other end Robertson delivered a decent cross, but the home defence did well to clear. McGinn went close to a second on the hour mark when he cut in from the right and drilled the ball into the side netting. Aberdeen were building up a head of steam now and Robertson was the next player to threaten.

In the 66th minute Hayes replaced Vernon as Craig Brown looked to unlock the Saints defence again, but against the run of play Saints forced a corner kick and went ahead for a second time. Langfield failed to get much on his punch and when the ball bounced off Magennis, Vine was on hand to lash it into the net. The defensive calamities continued a minute later when the defence appeare to stop in the belief that the ball was going out of play. Doughty continued and supplied a cut back for McKay to net the third. Hughes collected a yellow card before Pawlett replaced Fallon and Milsom replaced Osbourne as Aberdeen tried to climb the mountain they had created for themselves.

Milsom had a shot from distance in the 81st minute that was deflected wide. A couple of corners quickly followed, but the home goal wasn't threatened. Aberdeen had a strong penalty claim two minutes later when a Hayes cross was clearly blocked with raised hands, but the Dons were denied a lifeline back into the game. Shaughnessy collected another yellow card in the final minute as the fourth official indicated a further three minutes of injury time. McGinn forced a corner, but the delivery was poor and a minute later the forward was flagged offside in his own half, but by this stage it mattered little.

St. Johnstone Teamsheet
Alan Mannus, David MacKay, David McCracken, Frazer Wright, Callum Davidson, Nigel Hasselbaink (Michael Doughty 63), Patrick Cregg, Liam Craig, Rowan Vine (Thomas Scobbie 83), Steven MacLean, Gregory Tade. Unused Subs: Scott Gray, Keiran Stewart, Christopher Kane, Gareth Rodger, Jonny Tuffey.

Bookings:  Rowan Vine (56).
Aberdeen Teamsheet
Langfield, Shaughnessy, Reynolds, Osbourne (Milsom 76), Robertson, Magennis, Vernon (Hayes 66), Hughes, Rae, McGinn, Fallon (Pawlett 74).

Unused Subs: Rogers, Low, Smith, McManus.

Bookings:  Hughes (72),  Shaughnessy (90).
Attendance: 2,167
Venue: McDiarmid Park, Perth
Referee: Steven Mclean
Next Match
10 Jul 2024 / 19:00 / Balmoor Stadium, Peterhead