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St. Johnstone 3 - 1 Aberdeen

SPFL U20 League
Aberdeen scorers: Smith 82.

04/02/2014 | KO: 14:00

The Dons never really got going in the early stages and were made to pay after only 3 minutes. The Dons should have been awarded a free kick when Rose was impeded but the ref waved play on and Kelly was adjudged to have given away a foul in the box which resulted in a penalty. It looked a very soft pen. Michael O'Halloran, who came off the bench for St Johnstone on Saturday, took it and put the ball low to Rogers left. The keeper was very unlucky as he came very close to saving it but could not get a strong enough hand on it. The Dons still looked sluggish and on 22 minutes they found themselves two goals down. The ball was worked far too easily done the Aberdeen right and when the ball came over the unmarked O'Halloran got the break of the ball before hammering it home. O'Halloran, the former Scotland U21 International who was recently released by Bolton, impressed throughout. The young Dons had their chances in the first half. Scott Wright made a good run into the box but the final ball just went astray. That was to be the story of the game for the Reds. Aberdeen also from set pieces had a number of chances but frustratingly no one could ever get a decisive touch. McKenna had a header from a corner which went very close and McManus was not far away from a Low free kick.Also in the first half Smith put a shot from the edge of the area just past the post and Murray had a couple of efforts from the edge of the area. The second one he might have better passing as he had options either side of him. Just on the stroke of half time McKenna forced Saints keeper Bunting to make a very good save when he touched his shot onto the post and behind for a corner.

Aberdeen came out strongly at the start of the second half, Nicky Low picked the ball up at the edge of area and hit a powerful drive which the keeper tipped over the bar at his near post. Cammy Smith then had a chance with a header from a corner but his effort was cleared off the line. On 52 minutes O'Halloran had the chance of a hat-trick as the Saints hit on the break but from a tight angle he hammered a shot across the face of goal. The Saints striker was thankfully substituted with an hour gone. Declan McManus then almost got on the end of a great move but again the final pass went astray and then Nicky Low was flagged offside when through on goal. The referee was having an erratic game and his decision to book Joe Shaughnessy for a perfectly timed tackle was met with some astonished faces. Just after the hour mark the Dons put together a slick passing move, possibly their best of the game, which put Scott Wright in. The winger hit a great shot across the keeper and the ball appeared to be heading into the net but Bunting diving to his right made a brilliant save. The home side were awarded a soft free kick midway inside the Aberdeen half. It was never a foul. Anyway the ball was played into the box, the Dons defence failed to deal with it and Fortnam-Tomlinson stuck it home from inside the six yard box. Again it was a poor goal to give away. The young Dons had defended brilliantly last week against Celtic but gave away three soft goals today. The Dons to their credit did not allow their heads to drop and kept pushing forward. Murray was unlucky to see his curling effort just go wide. Then Cammy Smith forced his way into the box. From close range he got a shot on target but Bunting was in the right place again to get out quickly and make a very good block at Cammy's feet. On 74 minutes St Johnstone were reduced to 10 men when centre half Gilchrist was shown a straight red. The defender went for a high ball, missed it and caught Campanile in the face. Although his boot was extremely high there was no malicious in tackle and was unfortunate to be sent off. Marcus was thankfully ok although he was substituted shortly afterwards, Petrie taking his place. Young Richie had a good game when he came on. With the numerical advantage defenders Michael Rose and Joe Shaughnessy pushed forward. Michael hit a fine shot from about 20 yards but Bunting was able push it round the post. From the resulting corner Rose won the ball in the air but his bullet header went straight to Bunting who was well positioned. On 82 minutes the Dons finally found a way past Bunting. Craig Murray made a great burst forward and slid a nice forward for Smith who placed the ball past the keeper with a good finish. Aberdeen still believed they could get something from the game and piled forward. Again though the Saints defenders made some good blocks and when Scott Wright missed with a header from close range time was almost up. In the final minute the Dons should have had a penalty for a clear hand ball but the ref said no.
St. Johnstone Teamsheet
Bunting, Gray, Steeves, Joyce, Stewart, Gilchrist, Thomson, Dunne, Fortnam-Tomlinson, O'Halloran, McKenzie Subs: Hurst, Stevenson, Coultress, Adarabioyo   Gilchrist
Aberdeen Teamsheet
Rogers, Shaughnessy, Kelly, Campanile (Petrie), McKenna, Rose, Murray, Low, McManus, Smith, Wright.

Unused Subs: Burns, McMahon, Orsi.

Bookings:  Shaughnessy.
Venue: New Bayview, Methil
Next Match
St. Johnstone
28 Feb 2024 / 19:45 / Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen