Aberdeen lined up at McDiarmid Park with Mutch in goal, Murray at right back, Kelly at left back, McKenna and Rose in central defence, the midfield five were Storie, Low and Campanile with Monakana and Wright in the wide positions. Shankland was upfront. The attendance in Perth was decent due to James McFadden. The ex-Scotland star was officially announced as a Saints player this afternoon and started this evening. It was Aberdeen's number 8 though who was catching the eye in the opening stages. Nicky Low was sitting deep just in front of the back four which allowed him to get on the ball and dictate the play. On 6 minutes the first shot at goal when Nicky tried to chip the keeper from about 50 yards! He was not far away. Then the home side got in behind Kelly down the left and Mutch did very well to dive and cut out the cross. On 13 minutes McFadden's movement caused the Dons defence problems. He got on the end of a move he had started and his dinked cross beat Mutch but Rose managed to clear the danger from right under his own bar. Very good defending from Michael. Campanile then played a nice ball down the channel for Shankland to run onto. Lawrence squared it across the box but nobody in a red shirt had made a run. Then Murray and Shankland almost combined down the right but the right back just failed to get on the end of a one two. On 17 minutes an opening for McFadden when he stepped inside and had a good sight of a goal but his shot was weak and straight at Mutch. On 22 minutes Monakana won the young Dons a free kick about 25 yards out. Nicky Low took it and his low drive beat the wall but Hurst saved and showed some good handling to avoid any slips. On 25 minutes Murray and Shankland combined again and this time Murray got on the end of the return pass but his shot was well blocked. A minute later Murray was booked for a foul on keeper Hurst. The Development League leaders were getting some control in the game now and both Monakana and Wright were seeing more of the ball. Just before the half hour mark Scott Wright did well and had a couple of chances for a cross. Eventually he chose to hammer it in low but the ball unluckily landed at the feet of a Saints defender. On 34 minutes Shankland tried his luck from distance and although his effort was not far off target the keeper had a good sighting of it. After 36 minutes the home side won their first corner of the game. The Dons did not deal with it and the ball fell nicely for McFadden who unleashed a powerful left footed drive but Rose did really well to throw his body at it and make the block. A few minutes later the defender was in the right place at the right time again to clear a very dangerous cross. Alec Clelland's side had certainly come back into things and on 41 minutes they took the lead. McFadden played a superb defence splitting pass for Wilson to run onto down the right. His cutback fell to Adam Morgan and although the Dons had plenty of defenders in the box he was able to beat Mutch and Murray who was on the line. On the stroke of half time Scott Wright did well down the right but his cross was blocked. From the resulting corner Wright made a point of standing right in front of the keeper, which he is entitled to do. This upset the defence and they appeared to lose their concentration for second. When the ball came over Michael Rose's run to the front post area was untracked and he bulleted a header home from about 6 yards.
St Johnstone withdrew James McFadden at half time. Aberdeen then started the second half on top and they started to dominate possession and territory. Monakana was seeing a lot of the ball and he put over two or three crosses but none of them created any openings. On 52 minutes Campanile picked up a yellow card. On 58 minutes, after more good possession from the Dons the ball was worked to Storie who fired in a powerful shot from 25 yards which went just over the bar. Monakana then produced a lovely bit of skill on the edge of the area but his shot was blocked. On 60 minutes Wright waltzed past his marker again but his cut back failed to find a red jersey and then seconds later Storie put a shot agonisingly inches past. I don't think the young Dons could believe they were still on level terms. It really was all one way traffic and this point and they were in complete control. A goal was surely coming. A minute later Nicky Low was replaced by Kieran Gibbons in a like for like change. Then in the 70th minute the Dons finally got the goal they deserved. The ball was played wide to Monakana who looked up and showed a bit of class to pick out Storie who volleyed home. A really good goal! On 74 minutes Campanile battled well to win the ball and set up Shankland. His effort was not far away, just over the bar. Campanile then headed a corner just over and Monakana had a good run but his shot was too straight. It was all still one way traffic. Shankland had the ball in the net but was flagged offside. He then hit the post after Storie had burst through and then Hurst had to tip a Monakana drive over the bar. With five minutes to go the Dons could have paid for those misses when Morgan was brought down by Kelly on the edge of the area. Kelly was booked and the Saints had a free kick in a very dangerous area. However they were unable to get a shot past the wall which did its job. With two minutes to go the Dons broke quickly and with Wright about to shoot he was brought down by Jason Kerr. The ref pointed to the spot and produced a second yellow card for Kerr. Shankland took it and although his effort hit the post it bounced off the keeper and into the net. Saints had to finish the game with 9 men as they also had an injury and had used all their subs.