Saints 1-2 Aberdeen

Saturday 15th April

Aberdeen ran out 2-1 victors in Perth this afternoon, after scoring twice in the first half through Ryan Christie and a Tam Scobbie own goal.

Danny Swanson, who came on as a substitute, scored from the penalty spot just after the interval but despite a late push Saints were unable to score an equalising goal.

MATCH REPORT

Saints welcomed second-placed Aberdeen to McDiarmid Park this afternoon for their final Ladbrokes Premiership match before the post-split fixtures get underway in a fortnight. Saints who had already confirmed their place in the top six for the sixth consecutive season made two changes to the side that started last Saturday's 3-0 win at Inverness CT as Richard Foster and David Wotherspoon came into the starting line-up. They replaced Clive Smith, who dropped to the bench and the suspended Graham Cummins. Derek McInnes made one change to the Dons side that started last Sunday's 3-0 home defeat to Rangers as Ryan Christie came into replace Niall McGinn.

St. Johnstone wore black armbands in memory of legendary McDiarmid Park tea lady, Aggie Moffat, who sadly passed away last week.

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Aberdeen got the match underway and they started brightly as on 2 minutes Shay Logan's cross into the box was knocked behind for a corner by Tom Scobbie. The corner was taken by Johnny Hayes however, his ball into the box was cleared by the Saints defence. Then a minute later Logan advanced forward before unleashing a low strike that didn't trouble Alan Mannus.

The visitors created another chance on 8 minutes as Hayes delivered a good cross from the left which picked out Graeme Shinnie who blasted well over however, the Main Stand assistant put his flag up to indicate that Shinnie had been offside.

Saints first chance of the match came on 11 minutes as Brian Easton slipped the ball to Michael Coulson whose strike at goal was saved by Joe Lewis.

On 16 minutes Brian Easton, did very well to deflect a Hayes cross behind for a corner with Shinnie looking to make a connection with the ball. The corner was taken by Ryan Jack but his ball from the left was cleared however, it only went as far as Ryan Christie who broke into the box but Liam Craig got back to knock the ball behind for another corner. This time it was taken by Hayes and his cross picked out Andy Considine whose header was saved by Mannus.

The visitors pressure eventually told as they took the lead on 19 minutes. Christie picked the ball up in midfield and then weaved his way past Tom Scobbie and Paul Paton before firing a left footed shot past Mannus.

On the half hour mark Blair Alston did well to turn before having a shot however, it went high and wide.

Aberdeen then doubled their lead on 32 minutes as Hayes whipped a ball in from the left and it was turned into his own net by Scobbie.

Saints made their first change of the match on 37 minutes as Danny Swanson came on for Blair Alston.

Saints were awarded a corner on 41 minutes and Swanson's delivery was only cleared as far as Paton who was on the edge of the box and the Saints midfielder unleashed a powerful strike which was blocked by Ash Taylor from about 6 yards out.

Saints got the second half underway and they got the first chance of the half a minute after the restart as Craig's effort was saved by Lewis.

Then on 48 minutes Saints were awarded a penalty as Steven MacLean was brought down in the box by Anthony O'Connor. The penalty was taken by Swanson and he slotted the ball into the bottom corner of the net despite Lewis getting a hand to it. It was Swanson's thirteenth goal of the season.

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Saints were playing much better and on 56 minutes Swanson did a neat one-two with David Wotherspoon before breaking forward however, he couldn't get his effort on target.

Saints then made a couple more changes as Murray Davidson and Craig Thomson were introduced into the action.

On 71 minutes a Paul Paton free kick was cleared by the Dons defence. Then on 77 minutes good defending by Kenny McLean saw him track the run of Swanson before clearing the danger.

Saints continued to press and with 3 minutes remaining another Paton free kick was cleared. Then deep into 4 minutes of added on time Paton delivered another free kick into the danger area which was fumbled by Lewis. The ball then broke to Shaughnessy who couldn't get his cross into the box as the Dons defence cleared the danger.

Man of the Match: Danny Swanson

St Johnstone: Mannus, Scobbie, Alston (Swanson 37), MacLean, Wotherspoon, Shaughnessy, Coulson (Thomson 70), Paton, Foster, Easton, Craig (Davidson 65) Unused Substitutes: Clark (GK), Anderson, Millar, Smith Booked: Craig, Wotherspoon, MacLean Scorers: Swanson (48 pen)

Aberdeen: Lewis, Logan, Shinnie, Considine, Taylor, McLean, Christie (Pawlett 78), Rooney, Hayes (Stockley 90), O'Connor, Jack Unused Substitutes: Alexander (GK), Reynolds, Wright, Ross, Storey Booked: Lewis Scorers: Christie (19), Scobbie OG (32)

Referee: Bobby Madden Attendance: 5,132

Match Report by Daryl Scott