Tuesday 21st March
Greg Hurst's 71st minute strike couldn't prevent St. Johnstone's development side from going down 2-1 at home to Aberdeen this evening.
Saints headed into their first Development League match of 2017 at McDiarmid Park of 2017 looking to pick up an important three points against Aberdeen. Alec Cleland fielded a strong side which contained Clive Smith, Craig Thomson, Greg Hurst and Michael Coulson.
Saints got the game underway, shooting into the North Stand, and Greg Page came close early on, heading over from a corner.
Aberdeen countered, however, and McLennan was unlucky to be denied from close range by some resolute Saints defending.
McLennan was soon on the scoresheet though, lashing home the rebound after McKenzie parried a 20-yard effort. 0-1.
Saints pressed for a leveller, and Thomson would be disappointed to see his shot after a forty-yard run gathered by the goalkeeper.
McLaren was next to come close, this time through a free kick, but he beat both goalkeeper and post with his effort.
McLaren then had three opportunities in as many minutes: first after being set up by Coulson, second on the volley from a corner and third with a close range strike from a tight angle, but the winger was denied by defender, goalkeeper and post respectively.
However, the equaliser didn’t come in the first spell, and the teams went in for half time at 0-1.
Saints switched Connor McLaren for Jamie Docherty at half time before the Dons got the second period underway.
Wright blazed an early effort over early on for Paul Sheerin’s side, but he found the net from the spot on 58 minutes, sending McKenzie the wrong way. 0-2.
Aberdeen switched McLennan for Nuttall with just over 20 to go as Saints continued to fight.
Saints clawed a goal back through Hurst as Docherty’s brilliant volleyed cross was converted at the back post by the man on loan at Berwick. 1-2, game on!
Alec Clelland swapped Comrie for Wilson and Saints came within inches of a leveller as Coulson’s snapshot was held.
Aberdeen switched Norris for Campbell with less than ten minutes to go as they looked to hold on to their lead.
As injury time loomed, Craig Thomson saw his late drive saved by Craddock who dived down to his right to ensure the three points.
And it finished at 2-1, with the visitors taking the three points despite Saints ging them a late scre. Full time: St Johnstonn 1-2 Aberdeen.
Saints: McKenzie, Smith, Thomson, Jardine, Wilson, Page, Thomson, Simpson, Hurst, Coulson, McLaren (Docherty, 46). Unused subs: Sinclair, Comrie, Lumsden, McCann, Johnson.
Goals: Hurst (71) Bookings: None
Aberdeen: Craddock, MacPherson, Wells, Henry, Mbayo, Roscoe, Wright, Norris (Campbell, 82), McLennan (Nuttall, 68), Ross, Anderson. Unused subs: Mutch, Robertson, Dangana.
Goals: McLennan (8), Wright (58) Bookings: None
Referee: Lorraine Clark Man of the Match: Greg Hurst
Match report by Ross Gardiner.
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