Saints 1-1 Aberdeen

Saturday 15th September

Saints and Aberdeen had to settle for a share of the spoils at McDiarmid Park this afternoon as Premiership action returned following the international break.

Saints took a deserved lead after 13 minutes as a corner from Liam Craig was headed home by David McMillan.

However, the visitors fought back as Niall McGinn swept a free kick into the top corner of the net on 69 minutes.

Saints had chances to win it late on with the best of those being Blair Alston’s effort but it was blocked by the advancing Joe Lewis. Whilst Aberdeen were claiming for a penalty in the final minutes of the match when Gary Mackay-Steven went down just inside the box but referee Willie Collum indicated that the ball had been won fairly.

Today’s draw leaves Saints in sixth place in the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership with eight points.

MATCH REPORT

Saints faced a tough test for their first game after the international break with Aberdeen travelling down to Perth for their fifth Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership game of the season this afternoon. Tommy Wright was looking for his team to continue their solid form as he named an unchanged side after their 2-1 win against Hamilton before the break. Deadline day signings Ross Callachan and Danny Swanson were named on the bench, hoping to get involved for their debuts for the club.

Aberdeen got the game underway.

With 13 minutes on the clock Saints drew first blood. A first corner for the Perth men was delightfully whipped in by Liam Craig and the midfielder found David McMillan who made no mistake and fired Saints 1-0 up with a bullet header past Joe Lewis.

A great defensive header from Andy Considine on 20 minutes denied Matty Kennedy what would’ve been a tap in and a two goal advantage for Saints. Drey Wright burst down the right past his man, he slotted a delightful ball into the box and the Aberdeen defender was there just in the nick of time to deny the Saints attacker.

Aberdeen were dominating possession but not using it to any great advantage, they lost the ball and it sparked a great counter attacking piece of play with Tony Watt and Drey Wright involved. Wright found Blair Alston in acres of space 12 yards out, his skimming header was just inches away from meeting the boot of McMillan, but he couldn’t connect and it went out for an Aberdeen goal kick.

Saints got the final 45 minutes started.

Right from the off Aberdeen try to strike back. Niall McGinn took on his man and worked some space, his shot just outside the penalty area was easily palmed away by Clark.

An absolutely brilliant block by Jason Kerr stopped Gary Mackay-Steven hitting the back of the net on 53 minutes. The former Dundee United man tried to make space and blasted a shot straight at the youngster and the defender put his body on the line to deny Mackay-Steven. From the resulting corner Graeme Shinnie found himself outside the box and took the shot on, but it whistled just wide of the post.

Zander Clark showed exactly why he is St Johnstone number one just after the hour mark as Sam Cosgrove’s towering header looked to be nestling into the bottom left corner but the Saints number one moved incredibly quickly and pushed it wide for a corner, which came to nothing.

Aberdeen continued to pile on pressure, Mackay-Steven was brought down just on the edge of the area on 69 minutes. McGinn stepped up to take the free kick and finished well to bring the game level.

Joe Lewis was next up to show his talent, a great ball from Ross Callachan found Foster advancing and he then slotted Alston through on goal but Lewis stayed big to block the former Falkirk man’s shot. With both teams searching for the winning goal the game became end to end but neither team could take advantage of their chances.

At full time both teams took a point from the game, Aberdeen dominating possession but Saints playing extremely well on the counter attack. It was a well-deserved point for each team and it continues the great start for Saints.

Saints: Clark, Foster, Shaughnessy, Kerr, Tanser, Alston, Craig (Callachan 45), Wright, McMillan (Swanson 78), Kennedy (Wotherspoon 78), Watt

Unused Substitutes: Mitchell (GK), Anderson, Nydam, Kane

Bookings: Craig, Alston, Swanson

Scorer: McMillan (13)

Aberdeen: Lewis, Logan, Shinnie, Considine, McKenna, Forrester (Cosgrove 45), Gleeson (Ball 67), McGinn, Mackay-Steven, May (Anderson 66), Lowe

Unused Substitutes: Cerny (GK), Campbell, McLennan, Dangana

Booked: Considine, Lowe

Scorer: McGinn (69)

Referee: William Collum

Attendance: 4,880

Match report by Hannah Klatschak

Picture: Blair Alston's effort is blocked by Joe Lewis