MATCH REPORT | Aberdeen 0-2 Saints
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MATCH REPORT | Aberdeen 0-2 Saints

28th February 2024

MATCH REPORT | Aberdeen 0-2 Saints

Saints put in a great team performance this evening to secure a vital 3 points against Aberdeen at Pittodrie.

Saints took the lead from the penalty spot just before half time as Nicky Clark drilled the ball into the corner of the net, sending Kelle Roos the wrong way.

The win was secured with 13 minutes remaining as Dialling Jaiyesimi played a great through ball for Benji Kimpioka to chase as he broke into the Dons box before sending a composed finish into the far corner of the net.

Saints are back in action on Saturday as they welcome Livingston to McDiarmid Park, kick off 3pm.


For the second time in four days Saints were on the road as they made the trip to the north east to take on Aberdeen at Pittodrie this evening. Saints came into the game having lost their last four games with the most recent defeat coming at St Mirren on Saturday as the Buddies won 2-0. Craig Levein made five changes to the Saints starting eleven this evening as he brought in Ryan McGowan, David Keltjens, Sven Sprangler, Diallang Jaiyesimi and Benji Kimpioka to replace Kerr Smith, Andy Considine, Tony Gallacher and Graham Carey who all dropped to the bench whilst Adama Sidibeh missed out completely. Aberdeen also came into the game on a poor run of form having not won any of their last eight league games and interim manager Neil Warnock made four changes to the side which started Saturday’s 2-0 defeat at Kilmarnock. Nicky Devlin, Jamie MacKenzie, Dante Polvara and Luis Lopes all dropped to the bench and they were replaced by Angus MacDonald, Jack Milne, Leighton Clarkson and Jonny Hayes.

Before the match got underway there was a minute’s applause for former Aberdeen captain Harry Melrose who passed away earlier this week.

Leighton Clarkson got the match underway for Aberdeen and both sides had early forays in the opposition box but it was Saints who would create the first clear chance of the half on 8 minutes. Diallang Jaiyesimi flashed an inviting ball across the face of the Aberdeen goal however, there was no takers as the hosts cleared the danger.

The Dons created a good chance on 16 minutes as Graeme Shinnie found Bojan Miovski in space on the right and the forward was clean through however he dragged his effort wide.

PHOTO: Matt Smith turns Richard Jensen

Play quickly switched to the other end a minute later as Matt Smith curled a good ball into the box which Nicky Clark looked to chest in however, his effort lacked power as Kelle Roos comfortably gathered the ball.

Saints were passing the ball about well and on 20 minutes David Keltjens sent an inviting cross in from the right which Sven Sprangler headed down to Matt Smith and the Welsh midfielder took a touch to control the ball before dragging his effort wide. Saints were looking the more dangerous of the two sides going forward and on 24 minutes Dan Phillips won Saints a free kick after he was fouled by Richard Jenson. Matt Smith sent an inviting free kick into the Aberdeen box and there was just about a mix up between Dons keeper Kelle Roos and Angus MacDonald as the defender headed the ball over his own bar whilst the Roos was coming out to claim the ball. Matt Smith took the corner from the left and his delivery was punched clear by Roos. However, the clearance only went as far as Keltjens who took a touch before firing wide.

Saints were very much in the ascendancy pulling Aberdeen all over the place however, on 32 minutes Shinnie won Aberdeen a free kick just outside the box as the Dons captain was fouled by Phillips. Both Clarkson and Jamie McGrath stood over the free kick and it was taken by the latter as the midfielder saw his effort hit Matt Smith in the Saints wall before going narrowly over for a corner which was comfortably dealt with by Saints. 5 minutes later a headed pass from Clarkson played in Miovski however, the Macedonian forward again dragged his effort wide. Then shortly after Shinnie saw his strike from the edge of the box blocked by Phillips.

Aberdeen were starting to get a grip on the game however, on 42 minutes Saints were awarded a penalty. Matt Smith sent a looping ball to the back post which Ryan McGowan got on the end of as he looked to head the ball back across goal however, the ball hit Jenson’s arm and referee Don Robertson pointed to the spot. Nicky Clark stepped up to take the penalty and he rolled it into the corner of the net, sending Roos the wrong way.

PHOTO: Nicky Clark celebrates his penalty

One minute of stoppage time was added on at the end of the first half and Aberdeen came close to an equaliser as Miovski got on the end of a McGrath cross from the right to flick an effort goal bound which Dimitar Mitov comfortably saved.  

On 53 minutes Luke Robinson sent over an inviting ball into the box which Dons substitute Jack MacKenzie got a head to as the ball broke to Matt Smith who volleyed over. Then 2 minutes later a long ball forward by Phillips played in Benji Kimpioka who raced towards the Dons box but he was tracked by Stefan Gartenmann who did enough to put off the Swedish forward as Roos came out to gather the ball.

A long goal kick by Roos on 58 minutes played Clarkson in behind the Saints defence as the midfielder broke into the Saints box however, Mitov made a great save before Keltjens turned the ball behind for a corner. The Dons created another chance a minute later as McGrath played in Jonny Hayes however, he dragged his effort wide.

PHOTO: Benji Kimpioka gets the better of Stefan Gartenmann

Saints continued to create chances to extend their lead and on 66 minutes Robinson got a sight of goal however, his strike was tame as Roos comfortably gathered the ball.

Aberdeen were pushing for an equaliser and a backheel by substitute Junior Hoilett on 68 minutes played in Clarkson however, he couldn’t test Mitov as he fired over. 3 minutes later a Connor Barron cross was met by Luis Lopes at the back post however, his header was deflected behind for a corner by McGowan.

A Hoilett corner from the right on 74 minutes picked out Gartenmann who had a free header at goal however, Mitov made a good save to deny the Danish defender.

Saints would effectively end the game as a contest on 77 minutes as they doubled their lead. Jaiyesimi played a long ball forward to play in Kimpioka, who had caused the Dons defence problems all evening, and the Saints forward broke into the box before slotting a fine low strike into the far corner of the net to spark jubilant scenes in the away end.

PHOTO: Benji Kimpioka scores to make it 2-0

Craig Levein made a double change on 80 minutes as Tony Gallacher and Max Kucheriavyi came on to replace David Keltjens and Nicky Clark.  That was followed by another double change with 4 minutes remaining as Diallang Jaiyesimi and Benji Kimpioka were replaced by Graham Carey and Stevie May.

May was quickly involved in the action as in the final minute of the ninety Saints went direct as Liam Gordon sent a long ball forward, playing in May however, the forwards strike deflected off MacDonald before going wide. Saints then made their final change of the match as Connor Smith replaced Matt Smith.

5 minutes of stoppage time was added on at the end and during stoppage time the Dons were awarded a free kick after Phillips caught Shinnie with a high boot and the Saints midfielder was booked for the foul. Lopes took the free kick however, his effort hit the wall as Saints put in a diligent performance to ensure they left Pittodrie with the 3 points.

PHOTO: Ryan McGowan celebrates at full time

Aberdeen: Roos, Shinnie, Jensen (MacKenzie 45’) (McGarry 82’), Gartenmann, McGrath (Hoilett 61’), Barron, Miovski, Clarkson (Phillips 72’), Hayes (Lopes 61’), MacDonald, Milne

Unused Substitutes: Doohan (GK), Devlin, Sokler, Polvara

Booked: None

Saints: Mitov, McGowan, Gordon, Clark (Kucheriavyi 80’), Jaiyesimi (Carey 86’), Robinson, M. Smith (C. Smith 90+1’), Sprangler, Kimpioka (May 86’), Keltjens (Gallacher 80’), Phillips

Unused Substitutes: Richards (GK), Considine, K. Smith, Franczak

Booked: Sprangler, Kimpioka, Kucheriavyi, Phillips

Scorers: Clark (44’ pen), Kimpioka (77’)


Referee: Don Robertson

VAR: William Collum

Attendance: 14,226

Match Report by Daryl Scott

Picture: Liam Gordon celebrates at full time

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