Wednesday 5th February
Saints put in a solid performance as they secured a 1-0 win against Aberdeen at Pittodrie this evening.
The only goal of the game came after 6 minutes courtesy of a delightful finish from Ali McCann as he lifted the ball over Joe Lewis and into the net for his third goal in the last four appearances.
The win sees Saints remain in eight position in the league with 27 points, 3 points off the top six. Next up for Saints is a trip to Championship side Ayr United on Saturday for a Fifth Round Scottish Cup tie.
Aberdeen was the destination for Saints this evening as they made the trip to the granite city for a midweek Premiership match. After having to settle for a point in Saturday’s six goal thriller with Hearts at McDiarmid Park Tommy Wright made three changes to his team for this evening’s game. Callum Booth, Jason Holt and Michael O’Halloran came in and they replaced Liam Gordon, Scott Tanser and Chris Kane. Aberdeen picked up at point at Ibrox on Saturday afternoon as they held Rangers to a goalless draw and Derek McInnes also made three changes to his starting eleven. Out went Shay Logan, Funso Ojo and Niall McGinn to be replaced by Ronald Hernández, Jon Gallagher and Ryan Hedges.
Liam Craig got the match underway for Saints but it was Aberdeen who would create the first chance after 3 minutes. Ryan Hedges played a neat ball to Jon Gallagher however, his effort hit the side netting.
However, Saints would take the lead 3 minutes later as after Ryan Hedges was caught in possession Craig played a fantastic through ball to Ali McCann. The midfielder advanced into the Dons box before lifting the ball over Joe Lewis and into the net for a glorious finish.
The hosts looked shell-shocked and Saints looked to take advantage as they continued their positive start to the match. On 12 minutes they created another chance as David Wotherspoon’s deep cross from the left picked out Michael O’Halloran who headed the ball back across into the six yard box however, the home defence was able to clear the danger.
Aberdeen were forced into a change on 20 minutes as Mikey Devlin came on for Ash Taylor who had picked up an injury.
Then a minute later Saints were awarded a free kick following a foul on Stevie May. It was taken by Craig and the midfielder played a neat ball to May. The Saints forward then slipped the ball into the path of O’Halloran but he was unable to get his effort on target. Tommy Wright’s side were creating chances and shortly after Wotherspoon saw his effort well held by Lewis.
On 27 minutes Saints were forced into a change as Drey Wright came on for Michael O’Halloran who had picked up a knock.
Aberdeen were starting to come more into the game and just after half an hour mark the Dons won a corner. It was taken by former Saints player Matty Kennedy and his delivery from the right picked out Scott McKenna whose glancing header went wide.
Aberdeen were almost level on 42 minutes as a quick throw in from Ronald Hernández to Ryan Hedges saw the winger turn before cracking a great shot from the edge of the box which was palmed away by Zander Clark.
Aberdeen made a change before the second half could get underway as Niall McGinn came on to replace Jon Gallagher.
5 minutes into the second half the hosts created a chance to level the match as Kennedy played in Sam Cosgrove but Clark made a good save with his feet. Then on 57 minutes Aberdeen created another opening as McGinn sent a dangerous cross into the Saints b ox but Hedges couldn’t make a proper connection with the ball as Saints cleared the danger.
Saints were playing much deeper during the second half which meant Aberdeen saw much more of the ball however, Saints were defending well and were limiting Aberdeen to half chances.
On 76 minutes Aberdeen were awarded a free kick as Kennedy went down under the challenge from McCann. From the free kick McGinn delivered the ball into the box and Clark was called into action as he saved a glancing header from McKenna. The loose ball then fell to Sam Cosgrove but luckily for Saints he put his effort over.
Saints were looking comfortably as Aberdeen continued to struggle to find a way back into the match in the closing stages.
However, as the match entered 3 minutes of additional time Aberdeen were awarded a free kick just outside the box following a foul on Sam Cosgrove by Jamie McCart. McGinn stepped up to take it and he lifted the ball over the wall before seeing it crash off Zander’s right-hand post before being cleared by the Saints defence.
Aberdeen: Lewis, Hernández (Anderson 66), Taylor (Devlin 20), McKenna, Considine, McGeough, Ferguson, Gallagher (McGinn 45), Hedges, Kennedy, Cosgrove
Unused Substitutes: Cerny (GK), Logan, Campbell, Ojo
Booked: McGeouch, Ferguson
Saints: Clark, Ralston, Booth, Kerr, McCart, Craig, McCann, Holt, O’Halloran (Wright 27), Wotherspoon, May (Kane 61)
Unused Substitutes: Parish (GK), Duffy, Hendry, Butcher, Jones
Booked: Ralston, McCann
Scorer: McCann (6)
Referee: Kevin Clancy
Attendance: 12,552 (148 Saints fans)
Match Report by Daryl Scott
Picture: Ali McCann scores the only goal of the game
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