Steve Lomas refuses to blame Peter Enckelman for defeat

St Johnstone goalkeeper Peter Enckelman
Enckelman cut a lonely figure at McDiarmid Park

Goalkeeper Peter Enckelman was spared any rebuke in public from his manager Steve Lomas after an error helped Aberdeen on their way to a 2-1 win.

With the Dons leading 1-0 on a stormy Perth night, Saints' Finnish keeper was 30 yards from his goal when his poor clearance was punished by Ryan Jack.

"It was difficult out there. The conditions made for mistakes - it was that type of game," said Lomas.

"Peter has held his hands up. We win together, we lose together."

Aberdeen's two goals came from attempted clearances.

For the first, in 13 minutes, St Johnstone's David McCracken failed to clear the danger in the penalty box and his half-hit kick fell to Jack.

The midfielder's shot from the edge of the box could only be parried by Enckelman into the path of Scott Vernon, who scored his seventh goal of the season.

Aberdeen's second 11 minutes from time owed as much to Jack's alertness and technique as Enckelman's scuffed clearance wide on the left.

Jack pounced on the ball in midfield, knocked it just over the halfway line and thumped the ball into the empty net with Enckelman's racing helplessly back to his goal.

"I couldn't fault my players' commitment. We've just got to regroup," said a downbeat Lomas on BBC Radio Scotland after the match.

Interview: St Johnstone manager Steve Lomas

"I thought the lads put so much into it. I think a draw would have been a fair result.

"I asked the boys for commitment and desire and I think I got that. But we've got to look at making better decisions in the final third.

"In all fairness to Aberdeen, they defended their back line well. At the end, they were hanging on."

St Johnstone remain in fourth place in the table, but the loss to the Dons after Saturday's 3-0 defeat by third-placed Motherwell means they are seven points adrift of the Steelmen and have now played a game more.

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