Scottish Premiership
Aberdeen1St Johnstone1

Aberdeen 1-1 St Johnstone

A controversial late penalty for St Johnstone secured a 1-1 draw for the visitors and denied Aberdeen the chance to cut the gap on Celtic to four points at the top of the Scottish Premiership.

Simon Church had put the home side ahead with a close-range effort.

But with just two minutes to play, Saints substitute Liam Craig scored from the spot after being challenged inside the box by Ryan Jack.

Aberdeen players and fans were left furious by the penalty decision.

The home side started this game buoyed by Celtic's slip up in their match against Hamilton on Friday but also shell-shocked by the news they could be without their top scorer Adam Rooney for six weeks.

Derek McInnes' side immediately set out to dominate possession and although they dictated play early on, they missed the obvious target that Rooney so often provides.

As they pushed for the opening goal, Kenny McLean found some space 10 yards out but his shot was weak and Saints goalkeeper Alan Mannus wasn't troubled.

As the first half progressed and the home side failed to take advantage of their possession, St Johnstone began to push forward and find gaps in an Aberdeen defence that, at times, looked very fragile.

Steven MacLean had a couple of decent efforts but his lob from 10 yards out didn't have enough to beat Scott Brown and his volley from the same distance was blocked at the last minute.

But just as it looked like the Dons were living dangerously, Church blasted them into the lead.

Ash Taylor's header from a Niall McGinn corner looked to be goal-bound. Mannus saved well but could not hold it and Church swept the ball into the back of the net from four yards.

Simon Church (right) gave Aberdeen the lead
Simon Church (right) gave Aberdeen a first half lead

It was a goal that not only settled the Aberdeen legions inside Pittodrie, but also the home players, who started to knock the ball around with the confidence of a side who see themselves as title contenders.

But despite their continued domination in the second half, they failed to extend their lead and it was to prove costly.

Jack, McGinn and Pawlett all linked up well but they just could not find a way through.

As some of the 12,563 fans started to head for the exits, the game's most controversial moment happened.

As Craig picked up the ball and drove into the box, he was challenged by Jack, who appeared to make contact with the ball. But Craig tumbled and referee Steven McLean pointed to the spot.

With the home fans still howling in protest, Craig stepped up and expertly sent Brown the wrong way.

For Aberdeen, the remaining few minutes were spent throwing the kitchen sink in the direction of the St Johnstone goal but the winner never came.

Line-ups

Aberdeen

  • 20Brown
  • 22JackBooked at 41mins
  • 5Taylor
  • 6Reynolds
  • 4Considine
  • 16PawlettSubstituted forWrightat 84'minutes
  • 8Flood
  • 3ShinnieBooked at 80mins
  • 10McGinn
  • 7McLean
  • 18Church

Substitutes

  • 14Smith
  • 15Robson
  • 19Collin
  • 24Rose
  • 26McKenna
  • 27Wright
  • 31Ross

St Johnstone

  • 1Mannus
  • 22FisherBooked at 63mins
  • 14Shaughnessy
  • 6Anderson
  • 3Scobbie
  • 16SwansonBooked at 41minsSubstituted forThomsonat 70'minutes
  • 20BrownBooked at 7minsSubstituted forCraigat 45'minutes
  • 4Lappin
  • 10WotherspoonBooked at 17mins
  • 9MacLeanSubstituted forKaneat 74'minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 18Cummins

Substitutes

  • 5Doyle
  • 11Sutton
  • 12Clark
  • 25Kane
  • 26Craig
  • 27Thomson
  • 66Krachunov
Referee:
Steven McLean
Attendance:
12,563

Match Stats

Home TeamAberdeenAway TeamSt Johnstone
Possession
Home57%
Away43%
Shots
Home15
Away10
Shots on Target
Home5
Away3
Corners
Home11
Away0
Fouls
Home14
Away11

Live Text

Match ends, Aberdeen 1, St. Johnstone 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Aberdeen 1, St. Johnstone 1.

Foul by Graeme Shinnie (Aberdeen).

Darnell Fisher (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Booking

Christopher Kane (St. Johnstone) is shown the yellow card.

Ryan Jack (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Christopher Kane (St. Johnstone).

Attempt missed. Niall McGinn (Aberdeen) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.

Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Alan Mannus.

Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Alan Mannus.

Goal!

Goal! Aberdeen 1, St. Johnstone 1. Liam Craig (St. Johnstone) converts the penalty with a left footed shot to the bottom left corner.

Penalty conceded by Ryan Jack (Aberdeen) after a foul in the penalty area.

Penalty St. Johnstone. Liam Craig draws a foul in the penalty area.

Attempt missed. Christopher Kane (St. Johnstone) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.

Kenny McLean (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Simon Lappin (St. Johnstone).

Substitution

Substitution, Aberdeen. Scott Wright replaces Peter Pawlett.

Attempt blocked. Graham Cummins (St. Johnstone) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked.

Attempt missed. Niall McGinn (Aberdeen) right footed shot from outside the box is too high.

Booking

Graeme Shinnie (Aberdeen) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Graeme Shinnie (Aberdeen).

Darnell Fisher (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Niall McGinn (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Simon Lappin (St. Johnstone).

Substitution

Substitution, St. Johnstone. Christopher Kane replaces Steven MacLean.

Foul by Niall McGinn (Aberdeen).

Darnell Fisher (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, St. Johnstone. Craig Thomson replaces Danny Swanson.

Attempt blocked. Kenny McLean (Aberdeen) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Attempt blocked. Simon Lappin (St. Johnstone) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Foul by Kenny McLean (Aberdeen).

Danny Swanson (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt missed. Simon Church (Aberdeen) left footed shot from the centre of the box is too high.

Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Darnell Fisher.

Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Steven Anderson.

Graeme Shinnie (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by David Wotherspoon (St. Johnstone).

Attempt saved. Simon Church (Aberdeen) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the top left corner.

Attempt missed. Ryan Jack (Aberdeen) left footed shot from the centre of the box is high and wide to the left.

Niall McGinn (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic27195370224862
2Aberdeen27175546301656
3Hearts26138547262147
4St Johnstone27106114244-236
5Ross County28113144246-436
6Dundee2781184042-235
7Inverness CT268993437-333
8Motherwell2895143344-1132
9Partick Thistle2587102531-631
10Hamilton2879123248-1630
11Kilmarnock2877142949-2028
12Dundee Utd2755172950-2120
View full Scottish Premiership table

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