Scottish Premiership
St JohnstoneSt Johnstone1AberdeenAberdeen0

St Johnstone 1-0 Aberdeen

By Andrew SouthwickBBC Scotland

St Johnstone leapfrogged Aberdeen in the Scottish Premiership table as a Steven MacLean goal gave them all three points at McDiarmid Park.

MacLean had clipped a post in the first half and team-mate Gary MacDonald missed a golden chance after goalkeeper Jamie Langfield spilled the ball.

Andrew Considine headed off the bar as Aberdeen improved, but after that both sides struggled to create chances.

However, MacLean's predatory instincts made the difference late on.

It was Aberdeen's second defeat in three games, and a further worry to Dons boss Derek McInnes will be captain Russell Anderson limping off injured.

But Saints bounced back from the defeat by Hamilton in the best possible manner.

It was the battle of last season's cup winners, and the early success was coming from the home side.

MacLean threaded the ball through to David Wotherspoon, but his composure deserted him and he put his shot well wide.

Wotherspoon was again in action when a poor shot became a good cross, almost finding Dave Mackay, who subsequently hit the deck under pressure from Mark Reynolds. However the claims for a penalty were ignored by referee Craig Thomson.

There was plenty of vocal backing for the Dons, with 3,000 of their supporters making the trip to Perth, but their side struggled to make an impact.

St Johnstone really should have taken advantage of two mistakes within minutes of each other.

A poor pass-back by Jonny Hayes gifted MacLean the chance, but he could only hit a post.

Steven MacLean (left) wheels away after putting St Johnstone 1-0 up against Aberdeen.
Steven MacLean (left) wheels away after putting St Johnstone 1-0 up against Aberdeen.

Then ex-Don MacDonald passed up a golden opportunity when Langfield spilled MacLean's free-kick at his feet but, with the goalkeeper on the ground, he blasted his shot wide.

Those were two huge let-offs for Aberdeen and, perhaps feeling their luck may be in, the Dons awoke from their slumber.

Shaleum Logan's cross from the right found Considine, who bulleted a header against the crossbar, before the full-back again got forward and drove a dangerous ball across goal that went just behind four of his team-mates.

Niall McGinn could have had the Dons in front twice as the visitors started the second half on the front foot.

First, he swiped at fresh air after Hayes' short free-kick found him in space inside the box.

The Logan then picked out the Northern Ireland international with a deep cross, but he was always stretching and headed over the bar.

Mackay had a chance at the other end when he nodded wide, but the game was stuck in a rut and it was ex-Aberdeen striker MacLean who finally broke the deadlock.

Peter Pawlett appeared to be shoved to the ground but play raged on. The Dons defence failed to reorganise and Michael O'Halloran was able to pick out the unmarked MacLean, who stroked the ball into the net.

The Dons could only create half-chances as they failed to finish with a flurry and the hosts never looked in danger of letting their lead slip.


St Johnstone

Formation 4-4-2

  • 1Mannus
  • 2Mackay
  • 24Easton
  • 7Millar
  • 6Anderson
  • 3ScobbieBooked at 76mins
  • 22CroftSubstituted forO'Halloranat 67'minutes
  • 20BrownSubstituted forLappinat 72'minutes
  • 8McDonald
  • 9MacLeanBooked at 82mins
  • 10WotherspoonSubstituted forMillerat 89'minutes


  • 4Lappin
  • 5Wright
  • 11Morgan
  • 15Banks
  • 19Miller
  • 25Kane
  • 29O'Halloran


Formation 4-4-2

  • 1Langfield
  • 2Logan
  • 3Considine
  • 22Jack
  • 4AndersonSubstituted forRobsonat 77'minutesBooked at 89mins
  • 6Reynolds
  • 10McGinn
  • 8Flood
  • 11Hayes
  • 9RooneySubstituted forGoodwillieat 61'minutes
  • 16PawlettBooked at 83minsSubstituted forSmithat 89'minutes


  • 14Smith
  • 15Robson
  • 17Goodwillie
  • 18Low
  • 19Robertson
  • 20Brown
  • 21Shaughnessy
Craig Thomson

Match Stats

Home TeamSt JohnstoneAway TeamAberdeen
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, St. Johnstone 1, Aberdeen 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, St. Johnstone 1, Aberdeen 0.

  3. Post update

    Attempt missed. Jonny Hayes (Aberdeen) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses the top left corner.

  4. Post update

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

  5. Post update

    Cameron Smith (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  6. Post update

    Foul by Michael O'Halloran (St. Johnstone).

  7. Substitution

    Substitution, Aberdeen. Cameron Smith replaces Peter Pawlett.

  8. Substitution

    Substitution, St. Johnstone. Gary Miller replaces David Wotherspoon.

  9. Booking

    Barry Robson (Aberdeen) is shown the yellow card.

  10. Post update

    Simon Lappin (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  11. Post update

    Foul by Barry Robson (Aberdeen).

  12. Post update

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

  13. Booking

    Peter Pawlett (Aberdeen) is shown the yellow card.

  14. Post update

    Attempt saved. David Goodwillie (Aberdeen) right footed shot from the left side of the six yard box is saved in the bottom left corner.

  15. Booking

    Steven MacLean (St. Johnstone) is shown the yellow card.

  16. Goal!

    Goal! St. Johnstone 1, Aberdeen 0. Steven MacLean (St. Johnstone) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Michael O'Halloran.

  17. Post update

    Foul by Ryan Jack (Aberdeen).

  18. Post update

    Chris Millar (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  19. Post update

    Michael O'Halloran (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  20. Post update

    Foul by Willo Flood (Aberdeen).