Scottish Premiership
AberdeenAberdeen0St JohnstoneSt Johnstone1

Aberdeen 0-1 St Johnstone

By Scott DavieBBC Scotland at Pittodrie

Chris Kane came off the bench to score his first St Johnstone goal, which gives the Perth club a chance of playing in Europe next season.

The 20-year-old striker ran on to a James McFadden pass to slot the ball home on 70 minutes.

Saints end the campaign in fourth place and will enter the Europa League if Inverness win the Scottish Cup.

Aberdeen finished strongly but could not find a way through on what was captain Russell Anderson's final game.

Midway through the second half, Dundee United were ahead in the race for fourth as they rattled in the goals against their city rivals, 70 miles south.

Saints boss Wright sent on Brian Graham, McFadden and eventually Kane to try to rescue things.

Only relegated St Mirren have scored fewer league goals than the Perth side but they did dig one more out just when they needed it.

McFadden caught the Dons defence out with an inviting pass into the inside right channel and Kane sprinted clear and, with virtually his first kick, showed real composure to sweep the ball under Scott Brown's body into the far corner of the net.

It was triumph for the desire that St Johnstone put into the game and the visitors were typically impressive in defence.

Alan Mannus played his part with a stunning fingertip on to the post to deny Jonny Hayes what would have been a deserved goal for his front-running.

That was on the stroke of half time and came after the Northern Ireland international had been bailed out by Steven Anderson's goal-line clearance when Cammy Smith got the ball past him.

Early in the second half, Tam Sobbie made a goal-saving tackle to stop Smith on the edge of the penalty box.

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes and his players were not convinced Scobbie got a touch on the ball.

Aberdeen captain Russell Anderson was given a warm send-off at Pittodrie
Aberdeen captain Russell Anderson was given a warm send-off at Pittodrie

That and the fact they could not convert pressure in to goals themselves this time added to the frustration of a first home league defeat since August to any team other than Celtic.

It also meant a losing farewell for Anderson 18 years after he made his Pittodrie debut in a 2-0 defeat against Dunfermline.

Anderson was given a well-deserved standing ovation from the Dons fans and a guard of honour from both sets of players ahead of his last appearance.

But what would have pleased him most was the fact he did not look like a man who had to hang up his boots when the action got underway.

This was the defender's first game since a serious injury against the same opponents last August and he looked like he had never been away.

Not that the Perth club were out to make it a comfortable afternoon for the veteran given their desperation to join the Dons in the Europa League.

That was best displayed when Steven MacLean was booked in 32 minutes for a clear dive in the box in a vain attempt to earn a penalty.

By then Saints had shown plenty of intent going forward but the season-long problem of lack of goals was all too evident.

And, despite the promptings of Danny Swanson and willing runs of Michael O'Halloran, they rarely looked like solving that problem until Kane's late intervention.

Line-ups

Aberdeen

Formation 3-5-1-1

  • 20Brown
  • 5Taylor
  • 4AndersonBooked at 63mins
  • 6ReynoldsSubstituted forWrightat 56'minutes
  • 21Shaughnessy
  • 18LowSubstituted forShanklandat 47'minutes
  • 14SmithSubstituted forRossat 80'minutes
  • 11Hayes
  • 3Considine
  • 16Pawlett
  • 10McGinn

Substitutes

  • 1Langfield
  • 17Goodwillie
  • 25Shankland
  • 28Daniels
  • 37Harvie
  • 38Ross
  • 39Wright

St Johnstone

Formation 3-5-2

  • 1Mannus
  • 6Anderson
  • 3Scobbie
  • 24Easton
  • 10WotherspoonBooked at 55mins
  • 7Millar
  • 16CaddisSubstituted forMcFaddenat 56'minutes
  • 18Davidson
  • 11Swanson
  • 29O'HalloranSubstituted forGrahamat 56'minutes
  • 9MacLeanBooked at 33minsSubstituted forKaneat 70'minutes

Substitutes

  • 4Lappin
  • 5Wright
  • 14Graham
  • 15Banks
  • 17McFadden
  • 20Brown
  • 25Kane
Referee:
William Collum
Attendance:
16,389

Match Stats

Home TeamAberdeenAway TeamSt Johnstone
Possession
Home49%
Away51%
Shots
Home9
Away6
Shots on Target
Home7
Away1
Corners
Home13
Away4
Fouls
Home12
Away12

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Aberdeen 0, St. Johnstone 1.

  2. Full Time

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

  3. Post update

    Jonny Hayes (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Murray Davidson (St. Johnstone).

  5. Post update

    Russell Anderson (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  6. Post update

    Foul by Brian Graham (St. Johnstone).

  7. Post update

    Foul by Andrew Considine (Aberdeen).

  8. Post update

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

  9. Post update

    Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by David Wotherspoon.

  10. Post update

    Jonny Hayes (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  11. Post update

    Foul by Murray Davidson (St. Johnstone).

  12. Post update

    Corner, St. Johnstone. Conceded by Ash Taylor.

  13. Post update

    Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Murray Davidson.

  14. Post update

    Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by James McFadden.

  15. Substitution

    Substitution, Aberdeen. Frank Ross replaces Cameron Smith.

  16. Post update

    Attempt missed. Ash Taylor (Aberdeen) header from the right side of the six yard box is close, but misses to the left.

  17. Post update

    Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Steven Anderson.

  18. Post update

    Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Alan Mannus.

  19. Post update

    Attempt saved. Joe Shaughnessy (Aberdeen) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top left corner.

  20. Post update

    Attempt saved. Lawrence Shankland (Aberdeen) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic38295484176792
2Aberdeen38236957332475
3Inverness CT381981152421065
4St Johnstone38169133434057
5Dundee Utd38175165856256
6Dundee381112154657-1145
7Hamilton38158155053-353
8Partick Thistle381210164844446
9Ross County38128184663-1744
10Kilmarnock38118194459-1541
11Motherwell38106223863-2536
12St Mirren3893263066-3630
View full Scottish Premiership table

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