DCSIMG

St Johnstone 3 - 1 Aberdeen: Dons defence punished

Gregory Tade: Opened scoring

Gregory Tade: Opened scoring

  • by GAVIN McCAFFERTY
 

St Johnstone capitalised on some hesitant Aberdeen defending as two goals in three second-half minutes moved them above the Dons in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League.

SCORERS:

St Johnstone - Tade (33), Vine (68), MacKay (70)

Aberdeen - McGinn (44)

Attendance: 2,167

Rowan Vine hooked home after a 68th-minute corner and Dave Mackay soon forced home to move Saints into fifth place in the SPL. Gregory Tade opened the scoring for the home side in the 33rd minute after a mistake from stand-in centre-back Isaac Osbourne but Niall McGinn’s superb volley had brought the Dons level a minute before half-time.

St Johnstone midfielder Liam Craig had an early header cleared off the line by Clark Robertson but that was a rare piece of goalmouth action in the first half hour with the wind appearing to cause problems for the players.

Tade had a great chance just before he scored when he raced on to a long ball. Jamie Langfield dived to his right and Tade went the other way but the goalkeeper stopped the shot with his foot.

Tade was gifted a second chance moments later when Osbourne took a poor touch after Callum Davidson had played a hopeful ball up the left flank and allowed the striker to run through on goal.

The former Raith Rovers and Inverness striker made no mistake this time, taking the ball around Langfield and stroking home before Osbourne could get back.

McGinn’s cross soon took out home goalkeeper Alan Mannus and allowed Rory Fallon a great chance to equalise but Mackay got a touch just before the New Zealand international, who could not divert it home.

Osbourne soon moved to right-back, swapping with Joe Shaughnessy, and Aberdeen equalised out of the blue. Stephen Hughes played the ball down the right to Josh Magennis, who got away from Davidson and sent over a dangerous ball into the heart of the goalmouth.

McGinn reacted quickly and was well placed but the chance was far from easy and he struck a powerful first-time effort into the roof of the net.

Osbourne lined up in his third position of the night after the break, playing in a central midfield three. McGinn was now on the right flank and his trickery allowed him space to cross for Gavin Rae, who headed over from eight yards.

The Northern Ireland international then came close himself when he cut inside and fired into the side-netting.

Michael Doughty, who signed on loan from QPR on Tuesday, replaced Hasselbaink in the 64th minute as Saints matched Aberdeen’s 4-3-3 formation. And they soon went ahead following Craig’s corner into the six-yard box. Langfield came off his line but failed to collect and Magennis could only head the second ball into the air under pressure from Vine, who showed impressive agility to volley into the roof of the net. Saints doubled their lead two minutes later following more hesitancy. Davidson chased a ball dinked into the left channel and appeared second favourite.

But he hurled himself towards the ball and neither Robertson or Magennis could clear. The ball broke for Steven MacLean who cut it back for Mackay to fire home from close range.

 

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