Aberdeen beat ‘farcical’ playing conditions and give Craig Brown selection headache

Aberdeen manager Craig Brown watches from the dugout. Picture: SNS
Aberdeen manager Craig Brown watches from the dugout. Picture: SNS
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MANAGER Craig Brown hopes to have a selection dilemma ahead of the winter break after watching his Aberdeen side defeat St Johnstone 2-0 at a storm-lashed Pittodrie.

Aberdeen 2 - 0 St Johnstone

Scorer: Aberdeen - McGinn 63, 82

Referee: S Finnie

Attendance: 7,051

Niall McGinn scored twice, taking his tally to 11 for the season, as the Dons defied the elements to climb above Saints and within three points of Wednesday’s Boxing Day opponents, Motherwell.

“Without question we were the better team,” Brown said.

“If it had been 0-0, which was possible until McGinn took the free-kick, I’d still have said we were the better team. We got the goals which gave us the points.”

Brown selected ten players eligible at under-21 level in his squad, seven more than SPL regulations require, as a result of eight injuries and one suspension, for goalkeeper Jamie Langfield.

Influential forward Jonny Hayes (knock) and Andrew Considine (ill) were the latest to miss out, but could return at Fir Park, should Brown opt to tinker with his side.

“We’re hoping we might get a couple of players fit,” Brown added.

“It will be hard to disturb that team because they played particularly well. If we think we can improve it we’ll improve it.”

Jason Brown made his first start of the season in goal after Langfield was suspended for his dismissal against Kilmarnock, but the Aberdeen manager was tight-lipped over who would play at Motherwell.

Wales international Brown was limping throughout and his fitness could be a factor in the decision.

Brown said: “He was struggling before the game. We were worried about whether he could play because he got an injury in training on Thursday, his ankle. We had Danny Rogers, the young goalie, ready.”

Aberdeen knocked Motherwell out of the William Hill Scottish Cup at Fir Park for a second successive season earlier this month and Brown is targeting a repeat result in the SPL.

He said: “It will be another hard game. It gives us a chance to catch them in the league and we’ll be on the same points if we can win that game.

“Motherwell in the SPL are having a very good season. We managed to beat them the last twice in the cup there, but we haven’t done it in the league.”

St Johnstone are now without a win in four SPL matches ahead of the Boxing Day fixture with Dundee United.

Manager Steve Lomas described conditions as “farcical”, with the saturated Pittodrie turf cutting up even more as the match unfolded, and did not believe the match should have gone ahead.

Lomas said: “The Aberdeen fans will be delighted they got the three points and all credit to them, but as a game of football it was farcical out there at times.

“It’s not a proper football match. It was who could hump it the longest.

“We didn’t play the conditions very well second half and all credit to Aberdeen, they deserved to win.”