Saints 0-1 Aberdeen

By Stuart Gillespie
Last updated : 15 February 2014

This was an absolutely dire game. Neither side deserved to win - in fact we should both have had points taken off for producing such an awful match live on Sky. Neither side looked like scoring either until we gave away a late penalty for a foul that looked outside the box. After that neither side could stop creating chances and you had to wonder why we didn't produce that earlier in the game.

We've lost our last four games in all competition. In that time we've scored one penalty and an early header against Hearts. OK, we've also played Celtic, Aberdeen and Dundee United, who are all pretty good sides, but it is an absolutely dire run. We have Ross County and Kilmarnock next and we have to win both of those to get us out of the rut.

The problems started with an odd team selection. Why have one midfielder in defence when you can have two? As expected, Jim Goodwin replaced the suspended Marc McAusland at the back - with Conor Newton at rightback. Jason Naismith hadn't been great last week so him dropping to the bench wasn't a huge surprise, but why not bring in a natural rightback in David van Zanten? We also had John McGinn and Gregg Wylde back in the team, with Wylde and Paul McGowan expected to get forward to help Steven Thompson against the strong Aberdeen defence. With Adam Rooney, Niall McGinn and Peter Pawlett all starting the Dons had plenty of attacking intent even though Jonny Hayes and Barry Robson were both - thankfully - absent.

We didn't start too badly, certainly better than last week anyway, but Newton's delivery let us down at times. Aberdeen managed to get a string of corners but only one came to anything meaningful and Shaleum Logan's shot was always curling over the bar. The same went for Paul McGowan's attempt at the other end, although Eric Djemba-Djemba and Wylde had worked well to get the ball to him. There wasn't a great deal happening at either end, John McGinn's effort always sailing well wide from about 25 yards. Kenny McLean had a header from Gregg Wylde's corner easily saved by Jamie Langfield before Niall McGinn shot over, both teams putting in a dreadful display in a first half that offered hardly anything to get excited about.

The second half began with a decent chance for us, McLean being sent in behind the defence and he played the ball across for Thompson, his shot not far wide with Langfield beaten. At the other end Nicky Low was well off target after Jim Goodwin had been booked for a ridiculous handball decision, Marian Kello then clutching an Andrew Considine header and not letting it go. After Niall McGinn just failed to get something on the end of a Considine flick across goal, John McGinn tried his luck from distance but his shot trundled wide. The McGinns were suddenly the centre of attention, Djemba-Djemba being booked after flattening the Aberdeen version.

Adam Campbell was given slightly longer than last week when he replaced McGowan, who had had another disappointing game, but it didn't help our play. Instead, Kello did well to tip Low's shot behind before Djemba-Djemba gave away a penalty for a foul on Peter Pawlett. There is some debate as to whether or not it was inside the box (and in my view contact was minimal) but the ref wasted little time in giving a penalty that Rooney duly ticked away. It was totally self inflicted and Djemba-Djemba was soon hooked, Teale taking his place, Aberdeen replaced Low with Alan Tate.

The unlikely figure of Darren McGregor thought he'd brought us level but the flag was up - hard to tell if he was offside but again it had been an early decision from the officials. Wylde then saw Langfield deny him a goal against his former club on the line before Rooney fluffed a chance to kill things off, firing straight at Kello before fluffing his attempt to square for McGinn to tap him.  Normally when we do things like that we are punished, but we weren't able to inflict that and suffered our fourth straight defeat.

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