Aberdeen 0-0 St Johnstone
Aberdeen 0 - 0 St Johnstone
Aberdeen had a man sent off but were the better team in their goalless match against St Johnstone at Pittodrie.
Saints keeper Peter Enckelman struggled with the wind, with the excellent Fraser Fyvie hitting a cross over his head that rebounded off the post.
The Finn, though, made a smart save from a low Darren Mackie shot and Josh Magennis shot wide after a mazy run.
Ryan Jack, 19, was sent off for a late challenge on Murray Davidson but the Perth side could not capitalise.
Aberdeen enjoyed almost complete domination of their visitors in the opening half.
But before they got a grip on the game, their defender Youl Mawene failed to deal with Cillian Sheridan's in-swinging cross but David Robertson was unable to fire past Dons goalkeeper David Gonzalez.
Aberdeen captain Ricky Foster twice threatened the Saints goal early in the game.
In 10 minutes he brushed the side netting from 30 yards with a dipping free-kick then three minutes later advanced from his left-back berth to unleash a fizzing shot that was parried out of play by Enckelman.
The men in red had the Perth side pushed back, with Mackie pestering the visitors' defence, aided by the lively Peter Pawlett.
However, they could not find an end product to their combative, progressive build-up play and were almost caught out on the stroke of half-time.
Sheridan, on loan from CSKA Sofia, pounced on hesitancy by Mawene and his close-range stab at goal was saved by Gonzalez.
Canadian striker Marcus Haber replaced midfielder Liam Craig for Saints at half-time as Derek McInnes sought to reverse the direction of play and the powerful striker soon began to make his presence felt, Andy Considine blocking one of his shots within minutes of the restart.
But Craig Brown's side soon had the upper hand again, with Enckelman always troubled with the swirling wind.
Foster's looping free-kick had the big goalie frantically back-tracking before clutching the ball a few yards from goal, then a cute pass from Fyvie played in Mackie whose low shot from the corner of the six-yard box was well saved.
The home side were using the wind to their advantage and almost sneaked a goal when a high in-swinging corner from Rob Milsom was cleared from the front post by Davidson.
And Enckelman was relieved - and fortunate - when a cross by Fyvie swooshed over his head and rebounded off the far post to be swept clear by Anderson.
Davidson, the subject of a failed bid by Rangers, was on the receiving end of a late sliding challenge by Jack which earned him a straight red card from Steve Conroy.
Despite their numerical disadvantage, Aberdeen looked the more likely to win the match and when sub Magennis surged towards goal, the home fans had their hopes raised.
Yet after leaving a trail of blue jerseys in his wake, Magennis pulled his weak shot from the edge of the box wide of the target.
Too often Sheridan was isolated up front for St Johnstone and they look as if they have still to solve the goalscoring problems of last season.
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