St Johnstone leapfrogged Aberdeen in the Scottish Premiership table as a Steven MacLean goal gave them all three points at McDiarmid Park.

MacLean had clipped a post in the first half and team-mate Gary MacDonald missed a golden chance after goalkeeper Jamie Langfield spilled the ball.

Andrew Considine headed off the bar as Aberdeen improved, but after that both sides struggled to create chances.

However, MacLean's predatory instincts made the difference late on.

It was Aberdeen's second defeat in three games, and a further worry to Dons boss Derek McInnes will be captain Russell Anderson limping off injured.

But Saints bounced back from the defeat by Hamilton in the best possible manner.

It was the battle of last season's cup winners, and the early success was coming from the home side.

MacLean threaded the ball through to David Wotherspoon, but his composure deserted him and he put his shot well wide.

Wotherspoon was again in action when a poor shot became a good cross, almost finding Dave Mackay, who subsequently hit the deck under pressure from Mark Reynolds. However the claims for a penalty were ignored by referee Craig Thomson.

There was plenty of vocal backing for the Dons, with 3,000 of their supporters making the trip to Perth, but their side struggled to make an impact.

St Johnstone really should have taken advantage of two mistakes within minutes of each other.

A poor pass-back by Jonny Hayes gifted MacLean the chance, but he could only hit a post.

Steven MacLean (left) wheels away after putting St Johnstone 1-0 up against Aberdeen.

Steven MacLean (left) wheels away after putting St Johnstone 1-0 up against Aberdeen.

Then ex-Don MacDonald passed up a golden opportunity when Langfield spilled MacLean's free-kick at his feet but, with the goalkeeper on the ground, he blasted his shot wide.

Those were two huge let-offs for Aberdeen and, perhaps feeling their luck may be in, the Dons awoke from their slumber.

Shaleum Logan's cross from the right found Considine, who bulleted a header against the crossbar, before the full-back again got forward and drove a dangerous ball across goal that went just behind four of his team-mates.

Niall McGinn could have had the Dons in front twice as the visitors started the second half on the front foot.

First, he swiped at fresh air after Hayes' short free-kick found him in space inside the box.

The Logan then picked out the Northern Ireland international with a deep cross, but he was always stretching and headed over the bar.

Mackay had a chance at the other end when he nodded wide, but the game was stuck in a rut and it was ex-Aberdeen striker MacLean who finally broke the deadlock.

Peter Pawlett appeared to be shoved to the ground but play raged on. The Dons defence failed to reorganise and Michael O'Halloran was able to pick out the unmarked MacLean, who stroked the ball into the net.

The Dons could only create half-chances as they failed to finish with a flurry and the hosts never looked in danger of letting their lead slip.

Lineup, Bookings (4) & Substitutions (6)

St Johnstone

  • 01 Mannus
  • 02 Mackay
  • 24 Easton
  • 07 Millar
  • 06 Anderson
  • 03 Scobbie Booked
  • 22 Croft (O'Halloran - 67' )
  • 20 Brown (Lappin - 72' )
  • 08 McDonald
  • 09 MacLean Booked
  • 10 Wotherspoon (Miller - 89' )

Substitutes

  • 04 Lappin
  • 05 Wright
  • 11 Morgan
  • 15 Banks
  • 19 Miller
  • 25 Kane
  • 29 O'Halloran

Aberdeen

  • 01 Langfield
  • 02 Logan
  • 03 Considine
  • 22 Jack
  • 04 Anderson (Robson - 77' Booked )
  • 06 Reynolds
  • 10 McGinn
  • 08 Flood
  • 11 Hayes
  • 09 Rooney (Goodwillie - 61' )
  • 16 Pawlett Booked (Smith - 89' )

Substitutes

  • 14 Smith
  • 15 Robson
  • 17 Goodwillie
  • 18 Low
  • 19 Robertson
  • 20 Brown
  • 21 Shaughnessy
Ref: Craig Thomson
Att: 6,377

Match Stats

Shots

9 9

On target

2 1

Corners

5 5

Fouls

13 11

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, St. Johnstone 1, Aberdeen 0.

90:00 +3:48 Full time

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

90:00 +3:30

Attempt missed. Jonny Hayes (Aberdeen) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses the top left corner.

90:00 +0:26

Attempt missed. Niall McGinn (Aberdeen) right footed shot from the right side of the box is too high.

89:49

Cameron Smith (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

89:49

Foul by Michael O'Halloran (St. Johnstone).

89:00 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Aberdeen. Cameron Smith replaces Peter Pawlett.

88:36 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, St. Johnstone. Gary Miller replaces David Wotherspoon.

88:06 Booking

Booking Barry Robson (Aberdeen) is shown the yellow card.

88:00

Simon Lappin (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick on the right wing.

87:58

Foul by Barry Robson (Aberdeen).

86:00

Attempt missed. Niall McGinn (Aberdeen) right footed shot from the right side of the box is too high.

82:51 Booking

Booking Peter Pawlett (Aberdeen) is shown the yellow card.

81:26

Attempt saved. David Goodwillie (Aberdeen) right footed shot from the left side of the six yard box is saved in the bottom left corner.

81:15 Booking

Booking Steven MacLean (St. Johnstone) is shown the yellow card.

79:58 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! St. Johnstone 1, Aberdeen 0. Steven MacLean (St. Johnstone) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Michael O'Halloran.

79:51

Foul by Ryan Jack (Aberdeen).

79:51

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

79:00

Michael O'Halloran (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick on the left wing.

78:59

Foul by Willo Flood (Aberdeen).

78:23

Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Steven MacLean.

77:53

Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by David Wotherspoon.

76:06 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Aberdeen. Barry Robson replaces Russell Anderson.

75:36 Booking

Booking Tam Scobbie (St. Johnstone) is shown the yellow card.

73:50

Corner, St. Johnstone. Conceded by Peter Pawlett.

73:31

Corner, St. Johnstone. Conceded by Shaleum Logan.

72:14

Attempt missed. Niall McGinn (Aberdeen) header from the centre of the box is just a bit too high.

71:20 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, St. Johnstone. Simon Lappin replaces Scott Brown.

71:00

Scott Brown (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

70:58

Foul by Willo Flood (Aberdeen).

69:08

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

69:08

Foul by Scott Brown (St. Johnstone).

66:52 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, St. Johnstone. Michael O'Halloran replaces Lee Croft.

62:39

Peter Pawlett (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

62:39

Foul by Scott Brown (St. Johnstone).

61:02

David Goodwillie (Aberdeen) wins a free kick on the left wing.

61:02

Foul by Tam Scobbie (St. Johnstone).

60:21 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Aberdeen. David Goodwillie replaces Adam Rooney.

60:04

Attempt missed. Ryan Jack (Aberdeen) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right.

57:00

Niall McGinn (Aberdeen) wins a free kick on the left wing.

56:59

Foul by Lee Croft (St. Johnstone).

55:04

Hand ball by Lee Croft (St. Johnstone).

54:05

Hand ball by Chris Millar (St. Johnstone).

51:54

Corner, St. Johnstone. Conceded by Mark Reynolds.

50:19

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

50:19

Foul by Brian Easton (St. Johnstone).

46:58

Attempt missed. Scott Brown (St. Johnstone) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left.

45:00

Second Half begins St. Johnstone 0, Aberdeen 0.

45:00 +1:04 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, St. Johnstone 0, Aberdeen 0.

45:00 +0:23

Attempt missed. Jonny Hayes (Aberdeen) left footed shot from outside the box is too high.

44:12

Attempt missed. Lee Croft (St. Johnstone) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.

43:34

Foul by Adam Rooney (Aberdeen).

43:34

Lee Croft (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

32:16

Attempt missed. Adam Rooney (Aberdeen) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses the top right corner.

31:25

Attempt missed. David Wotherspoon (St. Johnstone) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right.

30:33

Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by David Mackay.

30:12

Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Tam Scobbie.

30:06

Adam Rooney (Aberdeen) hits the bar with a header from the centre of the box.

27:21

Foul by Andrew Considine (Aberdeen).

27:21

Lee Croft (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

24:54

Adam Rooney (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

24:54

Foul by Tam Scobbie (St. Johnstone).

24:18

Andrew Considine (Aberdeen) wins a free kick on the right wing.

24:18

Foul by Lee Croft (St. Johnstone).

23:19

Foul by Andrew Considine (Aberdeen).

23:19

Lee Croft (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick on the left wing.

23:07

Attempt missed. Gary McDonald (St. Johnstone) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left.

22:56

Attempt saved. David Wotherspoon (St. Johnstone) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

21:33

Foul by Russell Anderson (Aberdeen).

21:33

Steven MacLean (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

20:21

Steven MacLean (St. Johnstone) hits the right post with a right footed shot from the centre of the box.

18:24

Willo Flood (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

18:24

Foul by Gary McDonald (St. Johnstone).

16:26

Mark Reynolds (Aberdeen) wins a free kick on the right wing.

16:26

Foul by Lee Croft (St. Johnstone).

12:33

Foul by Peter Pawlett (Aberdeen).

12:33

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

9:50

Tam Scobbie (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick on the right wing.

9:50

Foul by Adam Rooney (Aberdeen).

9:37

Attempt missed. Gary McDonald (St. Johnstone) header from the left side of the six yard box is close, but misses the top left corner.

8:56

Corner, St. Johnstone. Conceded by Mark Reynolds.

8:13

Corner, St. Johnstone. Conceded by Andrew Considine.

7:00

Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Tam Scobbie.

6:26

Willo Flood (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

6:26

Foul by Gary McDonald (St. Johnstone).

5:53

Attempt missed. David Wotherspoon (St. Johnstone) right footed shot from the left side of the box is close, but misses the top right corner.

5:17

Foul by Russell Anderson (Aberdeen).

5:17

Steven MacLean (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick on the right wing.

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

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