Scottish Premiership
AberdeenAberdeen0St JohnstoneSt Johnstone1

Aberdeen 0-1 St Johnstone: Stephen Glass confident side will 'get where we want to be'

By Thomas DuncanBBC Scotland
Stevie May came off the bench to secure a first league win for St Johnstone
Stevie May came off the bench to secure a first league win for St Johnstone

Aberdeen manager Stephen Glass maintains his side will "get to where we want to be" in the Scottish Premiership despite Stevie May's late goal for St Johnstone consigning them to a seventh game without a win.

May came off the bench to give his side a first league victory with a neat finish six minutes from full time after a drab match Pittodrie.

The forward celebrated joyfully in front of the home fans - some of whom booed their team off - after a tough two-year spell with Aberdeen.

St Johnstone remain eighth while Aberdeen stay sixth after back-to-back league defeats without scoring.

"I understand their frustration," Glass said of the fans' reaction.

"We're as frustrated as they are as a group. Players, staff, everyone. We are trying to do something at the club that's a little bit different.

"We're six games into a league campaign, we're sitting halfway up the league, we know we should be better. We'll get to where we want to be."

Before May's crucial intervention, this game was heading for a dreary, goalless conclusion after a poor previous 83 minutes in which neither side produced fluid football.

The home side had most of the ball but little to show for it. Striker Christian Ramirez was twice a matter of inches from getting on the end of teasing crosses, first from Lewis Ferguson in the opening period, and then by Jack MacKenzie after the break, but was left stretching for both.

Wolves loanee Austin Samuels also cut in twice to test Zander Clark in the St Johnstone goal as his pace and trickery caused problems, but ultimately not enough to carve a goal.

The visitors offered next to nothing in the first half but grew into the game in the second 45 minutes, with Glenn Middleton twice threatening.

First he snuck in between two Aberdeen defenders to pounce on a loose ball, but he scuffed his shot and allowed Joe Lewis to make a good save.

Not long after the on-loan Rangers forward finished from just a few yards out, but the flag was up for offside after Chris Kane's flick into his path.

But May was the hero as he pounced on a loose ball before cutting inside both substitute Declan Gallagher and Calvin Ramsay and squeezing the ball into the bottom corner past an unsighted Lewis.

It was a fitting conclusion for the St Johnstone forward, who spent two frustrating seasons at Aberdeen, and he wheeled away towards the corner flag, cupping his hands to his ears after extracting revenge on his old side.

Man of the match - Efe Ambrose

Ambrose was composed on debut and kept Aberdeen at arms length
Ambrose was composed on debut and kept Aberdeen at arms length

What did we learn?

Aberdeen look a disjointed team. Out of Europe, out of the League Cup to lower-league opposition, and with just two wins from their first six league games, the results are far from convincing. However, with a new manager and new players still settling in, results can be forgiven if performances are creditable, but they seem to be getting worse.

Not enough creativity comes from midfield, and Christian Ramirez is not mobile enough to lead the attack all by himself. Austin Samuels was their best performer by far as his direct approach gave St Johnstone something to think about, but he was replaced on the hour mark.

Manager Stephen Glass talked with confidence pre-match about the work they had done on the training ground to improve their defensive work after a leaky spell, and they were better in that aspect, but ultimately still failed to keep a clean sheet. Glass also said the team believe in the process but at some point words need to be backed up by action.

As for St Johnstone, they will be delighted to get three points on the board. They have played well at times this season without reward, and this time they did secure victory without hitting their straps.

Ambrose was impressive on debut at the back, and Jamie McCart continues to excel, but there are little concerns defensively anyway. Manager Callum Davidson will hope for more in possession and in attack, but ultimately they produced the crucial moment.

What they said

Aberdeen manager Stephen Glass: "Disappointed and frustrated again. A lot of the ball and we get into areas in the final third and don't look like we're going to score a goal.

"It would be worrying if we weren't getting the team in situations. Obviously we want to be doing better than we are, we're getting the team in situations and it's a little bit of quality that's lacking."

St Johnstone manager Callum Davidson: "Delighted to get the win. All our efforts earlier in the season probably got us the three points. We didn't play particularly well I wasn't happy with how we got on the ball or reacted to things. But I'm delighted for the lads.

"I thought we got better as the second half went on and great for Stevie May to get the goal. Defensively we were good, just on the attacking side we can be better and make better decisions."

What's next?

Aberdeen are away at St Mirren in the league in what already looks like a must-win game on Sunday (12:00 BST) while St Johnstone will look to build on their win against Dundee on Wednesday in the League Cup quarter-final (19:45).

Player of the match

MayStevie May

with an average of 7.04

Aberdeen

  1. Squad number2Player nameMcCrorie
    Average rating

    5.30

  2. Squad number22Player nameRamsay
    Average rating

    5.24

  3. Squad number27Player nameBates
    Average rating

    5.17

  4. Squad number3Player nameMacKenzie
    Average rating

    5.03

  5. Squad number23Player nameSamuels
    Average rating

    5.00

  6. Squad number19Player nameFerguson
    Average rating

    4.73

  7. Squad number9Player nameRamírez
    Average rating

    4.61

  8. Squad number16Player nameOjo
    Average rating

    4.59

  9. Squad number1Player nameLewis
    Average rating

    4.45

  10. Squad number14Player nameEmmanuel-Thomas
    Average rating

    4.21

  11. Squad number17Player nameHayes
    Average rating

    4.14

  12. Squad number10Player nameMcGinn
    Average rating

    3.88

  13. Squad number5Player nameGallagher
    Average rating

    3.28

  14. Squad number8Player nameBrown
    Average rating

    2.44

St Johnstone

  1. Squad number7Player nameMay
    Average rating

    7.04

  2. Squad number17Player nameVertainen
    Average rating

    6.69

  3. Squad number21Player nameCrawford
    Average rating

    6.62

  4. Squad number14Player nameMiddleton
    Average rating

    6.46

  5. Squad number1Player nameClark
    Average rating

    6.41

  6. Squad number2Player nameBrown
    Average rating

    6.11

  7. Squad number19Player nameRooney
    Average rating

    6.01

  8. Squad number4Player nameMcCart
    Average rating

    5.92

  9. Squad number9Player nameKane
    Average rating

    5.80

  10. Squad number10Player nameWotherspoon
    Average rating

    5.80

  11. Squad number8Player nameDavidson
    Average rating

    5.76

  12. Squad number24Player nameBooth
    Average rating

    5.60

  13. Squad number11Player nameO'Halloran
    Average rating

    5.60

  14. Squad number25Player nameEfe Ambrose
    Average rating

    5.46

Line-ups

Aberdeen

Formation 4-4-2

  • 1Lewis
  • 22Ramsay
  • 27BatesSubstituted forGallagherat 74'minutes
  • 2McCrorie
  • 3MacKenzie
  • 16Ojo
  • 8Brown
  • 19Ferguson
  • 23SamuelsSubstituted forHayesat 60'minutes
  • 9Ramírez
  • 14Emmanuel-ThomasBooked at 32minsSubstituted forMcGinnat 66'minutes

Substitutes

  • 5Gallagher
  • 10McGinn
  • 17Hayes
  • 20Jenks
  • 24Campbell
  • 30Ritchie
  • 44M Longstaff

St Johnstone

Formation 3-4-3

  • 1Clark
  • 2BrownBooked at 35mins
  • 25Ambrose
  • 4McCart
  • 19Rooney
  • 10Wotherspoon
  • 8DavidsonBooked at 56mins
  • 24Booth
  • 11O'HalloranBooked at 8minsSubstituted forCrawfordat 60'minutes
  • 9KaneSubstituted forVertainenat 81'minutes
  • 14MiddletonSubstituted forMayat 69'minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Devine
  • 7May
  • 12Parish
  • 16Muller
  • 17Vertainen
  • 21Crawford
  • 26Craig
Referee:
Bobby Madden
Attendance:
13,007

Match Stats

Home TeamAberdeenAway TeamSt Johnstone
Possession
Home66%
Away34%
Shots
Home11
Away9
Shots on Target
Home3
Away1
Corners
Home6
Away3
Fouls
Home14
Away12

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Aberdeen 0, St. Johnstone 1.

  2. Full Time

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

  3. Post update

    Attempt missed. Jonny Hayes (Aberdeen) header from the right side of the six yard box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Jack MacKenzie with a cross.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Lewis Ferguson (Aberdeen).

  5. Post update

    Jamie McCart (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  6. Post update

    Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Jamie McCart.

  7. Post update

    Foul by Lewis Ferguson (Aberdeen).

  8. Post update

    James Brown (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  9. Post update

    Attempt missed. Declan Gallagher (Aberdeen) header from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Calvin Ramsay with a cross following a corner.

  10. Post update

    Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by David Wotherspoon.

  11. Post update

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

  12. Post update

    Foul by Stevie May (St. Johnstone).

  13. Post update

    Attempt missed. Lewis Ferguson (Aberdeen) right footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Christian Ramírez.

  14. Goal!

    Goal! Aberdeen 0, St. Johnstone 1. Stevie May (St. Johnstone) right footed shot from outside the box to the bottom left corner.

  15. Post update

    Jack MacKenzie (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  16. Post update

    Foul by Eetu Vertainen (St. Johnstone).

  17. Substitution

    Substitution, St. Johnstone. Eetu Vertainen replaces Christopher Kane because of an injury.

  18. Post update

    Foul by Niall McGinn (Aberdeen).

  19. Post update

    Jamie McCart (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  20. Post update

    Offside, Aberdeen. Calvin Ramsay tries a through ball, but Funso Ojo is caught offside.

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Hibernian6330126612
2Rangers5401104612
3Hearts633095412
4Motherwell531185310
5Celtic5302163139
6Aberdeen62226608
7Dundee Utd521224-27
8St Johnstone613234-16
9St Mirren6042512-74
10Dundee5032411-73
11Ross County6033513-83
12Livingston501429-71
View full Scottish Premiership table

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