Aberdeen 1 St Johnstone 1: Hendry finish canceled out by second half penalty



On a night of more bad luck, St Johnstone added a solitary point to their Premiership survival mission.

Forward Callum Hendry’s composed first half finish had Saints in front following an impressive start in the north east.

Goalkeeper Zander Clark was the latest injury concern and he hobbled off before the interval with his team-mates one to the good.

But another penalty awarded against Callum Davidson’s men, this time on 71 minutes, allowed Lewis Ferguson to level proceedings from the spot.

Davidson had again shuffled his pack of Perth playing cards and made four changes from last Wednesday’s defeat in Paisley.

Both wing-backs in Tony Gallacher and Tom Sang dropped to the bench, replaced by the more familiar faces of Callum Booth and James Brown.

And in the middle of the park, Cammy MacPherson’s dislocated shoulder ruled him out and paved the way for Melker Hallberg to return from suspension.

Jacob Butterfield was also given the nod in the center of midfield, stepping in for Murray Davidson who was absent from the team-sheet.

A fast start was imperative to set the tone and Saints certainly delivered.

On just six minutes, tenacious work from Glenn Middleton – he never gave up – saw him steal the ball off Jonny Hayes and drive towards the Dons’ box.

Cutting in from the right flank, his low shot was saved by Joe Lewis, as was Ali Crawford’s follow-up, but it was third time lucky for the men in blue.

Hendry showed wonderful composition from close range to shuffle the ball ever so slightly and that created the room to prod into the back of the net.

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That was his third goal since returning to the club and, all round, his contribution has been most welcome.

Aberdeen immediately went on the hunt for a leveler but were met by a goalkeeper in Clark who was clearly determined not to be beaten.

First he kept out a Hayes header and then got the slightest of touches on a Scott Brown long-ranger to tip the effort onto the top of the crossbar.

Hayes was again threatening in 21 minutes, this time with a shot on the swivel, but Clark had his angles spot on to make a very clever stop.

There was panic among the traveling support when the Perth No.1 went down injured later in the half. He temporarily soldiered on.

But his evening was up just minutes from the break after again hitting the deck. This time he was unable to continue and was replaced by Elliott Parish.

The treatment table at McDiarmid Park is already a busy one but hopefully Clark is only absent short-term.

Dan Cleary was next to require treatment in the second half. He was able to continue. Then goalscorer Hendry hit the turf. I couldn’t continue.

His replacement on the hour mark was Stevie May as Saints looked to consolidate and build on their one-goal advantage.

Aberdeen were applying pressure without appearing overly threatening but they had a route back into the game on 71 minutes.

That was when Booth had two nibbles at Calvin Ramsay and referee Gavin Duncan pointed to the penalty spot.

Ferguson stepped up and slammed into the bottom corner for 1-1.

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Perth legs were tiring and Booth was then replaced by Gallacher, while Hallberg swapped off for Liam Craig.

The hosts continued to look the likelier to net again but Middleton did break in the 84th minute before being crowded out in the box.

Parish was called into action late in the evening and pulled off a great save to deny Christian Ramirez a winner.




www.dailyrecord.co.uk

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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