St Johnstone v Aberdeen

PA Sport
Isaac Osbourne was on target as Aberdeen took all three points against St Johnstone
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Isaac Osbourne was on target as Aberdeen took all three points against St Johnstone

Aberdeen got their first win of the new season after beating St Johnstone 2-1 in this Clydesdale Bank Premier League encounter.

Issac Osbourne and Jonny Hayes provided the goals but the score does not come close to describing the visitors' superiority, particularly in a second half where Aberdeen controlled the play in the St Johnstone half and created numerous chances.

Nigel Hasselbaink added a late consolation for the hosts, but the defeat from the season home opener leaves St Johnstone with only a point from their first three SPL games.

Before kick-off St Johnstone boss Steve Lomas was dealt a blow as illness prevented Craig Beattie from making his debut. Instead, Lomas went for Sean Higgins through the centre in a three-man attack that featured Hasselbaink and Liam Craig cutting in from either wing. Gregory Tade and Rowan Vine missed out through suspension.

Aberdeen started the brighter of the two sides with Fraser's direct running giving the visitors an early spark, and it was through the youngster that Aberdeen were able to open the scoring on 15 minutes.

Fraser's cross from the left was flicked on by Scott Vernon and dropped nicely for Isaac Osbourne arriving into the box. The makeshift right-back controlled the ball with one touch before smashing it low into the corner for Aberdeen's first league goal of the season.

The hosts had looked disjointed in attack throughout most of the first half and Lomas reacted to this by withdrawing Murray Davidson and replacing him with Gary Miller, with the team reverting to a 4-4-2.

Within two minutes of the restart the change almost had an immediate effect, but Higgins fluffed a glorious chance when Craig's free-kick was deflected into his path six yards out. But any momentum that could have been taken from carving out such an opportunity was gone 20 seconds later when a calamitous error gifted Aberdeen a two-goal lead.

There appeared to be little danger when a through ball for Jonny Hayes was comfortably covered by Fraser Wright. However, the defender elected against putting the ball into the stands and waited for the oncoming Alan Mannus to clear. The indecision allowed Hayes to nick the ball from the pair and roll it into the empty net.

Hasselbaink pulled a goal back late on after side-footing home from 10 yards, but the game should have been over as a contest long before this consolation, and the visitors were able to ride the nervy finish for a thoroughly deserved three points.

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