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Aberdeen held to draw by St Johnstone

Danny Swanson (second left) had the best chance of the game with a volley

Aberdeen were left frustrated in their efforts to get their season off to a winning start as they were held by St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park.

Dons goalkeeper Joe Lewis denied Graham Cummins from close range in the first half, followed by a stinging Danny Swanson volley in the second.

Then Aberdeen took control with captain Ryan Jack forcing saves with a volley and a header.

Aberdeen launched a late rally but rarely troubled goalkeeper Alan Mannus.

After returning from a disappointing midweek Europa League exit in Slovenia, the Dons were keen to bounce back in a fixture that was not short of goals last season.

However, both sides cancelled each other out in a dour encounter with chances at a premium.

St Johnstone had found the net with ease against the Dons last season; scoring 12 goals in their four clashes.

They nearly continued that trend with their first attack of the game - Cummins almost diverting Brian Easton's shot past goalkeeper Lewis, who managed to block.

Aberdeen were dominating possession without really testing Saints goalkeeper Mannus; a Jack volley the only shot on target in the first half.

And it was the hosts again who went closest to breaking the deadlock when Anthony O'Connor's clearance landed kindly for Danny Swanson who thumped a shot towards the corner, only to be denied by the quick reactions of Lewis.

Poor defending again handed a gilt-edged chance to Cummins inside the six yard box, but he miss-kicked with the goal gaping and Lewis was able to smother the ball.

Manager Derek McInnes' three-man attack of summer signings Miles Storey, Jayden Stockley and Wes Burns had proved ineffective, with a long Kenny McLean shot the Dons' only attempt in the opening stages of the second half.

Ryan Jack (left) shot

With ambitions of claiming their first league title since 1985 the visitors began to inject more pace into the game, and with the introduction of Adam Rooney and Niall McGinn came more of a threat.

Andrew Considine and Jack forced saves with shots in quick succession as Aberdeen launched an aerial bombardment to unsettled the Saints backline.

Jack's close range header was tipped wide before McGinn should have done better with a weak shot.

Stockley could have won it at the end but he could not connect to Graeme Shinnie's diagonal ball at the back post.

Line-ups

St Johnstone

  • 1Mannus
  • 14Shaughnessy
  • 6Anderson
  • 3Scobbie
  • 24B Easton
  • 4Alston