10 Dec Aberdeen 0 – 0 St Johnstone
David Wotherspoon rattled a post with a late freekick as Aberdeen and St Johnstone fought out a goalless draw at Pittodrie.
Saints looked the more likely side to break the deadlock but they passed up a couple of golden opportunties before Wotherspoon hit the frame of the goal.
The Dons went into the match with a poor record against their opponents, having won just one of the last seven league meetings between the sides and failing to win any of the last three Pittodrie clashes.
So it was perhaps to be expected that the early stages where a cagey affair and, bar the odd feint or switch of play in midfield from the precocious James Maddison, it took 19 minutes before either side created a clear chance.
Saints midfielder Murray Davidson picked out Steven MacLean and worked his way into the box to receive the return pass. It looked like he should find the corner of the net, but instead fired wide of the post.
Aberdeen’s Andrew Considine sent a free header over the bar from Maddison’s corner a minute later, but other than a 25-yard Kenny McLean half-volley which had Zander Clark scrambling across his goal, the game soon settled back down.
Referee Kevin Clancy incurred the wrath of the home fans, though, as he blew up for half-time just as Peter Pawlett pulled the trigger on a strike from distance after a promising breakaway.
Pawlett was one of two players replaced at the break by the Dons, the other being Niall McGinn, as Jayden Stockley and Shay Logan, who had dropped out after picking up a knock, entered the fray.
That certainly gave them more to aim at, but they were struggling to find the right pass in the final third, and that would continue through the second period.
A slew of bookings marked the midway point in the second half, with Davidson and MacLean both going into the book for fouls on Maddison, and Chris Kane also picked up a yellow for a late challenge on Anthony O’Connor in between.
Finally, with 15 minutes there was a sighter on goal as Saints substitute Graham Cummins sent an acrobatic effort over the bar, moments before MacLean forced Joe Lewis to tip over with a 30-yard drive.
And there was a further let-off for the home side, as Graeme Shinnie’s short passback left Lewis exposed, but another substitute, Blair Alston, could only prod wide of the target.
There was a late booking for Aberdeen’s McLean after he brought down Wotherspoon. The former Hibernian man picked himself up and struck the upright from the resultant free-kick.