Dons downed by double Sheri

Saints were well worth their victory, but had fallen behind against

the run of play to Darren Mackie’s 17th minute strike. Kenny

Deuchar capitalised on a Jamie Langfield error to head his side

level, before on-loan Celtic striker Sheridan netted a low strike

five minutes later. Another mistake from Langfield allowed Sheridan

to bag the third with 25 minutes to go. Aberdeen lined up for their

final game before the SPL split, making just one change from the

side that had been beaten by Rangers at Ibrox in midweek. Former

Manchester City man Paul Marshall came in for his first start since

February, replacing Sone Aluko, who dropped out completely. Davide

Grassi started despite a facial injury picked up in midweek.

Full-back Danny Grainger started a ban for the Saints, while fellow

defender Dave MacKay missed out through injury. Former Celtic man

Gary Irvine came into the defence, while midfielder Murray

Davidson’s return from suspension saw Liam Craig fill in for

Grainger at left-back. Both sides will end the season in the bottom

six, but St Johnstone have earned praise for the form that has seen

them rise to seventh place, four points ahead of today’s hosts.

Pittodrie basked in sunshine as the teams lined up for a minutes’

applause in honour of Dons legend Zoltan Varga, who died aged 65 in

his native Hungary this week. Saints settled into the game quickly,

and they had the first real chance after 12 minutes when Chris

Millar’s cross from the right found Deuchar in space, but he headed

wide. The Aberdeen fans claimed a penalty when Mackie tumbled under

pressure from Michael Duberry, but there was nothing in the

challenge. It was Mackie who stroked his side in front after 17

minutes. Duberry failed to clear, and Marshall slid in Mackie who

sidefooted home with ease. However, St Johnstone were level within

four minutes. Langfield failed to claim Craig’s free-kick, and

Deuchar looped a header into the net from 15 yards. The game was

turned on its head as St Johnstone went in front five minutes

later. Zander Diamond missed his header, allowing Jody Morris to

slip a neat pass through to Sheridan and he turned the ball home

from eight yards, beating Langfield at his near post. Davide Grassi

picked up the first booking of the match 10 minutes from the break,

as he flew into a challenge on Irvine that did not need to be made.

The Dons came close to levelling three minutes before the interval,

Steven MacLean forcing Graeme Smith into a diving save at his near

post after Jerel Ifil’s cross. The game remained open after the

interval, but both sides were again finding clear-cut chances hard

to come by. Aberdeen were gifted an opportunity when referee Calum

Murray penalised Steven Anderson for handball inches outside the

area, substitute Derek Young curling the free-kick narrowly over

the bar. However, St Johnstone extended their lead after 65

minutes. Langfield failed to deal with Deuchar’s flick from another

Craig free-kick, and the ball fell kindly for Sheridan to fire into

the top corner from six yards. Saints keeper Smith did well to

block from substitute Fraser Fyvie after Mackie’s pass. That

sparked a late flurry as the Dons looked for a way back, but they

could not find a way past a staunch St Johnstone rearguard,

although Richard Foster sent an effort wide from 20 yards. Teenager

Jack Grimmer had a late effort for the hosts, but saw the ball spin

away of the legs of a defender for a corner.