Perthshire Advertiser

Boss gutted to take home nothing

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A contentiou­s penalty decision took the wind out of St Johnstone’s sail at Pittodrie.

Baffled Saints players are pictured remonstrat­ing with referee Alan Muir after he strangely came to the conclusion that Sam Cosgrove had been fouled in the box on the stroke of half-time on Saturday.

It allowed the Dons to cancel out Liam Gordon’s opener before moving on to clinch a 2-1 victory.

“The ref can’t even tell us who gave the foul away,”defender Callum Booth said of the penalty decision.

“I don’t know how he’s come to that conclusion.”

Booth added:“We need to use all the experience we’ve got, keep believing, keep going and hope the results will turn.”

Saints players try to get an answer from referee Alan Muir. Above is Liam Gordon celebratin­g his first goal for the club

There has been a recurring theme of playing well and not picking up the required points this season.

And St Johnstone manager Callum Davidson admits he would take his team putting in a rubbish performanc­e if it instead resulted in victory.

Saints controlled large parts of Saturday’s 2-1 defeat at Aberdeen but left empty-handed for what was a fourth straight league loss.

“I’d rather come here and say we played rubbish and won the game,”Davidson said.

“We’ve got to find ways to make sure we get points on the board.

“We’ve lost four and Livingston was probably the one we didn’t play as well in.

“But St Mirren with 10 men, I thought we were brilliant for 82 minutes. I thought we played really well at times against Rangers.

“And then you outplay Aberdeen who are a top-three team in the league.

“You have to be pleased of some aspects but, on the flipside, you have to get points.”

The weekend sickener swung on a peculiar moment just before the half-time whistle.

With Saints boasting a one-goal lead – local lad Liam Gordon’s first for the club – Aberdeen were awarded a baffling penalty.

Referee Alan Muir’s decision to point to the spot when Sam Cosgrove hit the deck even caught Dons manager Derek McInnes by surprise.

The home striker picked himself up to tuck beyond Zander Clark before Ash Taylor netted from a penalty box scramble after the break.

Davidson said: “I thought the first 44 minutes we were in complete control. We came up to Pittodrie, outworked and outplayed Aberdeen and got the goal that we deserved.

“Then I can’t quite explain what happened in the 45th minute. I’ve watched it back and can’t quite see what he gave a penalty for.

“It changes the complexion of the half-time team talk and changes Aberdeen’s thoughts and ideas.

“It changed the game and gives Aberdeen the lift they needed.

“Unfortunat­ely we couldn’t hold out in the little sustained pressure they had. We concede from a corner which is really disappoint­ing.

“Aberdeen are a very strong defensive team and make it hard for you to break them down.”

Saints welcome second-frombottom Hamilton to McDiarmid Park tomorrow and all at the Perth club realise its importance.

“We need to make sure we’re not too low after Saturday’s game,” Davidson added.

“There are a couple of huge games coming up regarding our season.”

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