Ladbrokes Premiership leaders Aberdeen were brought back to earth with a bump as they crashed to a heavy 5-1 defeat to St Johnstone. Goals from Brian Easton, Joe Shaughnessy, Liam Craig and Steve MacLean (2) sealed the win.
Aberdeen's reply came from Ash Taylor. It is now three straight defeats for the Dons. Saints will be delighted after a poor start to the season to have won four of their last six games in the league. The scoring started after just five minutes.
Former Don Shaughnessy launched a long throw into the area, and although Andrew Considine headed the immediate danger clear, Easton popped up 20 yards out to volley home.The Pittodrie crowd had barely got going once more when Saints doubled their lead.
Again, it came from a set-piece, this time Simon Lappin's cross being headed towards goal by MacLean.The effort came back off the base of the post, and the recovering Dan Ward got a hand to it, but he could not hold on and Shaughnessy was on hand to tap home.The Dons could have been down and out, but they responded by pulling a goal back immediately.
An error by Zander Clark gifted them a corner on the left, and Niall McGinn's delivery was powered home by Taylor for his second goal in as many games. After such a frantic opening, the pace finally cooled and Aberdeen began to find their feet, with Clark having to spread himself to deny Rooney at the near post after Peter Pawlett had pulled back from the right. And the striker was denied again as he struck a sweet snap-shot from Niall McGinn's pass, only to see the effort go inches wide. But if they thought an equaliser was on the cards, they were to be thwarted on the half hour as Aberdeen again failed to clear their lines from a corner.
This time Lappin's delivery was cleared to Craig, who saw his low effort deflected in. The shell-shocked Dons might have had a penalty four minutes before the interval as the ball looked to come off the arm of Tam Scobbie, but it would perhaps have been a harsh award given he had no time to react.
Dons boss Derek McInnes made a tactical switch at the interval, swapping Jonny Hayes from central-midfield to left-back, Graeme Shinnie taking over in the middle of the park. But within six minutes of the restart, the Dons had conceded two more goals. First Hayes gave away a corner and Lappin's delivery was headed home by the unmarked MacLean.
Not long after, Cummins was again involved, providing a neat cross to the back post for MacLean to nod home his second and St Johnstone's fifth of the match. Not that the Saints were happy with just five goals, though, and Dan Ward denied MacLean a hat-trick with a low save, although the on-loan Liverpool man took two attempts to grasp the ball safely.
There was almost a late consolation for the home side as Kenny McLean flashed a shot across goal, after good work down the wing from teenage substitute Scott Wright. But perhaps the opportunity to give Wright the final quarter of the game was the one bright spot for a Dons side who were well and truly beaten.