Scottish Premiership
St JohnstoneSt Johnstone0DundeeDundee1

St Johnstone 0-1 Dundee

By Clive LindsayBBC Sport

Gary Harkins' fine finish gave Dundee a deserved win over a disjointed St Johnstone that stretched the Dens Park side's unbeaten run to 10 games.

Dundee leapfrog Saints into fifth place in the Scottish Premiership after Harkins scored from close range on the turn after 28 minutes.

Keeper Alan Mannus also denied Harkins and Paul McGowan after the break.

Saints, looking for a third straight win, pressed for an equaliser but failed to test keeper Kyle Letheren.

It was a victory that ended St Johnstone's dominance over their Tayside rivals, who had not won in their last seven meetings and who had not enjoyed a victory in their previous nine visits to Perth.

The mood around McDiarmid Park was dampened prior to kick-off as Saints manager Tommy Wright revealed that defender Tam Scobbie and striker Steven MacLean might need knee operations.

With Lee Croft the third player to drop out of the starting line-up, it meant starts for Frazer Wright, Michael O'Halloran and Brian Graham.

It was the latter who had the first chance of the game, but the on-loan Dundee United striker headed wide from a David Wotherspoon cross.

Saints were dominating the early minutes as their high, pressing game forced mistakes from the visiting rearguard.

Dundee, though, persevered with passing play that mirrored the style manager Paul Hartley adopted as a player and it soon had the Perth side chasing shadows.

Simon Ferry, who had come into midfield in place of injured former Saints striker Peter MacDonald, should have done better than lash a shot over the crossbar from the edge of the penalty box following a miss-hit clearance.

Dundee's clever set-pieces were leaving the Saints defence flummoxed, but their threatened breakthrough came via a straight-forward Philip Roberts corner.

Ferry lofted a hopeful ball back into the penalty box, it was headed on by James McPake and Harkins steered it home from eight yards, although there were suggestions that defender Thomas Konrad had got the final touch.

As in the first half, Graham had the first opportunity from the restart but again headed wide at the back post.

Once more, Dundee refused to allow that early threat disturb their balance and the impressive Harkins had a low curling free-kick beaten away by goalkeeper Alan Mannus.

McGowan was next to test the Northern Ireland international, who parried clear at the near post after the midfielder controlled well with his chest before firing powerfully towards goal from a difficult angle.

St Johnstone were resorting to hopeful balls into the Dundee penalty box but rarely looked like preventing the visitors claiming their first victory in Perth since April 2002.

Line-ups

St Johnstone

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Mannus
  • 6AndersonBooked at 83mins
  • 2Mackay
  • 5Wright
  • 24Easton
  • 20BrownSubstituted forLappinat 52'minutes
  • 10Wotherspoon
  • 7Millar
  • 29O'HalloranBooked at 34minsSubstituted forMorganat 63'minutes
  • 8McDonaldSubstituted forCroftat 74'minutes
  • 14Graham

Substitutes

  • 4Lappin
  • 11Morgan
  • 15Banks
  • 16Caddis
  • 18Davidson
  • 19Miller
  • 22Croft

Dundee

Formation 4-1-4-1

  • 1Letheren
  • 4Konrad
  • 19McGinn
  • 2Irvine
  • 5McPake
  • 20McAlister
  • 11FerrySubstituted forMcBrideat 88'minutes
  • 18McGowan
  • 14RobertsSubstituted forBoyleat 78'minutes
  • 29Harkins
  • 15StewartSubstituted forTankulicat 84'minutes

Substitutes

  • 6Davidson
  • 8McBride
  • 12Bain
  • 16Clarkson
  • 21Tankulic
  • 23Boyle
  • 33Wighton
Referee:
William Collum
Attendance:
6,562

Match Stats

Home TeamSt JohnstoneAway TeamDundee
Possession
Home46%
Away54%
Shots
Home6
Away9
Shots on Target
Home0
Away3
Corners
Home2
Away7
Fouls
Home9
Away11

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, St. Johnstone 0, Dundee 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, St. Johnstone 0, Dundee 1.

  3. Post update

    Paul McGinn (Dundee) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Simon Lappin (St. Johnstone).

  5. Substitution

    Substitution, Dundee. Kevin McBride replaces Simon Ferry.

  6. Post update

    Gary Harkins (Dundee) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  7. Post update

    Foul by David Mackay (St. Johnstone).

  8. Post update

    James McPake (Dundee) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  9. Post update

    Foul by Brian Graham (St. Johnstone).

  10. Post update

    Attempt missed. Gary Irvine (Dundee) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.

  11. Post update

    Attempt missed. Luka Tankulic (Dundee) header from the right side of the box is close, but misses the top left corner.

  12. Post update

    Corner, Dundee. Conceded by David Mackay.

  13. Substitution

    Substitution, Dundee. Luka Tankulic replaces Greg Stewart.

  14. Booking

    Steven Anderson (St. Johnstone) is shown the yellow card.

  15. Post update

    Foul by Steven Anderson (St. Johnstone).

  16. Post update

    Gary Harkins (Dundee) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  17. Post update

    Corner, Dundee. Conceded by David Mackay.

  18. Post update

    Attempt missed. Adam Morgan (St. Johnstone) left footed shot from the right side of the box misses to the left.

  19. Post update

    Lee Croft (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  20. Post update

    Foul by Gary Irvine (Dundee).