Scottish Premiership
St JohnstoneSt Johnstone1DundeeDundee0

St Johnstone 1-0 Dundee

By Rob MacleanBBC Scotland at McDiarmid Park

St Johnstone sealed their place in the Scottish Premiership's top six with a Tayside derby defeat of Dundee.

Brian Graham's first-half strike proved to be the winner at McDiarmid Park as the Perth team remain only a point behind fourth-place Dundee United.

David Clarkson's volley from Paul McGowan's cross clattered back off a post as Dundee threatened a leveller.

And although the Dens Park side lost, they are all but assured a top-half finish.

Kilmarnock still have an outside chance of denying them but would need to win both of their games in hand and hope Dundee lose heavily to Celtic on 22 April.

The Ayrshire side, who host Aberdeen on Sunday before visiting Celtic on Wednesday, would also require a significant turnaround in goal difference with Dundee's currently eight goals better on plus one.

Dundee and St Johnstone players
Dundee had chances at McDiarmid Park but could not find the net

St Johnstone's performance typified their impressive recovery from the last summer's loss of Stevie May, who netted 27 times in the previous campaign.

Goals have inevitably been in shorter supply this season and their ability to grind out results has been crucial.

They have the third best defensive record in the top flight and Dundee found the Saints defence difficult to break down after Graham made the breakthrough.

Dundee midfielder Simon Ferry's pass was intercepted by Michael O'Halloran and, when he found on-loan Dundee United forward Graham, the 27-year-old curled a right-foot shot round Dundee keeper Scott Bain and into the right-hand corner.

Dundee's midweek derby win, their first defeat of Dundee United in more than a decade, looked to have been achieved at a cost.

They were without James McPake and Kevin Thomson and even those who did start looked as if their efforts at Dens Park had depleted their energy levels.

A bumpy playing surface did not help them either and yet the match could have been all square by half-time as Clarkson volleyed against the frame of the goal.

The closest Dundee got to an equaliser in the second half was a deflected cross from Paul McGinn, which had to be clawed out from under the crossbar by Alan Mannus.

It was a disappointing day for the best part of 3,000 Dundee supporters inside McDiarmid Park but they can be well satisfied with their team's first season back in Scottish football's top tier.

Line-ups

St Johnstone

Formation 4-4-2

  • 1Mannus
  • 2Mackay
  • 5Wright
  • 6Anderson
  • 24EastonSubstituted forScobbieat 89'minutes
  • 7Millar
  • 4Lappin
  • 10Wotherspoon
  • 29O'HalloranSubstituted forSwansonat 84'minutes
  • 14GrahamSubstituted forKaneat 77'minutes
  • 9MacLean

Substitutes

  • 3Scobbie
  • 11Swanson
  • 15Banks
  • 17McFadden
  • 19Miller
  • 20Brown
  • 25Kane

Dundee

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 12Bain
  • 19McGinnBooked at 87mins
  • 4Konrad
  • 6Davidson
  • 3Dyer
  • 20McAlisterSubstituted forHarrisat 79'minutes
  • 11FerrySubstituted forHeffernanat 68'minutes
  • 18McGowan
  • 48McGinn
  • 15Stewart
  • 16ClarksonSubstituted forWightonat 65'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Letheren
  • 24Black
  • 26Gadzhalov
  • 33Wighton
  • 35Colquhoun
  • 47Harris
  • 49Heffernan
Referee:
Steven McLean
Attendance:
6,386

Match Stats

Home TeamSt JohnstoneAway TeamDundee
Possession
Home41%
Away59%
Shots
Home8
Away7
Shots on Target
Home5
Away1
Corners
Home3
Away2
Fouls
Home13
Away13

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, St. Johnstone 1, Dundee 0.

  2. Full Time

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

  3. Post update

    Attempt missed. Alex Harris (Dundee) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.

  4. Substitution

    Substitution, St. Johnstone. Tam Scobbie replaces Brian Easton.

  5. Booking

    Paul McGinn (Dundee) is shown the yellow card.

  6. Post update

    Foul by Paul McGinn (Dundee).

  7. Post update

    Danny Swanson (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  8. Post update

    Foul by Iain Davidson (Dundee).

  9. Post update

    Steven MacLean (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  10. Substitution

    Substitution, St. Johnstone. Danny Swanson replaces Michael O'Halloran.

  11. Post update

    Hand ball by Chris Millar (St. Johnstone).

  12. Post update

    Foul by Thomas Konrad (Dundee).

  13. Post update

    Chris Millar (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  14. Substitution

    Substitution, Dundee. Alex Harris replaces Jim McAlister.

  15. Post update

    Foul by Michael O'Halloran (St. Johnstone).

  16. Post update

    Willie Dyer (Dundee) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  17. Substitution

    Substitution, St. Johnstone. Christopher Kane replaces Brian Graham.

  18. Post update

    Foul by Iain Davidson (Dundee).

  19. Post update

    Steven MacLean (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  20. Post update

    Attempt saved. Brian Graham (St. Johnstone) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic31234464154973
2Aberdeen31205651272465
3Inverness CT32167944331155
4Dundee Utd31154125246649
5St Johnstone33146132932-348
6Dundee321111104443144
7Hamilton33127144248-643
8Partick Thistle33108154138338
9Kilmarnock31108133340-738
10Ross County3297163656-2034
11Motherwell3394203357-2431
12St Mirren3263232256-3421
View full Scottish Premiership table

Top Stories