Match ends, St. Johnstone 0, Dundee United 0.
Dundee United will soon possess more of a goal threat, believes manager Micky Mellon after a goalless draw with St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park.
United missed the chance to climb into fifth in the Scottish Premiership, though the hosts were more frustrated having had the bulk of the chances.
Mellon feels his front three of Lawrence Shankland, Marc McNulty and Nicky Clark will improve in time.
"We know what a threat they're going to be," Mellon told BBC Scotland.
"To get a clean sheet away from home, we're obviously pleased as we've worked hard on that. It gives us a platform, but what we now need to be is more of a threat in the final three.
"We've played with three really exciting front men today who need time together on the training ground, and in Marc's case match fitness."
David Wotherspoon, Craig Bryson, Scott Tanser and Jason Kerr all sent good efforts wide for the home side, and St Johnstone had a late header from Murray Davidson well saved by United goalkeeper Benjamin Siegrist.
With Motherwell beating Ross County, Callum Davidson's side fall to 10th in the league table.
Dundee United unveiled a front three of Lawrence Shankland, Nicky Clark and Reading's on-loan striker Marc McNulty. And they were keen to show off their firepower early; McNulty firing over from inside the box while Shankland thumped an audacious effort over the bar from distance.
But soon it was St Johnstone who took control of the game. Craig Conway's corner was on the button for Kerr whose header was just wide. Tanser and Davidson both had efforts that skimmed Siegrist's left-hand post.
Then nice skill from Wotherspoon left Mark Connolly floundering on the turf as the St Johnstone winger breezed past him on the left hand side, but he couldn't follow it up by squeezing his shot inside the near post.
The visitors were hanging on. Bryson, with the outside of his right foot, wasn't far away from his first goal in St Johnstone colours, but again it was another effort wide rather than forcing the goalkeeper into a meaningful save.
In the second half United tightened up at the back, but Wotherspoon continued to be a threat for St Johnstone; getting down both wings and also teeing off a shot from just outside the box that, via a deflection, had Siegrist scrambling to push wide.
St Johnstone looked good on the ball, knocking it about with aplomb, but too often when the shot was on they shied away and elected for an extra pass. Wotherspoon drove in the box but with the chance to shoot took one too many touches and was charged down.
But from a set-piece they almost found a late winner when a corner met the head of Davidson, who put everything behind it but found Siegrist on the line to block.
Man of the match - David Wotherspoon
What did we learn?
St Johnstone dominated possession and chances, but after scoring 12 goals in their last two games their luck in front of goal deserted them.
Dundee United have now scored just once in their last four games - and that was at home to Kelty Hearts. While that is a concern, they do have three clean sheets in a row which is a solid foundation to build upon.
But they have just two league wins in their last 10, and are closer to the bottom of the table than they are to fourth.
What did they say?
St Johnstone manager Callum Davidson: "After 10 minutes we performed to a really high level. Our players were great, moved the ball quickly and created chances. Their goalkeeper has made two or three really good saves to keep them in the game. It's frustrating for us, but what I'm happy with is the clean sheet. This season, often we've dominated at home but conceded late."
Dundee United manager Micky Mellon: "I'm loathed to say we're pleased [with a draw] because everyone will think we came here for a point, but coming away from home you've got to respect points and clean sheets and I'm pleased we were able to do that. As a defensive unit they've given us something to build on."
St Johnstone have a break before hosting Kilmarnock on Friday 6 November, while Dundee United are at home to Ross County next Sunday.
- 13BrysonSubstituted forMcCannat 90'minutesBooked at 90mins
- 7ConwaySubstituted forO'Halloranat 86'minutes
- 14MaySubstituted forHendryat 65'minutes
- 4PowersBooked at 31mins
- 9McNultySubstituted forSmithat 70'minutes
- Andrew Dallas
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, St. Johnstone 0, Dundee United 0.
Alistair McCann (St. Johnstone) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Attempt saved. Murray Davidson (St. Johnstone) header from very close range is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by David Wotherspoon with a cross.
Substitution, St. Johnstone. Alistair McCann replaces Craig Bryson.
Corner, St. Johnstone. Conceded by Mark Reynolds.
Attempt blocked. David Wotherspoon (St. Johnstone) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Craig Bryson.
Substitution, St. Johnstone. Michael O'Halloran replaces Craig Conway.
Foul by Scott Tanser (St. Johnstone).
Liam Smith (Dundee United) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Murray Davidson (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Ian Harkes (Dundee United).
Dan McNamara (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Lawrence Shankland (Dundee United).
Attempt missed. Scott Tanser (St. Johnstone) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Murray Davidson.
Corner, St. Johnstone. Conceded by Benjamin Siegrist.
Attempt saved. David Wotherspoon (St. Johnstone) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner.
Substitution, Dundee United. Liam Smith replaces Marc McNulty.
Craig Conway (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Mark Reynolds (Dundee United).