St Johnstone striker Stevie May took his season's goal tally to 15 as his hat-trick inflicted defeat on Tayside rivals Dundee United at McDiarmid Park.

But there has been little season's cheer for United boss Jackie McNamara as his decision to make eight changes failed to prevent consecutive losses.

United were under the cosh when Calum Butcher was sent off for a foul on May who slammed home the penalty.

In the second half May twice fired past Radoslaw Cierzniak to cement the win.

United had been beaten 4-1 on Boxing Day by St Mirren and McNamara's raft of changes were designed to rediscover the superb form of the previous seven weeks.

Saints, who had not scored in their last four matches, took the lead in 20 minutes.

Butcher was red carded for denying an obvious goal-scoring opportunity with a tackle on May in the box and the Saints striker converted with a powerful low shot.

The sending off forced McNamara into removing striker David Goodwillie in favour of defender John Souttar.

Murray Davidson almost doubled Saints' advantage five minutes later but his header was booted off the line by United defender Andy Robertson.

The pressure on the United goal was intense but Mark Wilson did at least give the Perth side cause for concern when he fired in a free-kick which was a yard wide of Alan Mannus's post.

However, St Johnstone continued to dominate and they ended the half against United with a one-goal lead.

May added Saints' second and his 14th of the season nine minutes into the restart, firing the ball low under Cierzniak from an acute angle on the left side of United's 18-yard box.

Just before that, Wotherspoon had stung Cierzniak's hands with a fierce shot, but Saints' reward was only delayed by seconds.

Dundee United's Brian Graham powered a header over the bar from six yards in 77 minutes as theytried to claw their way into the game, but Saints almost added a third when Nigel Hasselbaink raced down the left and shot across the goalmouth to miss by inches.

May added his and Saints' third in the final minutes with a beautiful clipped shot from six yards to finish off a perfect low cross from Gwion Edwards.

Lineup, Bookings (6) & Substitutions (6)

St Johnstone

  • 01 Mannus
  • 19 Miller
  • 24 Easton (Scobbie - 43' )
  • 18 Davidson
  • 06 Anderson Booked
  • 05 Wright
  • 10 Wotherspoon (Hasselbaink - 76' )
  • 08 McDonald
  • 17 May
  • 04 Cregg (Brown - 84' )
  • 14 Edwards

Substitutes

  • 03 Scobbie
  • 11 Hasselbaink
  • 15 Banks
  • 20 Brown
  • 22 Croft
  • 25 Jahic
  • 27 Fallon

Dundee United

  • 01 Cierzniak
  • 16 Wilson Booked
  • 26 Robertson Booked
  • 27 Gomis Booked
  • 04 Butcher Dismissed
  • 02 Dillon
  • 17 Erskine (Armstrong - 64' )
  • 06 Paton Booked
  • 09 Graham
  • 07 Goodwillie (Souttar - 23' )
  • 18 Dow (Mackay-Steven - 64' )

Substitutes

  • 08 Rankin
  • 10 Armstrong
  • 11 Mackay-Steven
  • 20 Souttar
  • 21 Ciftci
  • 25 McCallum
  • 39 Connolly
Ref: Stephen Finnie
Att: 7,231

Match Stats

Shots

15 5

On target

7 0

Corners

6 6

Fouls

15 15

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, St Johnstone 3, Dundee United 0.

90:00 +1:54 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, St Johnstone 3, Dundee United 0.

90:00 +1:14

Corner, Dundee United. Conceded by Thomas Scobbie.

90:00 +0:22

Foul by Gary Miller (St Johnstone).

90:00 +0:22

Stuart Armstrong (Dundee United) wins a free kick on the left wing.

90:00

Morgaro Gomis (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

89:55

Foul by Nigel Hasselbaink (St Johnstone).

89:33

Attempt saved. Frazer Wright (St Johnstone) header from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

89:05

Nigel Hasselbaink (St Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

89:05 Booking

Booking Mark Wilson (Dundee United) is shown the yellow card.

88:58

Foul by Mark Wilson (Dundee United).

88:20

Foul by Murray Davidson (St Johnstone).

88:20

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

87:00 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! St Johnstone 3, Dundee United 0. Steve May (St Johnstone) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Gwion Edwards.

83:39 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, St Johnstone. Scott Brown replaces Patrick Cregg because of an injury.

80:39

Patrick Cregg (St Johnstone) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

80:39

Foul by Brian Graham (Dundee United).

79:03

Foul by Gwion Edwards (St Johnstone).

79:03

Stuart Armstrong (Dundee United) wins a free kick on the right wing.

76:59

Attempt missed. Brian Graham (Dundee United) header from very close range is just a bit too high.

76:28

Foul by Nigel Hasselbaink (St Johnstone).

76:28

Mark Wilson (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

75:48 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, St Johnstone. Nigel Hasselbaink replaces David Wotherspoon.

75:31

Foul by Gwion Edwards (St Johnstone).

75:31

Morgaro Gomis (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

74:37 Booking

Booking Andrew Robertson (Dundee United) is shown the yellow card.

74:33

Gwion Edwards (St Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

74:33

Foul by Andrew Robertson (Dundee United).

73:20

Corner, Dundee United. Conceded by Murray Davidson.

72:29

Corner, Dundee United. Conceded by Murray Davidson.

72:17

Attempt blocked. Brian Graham (Dundee United) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

71:38 Booking

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

71:38

Hand ball by Steven Anderson (St Johnstone).

70:14

Foul by Steven Anderson (St Johnstone).

70:14

Brian Graham (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

63:15 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Dundee United. Stuart Armstrong replaces Chris Erskine.

63:08 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Dundee United. Gary Mackay-Steven replaces Ryan Dow.

62:14

Corner, Dundee United. Conceded by Murray Davidson.

61:50

Corner, Dundee United. Conceded by Frazer Wright.

56:32 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! St Johnstone 2, Dundee United 0. Steve May (St Johnstone) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the left to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Thomas Scobbie.

55:58

Attempt saved. David Wotherspoon (St Johnstone) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

54:56

Foul by Gary Miller (St Johnstone).

54:56

Ryan Dow (Dundee United) wins a free kick on the right wing.

53:57

Gary McDonald (St Johnstone) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

53:57

Foul by Paul Paton (Dundee United).

53:27

Attempt missed. Chris Erskine (Dundee United) left footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high.

49:03 Booking

Booking Paul Paton (Dundee United) is shown the yellow card.

48:41

Foul by Frazer Wright (St Johnstone).

48:41

Ryan Dow (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

46:54

Corner, Dundee United. Conceded by Gary Miller.

45:00

Second Half begins St Johnstone 1, Dundee United 0.

45:00 +2:16 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, St Johnstone 1, Dundee United 0.

45:00 +1:35

Gwion Edwards (St Johnstone) wins a free kick on the right wing.

45:00 +1:35

Foul by Andrew Robertson (Dundee United).

45:00 +0:47

Foul by Steve May (St Johnstone).

45:00 +0:47

John Souttar (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

44:36 Booking

Booking Morgaro Gomis (Dundee United) is shown the yellow card.

44:19

Steve May (St Johnstone) wins a free kick on the right wing.

44:19

Foul by Sean Dillon (Dundee United).

43:00 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, St Johnstone. Thomas Scobbie replaces Brian Easton because of an injury.

42:06

Steve May (St Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

42:06

Foul by Paul Paton (Dundee United).

40:58

Attempt missed. Murray Davidson (St Johnstone) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left.

40:47

Attempt blocked. Steve May (St Johnstone) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

40:20

David Wotherspoon (St Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

40:20

Foul by Ryan Dow (Dundee United).

38:13

Corner, St Johnstone. Conceded by Brian Graham.

37:48

Corner, St Johnstone. Conceded by Mark Wilson.

36:26

Attempt missed. Gary McDonald (St Johnstone) right footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high.

35:08

Gwion Edwards (St Johnstone) wins a free kick on the right wing.

35:08

Foul by Paul Paton (Dundee United).

34:36

Attempt missed. Murray Davidson (St Johnstone) right footed shot from a difficult angle and long range on the right misses to the right.

32:29

Attempt missed. Mark Wilson (Dundee United) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left from a direct free kick.

31:22

Foul by Murray Davidson (St Johnstone).

31:22

Ryan Dow (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

29:08

Attempt missed. Gwion Edwards (St Johnstone) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.

28:27

Corner, St Johnstone. Conceded by Radoslaw Cierzniak.

28:18

Attempt saved. Murray Davidson (St Johnstone) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the top right corner.

26:08

Attempt missed. Ryan Dow (Dundee United) left footed shot from the left side of the box is close, but misses to the left.

25:16

Foul by Patrick Cregg (St Johnstone).

25:16

Paul Paton (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

24:57

Attempt blocked. Murray Davidson (St Johnstone) right footed shot from the right side of the six yard box is blocked.

24:36

Corner, St Johnstone. Conceded by John Souttar.

23:27

Patrick Cregg (St Johnstone) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

23:27

Foul by Paul Paton (Dundee United).

22:23 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Dundee United. John Souttar replaces David Goodwillie.

21:32

Corner, St Johnstone. Conceded by Paul Paton.

19:38 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! St Johnstone 1, Dundee United 0. Steve May (St Johnstone) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the centre of the goal.

19:11 Dismissal

Dismissal Calum Butcher (Dundee United) is shown the red card for a bad foul.

19:00

Penalty St Johnstone. Steve May draws a foul in the penalty area.

18:49

Penalty conceded by Calum Butcher (Dundee United) after a foul in the penalty area.

17:24

Steve May (St Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

17:24

Foul by Morgaro Gomis (Dundee United).

16:41

Foul by Gary McDonald (St Johnstone).

16:41

Paul Paton (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

13:09

Attempt missed. Frazer Wright (St Johnstone) right footed shot from the centre of the box is just a bit too high.

12:44

Corner, St Johnstone. Conceded by Ryan Dow.

11:28

Foul by Steve May (St Johnstone).

11:28

Calum Butcher (Dundee United) wins a free kick on the left wing.

10:29

Murray Davidson (St Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

10:29

Foul by Morgaro Gomis (Dundee United).

9:35

Attempt missed. Patrick Cregg (St Johnstone) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.

9:00

Attempt saved. Gwion Edwards (St Johnstone) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

8:17

Steve May (St Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

8:17

Foul by Sean Dillon (Dundee United).

6:51

Murray Davidson (St Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

6:51

Foul by Andrew Robertson (Dundee United).

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

Live data and text provided by our data suppliers