Match ends, Dundee 1, St. Johnstone 1.
Dundee 1-1 St Johnstone
- Six goals in six games for David Clarkson
- Brian Graham ends five-game goal drought
- Dundee remain in sixth place in Premiership
Dundee were left to rue missed chances and lament a major refereeing decision as St Johnstone hit back to earn a share of the spoils at Dens Park.
The hosts bossed the first half but only had David Clarkson's close-range finish to show for their efforts.
Saints improved after the break and levelled just after half time through a Brian Graham penalty.
But referee Bobby Madden was roundly booed by the home fans having turned down an early Clarkson penalty appeal.
Indeed, the striker, who netted for the sixth consecutive match, was booked after knocking the ball over Alan Mannus then going to ground after contact with the goalkeeper.
Clarkson was a constant danger and had pounced on a slack header from Gary McDonald before crashing into Mannus.
Rather than pointing to the spot, and sending the keeper off for a professional foul, the referee incensed the Dee support by cautioning the attacker.
It looked the wrong decision.
Saints' victory over Motherwell eight days ago ended a run of six league games without a win, a run that began with a defeat to Dundee in mid-September.
And the visiting fans in the Bob Shankly stand would have been concerned another losing run was in the offing as Dundee dominated the opening 45 minutes.
Clarkson was denied twice by Mannus while the impressive Gary Harkins pulled the midfield strings, volleying at goal himself and forcing a save from the Northern Irishman.
It has been a long time since the Dens Park regulars have had a team this enjoyable to watch.
Having spent the first half knocking on the Saints door, Clarkson gave the hosts a deserved lead four minutes shy of half-time.
Good work by Paul McGowan and then Greg Stewart saw the ball played into Clarkson's path and he stroked it home from five yards.
Clearly irked by the dark blue dominance, visiting manager Tommy Wright hauled off McDonald and Liam Caddis and replaced them with Simon Lappin and David Wotherspoon for the second half.
And the shake-up in personnel paid immediate dividends.
Scott Bain's previously quiet afternoon livened up as the Dundee keeper saved from Lee Croft before Saints levelled.
James McPake tugged the jersey of Graham in the box and referee Madden award the penalty which Graham duly converted low to Bain's right.
Saints took confidence from the goal and their best spell followed.
Graham and Michael O'Halloran forced saves from Bain though Greg Stewart tested Mannus at the other end.
The home fans were further outraged by Madden when Stewart went down in a heap following a challenge from Frazer Wright and play was waved on.
An exciting game had no sting in the tail and it ended with the Tayside rivals earning a point apiece.
- 5McPakeBooked at 54mins
- 23BoyleBooked at 39minsSubstituted forThomsonat 67'minutes
- 29HarkinsBooked at 13mins
- 16ClarksonBooked at 7mins
- 5WrightBooked at 37mins
- 22CroftSubstituted forMillerat 90+1'minutes
- 8McDonaldSubstituted forWotherspoonat 45'minutes
- 16CaddisSubstituted forLappinat 45'minutes
- Bobby Madden
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Dundee 1, St. Johnstone 1.
Corner, St. Johnstone. Conceded by Thomas Konrad.
Attempt missed. James McPake (Dundee) header from the right side of the six yard box is close, but misses to the left following a corner.
Substitution, St. Johnstone. Gary Miller replaces Lee Croft.
Corner, Dundee. Conceded by David Mackay.
David Clarkson (Dundee) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Chris Millar (St. Johnstone).
Corner, Dundee. Conceded by Brian Easton.
Attempt saved. Brian Graham (St. Johnstone) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the bottom right corner.
Foul by Gary Harkins (Dundee).
Chris Millar (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Attempt missed. Frazer Wright (St. Johnstone) header from the left side of the six yard box is just a bit too high following a corner.
Corner, St. Johnstone. Conceded by Gary Irvine.
Kevin Thomson (Dundee) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by David Wotherspoon (St. Johnstone).
Attempt missed. James McPake (Dundee) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left following a corner.
Corner, Dundee. Conceded by Alan Mannus.
Attempt saved. Jim McAlister (Dundee) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the right is saved in the bottom right corner.
Foul by Thomas Konrad (Dundee).
Brian Graham (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Greg Stewart (Dundee).
Frazer Wright (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Corner, Dundee. Conceded by Alan Mannus.
Attempt saved. Greg Stewart (Dundee) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.
Corner, St. Johnstone. Conceded by Scott Bain.
Greg Stewart (Dundee) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Lee Croft (St. Johnstone).
Attempt missed. Brian Graham (St. Johnstone) header from the centre of the box is too high.
Paul McGowan (Dundee) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Brian Graham (St. Johnstone).
Substitution, Dundee. Kevin Thomson replaces Martin Boyle.
Attempt saved. Brian Graham (St. Johnstone) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner.
Corner, St. Johnstone. Conceded by Jim McAlister.
Martin Boyle (Dundee) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by David Mackay (St. Johnstone).
Corner, Dundee. Conceded by Steven Anderson.
Attempt saved. Gary Irvine (Dundee) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.
James McPake (Dundee) is shown the yellow card.
Penalty conceded by James McPake (Dundee) after a foul in the penalty area.