Scottish Premiership
St Johnstone0Dundee1

St Johnstone 0-1 Dundee

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

  • 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

  • 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

Match ends, St. Johnstone 0, Dundee 1.

Full Time

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

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

Foul by Simon Lappin (St. Johnstone).

Substitution

Substitution, Dundee. Kevin McBride replaces Simon Ferry.

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

Foul by David Mackay (St. Johnstone).

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

Foul by Brian Graham (St. Johnstone).

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

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

Corner, Dundee. Conceded by David Mackay.

Substitution

Substitution, Dundee. Luka Tankulic replaces Greg Stewart.

Booking

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

Foul by Steven Anderson (St. Johnstone).

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

Corner, Dundee. Conceded by David Mackay.

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

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

Foul by Gary Irvine (Dundee).

Substitution

Substitution, Dundee. Martin Boyle replaces Philip Roberts.

Substitution

Substitution, St. Johnstone. Lee Croft replaces Gary McDonald.

David Wotherspoon (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Gary Irvine (Dundee).

Attempt missed. Philip Roberts (Dundee) right footed shot from the right side of the box misses to the left.

Attempt saved. Greg Stewart (Dundee) header from the left side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Foul by David Wotherspoon (St. Johnstone).

Simon Ferry (Dundee) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt missed. David Wotherspoon (St. Johnstone) header from a difficult angle on the right misses to the right.

Corner, St. Johnstone. Conceded by Gary Irvine.

Attempt blocked. Simon Lappin (St. Johnstone) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Brian Graham (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Thomas Konrad (Dundee).

Substitution

Substitution, St. Johnstone. Adam Morgan replaces Michael O'Halloran.

Corner, Dundee. Conceded by Simon Lappin.

Corner, Dundee. Conceded by David Wotherspoon.

Simon Lappin (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Simon Ferry (Dundee).

Attempt saved. Paul McGowan (Dundee) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the left is saved in the bottom left corner.

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

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Hamilton6411115613
2Inverness CT641183513
3Dundee Utd6411129313
4Celtic5311124810
5Dundee624053210
6Kilmarnock631277010
7St Johnstone630346-29
8Partick Thistle52129637
9Aberdeen520356-16
10Motherwell620437-46
11St Mirren500519-80
12Ross County6006416-120
View full Scottish Premiership table

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