Scottish Premiership
St JohnstoneSt Johnstone1Dundee UtdDundee United1

St Johnstone 1-1 Dundee United

By Alasdair LamontBBC Scotland at McDiarmid Park

The battle for fourth place remains too close to call following a hard-fought Tayside derby.

John Rankin headed the visitors ahead midway through the second half after Robbie Muirhead's effort had struck the bar.

However, Murray Davidson pulled Saints level to earn his side a point and keep them level on points with United.

A point apiece seemed a fair outcome but Saints captain Dave Mackay will rue his first-half penalty miss.

That could have proved decisive, not only in terms of the match but also in the league table, with fourth spot still potentially good enough for a Europa League place if Inverness Caledonian Thistle win the Scottish Cup.

Dundee United players
Cierzniak is congratulate after blocking Mackay's spot-kick

But Mackay's spot-kick was too close to Radoslaw Cierzniak after Michael O'Halloran had been brought down by Callum Morris.

That was about the closest thing to a goal in the first period, although Nadir Ciftci's amazing effort from 35 yards, which came back off the post, was worthy of better.

So closely contested was this game that a goal-less draw looked on the cards until Rankin was quickest to react after Muirhead's header had come back off the bar.

But the visitors' joy was short-lived as former United midfielder Danny Swanson swung a cross in from the left and Davidson guided a volley past Cierzniak.

Both sides pressed for a winner, but neither could quite craft an opening of sufficient quality, ensuring the battle for fourth will go to the wire.

The Tangerines hold a three-goal advantage over the Perth men, with both sides on 53 points.

Saints visit Celtic on Friday, with United travelling to take on Inverness on Saturday.

Line-ups

St Johnstone

  • 1Mannus
  • 2MackayBooked at 88mins
  • 5Wright
  • 6Anderson
  • 3Scobbie
  • 10WotherspoonBooked at 61minsSubstituted forMcFaddenat 73'minutes
  • 7Millar
  • 18Davidson
  • 11SwansonBooked at 86minsSubstituted forLappinat 89'minutes
  • 9MacLeanSubstituted forKaneat 73'minutes
  • 29O'Halloran

Substitutes

  • 4Lappin
  • 15Banks
  • 16Caddis
  • 17McFadden
  • 19Miller
  • 24Easton
  • 25Kane

Dundee Utd

  • 1Cierzniak
  • 2Dillon
  • 5FojutBooked at 24mins
  • 14Morris
  • 3Dixon
  • 4SouttarBooked at 58mins
  • 8Rankin
  • 20ButcherSubstituted forSmithat 74'minutes
  • 7CiftciBooked at 89mins
  • 17Erskine
  • 10MuirheadSubstituted forAnierat 69'minutes

Substitutes

  • 21Telfer
  • 22Connolly
  • 23Smith
  • 24Spittal
  • 26Szromnik
  • 30Anier
  • 43Coote
Referee:
Kevin Clancy
Attendance:
4,862

Match Stats

Home TeamSt JohnstoneAway TeamDundee Utd
Possession
Home53%
Away47%
Shots
Home9
Away13
Shots on Target
Home3
Away3
Corners
Home7
Away6
Fouls
Home13
Away9

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, St. Johnstone 1, Dundee United 1.

  2. Full Time

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

  3. Post update

    Corner, St. Johnstone. Conceded by Sean Dillon.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Sean Dillon (Dundee United).

  5. Post update

    Tam Scobbie (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  6. Post update

    Foul by Nadir Ciftci (Dundee United).

  7. Post update

    Frazer Wright (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  8. Post update

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

  9. Post update

    Foul by David Mackay (St. Johnstone).

  10. Substitution

    Substitution, St. Johnstone. Simon Lappin replaces Danny Swanson.

  11. Booking

    Nadir Ciftci (Dundee United) is shown the yellow card.

  12. Booking

    David Mackay (St. Johnstone) is shown the yellow card.

  13. Post update

    Attempt missed. Chris Erskine (Dundee United) right footed shot from the centre of the box is high and wide to the right.

  14. Booking

    Danny Swanson (St. Johnstone) is shown the yellow card.

  15. Post update

    Nadir Ciftci (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  16. Post update

    Foul by Danny Swanson (St. Johnstone).

  17. Post update

    Corner, Dundee United. Conceded by Danny Swanson.

  18. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Callum Morris (Dundee United) header from the centre of the box is blocked.

  19. Post update

    Corner, Dundee United. Conceded by Murray Davidson.

  20. Post update

    Nadir Ciftci (Dundee United) wins a free kick on the left wing.