0 - 3
League (Division One)
Alan Gilzean (24)
Alan Gilzean (59)
Andy Penman (67)
5. J Ferguson
10. Alex Ferguson
11. Laurie Thomson
Pat Liney .1
Alex Hamilton .2
Bobby Cox .3
Bobby Seith .4
Ian Ure .5
Bobby Wishart .6
Gordon Smith .7
Andy Penman .8
Alan Cousin .9
Alan Gilzean .10
Hugh Robertson .11
E. F. Cowan, Glasgow (Referee)
The eyes of Scotland's football-following thousands are focused on Muirton Park, Perth, this afternoon.
Never before has there been such a death-or-glory finale to the League. And if there's one key game, it is undoubtedly the Tayside "derby" between St Johnstone and Dundee.
Both teams need one point - the Dark Blues to lift the title, Saints to ensure avoiding the drop.
The Fair City more than lives up to its name for the occasion. Brilliant sunshine beats down from a blue sky, raising the temperature to the low 60's.
Muirton promises to bulge at the seams. The ground record of nearly 30,000 was set up in 1951, when Dundee were Saints' Scottish Cup visitors. The Dark Blues won 3-1 that day.
Soon after midday the queue begins to form for the non-bookable wing stands. By 2pm, both are practically full and a loudspeaker announcement urges standites in the south section to pack in more tightly.
Dundee, leaving home at 1.15 p.m. by coach, reach Perth city boundary shortly before 2 p.m. and are given a police escort to the ground from Barnhill.
A cheer from thousands of Dundonians greets Cox and Hamilton as they appear in "civvies" to inspect the hard, bare-looking pitch just after two. Trainer Sammy Kean, Ure, Penman and Gilzean follow.
Three youngsters take the chance of nipping out for autographs before a police sergeant "shoos" them away.
Bobby Brown springs a last minute surprise in filling his problem positions of centre and outside-left. Laurie Thomson, who has not played a first-team game in two months, is listed at outside-left. Pint-size Matt McVittie is chosen to lead the attack - the Saints' eleventh centre this season.
The shirt-sleeved fans are in good spirits and good voice as they wait the kick-off. By 2.25 tension is terrific.
The heat on the east side of the ground directly facing the sun must be terrific. The first casualty comes half an hour from kick-off when ambulance men are called to carry away one fan for whom the combination of heat and excitement has proved too much.
The crowd just had to let off steam somehow. Cheer after cheer rips out as Perth and District Pipe Band, marching round the cinder track, pass each section of the ground. By 2.45 p.m. the attendance looks in the region of 20,000, easily the biggest of the season.
The wall at the back of the covered terracing is thick with schoolboys hanging on with out stretched arms. They were all determined not to miss a single thing. Against the white wall they look like a colony of bats.
The Perth band shows there are no hard feelings by striking up with "Up Wi' the Bonnets o' Bonnie Dundee."
To show their absolute neutrality, the band follows with a swinging version of "The Saints," probably the first time a jazz classic has been thumped out by pipes and drums.
Ten minutes to go, another spectator faints. This time a small boy is carried into the pavilion in the arms of an ambulance man. They look like having a busy afternoon.
St Johnstone - Taylor: McFadyen, Lachlan; Little, J Ferguson, Donlevy: McIntyre, Townsend, McVittie, A. Ferguson, Thomson.
Dundee - Liney: Hamilton, Cox; Seith, Ure, Wishart; Smith, Penman, Cousin, Gilzean. Robertson.
Referee - E. F Cowan. Glasgow.
Saints, in all-white shirts with blue numbers, are out first, followed by Dundee in their familiar dark blue. The greetings indicate that the league leaders have a two to one majority in support.
Visiting fans are not too happy to note that Gordon Smith's left thigh is heavily bandaged.
Cox wins the toss and attacks the Ice Rink goal. Bobby, at the line-up, signals for his men to get stuck right in.
Saints are more aggressive in the opening stanza. Cox earns applause for a cool pass back to give Liney first touch.
From a Wishart foul, McFayden flings a dangerous lob into the area. Ure heads clear. In attempting a short pass forward, Ure loses the ball to McVittie. Matt pushes the ball down to Thomson who cuts back an inviting grounder. Donlevy pounds in to smack it first time, and the ball thunders out off Wishart's body. A close call.
Penman tries to get Cousin and Gilzean going with long defence splitting ground passes, but Ferguson and company are ever watchful and intercept.
Dundee are awarded two quick "frees," one for a Thomson foul on Smith and the other for a rough McFadyen tackle on Robertson.
Seith pushes the first into the heart of the box, the ball bounces through to Robertson, but Hugh is robbed by McFayden. The second, taken by Cox, is more dangerous, Gilzean meets it with his head, but the ball flies straight to Taylor.
A third free on the right for obstruction is taken by Smith. Gordon slings over a beauty. Wishart is there, and his header. bouncing in front of Taylor, gives the home fans palpitation. Bill grabs safely at the second attempt.
Hamilton fells Ferguson on the right-hand corner of the box. Alex takes the kick himself, drops the ball on Townsend's napper, and the inside man's header looks good until Liney saves at full stretch. Good Save
It thrilling end-to-end stuff.
Only great anticipation by Taylor keeps Dundee from going ahead after 12 minutes. Robertson and Cousin, running to pick up a loose ball, appear to get in a fankle. Alan gets it away and slides in a cleve pass to Gilzean close in.
It looks like goal No. 1 all the way as Alan slides it to Taylor's left. Like greased lightning the burly 'keeper is down to smother.
Saints are giving as good as they get. Thomson is on target with a hook shot from a McIntyre corner but Liney is there. Then Townsend blazes just over from 20 yards. Thomson is obviously going to be Smith's shadow. He is sticking to the gay Gordon.
In the 20th minute a real "life" for the Dark Blues. McVittie's header from a McIntyre cross is net-bound when Hamilton clears on the line just inside the post. The ball goes right to Thomson His daisy-cutter sizzles inches past.
The homesters are beginning to dominate and Yogi Ure and his fellow defenders are being put through the mill. Ian blocks a likely Thomson raker with his thigh.
Muirton goes daft in 24 minutes as GILZEAN nods Dundee ahead with a copybook goal. Alan Cousin, who has been roving and prompting intelligently, "masterminds" the counter with a slide-rule square pass to Seith. Rab touches on the ball to Smith, unmarked for the first time.
Gordon flights it in and Gilzean soars head and shoulders above the goalmouth ruck of players to head calmly into the right-hand corner. Alan leaps high, arms out stretched and grinning hugely, as his mates gather round to shower congratulations on him.
The lead is almost cancelled out as Townsend streaks in after a through ball. Liney beats him to it in a photo finish, palms out and Ure hooks clear.
Penman comes close to emulating Gilzean but Taylor has time to see his header coming and clutches confidently.
Thomson is proving a useful outside-left. He drags the bali down the wing, holds it long enough to let his team-mates take up position and centres to the far post. It looks like McIntyre's ball until Cox nips in to head clear.
There are howls for a penalty as Hamilton, completely miskicking, scythes down Townsend with his follow-through. Mr Cowan won't wear it and waves play on.
When Ure grasses McIntyre on the edge of the box there is no doubt about it. The "fa" is only inches outside. It's fruitless, McVittle fires past with an oblique angled shot when well placed.
Saints are having the lion's share of pressure and have done practically everything but score. Dundee are relying on the twin Cousin-Gilzean spearhead to reach long passes constantly being pushed into the middle. Of the two defences, the Dark Blues look the more composed.
Half-time St Johnstone 0. Dundee 1.
It takes two goals to rob Dundee of the title now. But this St Johnstone side is fighting so well that this duel in the sun is by no means finished. Saints have had an equal share of the play, which has improved steadily after a very nervy start. With luck, they would be on terms.
Dundee's goal was brilliantly engineered. For once. Thomson, obviously told to keep close tabs on Gordon Smith, left him unmarked. Dundee finished the half with their most dominating spell.
As Dundee trot out they know they are only 45 minutes away from their first-ever championship title - if they can keep St Johnstone from scoring more than once.
Hamilton and Donlevy are both given a quiet talking to by Mr Cowan for illegal tackles. The half-time scores showing that Raith Rovers, Falkirk, Airdrie and St Mirren are leading, adds fire to Saints' play.
Dundee's defence shows signs of wilting under pressure as wave after wave of white-shirted attacks bear down on Liney. The first ugly scene develops after 51 minutes when Smith is brought crashing to the ground by the joint efforts of Thomson and Lachlan. Mr Cowan books both Thomson and Lachlan.
Thomson continues to niggle at Smith and commits yet another foul. Then he refuses to move back 10 yards and is in danger of incurring Mr Cowan's wrath once more.
Saints start to lose the place after this, and GILZEAN takes advantage of a defensive lapse to slam home number two from close range in 59 minutes.
Seith pushes a long ball up the middle and, although Ferguson appears to have it covered, he miskicks, allowing Gilzean to step in. Warding off the attention of three defenders, Alan bores in, steadies himself and lashes in a "homer" from eight yards.
What a shindig.
The terracing goes mad as scarves, banners and jackets are waved. Bonnets are tossed in the air and youngsters break on to the field and dance a victory jig on their way to mob the jubilant Gilzean.
Dundee's ace marksman is giving Saints a lesson in goal snapping.
In the 67th minute Gilzean adopts the mantle of goal purveyor and it's all over bar the shouting.
Cousin chases a long ball, gets it back to Gilzean, who slides an inch-perfect pass across the face of the box to PENMAN. Andy lets it run on, takes deliberate aim and gives Taylor no chance with a rising drive from 15 yards
Three minutes later Smith scores what seems a perfectly good goal from a cut back Robertson chip. The ref grants it, failing to notice his linesman standing with upraised flag.
Saints quickly draw his attention to this, Mr Cowan trots over, has a word with his official then chalks off the counter, apparently for offside against Gilzean. The Dark Blues protest, but only half-heartedly.
It's a one horse race now.
Saints have completely lost the lead-and the place. As far as Dundee fans are concerned, Thomson is the villain of the piece. Every time he touches the ball "boos" ring out from all sides.
It just isn't Saints' day. In a goalmouth melee Cox belts out a Townsend grounder with Liney beaten. The rebound is crashed back and this time "Hammy" saves the bacon with an on-the-line rescue act.
Laurie Thomson is having a nightmare afternoon, He clashes with Seith and is booked for a second time by Mr Cowan.
Smith is again in the wars. As he runs on to a Penman pass Gordon whips round on a sixpence and beats Lachlan. The back promptly grabs his arm and holds him back.
St Johnstone, thoroughly whipped now, are resorting to roughhouse tactics in desperation,
Dundee, turning on the razzle dazzle stuff which annihilated Rangers at Ibrox, are beginning to look real "champs." Fast man-to-man stuff along the carpet, stuff such as the Dens fans have not seen for months, gets roars of appreciation.
With only minutes left for play the great invasion is prepared. Youngsters have already clambered over the barriers ready to storm on to the field. Interspersed with their cheeky displays of ball control, Dundee are still deadly in thrusts. At the final whistle it's congrats and handshakes all round for Dundee.
Gilzean, Cousin, Cox and Ure are hoisted shoulder high on a sea of shoulders. A victory clasp over his head by Ure brings an answering roar of glee.
Final - St Johnstone 0, Dundee 3.
Summing-Up - Well, it's all over. The flag flies at Dens Park,
Dundee's strength put them in command in the second period when St Johnstone, realising their precarious position, didn't help their cause by using too much weight.
It was a great pity the black book had to be used, although the referee's actions did help to cool things down.
Dundee went bang on top after the double booking incident, and two goals in seven minutes earned Dundee their rich reward.
Gordon Smith played wonderfully well for his third medal despite a strapped leg and the coarse tackling he had to endure. Some veteran!
Match report written by The Sporting Post
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No league table has been added for this season.