2 - 0
2 - 0
League (Premier Division)
1. Bobby Geddes
2. Jim McInally
3. Tosh McKinlay
4. Cammy Fraser
5. Jim Smith
6. Bobby Glennie
7. Albert Kidd
8. Lex Richardson
9. Walker McCall
10. George McGeachie
11. Iain Ferguson
Roy Baines .1
Derek Addison .2
Jim Morton .3
Ray Blair .4
Doug Barron .5
Drew Rutherford .6
Joe Reid .7
John Brogan .8
Gordon Scott .9
Stuart Beedie .10
Alan Lyons .11
12. Colin Harris
14. Rab Shannon
Ian Gibson .12
Joe Woods .14
Colin Harris for George McGeachie
Ian Gibson for Ray Blair
Joe Woods for John Brogan
Jim Duncan (Gorebridge) (Referee)
Any lingering hopes St Johnstone may have held of retaining their Premier League status next season with a 9-0 win over Tayside rivals Dundee at Dens Park on Saturday lasted precisely one minute.
That is exactly how long it took for Iain Ferguson to put the ball into the St Johnstone net for the first of his two goals to bring his total for the season to 20 and snatch the title of leading Dens scorer from teammate Walker McCall.
To be fair, Saints did have the chances to score several goals in a match which was played at only half throttle. But there was no way that they even looked like getting the barrage they needed to perform their miracle.
So it is back to the First Division for the Perth club and one can't help but feel sorry for Alex Rennie's men, who fought so courageously to remain in the Premier League to the bitter end after a disastrous start to a season which began so full of hope.
Still, Alex. sounded confident that his team's sojourn in the First Division would be brief when he said after the game, "We have learned a lot from our experience in the Premier League.
"If we take what we have learned with us into the First Division and play at the same pace as we have had to play in the Premier League, I think we will be back up again next season."
The Saints boss, like every other manager in the country, must now set about putting his house in order for next season.
He has several players whose contracts have expired, appreciates that there could be difficulties over re-signing some of them, but reckons these are not insurmountable. Archie Knox admits to the same problems.
Two of his star players, Cammy Fraser and Iain Ferguson, are on freedom of contract, and his first job will be to try to persuade this pair that their future lies with Dundee-in the face of opposition from more affluent clubs.
He admits he has already had an offer for one of his players, presumably either Fraser or Ferguson, but says Dundee are not interested in the offer submitted.
There are no medals for guessing the club interested is Rangers, desperate to strengthen their first team squad for next season.
What was made abundantly clear on Saturday was that the fans want to keep Jim McInally on loan from Celtic. There were continual chants of "there's only one McInally."
Even if McInally does stay, Archie reckons he will still need to bring in six new players for next season.
He thinks he knows the identities of that number of players. The question, however is-where does the money come from to get them?"
The answer could come in the sale of at least one player for a lot of money.
Amidst all the speculation there was still room for a bit of sentiment after Saturday's game.
It came when Dr John Langlands, the club doctor, who has been associated with Dundee for the past 30 years, retired from a post in which he has worked conscientiously and with a great sense of humour.
He was presented with crystal glasses by chairman Ian Gellatly to mark the occasion and a "Ping" putter from the players in a quiet ceremony in the boardroom.
Dr Tom Dimmock, a rugby man would you believe, was named as his successor.
Match report written by The Courier
|Bobby Geddes (GK)||23||29||-||97||-|
|Colin Harris (sub)||23||17||2||17||2|
No league table has been added for this season.
The result at Tynecastle on Wednesday night was what we needed to secure our Premier League status but I can promise you that the outcome was greeted with relief as opposed to elation.
This club is not in the football business to celebrate beating relegation and I personally didn't come here to fight that sort of fight on an annual basis.
To put it mildly, Wednesday night was the kind of experience I'll never forget but at the same time the kind of experience I never ever want to have to endure again. When I think what we all went through I can hardly believe it. And at that we still had the prospect of another match today in which to save ourselves from the drop!
Now that we know where the club is going there is much to be done in terms of getting things moving for next season.
We've had plans for some time but only now are we able to act on them and there is much to be done. Wednesday night's game was another indication that our players are prepared to fight and battle their way out of trouble.
This element of the game must be considered a starting point, and we'll need that as a basic right from the first kick.
There are a number of criteria to be met before you're able to start talking about success and I can make no guarantees. But I said right from the start that there is a great potential at this club as was shown by the number of fans at Tynecastle on Wednesday and we must put a team on the park that is going to be worthy of that support. I'll repeat our standards at Dens Park must be higher than aiming to avoid relegation and being pleased at doing just that.
I must say that my heart goes out to Alex Rennie at this time. His team was the 11th best in Scotland last season and 9th best this term but still many people will consider that in terms of failure. I've never heard anything so ridiculous and I have every sympathy for Alex. He has obviously been going through what I've gone through but at the end of it all he has to accept defeat. I hope he can handle it as far as I'm concerned it just didn't bear thinking about. After the drama and tension of late we should still be in for a good game today.
Saints will be keen beat us and show that the wrong team is taking the drop and our lads will be out to make a right good show in this last game of the season.