Dundee 1
St Johnstone 3
League (Premier League)

1 - 3
St Johnstone 

League (Premier League)
Saturday, September 29th, 2012
Dens Park
Attendance: 6,158
3:00 PM Kick-off

Ryan Conroy (pen.) (22)
Grégory Tadé (16)
Liam Craig (27)
Steven MacLean (52)

Team Managers
Barry Smith
Steve Lomas

Starting Eleven
1. Robert Douglas
25. Lewis Toshney
3. Matt Lockwood
2. Gary Irvine
20. Jim McAlister
28. Mark Kerr
11. Ryan Conroy
6. Iain Davidson
23. Martin Boyle
24. Colin Nish
10. John Baird
Alan Mannus .1
David MacKay .2
Frazer Wright .5
Steven Anderson .6
Gary Miller .19
Patrick Cregg .4
Chris Millar .7
Grégory Tadé .9
Liam Craig .10
Murray Davidson .18
Steven MacLean .9

36. Alex Baird
17. Kyle Benedictus
26. Brian Easton
18. Declan Gallagher
7. Nicky Riley
8. Kevin McBride
15. Steven Milne
Jonathan Tuffey .15
David McCracken .18
Liam Caddis .26
Chris Tobin .47
Craig Beattie .16
Nigel Hasselbaink .11
Chris Kane .41

Nicky Riley for John Baird (52)
Kyle Benedictus for Lewis Toshney (60)
Nigel Hasselbaink for Patrick Cregg (25)
Craig Beattie for Steven MacLean (83)

Jim McAlister (38)
Colin Nish (56)
Kyle Benedictus (75)
Frazer Wright (23)

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

Alan Muir (Referee)
Tom Murphy & Stuart Hodge (Assistants)
Greig Aitken (Fourth Official)

Photography by David Young

Match Report

Dundee went down to a painful 3-1 defeat at Dens this afternoon against a St Johnstone team who ended up comfortable winners.

Ryan Conroy equalised Gregory Tadé's opener, only for Saints to grab a quick second from Liam Craig. The first half was fairly even but Saints took charge after the break. A third goal from Steven MacLean put the visitors in control. Without ever playing flashy football or doing anything particularly clever they mastered Dundee all over the pitch and deserved the points.

Dundee made two changes from last week. Lewis Toshney returned in place of Kyle Benedictus, and Martin Boyle made his first start, replacing Steven Milne.

The Dee nearly got off to a great start when McAlister took a Conroy pass, beat a man and saw his 12 yard shot deflected wide. Colin Nish then exposed uncertainty in the Saints' defence when he managed to force Anderson's short passback past the keeper, Alan Mannus, only for the ball to be hacked clear.

Unfortunately for the Dark Blue fans there was plenty of uncertainty on show at the other end of the field, and Dundee were punished for it.

It was a worrying sign of things to come when Tadé caught Iain Davidson napping and crossed the ball low into the goalmouth where Lewis Toshney contorted himself to cut out the danger.

Saints took the lead after 16 minutes when Liam Craig timed a good run from deep to burst clear. He cut the ball back from the byline and Gregor TADÉ at the far post shot high into the net.

The Dee gave the fans a lift with a quick equaliser. Nish knocked the ball down into the penalty area and Saints' Cregg scooped the ball into the air towards Boyle. The young striker got his head to the ball before being knocked over by Wright's clumsy challenge. The referee gave the penalty and Ryan CONROY tucked the ball away.

Sadly Dundee failed to build on the goal and within five minutes were undone by a dreadfully defended goal. A slack pass from Toshney as Dundee tried to move out of defence left Lockwood out of position and St Johnstone were able to work the ball out to Gary Miller in space on the right. His cross was allowed to bounce through the goalmouth, past the startled Hasselbaink and on to Liam CRAIG who smashed the ball into the goal from a tight angle.

Dundee spent most of the remainder of the first half in the Saints' penalty area without ever troubling Alan Mannus.

Dundee's hopes of pulling the game back were dealt a blow when Saints extended their lead after seven minutes of the second half. Craig's corner was headed powerfully across goal by Wright and Steven MACLEAN managed to get his head to the ball to score from close range.

The goal transformed the match and St Johnstone were firmly in control. Dundee never looked like saving the game.

St Johnstone ensured that the Dundee midfield never had a second to dwell on the ball. The Dark Blue midfielders were constantly being closed down or caught in possession.

Saints meanwhile were moving the ball quickly forwards where Tadé's pace and aggression exposed Dundee in central defence. Davidson looked uncomfortable against Tadé's persisting hunting after space behind the defence. Lewis Toshney didn't look fully fit and had to be replaced by Kyle Benedictus with half an hour to go.

Saints were also successful finding space in between the central defenders and full backs. The result was that the Dundee defence was being pulled around and struggling to stop Saints scoring more goals. Dundee were too hesitant and too ponderous when they did have the ball and they lost it far too quickly. They built very few fluent moves, and none that opened Saints up. Not once in the second half did Dundee manage to get anyone in a position to send in a dangerous cross.

Eventually Dundee resorted to long balls in the hope that Colin Nish could create something. Although Nish had the measure of Steven Anderson in the air the referee took exception to the way that the big striker was imposing himself. As a result Anderson had a much more comfortable afternoon than he might have expected and the long balls never worried Saints.

Martin Boyle had a frustrating afternoon in which he never got any worthwhile service and saw the ball only when he dropped deep. Nick Riley replaced John Baird after Saints third goal but couldn't get into the game. Whenever he got the ball he was surrounded by a posse of Saints.

Gregory Tadé was having far more joy at the other end and was unlucky not to get another goal. He outstripped Davidson on the right and lashed a shot against the outside of Douglas's post. He then had a shot from a corner cleared off the line by McAlister.

Both sides had penalty shouts that the referee ignored. Saints' appeal looked the more convincing when Benedictus seemed to wrestle MacLean down, and then Colin Nish may have been pulled down as he turned to try and shoot. MacLean seemed to fall awkardly at the penalty claim and had to be stretchered off.

In injury time Dundee at last managed to create a couple of half chances, but Irvine and Conroy shot too high each time.

Saints had their shaky moments in defence in the first half, but Dundee couldn't punish them. Dundee's wobbliness at the back was punished, however, and not as painfully as it might have been.

Dundee's defence today looked exactly what it was, a defensive unit that hadn't played together before. They badly needed protection from the midfield, and they never got it. The midfield couldn't support the strikers either and spent most of the second half chasing the ball or struggling unsuccessfully to find space. The strikers might have had a miserable afternoon, but the real problems today were behind them.

Dundee have yet to take a point at home in the SPL, and this was the worst of the four defeats. St Johnstone might not have been any more than efficient and hard working, but that was far too much for the Dee today.

Match report written by James Christie - Official Dundee website

Squad Statistics (as at September 29th, 2012)

2012-13 All Time
Robert Douglas (GK)40 10 - 281 -
Matt Lockwood35 9 - 859
Lewis Toshney20 4 - 4 -
Gary Irvine27 10 - 892
Ryan Conroy25 1025214
Mark Kerr30 3 - 3 -
Jim McAlister26 9 - 9 -
Iain Davidson28 9 - 9 -
John Baird27 10 - 10 -
Colin Nish31 5151
Martin Boyle19 5 - 5 -
Kyle Benedictus (sub)20 8 - 58 -
Nicky Riley (sub)26 3 - 699

League Table (as at September 29th, 2012)

No league table has been added for this season.

Manager's Programme Notes

It's been a couple of weeks since our last home game, and again feel unfortunate that we do not have more points on the board since my last time of writing.

Our last two games have been against teams who sit first and second in the table, and whilst we have come away empty handed in both, I feel there have been many positives, and much that we can take from these games and build on.

Against Motherwell we were again hit by injuries that disrupted the flow of the game, and whilst I do not like to use this ever as an excuse, the extensive list of players who have been missing recently cannot be ignored.

I felt there were long spells of the game that we controlled and did the right things, and we certainly made Stuart McCall's men work hard for their points.

The same can be said at Celtic Park, where had we been a little more clinical in front of goal in the early stages of the game, it may have been a different outcome. We did cause them problems however, and again I hope my players take confidence from that.

Today we face a side who like us, may feel they could and should have had more points on the board at this stage. Also like us, St Johnstone have quality in their side and we will need to be at our best to take something from this game.

What has remained consistent throughout this season so far is the fantastic backing we have received from our supporters. I can assure everyone that this definitely has not gone unnoticed, and makes everyone at the club hungrier and more eager to get results.

If we continue to stick together, and support and encourage each other I know we won't be too far away.

Enjoy the game.