St Johnstone 1
Dundee 0
League (Premier League)

St Johnstone 

1 - 0


League (Premier League)
Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013
McDiarmid Park
Attendance: 5,055
2:00 PM Kick-off

Liam Craig (33) None.

Team Managers
Steve Lomas Barry Smith

Starting Eleven
Unknown. Robert Douglas .1
Lewis Toshney .25
Gary Irvine .2
Brian Easton .26
Declan Gallagher .18
Stephen O'Donnell .4
Nicky Riley .7
Iain Davidson .6
Jim McAlister .20
Steven Milne .15
Colin Nish .24

15. Jonathan Tuffey
33. Tam Scobbie
40. Andy Steeves
26. Liam Caddis
14. Kevin Moon
11. Nigel Hasselbaink
17. Steven MacLean
Alex Baird .36
Neil McGregor .5
Ryan Conroy .11
Kevin McBride .8
Martin Boyle .23
John Baird .10
Mark Stewart .27

Tam Scobbie for Callum Davidson (35)
Steven MacLean for Grégory Tadé (68)
Nigel Hasselbaink for Rowan Vine (82)
Kevin McBride for Stephen O'Donnell (52)
Mark Stewart for Colin Nish (64)
John Baird for Steven Milne (82)

Murray Davidson (62)
Peter Pawlett (70)
Stephen O'Donnell (47)
Jim McAlister (58)

Red Cards
None. None.

Match Officials

John McKendrick (Referee)
Andrew McWilliam & Brian Templeton (Assistants)
Euan Norris (Fourth Official)

Photography by David Young

Match Report

St Johnstone edged out Dundee in the New Year derby at McDiarmid Park, winning 1-0 thanks to a first half goal from Liam Craig. There was little to choose between the teams in a very poor match, but Dundee struggled to put Saints under serious pressure after they fell behind. The Dee looked sadly short of confidence and St Johnstone were able to do enough to hold on to their lead fairly comfortably in a second half that ranged from dull to dreadful.

The sight of Stephen O'Donnell being carried off on a stretcher early in the second half added another thoroughly unwelcome touch of gloom to the proceedings.

Barry Smith made four changes to the side that was beaten by Aberdeen at the weekend. Lewis Toshney and Brian Easton replaced Kyle Benedictus and Matt Lockwood. Iain Davidson returned to the midfield in place of Kevin McBride, and John Baird dropped onto the bench as Steven Milne came back from injury.

The pitch looked in good condition for January, but was clearly rough and bobbly down the flanks. Neither side was able to keep the ball under control in the wide areas and fluent moves were a rarity throughout the game.

In a sloppy, cagey first half hour neither keeper had anything serious to trouble them. Saints had a scare when Gallagher was allowed a free header only a few yards out from McAlister's free kick, but the young defender missed the ball.

After 30 minutes Vine had a good run down the left and flashed his cross across the face of goal with no teammates on hand.

The only goal soon followed; it was as messy as the rest of the game and had a touch of controversy too. Gallagher deflected Tadé's cross back towards Douglas, who was then clattered by Pawlett's lunge. The ball broke to Liam Craig who tapped it into the empty net, and surprisingly the referee's whistle signalled a goal rather than a free kick.

Shortly afterwards Pawlett repeated his lunge at Douglas. This time Mr McKendrick awarded a free kick, though it was hard to see any difference between the two challenges.

Soon after half time Kevin McBride came off the bench to replace O'Donnell who was clearly in pain after a midfield challenge and needed lengthy treatment before being taken off on a stretcher.

Both sides had half hearted penalty appeals during the second half. Tadé bounced off Gallagher in the box and went down. This time Dundee got the benefit of the doubt. At the other end Milne claimed unsuccessfully that he'd been barged from behind going for an Easton cross in one of the few spells of pressure from Dundee. In a game desperately short of penalty box action there was very little else to excite the fans.

The Dundee defence were caught snoozing when Vine was allowed to spin on Mackay's free kick and shoot across goal. Colin Nish then came nearest to grabbing an equaliser when Easton played him in. Tam Scobbie dived in to block and Nish's shot spun over the bar with the goalkeeper already having dived.

Frazer Wright's header from a corner grazed the top of the Dundee bar, and the match seemed as if it might spark into life when Riley had a great run from his own half. His shot from 25 yards was just too high, but that was the end of any excitement with 20 minutes to go.

Dundee tried hard to work the ball into the Saints penalty area but couldn't unsettle the home defence. Deep into injury time Saints substitute Hasselbaink screwed a shot six yards wide. The game was so lacking in excitement that this was enough to produce an "ooooooh!" from the home fans.

The game drifted to its conclusion with Dundee unable to fashion an equaliser, or even a clear chance. Saints ran the ball into the corners as only a cold breeze kept the supporters awake.

This was a poor game in which the first goal was always likely to be vital. Saints got the break to score and did enough in the second half to keep all the points. Dundee badly needed the confidence boost they would have got from taking the lead and simply couldn't afford to fall behind.

The defence did their job well enough, apart from the avoidable goal. The team as a whole was organised and hard working, but they lacked the creative spark they needed to turn the game in their favour. The Dee might have got something here today against a St Johnstone team who were well short of their best. Luck wasn't on Dundee's side, but Dundee didn't play well enough to put Saints under the sort of pressure that might have resulted in them getting a break.

Match report written by James Christie - Official Dundee website

Squad Statistics (as at January 2nd, 2013)

2012-13 All Time
Robert Douglas (GK)40 24 - 295 -
Brian Easton24 3 - 3 -
Gary Irvine27 24 - 1032
Lewis Toshney20 8 - 8 -
Declan Gallagher21 14 - 14 -
Iain Davidson28 221221
Nicky Riley26 1528111
Stephen O'Donnell29 7 - 857
Jim McAlister27 23 - 23 -
Colin Nish31 172172
Steven Milne32 13316744
Kevin McBride (sub)31 151261
Mark Stewart (sub)24 101101
John Baird (sub)27 23 - 23 -

League Table (as at January 2nd, 2013)

No league table has been added for this season.