Dundee 0
St Johnstone 2
League (Premiership)

0 - 2
St Johnstone 

League (Premiership)
Saturday, April 25th, 2015
McDiarmid Park
Attendance: 6,530
3:00 PM Kick-off

None. Danny Swanson (53)
Iain Davidson (o.g.) (67)

Team Managers
Paul Hartley
Tommy Wright

Starting Eleven
12. Scott Bain
5. James McPake
19. Paul McGinn
4. Thomas Konrad
3. Willie Dyer
20. Jim McAlister
10. Kevin Thomson
18. Paul McGowan
49. Paul Heffernan
16. David Clarkson
15. Greg Stewart
Alan Mannus .1
David MacKay .2
Tam Scobbie .3
Frazer Wright .5
Gary Miller .19
Chris Millar .7
David Wotherspoon .10
Danny Swanson .11
Murray Davidson .18
Steven MacLean .9
Brian Graham .14

1. Kyle Letheren
48. Stephen McGinn
47. Alex Harris
24. Andrew Black
6. Iain Davidson
33. Craig Wighton
21. Luka Tankulic
Steve Banks .15
Brian Easton .24
Scott Brown .20
Liam Caddis .16
Michael O'Halloran .29
James McFadden .17
Chris Kane .25

Iain Davidson for Thomas Konrad (46)
Luka Tankulic for Paul Heffernan (57)
Craig Wighton for David Clarkson (64)
Michael O'Halloran for Brian Graham (72)
Scott Brown for Murray Davidson (81)
Liam Caddis for Danny Swanson (86)

Greg Stewart (40)
Greg Stewart (63)
Murray Davidson (63)

Red Cards
Greg Stewart (63)
Match Officials

Craig Thomson (Referee)
Gavin Harris & Raymond Whyte (Assistants)
Stephen Finnie (Fourth Official)

Match Report

Dundee went down to a 2-0 defeat at home to St Johnstone this afternoon after a flat and largely lifeless performance. Danny Swanson put Saints ahead early in the second half. There was no coming back for the Dee when Greg Stewart was sent off after picking up a second yellow card and an Iain Davidson own goal put the visitors two up.

Paul Hartley made three changes from Wednesday night's game against Celtic. Out from the starting eleven went Stephen McGinn, Simon Ferry and Alex Harris. In came David Clarkson, Paul McGowan and Kevin Thomson.

With both sides fielding two strikers and two wide midfielders there was more space than usual in the middle of the park. Both sides tried to take advantage in a very open start to the match. Saints settled quicker and looked the more dangerous side in the first 25 minutes. Danny Swanson had the first shot when Kevin Thomson slipped but the Saints' midfielder curled his shot too high from wide on the left.

In spite of some neat football in midfield St Johnstone weren't quite clicking when they moved closer to goal. There were a few careless moments in the Dee rearguard that caused concern, but Scott Bain didn't have a shot to save during Saints' spell of pressure. The visitors came closest when Scobbie sent a dangerous cross to the far post that Graham couldn't quite reach.

The Dee midfield took a while to settle down but gradually started to win possession and build some promising attacks with smart passing and movement. A lovely move by McAlister and Stewart caused danger with a ball flashing across goal. St Johnstone's keeper Alan Mannus then had to turn the ball over his own bar under pressure after a Stewart free kick led to a scramble and a blocked McGowan shot.

Dundee's best move of the first half came during a fleeting wintry hailstorm. Paul Heffernan just failed to turn Paul McGinn's cutback into the net at the end of a sweeping move.

The optimism generated by an improved performance in the latter part of the first half quickly disappeared after the break. Dundee never again managed to repeat the passing moves that had caused the Saints' defence problems.

Thomas Konrad was replaced at half time by Iain Davidson, who did manage to settle in quickly with some good challenges. However, the Dark Blues' defence was caught out after 53 minutes when SWANSON cut in from the left and his shot flew through a crowd of players across Bain and inside the far post.

The goal settled Saints and allowed them to sit back and challenge Dundee to try and break them down. Sadly the Dark Blues failed that challenge and never looked like pulling the game back. Dundee's task looked beyond them when Greg Stewart was dismissed after an hour when Mr Thomson decided he'd dived just outside the penalty area The Dees' top scorer had been booked for a foul on Murray Davidson in the first half, and when Dundee lost his skill and invention in the wide areas there seemed no way back.

Five minutes later it was game over when Iain DAVIDSON scored an unfortunate own goal. Scott Bain saved well from Swanson. Wotherspoon followed up and his shot was heading wide till Davidson stuck out a leg, inadvertently diverting the ball past Bain.

After that St Johnstone killed the game professionally. They offered Dundee plenty of space in midfield but closed them down effectively when the Dark Blues moved closer to goal. Saints showed little ambition to try and score again, but a third goal for the visitors looked just as likely as a consolation for the Dee.

Luka Tankulic and Craig Wighton replaced Heffernan and Tankulic. The newcomers tried hard and showed some neat touches, but the Dee were hamstrung by a lack of width and a dearth of invention in midfield. Tankulic had two good runs that ended in a dangerous cross and a shot from 22 yards that flew wide. Wighton also had a good run, involving a neat exchange with Tankulic, but it ended almost inevitably when the St Johnstone defence crowded him out in the penalty area.

This was a below par performance in just about every respect. The first half was even with each side having a long spell on top without dominating. In the second half Dundee simply slipped out of contention. The fans had every right to exepect a strong response when the Dee fell behind. The only reaction was from the visitors who saw the chance to close out the game and took it. The Dark Blues might have had plenty of the ball after falling behind, but it was Saints who were in control.

Reaching the top six in the first season back in the Premiership has been a tremendous achievement, but performances will have to improve if the rest of the season is not to be an anti-climax.

Match report written by James Christie - Official Dundee website

Squad Statistics (as at April 25th, 2015)

2014-15 All Time
Scott Bain (GK)23 25 - 25 -
Paul McGinn24 352352
James McPake30 342342
Willie Dyer28 22 - 48 -
Thomas Konrad25 342342
Kevin Thomson29 23 - 23 -
Jim McAlister29 37212112
Paul McGowan27 311311
David Clarkson29 249249
Paul Heffernan33 6161
Greg Stewart25 36153615
Iain Davidson (sub)31 141845
Luka Tankulic (sub)23 272272
Craig Wighton (sub)17 151293

League Table (as at April 25th, 2015)

No league table has been added for this season.

Manager's Programme Notes

Good afternoon and welcome to Dens Park for this afternoon's match with St Johnstone. I'd like to welcome Tommy Wright, his backroom staff and both sets of supporters to what should be an entertaining contest.

It's a big game today, we are looking forward to it. It's the start of a mini league today as we look to put as many points on the board and see where it takes up.

The Perth side haven't had a fixture since we met two weeks ago while we took on Celtic during the week.

I was pleased with the players in the match with Celtic, I thought they performed well, their attitude was good, the discipline and concentration was good. That little final quality in that final third maybe let us down.

I thought we started well and were comfortable but got done by two set pieces which is frustrating as we've defended them well all season.

In Celtic we came up against a good team, if we had got our goal maybe ten minutes earlier we might have put them under real pressure.

But overall I was pleased with the players and we go again today.

Enjoy the game.