Dundee 2
St Johnstone 1
League (Premiership)

2 - 1
St Johnstone 

League (Premiership)
Sunday, February 11th, 2024
The Scot Foam Stadium
Attendance: 7,102
2:00 PM Kick-off

Luke McCowan (pen.) (75)
Jordan McGhee (89)
Matt Smith (9)

Team Managers
Tony Docherty
Craig Levein

Starting Eleven
31. Trevor Carson
3. Owen Beck
5. Joe Shaughnessy
6. Jordan McGhee
25. Aaron Donnelly
10. Lyall Cameron
28. Mo Sylla
7. Scott Tiffoney
9. Amadou Bakayoko
16. Zach Robinson
17. Luke McCowan
1. Dimitar Mitov
6. Liam Gordon
4. Andrew Considine
35. Kerr Smith
22. Matt Smith
33. David Keltjens
11. Graham Carey
19. Luke Robinson
17. Oludare Olufunwa
16. Adama Sidibeh
29. Benjamin Mgunga-Kimpioka

30. Harrison Sharp
14. Lee Ashcroft
3. Owen Dodgson
4. Ryan Astley
12. Ricki Lamie
19. Finlay Robertson
15. Josh Mulligan
44. Dara Costelloe
26. Michael Mellon
31. Dave Richards
10. Nicholas Clark
9. Christopher Kane
3. Tony Gallacher
15. Maksym Kucheriavyi
50. Connot Smith
5. Ryan McGowan
13. Diallang Jaiyesimi
23. Sven Sprangler

Dara Costelloe for Zach Robinson (46)
Michael Mellon for Scott Tiffoney (67)
Ricki Lamie for Aaron Donnelly (89)
Lee Ashcroft for Michael Mellon (104)
Maksym Kucheriavyi for Benjamin Mgunga-Kimpioka (58)
Connot Smith for Oludare Olufunwa (58)
Sven Sprangler for Kerr Smith (69)
Ryan McGowan for David Keltjens (79)
Diallang Jaiyesimi | Off: Matt Smith (104)

Dara Costelloe (48)
Amadou Bakayoko (69)
Michael Mellon (83)
Liam Gordon (74)
Dimitar Mitov (75)
Maksym Kucheriavyi (88)

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

David Munro (Referee)
John McCrossan & Graham McNeillie (Assistants)
Greg Soutar (Fourth Official)

Match Report

Dundee moved three points clear in 6th place with a 2-1 win over St Johnstone at the Scot Foam Stadium this afternoon. Matthew Smith gave Saints an early lead, but late goals by Luke McCowan, from the penalty spot following a VAR review, and Jordan McGhee gave the Dark Blues a deserved win. Although St Johnstone led for most of the game the Dee were the better side. The Dark Blues fought hard for the win in an entertaining game and played some attractive football as they attacked Saints.

There were five changes to the Dee’s starting eleven. Aaron Donnelly, Mo Sylla, Scott Tiffoney, Amadou Bakayoko and Zach Robinson came in for Lee Ashcroft, Owen Dodgson and Michael Mellon, who were on the bench, and the injured pair of Malachi Boateng and Curtis Main. Dundee switched to four at the back, instead of the usual three with wing backs.

In the first 20 minutes all the action was around the St Johnstone penalty area except for the moment that mattered, when Saints took the lead. The Dee had a series of corners and long throws which the vistors managed to deal with, if not always convincingly.

St Johnstone scored with their first attack. They worked the ball from the right across the face of the Dundee penalty area. Graham Carey passed sideways for Matthew SMITH to send a low shot inside Trevor Carson’s right hand post.

The Dark Blues fought back well, putting Saints’ defence under sustained pressure. Dimitar Mitov saved Lyall Cameron’s shot from 20 yards. The Saints keeper then had a lucky escape when he dithered on a passback and hit his clearance against Amadou Bakayoko with the ball rebounding off the outside of the goalpost.

Dundee continued to attack, winning a series of corners. The Dee were playing pleasing football through to the penalty area but couldn’t find the killer touch at the end of promising moves. Aaron Donnelly came closest to an equaliser with a looping header from a corner, but Carey headed off the line.

St Johnstone were happy to sit back and try to hit Dundee on the break. That suited their speedy forwards and they could have caught the Dark Blues out a couple of times. Carson saved well from Benjamin Kimpioka after the Dark Blues failed to clear a Saints attack and then Adama Sidibeh had a shot deflected for a corner. Owen Beck put in an outstanding spot of defending when St Johnstone broke away from a Dee corner and he raced after Sidibeh to prevent him shooting.

At half time Dara Costelloe came on for Zach Robinson. He played in the same wide attacking role on the right and looked more comfortable there than Robinson did, and happier than he had done previously in a deeper wing back role.

Almost immediately Costelloe swung in a great cross that had Saints’ defence at panic stations. The ball bobbled around the goalmouth with nobody able to get the finishing touch. Costelloe headed over at the far post from a corner as Dundee continued to push for an equaliser.

The game swung on two incidents on the hour mark. Carson pulled off a superb save to turn a ferocious volley from Sidibeh over the bar. From the corner Andrew Considine headed against the crossbar. A two goal deficit might well have been too much for the Dee to overcome. After those scares the Dee set about chasing an equaliser once again with Michael Mellon on the park in the place of Scott Tiffoney.

With just over quarter of an hour to go St Johnstone cleared yet another Dee corner. Saints broke clear and Luke McCowan tackled substitute Max Kucheriavyi in the Dee penalty area, winning a goal kick. A VAR review for a possible penalty was immediately announced, leaving everyone wondering which team might benefit. Referee David Munro checked the screen, returned to the pitch, and to the huge relief of the home support pointed to St Johnstone’s penalty area. Apparently Saints’ skipper Liam Gordon had fouled Amadou Bakayoko at the corner, though the crowd could only know that if they checked in with the BBC.

Luke McCOWAN tucked the penalty away off the inside of the post. Predictably the Dark Blues got a boost from the equaliser, which was fully deserved if rather peculiar.

Beck smashed a low shot across goal after being played in by McCowan. A Costelloe cross to the far post found Bakayoko but the striker didn’t make a clean enough connection and Mitov smothered the shot.

The Dark Blues kept pressing and got their reward after 89 minutes. Beck drifted infield and a perfect deep cross found Jordan McGHEE, who timed his run precisely to nod the winner past Mitov and into the corner of the net from 12 yards.

Eight minutes of added time were announced and St Johnstone threw everything they could at the Dee in an attempt to rescue the game. Ricki Lamie had replaced the injured Aaron Donnelly a minute before the goal and his experience was welcome in the long minutes of added time. However, Dundee handled the game well and Saints produced only one worrying moment. Luke Robinson whipped in a wicked cross that Carson palmed away for a corner. Bizarrely, with six minutes still to play, Mitov abandoned his goal and came up to challenge. Dundee cleared, but couldn’t punish the Saints’ keeper’s adventurous charge up the park.

The big story of the added time was a horrible injury to Michael Mellon who was battered from behind in an aerial challenge. The referee played the advantage and Costelloe broke into the penalty area where he was caught as he checked inside. There was no penalty this time.

Mellon needed treatment on the pitch for seven minutes before being stretchered off. Lee Ashcroft replaced him and when play restarted the Dark Blues saw out the win without any further trouble. After 106 minutes the referee finally brought a fraught and entertaining match to a close.

The Dee played some lovely football at times today, but frustratingly they couldn’t find the right end product for long spells. What was never in doubt was the team spirit that kept Dundee fired up and chasing the three points that they ultimately deserved. Even when the Dark Blues were not at their best they kept coming at St Johnstone and giving Saints’ defence problems.

Again, this was a team victory. Luke McCowan was announced as the sponsor’s man of the match, but it was a win that was earned by everyone in Dark Blue today.

Match report written by James Christie - Official Dundee website

Squad Statistics (as at February 11th, 2024)

2023-24 All Time
Trevor Carson (GK)35 22 - 22 -
Aaron Donnelly20 9 - 9 -
Jordan McGhee27 25315414
Joe Shaughnessy30 294294
Owen Beck21 242242
Lyall Cameron21 2346518
Mo Sylla30 12 - 12 -
Scott Tiffoney25 211211
Luke McCowan26 27510320
Zach Robinson21 2365619
Amadou Bakayoko28 265265
Ricki Lamie (sub)30 121121
Lee Ashcroft (sub)30 13111013
Dara Costelloe (sub)21 5 - 5 -
Michael Mellon (sub)20 4141

League Table (as at February 11th, 2024)

Pld W D L +/- Pts
1. Celtic 25 19 4 2 +40 61
2. Rangers 24 19 1 4 +38 58
3. Hearts 25 15 3 7 +11 48
4. Kilmarnock 25 9 9 7 +2 36
5. St Mirren 25 10 5 10 0 35
6. Dundee 24 7 8 9 -6 29
7. Hibernian 24 6 8 10 -10 26
8. Motherwell 24 5 10 9 -4 25
9. Aberdeen 23 6 7 10 -10 25
10. St Johnstone 25 5 9 11 -15 24
11. Ross County 23 4 7 12 -19 19
12. Livingston 25 2 7 16 -27 13