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  1. Goals either side of half time sealed the victory for St Johnstone but Dundee did have their chances to score, with Ethan Robson coming the closes when he fired over from only a few yards out. There is still six game left to play to save our Premiership status but with each passing week and performance, it’s all starting to look very bleak. McIntyre still believes though that he can lead his team to safety.
  2. Callum Hendry scored on his first start for St Johnstone before Matty Kennedy smashed in a second on the hour.
  3. DUNDEE SHATTER ORMOND'S SAINTS EUROPEAN DREAM! In fact Dundee probably started the trend of big tournament successes on each other’s ground when they earned the right to meet tonight's opponents St. Johnstone at Tannadice in the Semi-Final of the Scottish League Cup in season 1967/68. Both sides were desperate to succeed and the added spice of a local derby made it all the more intriguing. These Tayside neighbours both had ambitious but different motives for success that October evening in 1967. FOR DUNDEE - Victory would be another step towards their biggest aim - a real challenge to the Old Firm, who incidentally had both been in European finals the season before with the Lisbon Lions triumphing over Inter Milan and Rangers falling at the final hurdle to Bayern Munich in Nuremberg, only after extra-time. Heady days indeed for Scots clubs! FOR SAINTS - Victory would take them closer to manager Willie Ormond's dream - a place in European football. Ormond had primed his players well and instilled in them that they had nothing to fear from a Dundee side who had just come through a tough 1st Round Fairs Cup tie against D.W. S. Amsterdam and had already tasted Europe and wanted some more! Dundee had a couple of niggly injury problems with both Bobby Cox and soon to be Irish Internationalist, Billy Campbell doubtful. Campbell made it and Cox didn't, which let Doug Houston in at left back for a crucial match for both clubs. Before a large enthusiastic derby crowd at Tannadice on 11 October 1967, the teams were as follows: DUNDEE: Donaldson, R.Wilson, Houston; Murray, Stewart and Stuart; Campbell, J. Mclean, S.Wilson, G. Mclean and Bryce. ST.JOHNSTONE: Donaldson, McGillivray, Coburn; Miller, Rooney, McPhee; Aird, Whitelaw, McCarry, Wilson and McDonald. Alex Stuart, left half and captain that night, but now Dundee District Council's Leisure and Recreation Manager, recalls how remarkably once again Dundee kept their best football of the season for another big match. In season 1963/64 in the Scottish Cup Semi, the Dees produced a sparkling performance at Ibrox to crush Kilmarnock 4-0 to reach a final meeting with Rangers. 'Dundee were the favourites without a doubt', Alex remembers, 'and the papers were sure Willie Ormond's dream of Europe would end against Dundee.' In fact Dundee were even confident of beating Celtic in the final (who absolutely stuffed Morton in the other semi 7-1! ). Remember by this time Celtic were European Champions and were contesting the ill-fated World Club Championship. The night turned out to be a personal nightmare for Saint's half-back (remember them?) George Miller. Saints led at half-time through a goal from Whitelaw which was one of the strangest of the season. Alex Stuart recalls,' I tried to pass back to Ally Donaldson but hit it far too hard and it hit off Ally and rebounded to George Stewart. He tried to clear but the ball hit off Tom Wilson and cannoned across goal for Whitelaw to head into the empty net!' 'In the second half Dundee hit them with everything and moved swiftly into top gear with Billy Campbell in brilliant form, teasing and tormenting the Saint's defence. He was involved in both the first and second Dundee goals but the unfortunate player was undoubtedly George Miller who first sliced a clearance into his own net and then had a Campbell cross ricochet off him into the net to put Dundee 2-1 ahead.' Jim McLean scored late on from the penalty spot to seal things for the Dark Blues and propel them to an exciting Final clash with the European Champions. Miller was not to blame as Saints really didn't cash in on a good first half performance and lost their nerve as Dundee and particularly Billy Campbell piled on the pressure. Alex Stuart remembers Dundee manager, Bobby Ancell as a real gentleman and he wasn't big on tactics preferring instead to pick the team and let them play - changed days indeed! 'We lost the final 3-5 to Celtic but it went down as probably the most entertaining League Cup Final ever with Dundee pushing Celtic all the way, but this was a world class Celtic side and to lose as Dundee did won them many friends.' Dundee's season had more great moments that year with a run to the Fairs Cup semi which thrilled Dundee fans throughout that year. Image Copyright Unknown
  4. DUNDEE SHATTER ORMOND'S SAINTS EUROPEAN DREAM! In fact Dundee probably started the trend of big tournament successes on each other’s ground when they earned the right to meet tonight's opponents St. Johnstone at Tannadice in the Semi-Final of the Scottish League Cup in season 1967/68. Both sides were desperate to succeed and the added spice of a local derby made it all the more intriguing. These Tayside neighbours both had ambitious but different motives for success that October evening in 1967. FOR DUNDEE - Victory would be another step towards their biggest aim - a real challenge to the Old Firm, who incidentally had both been in European finals the season before with the Lisbon Lions triumphing over Inter Milan and Rangers falling at the final hurdle to Bayern Munich in Nuremberg, only after extra-time. Heady days indeed for Scots clubs! FOR SAINTS - Victory would take them closer to manager Willie Ormond's dream - a place in European football. Ormond had primed his players well and instilled in them that they had nothing to fear from a Dundee side who had just come through a tough 1st Round Fairs Cup tie against D.W. S. Amsterdam and had already tasted Europe and wanted some more! Dundee had a couple of niggly injury problems with both Bobby Cox and soon to be Irish Internationalist, Billy Campbell doubtful. Campbell made it and Cox didn't, which let Doug Houston in at left back for a crucial match for both clubs. Before a large enthusiastic derby crowd at Tannadice on 11 October 1967, the teams were as follows: DUNDEE: Donaldson, R.Wilson, Houston; Murray, Stewart and Stuart; Campbell, J. Mclean, S.Wilson, G. Mclean and Bryce. ST.JOHNSTONE: Donaldson, McGillivray, Coburn; Miller, Rooney, McPhee; Aird, Whitelaw, McCarry, Wilson and McDonald. Alex Stuart, left half and captain that night, but now Dundee District Council's Leisure and Recreation Manager, recalls how remarkably once again Dundee kept their best football of the season for another big match. In season 1963/64 in the Scottish Cup Semi, the Dees produced a sparkling performance at Ibrox to crush Kilmarnock 4-0 to reach a final meeting with Rangers. 'Dundee were the favourites without a doubt', Alex remembers, 'and the papers were sure Willie Ormond's dream of Europe would end against Dundee.' In fact Dundee were even confident of beating Celtic in the final (who absolutely stuffed Morton in the other semi 7-1! ). Remember by this time Celtic were European Champions and were contesting the ill-fated World Club Championship. The night turned out to be a personal nightmare for Saint's half-back (remember them?) George Miller. Saints led at half-time through a goal from Whitelaw which was one of the strangest of the season. Alex Stuart recalls,' I tried to pass back to Ally Donaldson but hit it far too hard and it hit off Ally and rebounded to George Stewart. He tried to clear but the ball hit off Tom Wilson and cannoned across goal for Whitelaw to head into the empty net!' 'In the second half Dundee hit them with everything and moved swiftly into top gear with Billy Campbell in brilliant form, teasing and tormenting the Saint's defence. He was involved in both the first and second Dundee goals but the unfortunate player was undoubtedly George Miller who first sliced a clearance into his own net and then had a Campbell cross ricochet off him into the net to put Dundee 2-1 ahead.' Jim McLean scored late on from the penalty spot to seal things for the Dark Blues and propel them to an exciting Final clash with the European Champions. Miller was not to blame as Saints really didn't cash in on a good first half performance and lost their nerve as Dundee and particularly Billy Campbell piled on the pressure. Alex Stuart remembers Dundee manager, Bobby Ancell as a real gentleman and he wasn't big on tactics preferring instead to pick the team and let them play - changed days indeed! 'We lost the final 3-5 to Celtic but it went down as probably the most entertaining League Cup Final ever with Dundee pushing Celtic all the way, but this was a world class Celtic side and to lose as Dundee did won them many friends.' Dundee's season had more great moments that year with a run to the Fairs Cup semi which thrilled Dundee fans throughout that year. Image Copyright Unknown View full blog
  5. The Dark Blues served up a lacklustre performance which ensured the St Johnstone headed back to Perth with possibly their easiest three-points of the season. With the Dee at the bottom of the table and fighting for survival, the way the home team rolled over and gave into a Saints side right before the opening of the January transfer window has possible added a few more names to the exit list that Jim McIntyre has drawn up. “We had four players who made contact with the St Johnstone boys, which is not enough,” said McIntyre. “If you are seeing players not committed, not seeing that fighting spirit, and seeing people disappear – because clearly that is what happened – then it’s very frustrating. “Everyone knows we have to get players in and this underlines that fact again. “The team clearly needs strengthened in January. It’s as clear as day that’s what has to happen. “We need to bring a freshness to things and the board know that. They’re not daft. “We need to get the right types now and I’m very confident I’ll get the backing we need.”
  6. Dundee end 2018 with a defeat in what the St Johnstone fans call their Tayside Derby. St Johnstone opened the scoring in the first minute when a Tanser cross was deflected past Hamiton's top left corner. Dundee in all honesty were terrible today, and huffed and puffed against a well drilled St Johnstone side. The Dark Blues went down 2 -0 in the 58th minute. A well worked corner found Craig on his own and slammed the ball past McGowan who was standing on the Dundee goal line. Dundee 0 - 2 St Johnstone
  7. St Johnstone are all but safe and despite a not reaching the top six, they can play out the remainder of their matches without the stress of looking over their shoulder with the fear of being dragged into the bottom two. The teams only met just over a month ago when The Saints basically dismantled a lacklustre Dundee team 4-0, in what can only be described as a horror show for the Dens Park faithful but utter delight for the travelling away fans. This time around, we will hopefully see a more experienced Dundee team on the field as they prepare to drag themselves away from the bottom two places. We caught up with St Johnstone Fans in the lead up to Saturdays match about their recent soon-to-be departures from the club, their feeling on 'that' incident last time around and most importantly, who will leave the ground with the points. We have only recently locked horns at Dens. St Johnstone ran over an out of sorts Dundee team that day 4-0. What was your take on that match? What a brilliant day that was! That’s the sort of performance we know we can get from this group of players, we just haven’t seen it enough this season - hence our position in the league. Some of the Dundee defending that day might also be some of the worst I’ve seen in some time. As the game wore on, the gap between the midfield and defence was huge which allowed us to be a little more direct, which really worked in our favour. We can’t speak about that match without the incident at the end. My opinion is, emotions were riding high and it was basically handbags at dawn. How did you see it? Just handbags really. I can understand McCann’s frustration, however, no need for the slap but when red mist descends.... I thought the 2 match bans were harsh, although McCann’s has now been reduced. Despite sometimes it seemed that you might have been dragged into a wee scuffle near the bottom of the table, The Saints have knuckled down to get the points on board to ensure that never happened. You will now fight Motherwell for seventh place. With them reaching the Scottish Cup Final, can you see them having one eye on that and your team leapfrogging them? Think a lot of credit has to go to Tommy Wright once again for steering us clear of any relegation battle, which looked likely at one stage. Here’s hoping they take their eye off the ball a little bit, but I can’t see it happening. They went up to Pittodrie the week before the League Cup Final and ran out easy 2-0 winners so I can’t see it being any different this time. This week has seen Steven MacLean join Hearts on a pre-contract. Is this a blow to see him leave? Absolutely. First and foremost, he is a club legend and is absolutely adored by Saints fans. After all, he’s a Scottish Cup winner. He’s a player I feel has embodied everything we’ve been about the last few years. I think his experience will be a big loss - you can see the impact he had on Stevie May and Chris Kane. However, and I may be proved wrong in time but from what we’ve seen the majority of this season, he isn’t good enough anymore. Whether or not letting him go is the right decision...we’ll see. One thing that irked me about this transfer was that this was announced with him holding up a Hearts scarf. I always feel that this should be left until the players time at the club he is transferring from has come to an end. Do you hold the same feelings? In this instance, Steven MacLean can do what he wants. But generally, yeah. Shows a real lack of respect to current employers and photo shoots aren’t urgent and can wait until the player has moved on. Allan Mannus has also signalled that his time is up in Perth. Will it be tough for someone to fill his boots? Absolutely, I may be slightly biased, but I feel he’s been the most underrated keeper in the league in recent times. He's made some vital saves at vital times - one that sticks in my mind is against Motherwell in 2014. Think we’d won once in 6 and Motherwell were 1-0 at the time, he saves one-on-one, Michael O’Halloran goes up the other end and scores and we win 2-1. We then go on to win 5 of next 6, only dropping points at Dens! Hopefully Zander Clark can really kick on now, and maybe even see young Mark Hurst step up as a back up. What injury worries have St Johnstone got leading up to Saturdays match? From the top of my head, Chris Kane, Denny Johnstone, David McMillan and Callum Hendry are all missing - leaving Steven MacLean as our only fit senior striker. We’re also without Stefan Scougall and Blair Alston. Unsure on Brian Easton situation but imagine he’ll miss out too. Thankfully, we should see a different Dundee team. We will have McGowan and Kamara back so we will actually have a midfield! Will your fans travel from Perth expecting the same as last time? Who do you think will win? I certainly hope not! Dundee are a different team defensively with those two in midfield, so I imagine it’ll be a lot lot closer this time. If I had to pick one team, on recent form I’d choose Saints, but, that’s exactly when we’ll see a 5-0 Dundee win!
  8. Hector Nicol’s song ‘Up Wi’ The Bonnets’ pays homage to the great Dundee side who became the Champions of Scotland for the first and only time on the last day of the of 1961/1962 season. Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, you can now read the matchday programme in full along with a few extra pages from that night’s Sporting Post. The programme includes notes and comments, the team line-ups, that days fixtures and a hell of a lot of advertisements. Who cares about adverts though? It’s the programme from the day we won the league! Most present-day Dundee supporters weren’t lucky enough to see the side in action that Bob Crampsie described as the best footballing team that Scotland ever produced but that doesn’t stop fans of all ages celebrating them as heroes to this day. We are reminded of these players and their accomplishments on a regular basis and rightly so. For the fans that were there to witness this marvellous event, a mere mention of this will bring a wry smile along with the words, “I was there.” Saturday, 28th April 1962 was the day when Dundee stood at the top of Scottish football. We were the best team in the county and about to clinch our greatest-ever achievement. With the sun shining down on Muirton Park, over 20,000 Dundee supporters would make the short trip to Perth as they hoped to see to the coronation of the new kings of Scotland. Dundee went into the match needing only a point to clinch their first title. A dramatic midweek had seen them beat St Mirren at home while closest challengers Rangers stumbled to a 1-0 defeat against Aberdeen. St Johnstone also needed a point, but to stave off relegation. Ian Ure recalled in his book, Ure’s Truly, that: “A message was passed to the players that they could collect £50 each if thy made it a draw. The idea was treated with contempt and only served to double our determination.” Dundee had previously lost the League Championship on the last day of the 1947/48 season with defeat away to Falkirk but there would be no similar heartbreak for players and supporters this time around. The Gods were smiling on the Dark Blues and the team grabbed their shot at glory with both hands, an emphatic 3-0 win (Gilzean 2, Penman) sealing the title. When the final whistle went, the team were mobbed by wave after wave of Dundee supporters as their joy at seeing The Dee finally winning the top prize was too much for them to remain in the terraces. The heroes were lost among the thousands who swarmed the turf before being hoisted upon the shoulders of delirious fans. Some players attempted to make their way up to the directors’ box only to be swallowed up by jubilant Dees in the Muirton stand. For the 6,000 or so St Johnstone fans in attendance, the sight of Dundee fans holding a party on their own patch compounded their misery. They sat 5th bottom of the league at kick off time, only to find themselves relegated to the Second Division on goal average (this being before the introduction of goal difference) 90 minutes later. The celebrations continued through the night and beyond for everyone of a Dark Blue persuasion. Thousands lined the streets of Dundee to welcome the team bus home and cheer them as manager Bob Shankly, captain Bobby Cox and the rest of the immortals acknowledged the huge support from the balcony of City Chambers. That night’s Sporting Post headline was one of the simplest in the illustrious history of that publication but ‘It’s Dundee’s League’ said all that you needed to know and remains a joy to read nearly six decades on. Goalkeeper Pat Liney later admitted that no one at the club expected to be challenging for the title that year. “I remember it like it was yesterday especially as our triumph was so unexpected,” he said. “If you had said to me at the start of the season that we would be top four or five then we would have settled for that. “We started the season not expected to win the League and we also did not do too well in the League Cup sections that opened the season. There was no big thing that just happened, we clicked together and with Rangers two points behind, we ended up at St Johnstone needing a point to win the League. The team were a close-knit unit with seven of them living in one big house in Roseangle, a vital factor in Dundee’s success, according to Pat. “We lived together, played football together, went to the dancing together and became great friends together,” he recalled. More importantly, they became Champions together and, for that, we Dundee fans will forever be grateful.
  9. It was an afternoon to forget for the Dens Park faithful who were to witness yet another defeat at home. St Johnstone were worthy winners and won’t find an easier three points all this season. A Jordon Piggott own goal on the youngsters debut put the Saints in the lead and that was followed by a double from Chris Kane which came either side of a Blair Alston goal. At the final whistle, a small scuffle broke out between the Dundee manager as he was passing the St Johnstone bench which McCann described as “handbags.” McCann said: "The spat at the end, I'm just a bit fired up," he said. "I thought I was controlled during the match but I've gone over and words were exchanged and one of their players has put their hand on me and wouldn't let go. "I asked him to let go and he wouldn't. It took me a wee bit of time to calm down and walk away. "But when somebody puts their hands on you and you ask them to remove them and they don't, it is hard to just back off. "I put my hands up to grab Zander to say get his hands off me. Then I retracted them because I had started to regain my composure. "There was no punch, no slap or anything like that though." McCann also blasted the players for their inept performance which has seen the club without a home win all year and staring right into the face of a battle to stay out of the bottom two. "I'm ashamed of the performance. I'm embarrassed by it. There is nothing left to say that wasn't said in the dressing room. That will remain in the dressing room, hopefully. "I can only apologise to the fans because that doesn't sit well with me and hopefully it doesn't sit well with the players. We were outfought and outplayed, a weak performance. "The goals we have lost today are embarrassing. It's basics and schoolboy defending and we have no excuses for it. I'm furious and to be honest I'm actually angry at my own players that they didn't show anger on the pitch. That's embarrassing. "I want aggression on the pitch and some sort of show that they are not accepting of that type of performance and result and I didn't see it. That from a group of players is not acceptable and I will not tolerate it."
  10. Dundee dropped to a new low today with a 4 - 0 thrashing from St Johnstone. A own goal from Piggott (24' minutes og), Kane (37' minutes, 66' minutes), Alston (64' minutes). This was one of the worst games I have ever watched as a Dee.
  11. Dundee have not won at home in their last four games while St Johnstone are winless in their last five away matches. We caught up with St Johnstone 1884 to gather his thoughts on his team at this moment. It’s not been the best of seasons for St Johnstone compared to the previous years. What do you put this down to? I don't think it's any one thing and there is probably a collective responsibility needing to be taken. The chairman maybe didn't support the manager enough in the summer but Tommy Wright has maybe at times chopped and changed too much and at others remained too loyal to some players. Quite a few of the players have had poor seasons as well and that's probably been the main contributing factor. I know every team will bemoan bad luck but we've endured a fair bit this season, with poor refereeing decisions - including another one for the penalty at Kilmarnock on Wednesday - and a string on injuries. We are likely to be without 8 players for the game on Saturday. I was a little surprised at the release of Paul Paton in the January window. How did this go down with the fans when the news came out? Also, how did you rate your clubs activity in that window? I don't think anyone saw the Paton decision coming. He wasn't the best player in the squad but had played a lot this season and his replacements (Willock and Williams) were untested loans from England, neither of whom have made much impact yet. Our other signing was the prolific David McMillan from Ireland but the fact he got injured 20 minutes into his debut can sum up the way our season is going. January is a difficult month to recruit in and it's still hard to say whether we are better off or not a month down the line. There has been a few whispers, especially after Paton’s release, in Dundee that Tommy Wright had lost some of the dressing room. Has there been any talk of this in Perth has it just been a case of some fans up to mischief? I think it would be unwise for any player to go against Tommy Wright, there will only be one winner there! He'll be Saints manager for the foreseeable future and I think any player who wasn't pulling their weight would be shown the door pretty quickly. I don't think that was the case with Paton though. Wednesday nights defeat to Kilmarnock more of less ended the Saints top 6 hopes. How do you see your season finishing? Will it be a nervy end, battling to get away from the play-off spot or do you see your team finish near the top half of the bottom 6? Or is it so tight right now, anything can happen? Top six hasn't been realistic for a while now, we just aren't consistent enough. I think any of the bottom five could go down and the focus for Saints should be ensuring they are at least 10th, rather than chasing what would be a pretty meaningless 7th place. We are in a fight with five others but everyone is still punching at the moment. I wouldn't be surprised at any outcome! Our last clash seen Dundee win 2-0 against 10-men in Perth but despite the player advantage for most of the game, St Johnstone had a few chances to draw level. What was your thoughts on that game? Dundee started the game much better than Saints - a recurring theme - and we could arguably have been down to nine men. We did rally in the second half but can have no real complaints at the final result. Dundee seem to save their best performances for these games. Almost like it's a derby! So looking ahead to Saturday, both clubs have played the same number of matches but a win would be massive for both. Dundee haven’t won at home in four matches, only finding the net once while St Johnstones form away from home has seen a run of five matches also without a win with one goal. Something has to give, what’s your predictions? Saints owe the fans a performance at Dens Park following a run of poor results in Dundee but we have to start the game better than we have previously to have any chance. If we let Dundee get on the front foot and ahead, it could be a long afternoon. It's hard to have much confidence unfortunately, especially with the injury list, and I'd certainly take a point if offered.
  12. Marcus Haber found himself back in the Dundee starting XI and made an instant impact by netting only his second goal of the game. Richard Foster was shown a straight red-card after only 22 minutes which gave St Johnstone a mountain to climb but Dundee would put the game to bed in injury time when A-Jay Leitch-Smith struck home from 18-yards. After the game, McCann was quick to praise his players despite not being happy with how the team performed towards the end of the match. "I'm delighted. Anybody that watched me on the sidelines there for the last 20 minutes would have seen that probably I was very unhappy with just how we kind of controlled the game and then managed it but it was a fantastic finish from A-Jay to kill it off and really it is a wonderful way to end the year. "I think we have improved a lot. We'll now look to have a real good break for the boys, I've told them to go away and make sure they are relaxing for the next week anyway and just turn the engines down. But it's a good place to come back and start again off the back of a good win. "[The sending off] was difficult as it was on the other side of the pitch. Maybe Ricky did look a bit high but I don't know what kind of contact there was but Willie [Collum] seemed pretty certain for the red card."
  13. Dundee win the last game of the year to get three points to keep Dundee at 9th spot! Goals from Haber 3' and Leitch-Smith 90+1' Well done the boys today!
  14. We caught up with St Johnstone Fans twitter page for a wee chat ahead of tomorrows clash! Since the last time both the clubs met, St Johnstone’s form has been a bit start stop. Tommy Wright was touted for the Northern Ireland job and there were even a few whispers regarding him and The Rangers. Do you think this has been a factor or has the team just been stuttering recently? Over the past couple of seasons, we've always had a run of atrocious form so on one hand you could say it's just another one of those runs. On the other hand, the run of form this season was far worse and seemed to come around the same time as the speculation of Wright leaving. It's a difficult one but don't think the uncertainty helped at all. Talk of people taking over the hot seat of other clubs have simmered down but if Michael O'Neill decides to leave the Northern Irish team, do you think they will be looking at Wright and also, do you think there is a possibility that he may leave? I think they'd be mad not to! I cannot fault anything he's done at Saints - consistent top 6 finishes, European Scalps and not least the cup win! However, I do have to wonder if there's a possibility Northern Ireland can aim for a bigger name, O'Neill has definitely made it a far more attractive job. I mentioned that the Saints have been stuttering somewhat but the last two game (interview was conducted prior to Wednesdays match) have seen a victory at Ibrox and a draw with Hearts. With sides near the bottom including ourselves picking up points, this must have been a massive relief? Some nerves have definitely been settled recently, with the job Steve Clarke is doing so far at Kilmarnock and Motherwell's form before the cup final, I was slightly worried. Home form this season is still a massive concern though - which is unusual. I think we've only won 3 at home this season, including League Cup and Europa League. When we spoke to fans Twitter page St Johnstone 1884, they said Michael O'Halloran was the man we should be watching out for? Is this still the player that the Dundee defence should be fearful of? If he turns up, absolutely. He was fantastic at the beginning of the season but like much of the team, his performances have been poor since August-time. Stefan Scougall is another to watch out for. Speaking of the man himself, is he going back to The Rangers at the end of his loan spell or can you see him extending his stay to the end of the season? It'd be nice to see him stay, but I don't think it'll happen. Last couple of weeks I wouldn't say he's looked interested at all. With Rangers changing manager too, I think he'll be given another chance, which is unfortunate. I have all the faith that Tommy Wright will unearth another gem though! The January window is right around the corner. What area do you think St Johnstone can improve with a new signing and has there been any rumours of potential targets? Getting another striker in was always a priority and we've done so by bringing in David MacMillan from Dundalk. The team is crying out for a bit of pace in midfield so something there wouldn't go amiss - this would also be made worse if Michael O'Halloran is to go back to Rangers. Defence has also been shaky this year, although not sure we'll bring anyone in with the couple of young centre backs we have coming through It’s been over three years since we last won on your patch. Will this continue and the home team come out on top or can Dundee ease away from some of the teams at the bottom with a win? 5-0 win for Saints, easily! In all seriousness though, it's hard to say. You guys have had a couple of good results this season such as the Rangers and Partick games. It'd be nice to see the Saints team we all know and love turn up and hopefully pick up all 3 points. As I said, hard to choose. I'll go for a score draw.
  15. The Dark Blues only change to the starting line-up was Kosta Gadzhjalov retaining his place after coming on for Julen Etxabeguren when the Basque defender was badly injured against Partick. Saints made two changes; Tom Scobbie and Graham Cummins came in for Steven Anderson and Keith Watson. Dundee started confidently, moving the ball around promisingly, whereas Saints struggled to hold onto the ball. However, the Dark Blues offered no threat, and as soon as Saints managed to get the ball into the Dundee penalty area they looked dangerous. With just four minutes gone the Dundee defence went missing when Steven MacLean’s cross found Graham Cummins unmarked eight yards out, but the header was weak and straight to Scott Bain. St Johnstone soon worked out that quick, long balls aimed at their strikers would pay dividends and this route brought two goals. After 11 minutes a long ball found Cummins wide in the penalty area, and he headed back into a gaping space in the centre of the penalty area for Paul PATON to run in and head past Bain. Seven minutes later another long ball was headed on by MacLean for Blair ALSTON to run on and score with a fierce, low shot from 18 yards. In between the two goals Danny Swanson went close with a dipping shot from the edge of the penalty area as Dundee’s defence struggling to close down Saints. Dundee were playing some neat but ineffective football; they couldn’t put together any moves that troubled the home defence. It wasn’t a case of poor final balls; the Dark Blues might have been dominating possession, but they weren’t getting into positions to play dangerous passes or crosses into the Saints’ penalty area. St Johnstone played the first half hour like the away team, sitting back, keeping tight and looking dangerous on the break. In the last 15 minutes of the half they opened up and played their best football of the afternoon. The Dark Blues were surprisingly hesitant in defence as Saints passed their way into good positions. Swanson ended a smooth break with a wayward volley. Bain had to touch over a MacLean drive and Richard Foster sent a low drive narrowly wide at the end of Saint’s best move of the match Dundee started the second half on the front foot and a lengthy, probing attack ended with James Vincent’s fierce angled shot being parried by Zander Clark. That was one of the few times in the match that Dundee managed to get through to Saints’ keeper. Without playing as well as they had in the latter stages of the first half St Johnstone were controlling a messy match. Paton sent a snap shot just past the post from 25 yards, and Saints made a mess of a chance to kill off the Dee with a fast break from a Dundee corner. For once they were over-elaborate and MacLean failed to get a shot in. Faissal El Bakhatoui came on for Henrik Ojamaa 10 minutes after the interval, and Danny Williams replaced Craig Wighton for the last 20 minutes. El Bakhtaoui connected cleanly with a Williams’ free kick but his goalbound volley spun off a defender and wide. That was after 82 minutes, and the remainder of the match was devoid of incident as Saints held Dundee off comfortably. The home side might have shown more ambition on the break to chase a third goal, but they had no need to take any chances. Dundee were a long sort of their best, or even an acceptable standard, when they had the ball today. Too many passes went astray. For long periods the only passes that found their man were simple, safe passes that gave Saints plenty of time to react. Whenever the Dark Blues tried to penetrate Saints with faster, more penetrating passing they invariably lost possession. The game had three distinct phases, and St Johnstone were in control of each, even when the Dark Blues were returning meaninglessly impressive possession stats. Saints went long in the first half hour, posing problems that the Dundee defence couldn’t handle. Towards the end of the half they varied their approach and attacked with some good and dangerous passing. Fortunately for the Dee they didn’t sustain that quality of play after the break, but they ensured that the game was played on their terms. The whole of the second half was a technically poor affair; there was little entertainment, but Saints’ pressing, battling and organisation ensured that they always benefitted from the constant breakdowns in play. Frustratingly Dundee couldn’t repeat any of the high tempo, intense passing and attacking that was so exciting only a fortnight ago at Motherwell. Today they fell a long way short of the standard they set for themselves that day, and that was deeply disappointing for fans, coaching staff and players alike. St Johnstone 4-4-2 Clark Foster, Scobbie, Shaughnessy, Easton Alston (Thomson 88), Paton, Craig, Swanson (Davidson 77) MacLean, Cummins Unused subs: Mannus (gk), Smith, Watson, Hurst, Hunter. Goals: Paton (11), Alston (18). Booked: MacLean (foul on Kerr). Dundee FC 4-4-2 Bain Kerr, Gadzhalov, O’Dea (c), Holt O’Hara, McGowan, Vincent, Wighton (Williams 72) Ojamaa (El Bakhtaoui 55), Haber Unused subs: Ferrie (gk), Hateley, Ross, Klok, Gomis. Booked: O’Hara (foul on Easton), El Bakhtaoui (simulation), Williams (foul on Alston). Attendance: 4,195 (1,426 Dees). Referee: Andrew Dallas. Assistants: Alan Mulvanny, Andy Milne. Fourth official: Craig Napier. Report: James Christie.
  16. The Dark Blues made two changes to the side that lost at Firhill on Wednesday. Mark O’Hara and Faissal El Bakhatoui came in for Darren O’Dea and James Vincent. There were three changes to the St Johnstone team that drew at home to Rangers. Murray Davidson, Danny Swanson and Liam Craig replaced David Wotherspoon, Chris Millar and Graham Cummins. Saints started the game on the front foot and the first few minutes were spent entirely in the Dark Blues’ half. Once Dundee got their game going they quickly looked dangerous, with some good movement, running and passing as they attacked. Faissal El Bakhatoui was looking skillful and confident, and he put the Dee ahead after 14 minutes at the end of a swift counter attack. Julen Etxabegerun won the ball 30 yards from Dundee’s goal. Mark O’Hara and Paul McGowan quickly switched play forward to Marcus Haber wide on the right. He hit a hard, low cross beyond Brian Easton’s despairing lunge and EL BAKHTAOUI swept the ball past Zander Clark at the near post. St Johnstone might have found a quick equaliser from Blair Alston’s 30 yard free kick, but the ball rebounded from the crossbar and the Dee escaped. After that let off play swung from end to end with Tom Hateley shooting too high from Marcus Haber’s knock down and Murray Davidson sending a diving header over the bar from Richard Foster’s dangerous cross. Saints were never again as close to scoring as Dundee’s defence put in a sterling performance in the absence of skipper O’Dea. St Johnstone settled into a lengthy spell in which they dominated possession without troubling Dundee while the Dark Blues always looked capable of creating danger on the break and from set pieces. Saints had survived a few hairy moments from Dundee crosses, but on 42 minutes there was no escape. Tom Hateley’s free kick was cleared only as far as Paul McGowan who knocked it back into the penalty area. Marcus Haber played a delightful pass with his chest to Kosta GADZHALOV in space, and the defender had time to take aim before lashing a ferocious scoring shot past Clark. The second half got off to a frantic start with both sides looking dangerous. A long range Hateley shot broke to Haber, 10 yards from goal, but a quick challenge by Easton diverted the shot over the crossbar. Chris Kane had come on for Saints at the start of the half, replacing Liam Craig, and his shot took a huge deflection that forced Bain to move smartly to touch the looping ball over the bar. St Johnstone were still very much in the game, and if they had scored at this stage the result might have been very different. Happily it was the Dee who notched the next goal after 56 minutes, and that more or less sealed the win. Mark O’Hara made a huge contribution to that vital third goal which put the match beyond Saints. Paul Paton tried to spring a counter attack, but O’Hara nailed him with an excellent tackle. He had the presence of mind to leap to his feet and play Tom Hateley into space on the right. Hateley drove a fierce low cross into the goalmouth and, with Marcus Haber lurking, Steven Anderson lunged at the ball, diverting it past Clark and into his own net. Both goalkeepers then had to pull off good saves from long range shots in quick succession; Zander Clark foiled Paul McGowan, and Scott Bain turned away Murray Davidson’s powerful effort from 25 yards. St Johnstone became increasingly desperate to try and get back into the game, but Dundee’s defence held firm. When Dundee did break forward they always looked capable of adding to their lead. El Bakhtaoui was revelling in the extra space once St Johnstone started chasing a goal. He showed lovely skill to make space, and his dipping, swerving shot from 22 yards brought a fine save from Clark. Nick Ross replaced Mark O’Hara for the last 16 minutes, and the home fans rose to their feet to applaud the efforts of the young midfielder, who had demonstrated his value to the team with a display full of energy, power and also skill. After his lengthy spell on the sidelines through injury and an impressive amount of hard running it was no surprise to see him eased out of the action. Saints kept plugging away, but Dundee’s defence offered them nothing. Brian Easton sent a powerful header from a corner a couple of feet wide. Yet another fast break out of defence by Dundee ended with Haber dummying over El Bakhtaoui’s pass and freeing McGowan, who shot wide from the edge of the penalty area when he should perhaps have taken a touch to steady himself. Three minutes from full time Faissal El Bakhtaoui was withdrawn to another standing ovation. The Frenchman has always looked a good footballer, but today he was highly effective and delighted the fans with his cheeky skills and clever link-up play. Dundee certainly played well today, but St Johnstone were nowhere near as bad as the scoreline suggests in an enjoyable match. They had lots of the ball, but struggled to do much with it against a determined defence that never lost its shape or concentration. Dundee on the other hand were able to move the ball quickly and effectively through the midfield, in stark contrast to the defeat against Partick Thistle, and often had Saints defence on the back foot. Games between Dundee and St Johnstone are usually very close, and Dundee’s win was the biggest in this fixture since Saints’ 7-2 New Years Day win 20 years ago. You have to go back 35 years to find the last time that the Dark Blues won by three goals. The margin of victory might have been harsh on Saints, but Dundee used their more limited possession much more impressively, took their chances well and defended superbly. The clean sheet was particularly pleasing after Darren O’Dea had to call off. Today’s win was the perfect way to sign off the year and go into the mid-season break on a high. Dundee FC 4-2-3-1 Bain Kerr Etxabeguren, Gadzhalov, Holt Hateley, McGowan (c) El Bakhtaoui, O’Hara, Wighton Haber Unused subs: Mitchell (gk), Loy, Duffy, Williams, Ross, Curran, Waddell. Goals: El Bakhtaoui (14), Gadzhalov (42) (Anderson o.g. 56). Booked: Kerr (foul on Swanson). St Johnstone 4-5-1 Clark Foster, Shaughnessy, Anderson (c), Easton Swanson, Paton (Wotherspoon 61), Davidson, Alston, Craig (Kane at half time) MacLean (Cummins 71) Unused subs: Mannus (gk), Scobbie, Millar, Watson. Booked: Paton (foul on O’Hara), Swanson (foul on Kerr). Attendance: 6,492 (1,523 Saints fans). Referee: Don Robertson. Assistants: Alan Mulvanny, Ivan Stankovic. 4th official: Greig Aitken. Report: James Christie.
  17. Dundee made two changes from last week. Darren O'Dea returned from injury, replacing Kosta Gadzhalov in central defence, and Nick Ross came in for the injured Mark O'Hara in midfield. Saints' only change was David Wotherspoon starting instead of Blair Alston. The match got off to a slow start and never really picked up in a first half during which neither side looked sharp enough to deserve the lead or lift the fans from their seats. In the early stages Saints were moving marginally more smoothly, but without penetrating a capable Dark Blue defence. The nearest the home side came to an early breakthrough was when Steven MacLean peeled off beyond the far post to head Brian Easton's deep cross back across goal, but Scott Bain grabbed the ball to snuff out the danger. Dundee graduallly stepped up their game, pressing more effectively in midfield and for a few minutes showed some promise with some neat passing. The Dee passed up a great chance at the end of their best move of the half after 12 minutes. With only keeper Zander Clark to beat from 12 yards Yordi Teijsse shot straight at the goalie after Paul McGowan had raced into the penalty area on the end of a clever pass from Faissal El Bakhtaoui. When Liam Craig handled just outside Saints' penalty area Clark had to push Tom Hateley's free kick round the post for a corner. After this brighter spell from Dundee the match swung back in Saints' favour, without the hosts ever looking really convincing. Murray Davidson caused a scare in the Dee penalty area when defensive hesitation allowed him to nick the ball but his pass flew across goal without finding a Saints player. The Dark Blues raced to the other end, with Danny Williams bursting into the box, creating space for El Bakhtaoui to have a go, only for his shot to be deflected for a corner. After that flurry of excitement the game drifted disappointingly to the half time whistle. Danny Swanson, who was Saints most creative and dangerous player, tried a shot from 20 yards that Bain took easily, and that was the only noteworthy incident in the last 15 minutes of the half. Shortly before half time Faissal El Bakhtaoui, who had been guilty of losing possession too often, needed treatment and was replaced by Michael Duffy. The Dark Blues started the second half in promising fashion, putting Saints' defence under pressure with James Vincent and Tom Hateley both having shots blocked. Nothing came of this spell, however, and the match soon settled back into a scrappy battle with neither defence looking in any trouble. Ominously for Dundee the midfield and forwards couldn't hold the ball and the Dundee defence was having more work to do than their hosts. Swanson had another effort from distance that Scott Bain had to take at the second attempt. After looking solid in defence for the first hour the Dark Blues' defence conceded a bad goal from a set piece. Liam Craig's free kick from the right found Steven ANDERSON running in unmarked at the far post, and the Saints' captain scored with a well taken volley. The Dark Blues couldn't afford to concede the first goal when they are going through this poor spell and never looked like saving the game. St Johnstone's defence was always well organised, and the midfield pressing meant that Dundee invariably ended up turning backwards or losing the ball. The harder the Dee chased an equaliser the more space Saints had to play and go for a second goal. That came from the penalty spot, though the award was softer than a half boiled egg. Kevin Gomis and Steven MacLean both went up for a cross, both missed, and Mr Dallas pointed to the spot. Danny SWANSON scored, and the points looked safe for Saints. Michael Coulson nearly added a third goal straight after coming off the bench, but his looping header from Swanson's dinked cross came back off the crossbar. Dundee tried hard to get back into the game, but Saints held them off comfortably and looked more likely to pick the Dee off on the break and score again. It was something of a surprise when the normally reliable home defence gave the Dee some hope by conceding a daft penalty after 87 minutes. Anderson used to hands to push Yordi Teijsse in the back as they challenged for a long throw. Rory Loy had come on for Tom Hateley, and he scored emphatically from the penalty spot. In the three minutes of injury time Dundee camped out in the Saints' half. The ball pinged around the home penalty area a few times, but apart from an O'Dea header that was hacked out of the six yard box, St Johnstone's defence always looked in control of the situation. That very late charge was the only time in the match that St Johnstone were under any real pressure, and they held on for a win they deserved. They did not play fluent or exciting football today, but they were able to stop Dundee creating any real danger, especially in the second half, and calmly took advantage of the mistake which gave them the vital opening goal and turned the match decisively in their favour. St Johnstone 4-4-2 Clark Foster, Shaughnessy, Anderson (c), Easton Craig, Wotherspoon, Davidson, Swanson (Paton 88) Kane (Coulson 79), MacLean Unused subs: Mannus (gk), Alston, Millar, Gordon, Cummins. Goals: Anderson (61), Swanson (74 pen) Booked: Davidson (simulation) Dundee FC 3-5-2 Bain Gomis, O'Dea (c), Holt Hateley (Loy 75), McGowan, Vincent, Ross (Wighton 62), Williams El Bakhtaoui (Duffy 41), Teijsse Unused subs: Mitchell (gk), Etxabeguren, Gadzhalov, Kerr. Booked: Holt (foul on Davidson), Gomis (foul on MacLean) Goal: Loy (87 pen) Attendance: 3,646. Referee: Andrew Dallas. Assistants: Graham Chambers, Andy Milne. Fourth official: Willie Collum. Report: James Christie.
  18. The Dark Blues fielded an unchanged line-up, with even the same seven substitutes that were named against Dumbarton in the Scottish Cup. Saints made two changes to central midfield; Murray Davidson and Simon Lapping replaced Chris Millar and Liam Craig. Dundee were on the attack right from the first whistle. In the first minute smart play between Kane Hemmings and Greg Stewart gave Gary Harkins a chance from the edge of the penalty area, but he missed the target. Another lovely move saw Harkins and Hemmings combine for Stewart to flash a shot wide. Saints gave the Dee a scare with a fast break from defending a corner, but Darnell Fisher shot well over the bar from 20 yards. The Saints defender was then left badly exposed when facing Hemmings with no cover. The Dee's top scorer neatly evaded him but shot beyond the far post. Dundee deservedly took the lead after 20 minutes. Yet more patient attacking ended with Nick Ross finding Stewart, who lost his man cleverly and cracked in an 18 yard shot that Alan Mannus couldn't hold. Showing great striker's instincts HEMMINGS was instantly on the scene to smack the loose ball into the net for a real poacher's goal. The Dark Blues remained firmly in charge for the rest of the game. Whereas Saints struggled to keep the ball and make positive passes Dundee were holding possession and playing a clever and effective passing game. The Dark Blues' attacks were always imaginative and pressed home with great determination. St Johnstone managed to hold on till half time without conceding again. They started the second half strongly, pushing Dundee back for the first few minutes. The nearest they came to a chance, however, was a good low cross by Wotherspoon that zipped across goal. Whereas Saints' attacks were laboured, the first time Dundee moved forward after the break they ripped through the Perth defence to score an excellent second goal. Gary Harkins caught Danny Swanson napping in midfield and helped himself to the ball. He quickly sent HEMMINGS racing into the penalty area to smash home a superb angled finish from 16 yards. It was the sort of goal that makes Dark Blues' supporters very relieved the transfer window is shut! Dundee remained in impressive control, dominating Saints all over the park. Stewart should have made it three when he danced into the penalty area and shot agains the underside of the crossbar. Late on Saints had a short spell of pressure, but they lacked the composure to give Dundee serious problems. Their use of the ball was consistently poor and their attacks usually ended with a dreadful final ball. Substitute Liam Craig did force a save from Scott Bain with an angled drive, and Darnell Fisher's long range effort had to be tipped over the bar by the Dee keeper. The closing minutes were spent with Dundee holding the ball coolly and probing for a third goal they would have richly deserved. Saints, on the other hand, wasted possession when the ball did come their way. Dundee were impressive all through the team tonight. They maintained a high standard of performance for the whole match, keeping their focus right to the end to ensure they recorded a welcome clean sheet. The Dee's attacking was a joy to watch, but the two holding midfielders deserve special praise. Paul McGowan and Nick Ross were superb in that area, breaking up Saints' moves, holding the ball, and starting wave after wave of Dark Blue attacks. They were often outnumbered in central midfield, but they dominated their opponents and contributed hugely to a comfortable victory that takes the Dee into fifth place. It might just have been a 2-0 win, but Dundee were much better tonight than that mundane scoreline suggests. Dundee FC 4-2-3-1 Bain McGinn, Konrad, O'Dea, Holt McGowan, Ross Stewart, Harkins (c)(Etxabeguren 85), Loy (Low 81) Hemmings Unused subs: Mitchell (gk), Arturo, Gadzhalov, Kerr, Wighton Goal: Hemmings (20, 51) Booked: O'Dea, Stewart St Johnstone 4-4-2 Mannus Fisher, Shaughnessy, Anderson, Scobbie Wotherspoon (Craig 59), Davidson, Lappin, Swanson MacLean (c)(Kane 68), Cummins (Sutton 68) Unused subs: Clark (gk), Doyle, Millar, Thomson Booked: Fisher, Cummins, Davidson, Swanson Referee: Craig Thomson. Assistants: Alan Mulvanney, Graeme Leslie. 4th official: Greg Aitken. Attendance: 4,876 (677 Saints fans) Report: James Christie
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