Resilient Saints – Three things we learned as St Johnstone book Hampden return

St Johnstone booked a return to Hampden in November thanks to second-half goals by Shaun Rooney and Ali Crawford ensuring the Saints maintained the defence of the Premier Sports Cup.

Proceedings began at a frantic pace with Dundee looking to get an opener on three minutes, a dangerous delivery by Paul McMullan was flicked into the path of Jordan McGhee who couldn’t make proper contact at the back post to turn home.


The visitors looked to pursue an opener themselves, David Wotherspoon pulled the trigger on 10 minutes with Adam Legzdins reacting well, tipping the 25 yard strike over the bar. McGhee, again, forced a point-blank save from Zander Clark who was detected by Leigh Griffiths, who tried his luck from close range but was thwarted by the Saints custodian.

Dundee were a threat on the counter-attack and on the half-hour mark, Max Anderson found Cammy Kerr from the left, but Kerr’s header lacked the power to beat Clark who parried the ball to safety.

Clark showed his instincts once again for St Johnstone and a minute after the interval, denying an illustrious 30-yard Leigh Griffiths free-kick before reacting to stop Paul McMullan’s rebound from close range.

St Johnstone took the lead on 70 minutes, Shaun Rooney replicating his cup heroics of last season, getting on the end of a Liam Craig delivery from the right before squeezing home beyond the reach of Legzdins to guide Callum Davidson’s side in the driving seat.

The visitors doubled their advantage, Ali Crawford scoring his 1st St Johnstone goal killing any Dundee revival on 84 minutes, Callum Booth doing well to get the better of Cammy Kerr before drilling into the box, finding the former Bolton midfielder who produced a first-time volley to seal a semi-final trip to Hampden.

Here are three things we learned as St Johnstone booked their return to Hampden

Resilient St Johnstone

Dundee to be reliant on Zander Clark to reach their end conclusion of a place in the semi-finals, St Johnstone gained confidence from the steady defensive unit with more intent in the midway point of the 2nd half, closely followed by that goal through Rooney with Crawford adding the gloss with that classy 2nd goal.

Rooney the specialist

Shaun Rooney scoring in big cup competitions and St Johnstone progressing is a mutual connection and the right back squeezed the ball home, maintaining his credibility to be an asset in the opposition box. A good nights work from Rooney with the goal, clean sheet and progression.

Disappointment for Dundee

Dundee started the game well, using the counter-attack to their advantage and having some big chances which tested Clark however, the opportunities in question were never too much trouble in all honesty and it’s another game without a goal for James McPake’s side which has ultimately cost his side progression in the cup.

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Categories: AnalysisMatch Report
Tags: DundeeLeague CupSt Johnstone