A Danny Mullen winner was enough to give Dundee all three points at home to St Johnstone in the cinch Premiership, giving James McPake’s side a second win on the bounce, Callum Davidson’s Saints without a win in four after this latest set-back at Dens Park.
The hosts started proceedings on the ascendency, a Charlie Adam free-kick was initially cleared to the direction of Luke McCowan, who showed composure to fire through the ruck of Saints bodies but Zander Clark was alert to the task.
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St Johnstone were laboured in their approach, not showing anything clear cut but Michael O’Halloran had an effort for Callum Davidson’s side on 20 minutes from just inside the box, flashing inches wide.
McCowan was playing with enthusiasm and the post was the stumbling block to Dundee going in front, Adam found the winger once again before hitting a stinging effort towards goal which crashed off the post to Clark and St Johnstone’s rescue.
Dundee took the lead 6 minutes before the break, Liam Fontaine’s crossfield pass was headed down towards Paul McGowan, who found Mullen who took a touch before a lovely turn and finish, past the stranded Clark, scoring his third goal in three games in the process.
Mullen was hungry for more after the interval and almost doubled the advantage for James McPake’s side, getting on the end of a Jordan Marshall cross which Clark had to claw over the St Johnstone goal. A real sign of intent again immediately after the restart.
St Johnstone almost levelled on 67 minutes, a perfectly crafted cross by Shaun Rooney found Eetu Vertainen, who fired a header towards goal but Adam Legzdins was alert to the danger.
Here are three things we learned as Dundee beat St Johnstone 1-0:
What a response from the heavy endured by Ross County before Halloween, 3 wins out of their last 4 and into 9th following another big result for James McPake’s side, deserved as well, showing intent from the 1st whistle.
Played on the front foot, with a lot of desire and enthusiasm about their play with Mullen getting the winner and should easily have added to the tally. An excellent 3 points but the difficult tests keep coming with a trip to Ibrox to face Rangers on Saturday.
Danny Mullen is a man full of confidence right now with 3 goals in 3 games, the stats tell he’s the best striker at Dundee, forcing Leigh Griffiths and Jason Cummings on the bench at present. Mullen will take credit but a lot of plaudits need to go towards the midfield for a forward-thinking approach.
Worry for Saints
St Johnstone without a win in four makes for uncomfortable reading and it makes Saturday’s home assignment with Ross County a massive one with only three points separating both sides currently.
Threatened at certain stages of both halves but did very little over 90 minutes to suggest a positive outcome from the match, very few would have looked at the upcoming game with the Staggies and admit it had a relegation attachment to it.
Dundee: Legzdins, Kerr, Fontaine, Sweeney, Marshall, Adam, Anderson, McMullan, McGowan, McCowan, Mullen.
Substitutes: Lawlor, Elliot, Panter, Griffiths, Cummings, Lamb.
St Johnstone: Clark, Rooney, McCart, Gordon, Booth, MacPherson, Davidson, Crawford, Vertainen, O’Halloran, Kane.
Substitutes: Parish, Brown, Ambrose, Devine, Craig, Dendoncker, Solomon-Otabor.
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