St Johnstone picked up their 1st win in four games with a 1-0 win over Dundee United, their first win at Tannadice in five years thanks to a 17th-minute strike by Ali Crawford.
The visitors started proceedings on the front foot, Glenn Middleton being an influential part having a shot blocked by Ryan Edwards before a cross found Chris Kane however the efforts of the colossal centre half thwarted Callum Davidson’s side.
St Johnstone took the lead inside 17 minutes, Cameron MacPherson dispossessed the dithering Jeando Fuchs and fed Ali Crawford who seized a bit of space before firing home from 20 yards into the bottom right corner beyond the reach of Benjamin Siegrist.
On 59 minutes, the same players combined for a free kick with the Man United loan signing sending a fantastic delivery into the box with Edwards climbing highest to test Zander Clark but it was another fine stop from the Saints goalkeeper who showed his heroics once again for the McDiarmid Park side.
Another sub in Kieran Freeman aimed to break the St Johnstone lock with a cross from the right 18 minutes from time, a floating ball in from the full-back found the gaping Pawlett but another fine stop by Clark denied the instrumental winger who certainly was influential in the outcome of the match.
With St Johnstone holding on for the points, here are three things we learned from the game.
Streetwise St Johnstone
It wasn’t an afternoon where St Johnstone were expansive in their attacking play and game management was key for Callum Davidson’s side. There were only two shots on goal and St Johnstone were very laboured in their play but the game plan worked perfect getting the early goal through Crawford before sitting back showed a mentality defensively that maybe hasn’t been there in St Johnstone’s last four encounters.
Excellent Zander Clark
If Scotland boss Steve Clarke was watching any footage from Tannadice then Zander Clark has shown more than enough to merit a return a Scotland to the set-up in November for the qualifiers against Moldova and Denmark, six shots on target for the hosts suggests that Clark had a busy afternoon but he made his work basic.
Highlights for the goalkeeper were saves from Edwards in the first half and Pawlett in the second period, all acquitting to playing a part in a fine win for St Johnstone, alleviating any pressure that might have come in the way of St Johnstone had the permutations been otherwise.
Lessons to learn for Courts
After a run of seven games undefeated, it’s one where Dundee United will gain a lot of lessons from, they had more possession and chances than St Johnstone but a mixture of poor finishing and good goalkeeping was a stumbling block to United keeping their unbeaten run going.
The first half was stale from United with Pawlett and Niskanen offering a positive attacking impetus, both showing good intelligence in their approach, it wasn’t to be and attention will draw to Hearts next week, an important game for both clubs.
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