St Johnstone 1-0 Dundee- Match Report

Saints make sure of top six spotSt Johnstone defeated Dundee 1-0 at McDiarmid Park to secure a fourth consecutive top-six finish in the Scottish Premiership.Brian Graham's brilliant first-half finish gave St Johnstone a narrow victory, but the visitors will feel hard done by after they had a good share of the overall play and saw David Clarkson strike the post with a powerful volley.Despite the defeat, Dundee are almost certain to join the home side in the top six after the split.Following Hamilton's defeat at Dundee United, only Kilmarnock can now deny Dundee by winning their final two matches, hoping Paul Hartley's side lose to Celtic and securing an eight-goal goal difference swing.Following an opening 20 minutes devoid of any meaningful goalmouth action, it was Dundee who came closest to finding the first goal midway through the first half.Greg Stewart did well to find Stephen McGinn on the edge of the area but as the midfielder turned, Simon Lappin's attempted challenge inadvertently sent the ball towards the home net, prompting Alan Mannus to get down sharply and deny what would have been a bizarre own goal.That fortunate escape became even more critical moments later as the home side took the lead in the 26th minute

Simon Ferry gave the ball away to Michael O'Halloran, who picked out Graham just outside the box

The on-loan Dundee United striker took a moment to pick his spot and directed an impressive curling finish into far corner to give St Johnstone the lead.The hosts threatened a second goal when Steven MacLean helped on a long forward pass and O'Halloran hooked an effort just over the crossbar on the turn, while Graham diverted a header wide of the far post in a good spell for Tommy Wright's side.But Dundee were inches away from finding an equaliser right on the stroke of half-time

Frazer Wright's attempted clearance ricocheted out to the edge of the box and Clarkson sent a thunderous volley rebounding off the post with Mannus beaten.Having almost scored in unusual circumstances in the first half, the visitors repeated the trick just after the break

Paul McGinn sent in a high, looping cross from the right which appeared to get caught in the wind before a combination of a desperate Mannus and the woodwork prevented the ball crossing the line.At the other end, Graham sent an effort straight at goalkeeper Scott Bain after good work by O'Halloran down the left, before MacLean saw a close-range attempt well blocked by Iain Davidson.Dundee brought on attackers Craig Wighton and Paul Heffernan in an attempt to find an equaliser and the visitors were enjoying much of the possession and territory without creating too many clear openings.Stephen McGinn had a header blocked and Wighton shot wide after a purposeful solo run but Mannus was not overly busy in the closing stages.Alex Harris' poor shot in stoppage-time summed up Dundee's attacking play, which ran out of steam

Source : PA

Source: PA