St Johnstone 1-1 Dundee Utd- Match Report

Davidson secures point for SaintsMurray Davidson's brilliant volley kept St Johnstone well in the race for fourth spot in the Scottish Premiership as they held Dundee United to a 1-1 draw at McDiarmid Park.Davidson's sublime finish in the 77th minute was out of keeping with his team-mates' previous efforts after Saints passed up a series of first-half chances including a Dave Mackay penalty, which Radoslaw Cierzniak saved with the final touch of the 45 minutes.John Rankin headed United ahead from close range midway through the second half but Davidson's goal means both teams are tied on 53 points

United hold a three-goal advantage, though, as the pair fight for a place that could supply a European spot - if Inverness win the William Hill Scottish Cup.United made a sloppy start and Michael O'Halloran twice got in behind them in the opening stages

His second cutback should have led to a goal but the ball bobbled and David Wotherspoon shot well over.The visitors improved and Chris Erskine played in Calum Butcher but the midfielder shot straight at Alan Mannus.The best moment of the half soon came when Nadir Ciftci turned inside two Saints players and smacked a 30-yard shot off the post.Saints came back into it and created a series of decent chances

Mackay sent a first-time effort too high, Danny Swanson shot wide of the near post after dribbling round two players, and O'Halloran curled high and wide after briefly threatening to get in behind again.Wotherspoon was even more off target from a similar position and United's finishing was proving no better as Sean Dillon shot wide of the near post after Ciftci fed his overlapping run.The best chance of the half came at the very end when Callum Morris was penalised by Kevin Clancy for felling O'Halloran as the pair tangled in the box when the United defender failed to get enough power on his header back to Cierzniak.But the Polish goalkeeper did get his hands to the ball seconds later to stop Mackay's well-struck but central spot-kick.The chances continued after the break but Cierzniak continued to look secure, saving Davidson's header and Swanson's deflected strike.Ciftci again almost created something from nothing when he turned Frazer Wright but he stabbed the ball wide as three blue-shirted players closed in on him.Wotherspoon, who has only scored twice in his two seasons at Saints, then sliced badly wide following a promising breakaway.The breakthrough came in the 68th minute when Robbie Muirhead rose above Steven Anderson to meet Chris Erskine's right-wing cross

His downward header bounced up off the bar but Rankin quickly followed up to nod the ball over the line.St Johnstone brought on James McFadden and Chris Kane to liven up their attack but it was two players who had started that provided the moment of magic they needed

Swanson chipped the ball into the path of Davidson 16 yards out and the midfielder cushioned a volley perfectly into the far corner.United came closer to a winner in a bad-tempered finale, which saw Mackay booked for remonstrating with Ciftci after the United forward had thrown himself to the ground in the penalty box

But Erskine fired well over in their best late chance

Source : PA

Source: PA