St Johnstone 0
Dundee Utd 1
League (Premiership)

St Johnstone 

0 - 1

Dundee Utd

League (Premiership)
Saturday, April 2nd, 2016
McDiarmid Park. Att. 5,784
3:00 PM Kick-off

None. Ryan Dow (22)

Team Managers
Tommy Wright Mixu Paatelainen

Starting Eleven
Alan Mannus
Darnell Fisher
Joe Shaughnessy
Tam Scobbie
Brian Easton
Danny Swanson
Chris Millar
Murray Davidson
David Wotherspoon
Steven MacLean
Chris Kane
Eiji Kawashima .1
Callum Morris .5
Coll Donaldson .28
Gavin Gunning .19
Kyle Knoyle .12
Guy Demel .55
Paul Paton .6
John Rankin .8
Ryan Dow .14
Billy Mckay .7
Henri Anier .26

Zander Clark
Simon Lappin
Michael Doyle
John Sutton
Craig Thomson
Graham Cummings
Plamen Krachunov
Michal Szromnik .21
Paul Dixon .3
Seán Dillon .2
Scott Fraser .22
Blair Spittal .20
Simon Murray .15
Edward Ofere .9

Simon Lappin for Chris Millar (14)
Craig Thomson for Murray Davidson (71)
Graham Cummins for Steven MacLean (78)
Simon Murray for Henri Anier (55)
Seán Dillon for Billy Mckay (62)
Blair Spittal for Guy Demel (87)

None. Callum Morris (25)

Red Cards
None. Coll Donaldson (60)

Match Officials

Willie Collum (Referee)

Ticket stub / Admission info

Match Report

United made two changes to the side that drew with Dundee a fortnight ago. Kyle Knoyle and Guy Demel replaced Paul Dixon and Blair Spittal for this match at McDiarmid Park. Former United player, Danny Swanson started for Saints.

Backed by a large travelling support, United started well. As early as the opening minute, the visitors had a chance to go ahead. Dow played in Rankin, who found space in the centre of the box but his first touch let him down and the opportunity disappeared. Anier was next to get a sight of goal but Mannus smothered his strike from the edge of the box. Mixu opted to go with four at the back in this one and the change of shape looked to work as United dominated the early play and restricted Saints to few chances. Donaldson should have given United the lead on 17 minutes when his downward header from a Paton free-kick was brilliantly saved by Mannus. A minute later Anier got United’s third clear cut chance when he did well to control a long ball before firing straight at Mannus after racing clear. It wasn’t long before the pressure told and midway through the first half United got their noses in front. Ryan Dow diverted a Mckay cross towards goal and Mannus could only watch on in vain as he fumbled the shot over the line. St Johnstone lifted their game following the goal and began gain a foothold in the match. The game became rather frantic at this point as both sides battled to gain superiority. Rankin came within inches of doubling United’s lead before half time when he drove through the St Johnstone defence, only to see the ball ricochet off his shin before it squirmed wide. The pace dropped out the game as it approached half time and although holding the lead, United could feel hard done by to have just a single goal advantage to show for their efforts.

St Johnstone looked much more purposeful in the second half and made an obvious tactical change to push further up the park than in the first half. This forced United deep in the early stages of the second period and enabled Saints to get a stranglehold on the game. For the opening 20 minutes it was wave upon wave of attack from the Perth men. Mixu opted to bring on Murray for Anier in the hope of providing an outlet for the overworked United defence. It worked well as the introduction gave the Tangerines some much-needed impetus. Danny Swanson tried his luck from long range on a couple of occasions but to no avail. The game got a whole lot tougher for United on the hour mark when Coll Donaldson was ordered off for denying Kane a goal-scoring opportunity when he bundled him over at the edge of the box. Sean Dillon immediately replaced Mckay and United opted to go with just one up front. There was a let off for the visitors soon after the red card when Murray Davidson struck the bar from 6 yards. For the remaining 30 minutes, United dug in and battled for every ball. On the odd occasion United were able to progress up the field they were still able to cause problems. One such opportunity arose from a Dow corner. There was an almighty scramble in the box and when the ball dropped to Gunning he blasted over when it looked like he may strike a second for United. St Johnstone forced a string of corners towards the end of the game but Sean Dillon got his head to every one to clear the danger. Blair Spittal had a late shout for a penalty when his shot looked to cannon off a defender’s arm. The four minutes of stoppage time felt like an eternity but United held on for a gutsy and hugely valuable win.

Manager's Comment:
“It was a wonderful effort. With 10 men, that spirit and character was there again. I can't praise the boys enough. They've got real mental toughness."

Fan's Comment:
“United showed great desire to dig out a victory at McDiarmid with just 10 men. We are now looking like a side that can string some results together. Is it too late? I don't think so, we can definitely catch Killie.”

Formation: 4-3-1-2
Captain: Paul Paton
Arab Archive 'Man of the Match': Paul Paton

Match Photos courtesy of Riki Grauer - More photos available at:
Dundee United Official Flickr Page

Written by Graeme Webster

Squad Statistics (as at April 2nd, 2016)

2015-16 All Time
Eiji Kawashima (GK)33 12 - 12 -
Callum Morris26 111413
Kyle Knoyle19 3 - 3 -
Coll Donaldson20 19 - 19 -
Gavin Gunning25 18 - 11710
John Rankin32 33219913
Guy Demel34 111111
Paul Paton28 132906
Henri Anier25 63224
Ryan Dow24 16210713
Billy Mckay27 28132813
Seán Dillon (sub)32 2523197
Blair Spittal (sub)20 357649
Simon Murray (sub)24 192192

League Table (as at April 2nd, 2016)

Pld W D L +/- Pts
1. Celtic 31 22 6 3 +52 72
2. Aberdeen 31 20 5 6 +18 65
3. Hearts 31 16 8 7 +20 56
4. Motherwell 32 13 5 14 -7 44
5. St Johnstone 32 12 7 13 0 43
6. Dundee 31 9 13 9 0 40
7. Ross County 32 12 4 16 -8 40
8. Partick Th 31 10 8 13 -7 38
9. Inverness CT 31 9 9 13 -5 36
10. Hamilton 31 8 9 14 -17 33
11. Kilmarnock 32 7 8 17 -24 29
12. DUNDEE UTD 31 6 6 19 -22 21

League results since United's last match
2nd April 2016
Dundee5-2Ross County
Inverness CT1-2Motherwell
Partick Th0-0Kilmarnock
St Johnstone0-1Dundee Utd