Dundee were victorious in Dave Mackay’s testimonial at McDiarmid Park. Mark O’Hara, Jack Lambert and Sofien Moussa fired Dundee into a 3-0 half time lead, with second half goals from Steven Milne and Max Anderson sealing the win for the Dundee side made up of past, present and potentially future starts.
It took Dundee just nine minutes to open the scoring, as Mark O’Hara powered a header from Jack Lambert’s in-swinging corner past Zander Clark.
Elliot Parish made his first appearance for the Dark Blues, and pulled off several fine saves as Saints pressed for an equaliser. Stefan Scougall should have levelled the tie when he wriggled through the Dundee defence, but could only prod his shot wide of the upright.
Parish got a valuable fingertip on a Liam Craig free kick, before making his best save of the night. The resulting corner went through to Craig, who picked out Denny Johnstone eight yards out, put his downwards header was pushed away by the diving Parish.
With all the pressure Saints were putting on, it was somewhat inevitable when Dundee went two up just before the half hour mark. Jack Lambert initially started the move, and when the ball broke to him at the edge of the box, he made no mistake, curling a low shot past Clark.
With the half time whistle about to be blown, Sofien Moussa extended Dundee’s lead to three. El Bakhtaoui sent in the cross to the unmarked striker at the back post, and he headed past the helpless Clark.
Half time saw the expected plethora of changes, as Rab Douglas, Charlie Adam, Barry Smith, Gary Harkins, Peter MacDonald and Steven Milne all entered for the Dark Blues. Youngster Jesse Curran also joined the new-look Dark Blues line up.
Denny Johnstone pulled a goal back for Saints nine minutes after the restart. The striker drilled a shot from 30 yards into the bottom corner of Rab Douglas’ net.
Douglas did well to beat away Brian Easton’s shot, before Dave Mackay made his entrance to the game. Midfielder Murray Davidson went in goal for Saints as the game developed a more relaxed atmosphere.
Steven Milne extended Dundee’s lead after 72 minutes, firing past Davidson after a pass from Matty Henvey sent him in one-on-one with Davidson.
The Dundee lead was widened further with seven minutes remaining. Gary Harkins found Henvey with a deft reverse pass, and while the striker could only fire a shot against the upright, Max Anderson was on hand to pass the ball into the empty net.
As is tradition with these matches, Saints were awarded a penalty that may or may not have been planned after 85 minutes. Graham Gartland was the offender, and the man of the hour Dave Mackay made no mistake from the penalty spot.
There was still time for one more goal, and it came from Roddy Grant. The Saints man capitalising on a slack pass from Dundee manager Neil McCann, and making no mistake with a cool finish past Douglas.
There was still enough time for Saints stand-in keeper Davidson to keep out an audacious halfway line effort from Lambert, and palm away a stinging shot from Callum Moore.
St Johnstone: Clark, Shaughnessy, Tanser, Davidson, Wotherspoon, Cormie, Johnstone, Scougall, Craig, Thomson, Gilchrist
St Johnstone Subs: Griffin, O’Neil, Dods, Hardie, Sheerin, Mackay, Lowndes, Morris, Wright, Grant
Dundee First Half: Parish, Piggott, Lambert, Moussa, Williams, O’Hara, Aurtenetxe, Etxabeguren, El Bakhtaoui, Gadzhalov, Kerr
Dundee Second Half: Douglas, B. Smith, Harkins, MacDonald, Milne, McCann, Gartland, Adam, Curran, Anderson, Henvey, J. Smith, Moore
Goals: O’Hara 9’, Lambert 29’, Moussa 45’, Milne 72’, Anderson 83’
Report: Andrew Creegan