A Chris Kane double, as well as a Jordan Piggott own goal and Blair Alston’s strike consigned Dundee to defeat against St Johnstone this afternoon. A-Jay Leitch-Smith, Jesse Curran and Lewis Spence replaced the suspended Paul McGowan and Glen Kamara, while Sofien Moussa dropped to the bench as Neil McCann made three changes to the side beaten by Motherwell last time out.
The visitors had the better of the play in the opening stages, but a series of corners were all dealt with by the Dundee backline. A free kick from 20 yards presented Saints with the first clear cut chance of the game, but Liam Craig didn’t trouble Elliott Parish with his low strike.
Moments later, the Dee lost Lewis Spence to injury, and Jordan Piggott entered the action 18 minutes into the match.
Saints made their pressure pay after 24 minutes when Steven Anderson chested the ball into Murray Davidson, whose shot spun off of the debutant Piggott and into the net.
Dundee’s response was nearly instant as Simon Murray picked out Roarie Deacon, but he was denied twice, first by Mannus and then by a Saints defender.
Deacon conceded a free kick 20 yards from goal and was booked for his troubles. Scott Tanser saw his fine strike come back off the post. From this, Dundee broke and Deacon was again denied by Mannus.
Saints doubled their lead eight minutes before the break through Chris Kane. MacLean poked the ball away from Josh Meekings on the by line, allowing Alston to square the ball for Kane, who tucked it away from close range.
Steven Caulker nearly reduced the deficit when he connected with a Deacon free kick, but Mannus touched the header round the post.
To their credit, Dundee were trying to rallied when Simon Murray was sent through on goal only to be stopped by a challenge by Tanser as he ran into the box.
Murray, along with the entire Dundee support, were claiming for a penalty but referee Thomson was having none of it
Sofien Moussa replaced Cammy Kerr at half time as Dundee looked for a route back into the game. A series of early second half corners for the Dee didn’t lead to a clear-cut chance. Jon Aurtenetxe picked out A-Jay Leitch-Smith with a deep cross, but his downward header was kept out by Mannus.
Mark O’Hara met an Aurtenetxe corner on the hour mark, but couldn’t hit the target.
Two goals in two minutes ended any hopes of an unlikely comeback.
The first saw Blair Alston fire home after Parish had denied Kane, and the second saw Kane fire a high shot into the net to give Saints a four-goal lead.
A goal line clearance from Steven Caulker denied Kane a hat trick after he had lifted the ball over Parish. Faissal El Bakhtaoui had the final chance of the game, but his drive from 25 yards swerved wide.
Dundee: Parish, Kerr (Moussa 45), Caulker, Meekings, Aurtenetxe, Curran, Spence (Piggott 18), O’Hara, Deacon, Leitch-Smith, Murray (El Bakhtaoui 65)
Subs Unused: Malherbe, Kusunga, O’Dea, Lambert
St Johnstone: Mannus, Tanser, Alston (Wotherspoon 73), Shaugnessy, Anderson, Millar (McClean 80), Davidson, MacLean, Kerr, Kane, Craig
Subs Unused: Clark, Williams, Comrie, Johnstone, McClean, Gordon
Goals: Piggott O.G 24′, Kane 37′, 66′, Alston 64′
Attendance: 5,336 (605 Away)
Report: Andrew Creegan