Dundee 0-2 Saints

Saturday 29th December

A dominating performance by Saints this afternoon saw them defeat Dundee 2-0 at Dens Park.

Saints took the lead 35 seconds into the match when Scott Tanser’s cross went in off the post to give the visitors the perfect start.

The hosts very rarely threatened Zander Clark’s goal as Saints were in full control of the game. Liam Craig added a second for Saints just before the hour mark when he converted a Matty Kennedy cross. It was the perfect way for the long serving Saints midfielder to celebrate becoming Saints second all-time appearance holder this afternoon.

Today’s result sees Saints stretch their unbeaten away run to six games and it also sees them go six consecutive away games without conceding a goal. It means that Tommy Wright’s men will finish 2018 in the top six of the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership ahead of the winter break.

MATCH REPORT

Saints final game of 2018 saw them make the short trip along the A90 to take on Dundee at Dens Park this afternoon. Tommy Wright made three changes to the side that defeated St Mirren 1-0 in Paisley on Boxing Day as Blair Alston, Murray Davidson and Danny Swanson dropped out. They were replaced by Ross Callachan, David Wotherspoon and Chris Kane. There was also a starting place for Liam Craig who was making his 362nd appearance for Saints which moves him into second place in the list of all-time Saints appearances. Three days ago, Dundee drew 0-0 with Livingston at Dens Park and Jim McIntyre made one change to the team that started that fixture as Benjamin Källman dropped to the bench to be replaced by Martin Woods.

Saints got the match underway in the winter sunshine and they were ahead within 35 seconds. The ball was played into the box to Chris Kane and he knocked it back to Scott Tanser who looked like he was going to cross the ball back into the box. However, his delivery hit the back post before landing in the net to give Saints an early lead.

Saints good start to the game continued and on 6 minutes David Wotherspoon saw his effort well held by Jack Hamilton. Then on 17 minutes Saints attacked the Dundee goal again as Tony Watt slipped the ball to Tanser, who was free on the left, and the left-back broke forward before having a shot which was saved by Hamilton.

Good work by Watt down the left on 23 minutes saw the striker advance with the ball before slipping it to Wotherspoon. However, the midfielder couldn’t get a shot away so passed it to Kane whose effort was gathered by Hamilton.

Then 2 minutes later the hosts threatened as Calvin Miller’s cross from the left found Kenny Miller at the back post. The experienced striker laid the ball off to Jesse Curran however, the strike from the midfielder was well blocked by Joe Shaughnessy.

Saints were creating the better chances and on 34 minutes Ross Callachan and Scott Tanser combined down the left before the latter picked out Matty Kennedy whose shot went narrowly wide of Hamilton’s goal. Then 3 minutes later Kennedy’s cross fell to Wotherspoon who cut inside before having a shot which was blocked.

Despite Saints creating the better chances Dundee were still a threat and with 6 minutes of the first half remaining the Dee broke quickly as Martin Woods setup Calvin Miller. The on-loan Celtic left-back unleashed a shot which was touched behind by Zander Clark and the resultant corner came to nothing.

Before the second half got underway Dundee made a change as Benjamin Källman came on for Glen Kamara.

Saints started the second half brightly and a minute into the half they were awarded a free out wide on the right after a foul on Kennedy. The free kick was taken by Craig whose delivery found Watt but his header was well gathered by Hamilton.

Then on 47 minutes Jason Kerr did well to win the ball from Kenny Miller on the halfway line. The defender then passed to Kennedy who went on a great mazy run into the box before having a shot which was well saved by Hamilton. Then shortly after the midfielder was at it again as he went on another impressive run through the middle of the park before having another strike at goal which went wide.

The one-way traffic continued and on 55 minutes Craig was next to have a strike at Hamilton’s goal as he unleashed a powerful long range effort that went wide of the target.

Saints pressure eventually told as on 58 minutes Craig won a corner for Tommy Wright’ men. It was taken by Wotherspoon who played it short to Kennedy and he whipped a great ball into the box which was knocked home by Craig. It was a great way for the midfielder to celebrate overtaking Alan Main to become Saints second all-time appearance holder.

Saints came close to a third on 64 minutes as Watt’s close range effort was saved on the line by Hamilton. Then a couple of minutes later a Craig corner picked out Kane but the striker couldn’t get his effort on target.

A rare attack by the hosts on 71 minutes saw a dangerous cross from the right by Curran pick out Källman however, Clark was alert to the danger as he gathered the ball.

Despite that little scare Saints kept up the pressure for a third and on 73 minutes a deep cross by Richard Foster picked out Watt at the back post however, the striker couldn’t get his header on target.

The closing stages saw Saints well in control of the game and they very nearly got a third deep into the 3 minutes of additional time however, David McMillan’s close range effort was well saved by Hamilton.

Dundee: Hamilton, Kerr, Ralph, Woods, O’Dea, Kamara (Källman 45), C. Miller (Nabi 64), McGowan, K. Miller, Boyle, Curran

Unused Substitutes: Parish (GK), Inniss, Spence, Moore, Lambert

Booked: Boyle, Woods, Curran

Saints: Clark, Tanser, Shaughnessy, Kane, Wotherspoon, Kerr, Foster, Craig, Callachan, Watt (McMillan 82), Kennedy (Swanson 82)

Unused Substitutes: Hurst (GK), Anderson, Nydam, McCann, Gordon

Booked: Craig

Scorers: Tanser (1), Craig (58)

Referee: Don Robertson

Attendance: 6,868 (1,836 Saints fans)

Match Report by Daryl Scott

Picture: Scott Tanser’s cross goes in off the post to give Saints an early lead