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13 July 2011

COMFORTABLE WIN FOR SAINTS AT DENS PARK Saints made the short journey to Dundee tonight as preparations for the new season reached their penultimate stage.

Keen to ensure that all his squad get adequate game time in the build-up to the start of the SPL Derek McInnes fielded a side which will not necessarily be his opening gambit at Pittodrie a week on Saturday but it was a team full of experience nonetheless. Trialist Marcus Haber got another run out.

Sean Higgins was in against his former side while the home team fielded former Saints players Steven Milne and Gary Irvine – both got a warm reception from the Perth support.

On an all-too rare sunny summer evening the opening spell of the match was very tentative and although Steven Milne had a couple of half-glances at goal it was the 11th minute before there was actually a serious effort on goal – Saints’ David Robertson snatching his shot wide after lead-up work by Marcus Haber and Dave Mackay.

In 14 minutes a great tackle from Dundee’s Kyle Benidictus prevented Stevie May from getting in a shot when played in by a delightful Kevin Moon pass but there was no stopping the young striker six minutes later when he managed to convert a powerful Marcus Haber header from a Sean Higgins corner kick on the right to give Saints the lead.

That goal and a rasping 25 yard hit from Callum Davidson soon after was all that there was to grab the attention of the summer crowd.

There was just the one change at half-time for Saints – Chris Millar getting a run in place of Kevin Moon who had an impressive first 45 and it was the replacement who set up Saints first chance of the second half with a delightful ball to release Marcus Haber down the right and when his low ball came into the six yard box former Saint Gary Irvine did well to knock it out for a corner rather than into his own net.

However, only six minutes of the second half had elapsed when Saints did manage to double their advantage and it came from an unlikely source in the shape of defender Dave Mackay. Sean Higgins played the ball into the box and when it landed at the feet of Jody Morris at the edge of the area he played in Mackay who was afforded the space to provide a composed finish from six yards.

Liam Craig and then Jamie Adams were introduced in quick succession as the game reached the hour mark and Adams almost cored with his very first touch but his header from a Sean Higgins free kick was just wide.

It was the 65th minute before the home side saw the white of Peter Enckelman’s eyes, their trialist centre half sending in a powerful header which the Perth keeper saved reasonably comfortably.

The game, which never hit the heights as is so often the case in these pre-season circumstances, failed to excite at all after that and despite a succession of substitutions by the visitors they remained by far the dominant team in terms of possession although goal scoring chances were at a premium.

A comfortable win for Saints and a useful exercise as the new season draws ever closer.

Enckelman, Mackay (Maybury), C Davidson (McIntosh), Anderson, Wright (McCracken), Morris (Adams), Moon (Millar), Robertson (Caddis), May (Craig), Trialist, Higgins.
Subs not used: Clark

Dundee: Douglas,Irvine, Lockwood, O'Donnell, Trialist, Benedictus, Rennie (Trialist), Webster, Hyde (McIntosh), Milne, Conroy.
Subs not used: Gibson, Reid, Smith
Att: 2,172


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