St. Johnstone ran riot against visitors Dundee today, winning 3-1 and grabbing a first home win of the season.
[Chris Kane celebrates making it 2-0]
St. Johnstone ran out 3-1 winners at McDiarmid Park over a poor Dundee side who remain bottom of the table following this afternoon's game.
St. Johnstone took the lead on 31 minutes through Chris Kane and the number 9 then added a second 8 minutes later to put his side 2-0 up going into the half-time break.
2-0 down at the interval Dundee made a couple of changes to try and turn the game around but Stevie May got the home side off to the best possible start, grabbing a goal, not even a minute into the second half to virtually end the game as a contest.
Dundee grabbed a goal from a corner on 74 minutes, with Sweeney rising above the rest to nod a consolation home. St. Johnstone managed to hold on despite some pressure and run out eventual winners 3-1.
Once the line-ups had come out it was confirmed that today's captain Liam Craig would break Steven Anderson's appearance record of 441, as the midfielder edged ahead on 442. The 34-year-old started the game in the middle of a 3.
[Liam Craig was excellent today]
Lars Dendoncker made his debut in defence, with Rooney and Ambrose alongside him. O'Halloran started at Right Wing Back to the surprise of many while Kane and May were up top.
St. Johnstone began the half positively and Stevie May nearly opened the scoring on 6 minutes but his effort just glanced past the post. Chris Kane also had an early penalty claim waved away soon after before then being booked on 21 minutes for a 'dive' by Greg Aitken, to the shock of the Saints team.
Dundee were just growing into the game a bit as the home side looked to be cooling down after a hot start before Chris Kane grabbed the opener just after the half an hour mark. Shaun Rooney began a great attacking move by playing a great weighted ball through to O'Halloran on the right who then cut it across the box to Kane who smashed it past the keeper. 1-0 St. Johnstone!
Then on 39 minutes after some good build-up play in the middle, Wotherspoon found May in behind who cut the ball across goal for Kane again to prod home. St. Johnstone race into a 2-0 lead.
[Kane puts St. Johnstone 2-0 up]
Saints were now firmly on top and Shaun Rooney danced forward, evading multiple challenges before turning in, inside the box, and being brought down - which referee Aitken once again dismissed - the St. Johnstone players were clearly bemused.
Half Time: St. Johnstone 2-0 Dundee
St. Johnstone got off to a great start, coming out on the offensive as the ball is sent through to O'Halloran once more with the experienced winger crossing into the box for May who was able to take a touch and finish with aplomb to end the game as a contest and put Saints 3 goals to the good.
[St. Johnstone celebrates Stevie May's goal]
Ali Crawford's afternoon was ended early as the 30-year-old appeared to have picked up a knock and was substituted for fellow loanee Cammy MacPherson who was in the squad for the first matchday since arriving, due to a shoulder injury.
Saints almost added a fourth with MacPherson coming close but his shot was saved by Legzdins. Liam Craig then swung a perfect delivery into the box from the resulting corner which was met by Rooney, however, Dundee managed to clear the ball off of the line to prevent a certain goal.
The home team were then caught out by a Dundee corner, some could accuse St. Johnstone of being a little complacent as the game up until that point had been much too easy. A Paul McMullan corner was headed home by 6ft 4 Centre Back Ryan Sweeney to spark some life into the game for Dundee. Although most of the already small away crowd had already left by this point.
[Sweeney grabs Dundee's consolation goal]
Dundee then attempted to grab a second but St. Johnstone looked more deadly on the counterattack. Following Glenn Middleton's introduction for Stevie May Saints looked even more threatening on the break.
Middleton nearly added a 4th goal after Chris Kane set him through, he found himself 1-on-1 with the keeper but dragged his shot just wide of the goal. So close for the Rangers loanee!
Middleton then turned into the creator and tried to cut the ball back to Kane from a counterattack after burning Paul McGowan, however, his cross was just behind the Saints Striker.
[Middleton bursts past McGowan]
Saints managed to hold on without conceding again and the game finished a comfortable 3-1 win and the Perth side take all the points in Liam Craig's 442nd game for the club. Brilliant for all involved.
Full Time: 3-1
What This Means
This win takes St. Johnstone up to 8th in the table, with 9 points from 8 games, and with a first home win of the season on the board confidence will be high in the dressing room.
Saints take on Livingston next 2 weeks today following next week's international break, at McDiarmid Park once again.
What Did Callum Davidson Have to Say?
Callum Davidson said: "We asked the players to be a lot more clinical and we started with two strikers up top. It was great for them to get the goals.
"I am really pleased as we were really clinical. I am delighted with our performance."