Verdict: St Johnstone stroll to sixth straight away win as Dundee finish year at foot of table

The ball ends up in Dundee's net after just 35 seconds.
The ball ends up in Dundee's net after just 35 seconds.

St Johnstone strolled to a 2-0 win over Dundee at Dens to make it a hugely-impressive sixth straight away victory.

As the Saints players celebrated what is a fabulous feat, the Dark Blues left the pitch knowing they will finish 2018 at the bottom of the Premiership with only 10 points to their name.

Massive improvement, driven by a busy transfer window, is needed is they are to avoid the dreaded drop.

Goals from Scott Tanser and Liam Craig did the damage for the visitors and it could have been even more had they been sharper up front.

There was an incredible start to the game as the visitors took the lead after just 35 seconds.

It was a disaster for the Dark Blues as Tanser’s cross from the left floated over the head of keeper Jack Hamilton before hitting the back post on its way into the net.

It was Tanser’s first goal for the club and, while it was a lucky one, he celebrated in style.

David Wotherspoon had a great chance to make it 2-0 on six minutes after a nice passing move from the Perth men but he shot into Hamilton’s arms.

Saints, backed by over 1,800 fans, were well on top and Tanser went flying up the left on 17 minutes only for his shot to be held by Hamilton.

The McDiarmid men were making space inside the Dundee box and, on 23 minutes, Chris Kane’s snap-shot was gathered by the goalie.

The hosts had an opportunity of their own two minutes later but Joe Shaughnessy did well to block Jesse Curran’s strike after good work by Calvin and Kenny Miller.

On 35 minutes, Saints were again given too much time to create an opening and the Dark Blues were lucky to see a Matty Kennedy half-volley fly wide.

Wotherspoon squandered a golden chance to get St Johnstone’s second on 38 minutes when he turned defender Darren O’Dea inside out before not getting enough on his shot and the danger was cleared.

Calvin Miller then broke clear on the left-hand side of the Saints box after being played in by Martin Woods. The Celtic loan man looked certain to equalise but his low, angled drive was tipped away for a corner by goalie Zander Clark.

Miller pulled another shot wide of the far post as Dundee worked their way into the game a bit more as half-time approached.

The hosts made a change at the break, with sub Benjamin Kallman coming on for the ineffective Glen Kamara.

Kennedy went on a mazy run for Saints two minutes after the restart and Hamilton did well to block his strike.

The same player then ran almost the length of the pitch before pulling another shot wide.

Tony Watt blasted past the post as the visitors continued to boss the match before the visitors made it 2-0 on 58 minutes.

The goal came from a short corner on the left. Wotherspoon played the quick ball to Kennedy, who whipped in a beauty of a cross.

The ball flew across goal and was scooped into the net by Craig, with the home defence absolutely sliced open.

It was fitting for Craig that he scored on what was his 362nd appearance for the club, now second in the all-time list behind Steven Anderson.

Watt came within a whisker of making it three but his effort was scrambled off the line by keeper Hamilton then Kane hooked the ball past the upright from a few yards out.

On 70 minutes, there was a great chance for the Dens men to pull one back but sub Kallman’s shot couldn’t beat Clark.

Watt nodded over at the back post four minutes later before there was a scuffle in front of the Saints’ dugout. The outcome was yellow cards for Craig and Dundee’s Woods.

Kenny Miller kicked fresh air when a cross came his way two minutes from time and that kind of summed up Dundee’s day.

The final act of the match was a superb save by Hamilton to stop a close-range shot from Saints sub David McMillan to keep it at 2-0.

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