Dundee are staring relegation in the face after falling six points adrift at the foot of the table.
Their 2-0 loss away to St Johnstone combined with St Mirren’s 3-1 win at Livingston leaves them needing a remarkable turnaround in the remaining four fixtures of the season in order to stay up.
Understandably, the travelling fans that remained at full-time in Perth vented their frustration with some booing. It was, after all, a record eight straight defeats in the Premiership for their side.
As for the Saints supporters, they watched their team put on a solid, professional performance that more than deserved the three points.
Their goals came from a well-struck setpiece from Scott Tanser on 54 minutes before Callum Hendry made it 2-0 with a header on 68.
The Dark Blues had made two changes to the line-up that kicked off against Aberdeen in their last match. In came Kenny Miller and on-loan Don Scott Wright, with Jesse Curran and young Callum Moore dropping to the bench.
Saints made one enforced change, with the suspended Jason Kerr replaced by Liam Gordon at the centre of defence.
On seven minutes, the first decent effort on goal came from the host, with Dundee keeper Seny Dieng having to dive low at his near post to save Matty Kennedy’s strike.
It should definitely have been 1-0 to the Perth men on 10 minutes.
Great work from Kennedy saw him do some tricks on the left before firing in a beautiful cross that frontman Hendry somehow missed with his head from point-blank range.
With 18 minutes on the clock, it was st Johnstone on the attack and Hendry did well to direct his header goalwards only to see Dieng save at the same post again.
Dundee defender Ryan McGowan had a deader saved on 28 minutes as they tried to get a foothold in the match.
Kennedy was the dangerman again when he swung over another excellent cross that was met by Chris Kane’s forehead but goalie Dieng was well positioned to save.
Paul McGowan had the visitors’ first real chance when he blasted his shot just over the bar form outside the box on 39 minutes.
A lovely bit of skill from Wright almost created an opening for the Dark Blues but he couldn’t cut it back for John O’Sullivan.
Right on half-time, the action moved to the other end of the park again and Richard Foster’s cross went right across the face of goal but there were no takers.
Kennedy was at it again after the restart, this time testing Dundee keeper Dieng with a curling shot that was deflected wide.
The somewhat predictable St Johnstone goal duly arrived on 54 minutes, with Tanser on target.
Darren O’Dea was booked for a foul on Hendry 25 yards from goal. It was in a pretty central position and both Kennedy and Tanser lined up behind the ball.
It was the latter who struck the sweet setpiece that hit the top corner of the net despite Dieng getting some hand to it.
The keeper did well two minutes later to dive low to keep out Ross Callachan’s shot as Saints continued to dominate.
The Dark Blues brought on Jesse Curran for Wright then Miller was replaced by Andrew Nelson.
Nelson could have made an immediate impact but, as room opened up for him, he pulled his shot well wide.
It looked like game over on 68 minutes as the hosts went 2-0 up.
A deep cross from Foster found an unmarked Hendry at the back post and, with time on his side, he bent down and placed his header back cross Dieng and into the bottom corner.
It was one-way traffic and the Dark Blues escaped just two minutes later when the goalie stuck out a hand to stop Kennedy’s shot finding the back of the net.
Dundee had a great chance to get one back on 73 minutes when sub Nelson rifled the ball across goal but the ball was missed by Craig Curran.
It was all over by then and the Dundee fans realised their fate is all but sealed.