Dundee 2
St Johnstone 1
League (Premiership)

2 - 1
St Johnstone 

League (Premiership)
Saturday, April 21st, 2018
Dens Park
Attendance: 5,592
3:00 PM Kick-off

Sofien Moussa (1)
Sofien Moussa (88)
Steven MacLean (85)

Team Managers
Neil McCann
Tommy Wright

Starting Eleven
12. Elliot Parish
4. Steven Caulker
3. Kevin Holt
2. Cammy Kerr
5. Genséric Kusunga
8. Glen Kamara
18. Paul McGowan
14. Mark O'Hara
9. Sofien Moussa
17. Simon Murray
33. Craig Wighton
Zander Clark .12
Scott Tanser .3
Joe Shaughnessy .5
Steven Anderson .6
Jason Kerr .15
Ricky Foster .19
Chris Millar .7
Liam Craig .26
Matty Willock .28
Steven MacLean .9
George Williams .11

38. Calum Ferrie
15. Jon Aurtenetxe
6. Darren O'Dea
28. Lewis Spence
7. A-Jay Leitch-Smith
35. Cedwyn Scott
23. Randy Wolters
Alan Mannus .1
Liam Gordon .23
Keith Watson .22
Ali McCann .37
Stefan Scougall .21
David Wotherspoon .10
John Robertson .43

A-Jay Leitch-Smith for Simon Murray (84)
David Wotherspoon for Matty Willock (73)
Stefan Scougall for Chris Millar (77)
John Robertson for George Williams (90)

Genséric Kusunga (25)
Mark O'Hara (38)
Matty Willock (59)
Joe Shaughnessy (79)
David Wotherspoon (88)
George Williams (90)

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

Don Robertson (Referee)
Douglas Ross & Ross Haswell (Assistants)
Scott Millar (Fourth Official)

Match Report

Sofien Moussa sent the noisy Dee faithful on their way from Dens with a song on their lips and a spring in their steps after he scored both goals in a 2-1 win over St Johnstone. Moussa put the Dee ahead in the first minute. The win seemed to have been painfully snatched from Dundee’s grasp when Steven MacLean equalised late in the second half. The Dees’ despair was quickly turned to delirium when Moussa headed the winner after 88 minutes and the fans roared the team through injury time to take three vital points.

Neil McCann made three changes; the most eye catching was a welcome and long awaited first start of the season for Craig Wighton, who went on to have a fine game. Paul McGowan and Cammy Kerr also came back in. Lewis Spence moved onto the bench, while Josh Meekings and Roarie Deacon were injured. The Saints line-up had four changes. Zander Clark, Chris Millar, Liam Craig and Matthew Willock replaced Alan Mannus, Murray Davidson, David Wotherspoon and Chris Kane.

The opening minute was all about Dee number nine Sofien Moussa. Almost from the kick off he was fouled a few yards inside Saints’ half. Kevin Holt flighted a perfect free kick into the penalty area. Mark O’Hara volleyed for goal but MOUSSA got the crucial touch to send the ball past Clark and off the post, and Steven Caulker provided a final flourish after the ball had crossed the line with only 46 seconds on the clock.

The early goal lifted the crowd and ensured there was a positive vibe from the stands despite the tension. St Johnstone came back well after that early shock and looked dangerous moving forward, with George Williams and Matthew Willock prominent.

There were some untidy, careless moments in the Dark Blue defence, but Saints never had enough men forward in support of Steven MacLean to profit. A skillful run by Williams from the right ended with Ellliott Parish turning the low cross round the post with his feet. Scott Tanser was a couple of yards off target with a fierce shot from 20 yards.

Saints were dominating possession in the middle of the park, but had difficulty turning that into clear chances. Their closest effort of the first half came when Dundee couldn’t clear a corner and Willock forced a close range shot through a thicket of legs only for Parish to make a superb instinctive save.

With less of the ball Dundee were moving more quickly through the midfield and looked more dangerous than Saints when they reached the penalty area. Late in the first half the Dee went close twice. Craig Wighton’s incisive run made space on the edge of the penalty area but his shot spun wide off a defender. Simon Murray’s low shot was only inches wide after Glen Kamara reached the byline, hurdling a wild challenge that could easily have brought a penalty.

Early in the second half Wighton again caused Saints problems by jinking into space from the left but again his shot was blocked. Murray then forced a fine save from Clark at the near post with a blistering angled shot.

Midway through the second half the Dee breathed a sigh of relief when Joe Shaughnessy stayed up following a corner and his cleanly struck volley from Chris Millar’s cross came back off the crossbar. With 20 minutes to go Murray’s 25 yard free kick was pushed away by Clark at full stretch.

As in the first half Saints saw plenty of the ball but had difficultly creating clear chances. When one did come their way after 85 minutes veteran striker Steven MacLean reacted instantly to score. Dundee should have dealt with a Saints attack before it reached the danger area, but scrappy defending allowed the ball to break to MACLEAN, who scored crisply with a low 12 yard shot inside the far post through a crowd of defenders.

St Johnstone clearly felt the game had swung decisively their way and charged forward looking for a winner. They forgot the basics, to keep the door firmly shut at the back, and paid the price. Cammy Kerr was clumsily fouled wide on the right, a few yards inside Saints’ half. Taking the free kick himself he swung a high ball to the far post where Sofien MOUSSA brought the home supporters to their feet in delight with a firm scoring header that left Clark with no chance.

88 minutes on the clock and the mood at Dens was transformed utterly. The Dees around three sides of the ground were bouncing and singing till the final whistle. When the referee blew for full time the players and supporters celebrated, knowing that this was a hugely important win. It was a long way from being the best performance of the season, and there wasn’t enough of the fluent passing that Neil McCann is trying to instill in the team. But what this game had in abundance was effort, hard running and passion for the cause. It wasn’t pretty, but when it comes to a relegation battle at this stage of the season what the supporters demand is that the players give everything. Oh, and three points. We got all that from the team today.

Match report written by James Christie - Official Dundee website

Squad Statistics (as at April 21st, 2018)

2017-18 All Time
Elliot Parish (GK)27 25 - 25 -
Steven Caulker26 9191
Kevin Holt25 2811097
Cammy Kerr22 37 - 941
Genséric Kusunga30 7 - 7 -
Glen Kamara22 42 - 42 -
Paul McGowan30 3821468
Mark O'Hara22 3766911
Sofien Moussa30 32133213
Simon Murray26 102102
Craig Wighton20 3 - 847
A-Jay Leitch-Smith (sub)28 316316

League Table (as at April 21st, 2018)

No league table has been added for this season.

Manager's Programme Notes

We have five huge games starting today against St. Johnstone.

Since I wrote my last programme notes we have picked up two valuable points against Hearts and Celtic. I was very proud of our team, draws against two of the best teams in the league with two very different types of performances.

We worked on things in the international break and I felt. that paid off. We were the better side against Hearts with real purpose and attacking intent in our game, I felt our play deserved all three points. Against Celtic we turned in a very organised, solid performance and I felt very comfortable even though Celtic had lots of possession.

In our last pre split game we performed very well against Rangers up until their second goal. I felt the tough week's schedule took toll on the boys and clearly had an impact on the result.

Due to the cup weekend our players have been able to enjoy some down time and got a chance to have a little break away from training. Since we've come back we've been able to spend lots of quality time again on the training pitch to prepare for the games we have coming up. I believe we are ready.