Dundee 0-2 St Johnstone: Saints push for third

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DANNY SWANSON is likely to be sent to Coventry in the summer but could leave St Johnstone with the parting gift of European football.

Scorers: St Johnstone - Swanson 53; Davidson 67 og

St Johnstone players celebrate after Dundee's Ian Davidson lets in an own goal. Picture: SNS

St Johnstone players celebrate after Dundee's Ian Davidson lets in an own goal. Picture: SNS

Swanson, 28, made his name at the bottom of Tannadice Street with Dundee United and he crossed the street yesterday to make his mark with the opening goal to propel his side into fourth spot.

As it stands, with Inverness in the Scottish Cup final, that could well be enough to clinch a Europa League spot but Swanson, pictured right, wants third place before he heads back to parent club Coventry.

“I played one game in Europe for Dundee United and it was a terrific experience,” said Swanson. “I may not get to play for St Johnstone but if I leave the club in Europe then I’ll have done my job.

“Coventry want all their players back for pre-season training. We have a new manager in Tony Mowbray and he wants us back.

“I have a year left on my deal but if things don’t work out there the I’d be more than delighted to go back to St Johnstone although I still feel I have a point to prove in England.”

With United hosting Celtic today, both Saints and Dundee would have sensed a glorious opportunity to turn up the heat on Jackie McNamara’s side, who started the day in fourth place. Sadly, on the first half evidence, it appears that message had failed to get through.

Saints had the better of the opening period with Danny Swanson’s curling right foot strike going just over from 18 yards and Brian Graham just failing to connect with a Tam Scobbie cross with goal at his mercy while, at the other end Allan Mannus blocked the final effort of a disappointing first 45 minutes with Paul Heffernan denied from six yards.

That save was to prove crucial as on 54 minutes Saints took the lead in style as Swanson cut in from the left and superbly curled home from 20 yards.

Dundee’s hopes of a comeback were delivered a huge blow on 63 minutes as Greg Stewart was sent off for a second bookable offence after taking a dive in the penalty box.

And the Perth side took full advantage with the crucial second goal.

Swanson had a low strike parried by Bain but the ball broke out to Wotherspoon and his low effort cannoned off Dens defender Iain Davidson on its way in to leave Dundee in sixth place.

“That was our worst performance of the season,” said Dundee boss Paul Hartley. “We have had a lot of plaudits and it has been a very positive year but we had a bad, bad day at the office – and the sending off was also justified.”.”

Dundee: Bain; Dyer, Konrad (Davidson 46) McPake, Thomson, McGowan, Paul McGinn, McAlister, Stewart, Clarkson (Wighton 65) Heffernan (Tankulic 57). Subs not used: Letheren, Black, Stephen McGinn, Harris.

St Johnstone: Mannus; McKay, Scobbie, Wright, Millar, MacLean, Wotherspoon, Swanson (Caddis 87), Graham (O’Halloran 72) Davidson (Brown 81) Miller. Subs not used: Banks, McFadden, Easton, Kane, O’Halloran, Caddis, Brown.

Referee: Craig Thomson. Attendance: 6,530