Soccer

Dundee come from behind to beat St Johnstone

Luke McCowan’s penalty and Jordan McGhee’s late strike cancelled out Matt Smith’s opener.

Jordan McGhee scored the winner for Dundee
Dundee FC headshots Jordan McGhee scored the winner for Dundee (David Young/PA)

Dundee came from behind to secure a dramatic cinch Premiership victory over St Johnstone at Dens Park.

Saints had stormed into an early lead thanks to a Matt Smith goal but the Dark Blues fought back after the break with a controversial Luke McCowan penalty and what proved to be the winner in the closing stages from Jordan McGhee.

The result leaves Dundee in sixth place, three points ahead of Hibernian, while St Johnstone remain 10th.

The hosts had the first shot of the game in the fourth minute but Lyall Cameron’s strike was deflected wide for a corner with the same player not far away with a curling effort shortly afterwards.

However, it was Saints who made the early breakthrough in the ninth minute.

Graham Carey found Smith just inside the Dundee box and the Wales international made no mistake with a clinical low strike that flew past home goalkeeper Trevor Carson and into the bottom corner of the net.

The home side looked to hit straight back with midfielder Cameron trying his luck again but St Johnstone goalkeeper Dimitar Mitov dived to his right to snuff out the danger.

The keeper then had a big scare when he attempted to clear but only succeeded in hitting Amadou Bakayoko, with the ball cannoning back into the side-netting.

Dundee came close again when a shot inside the box from skipper Joe Shaughnessy took a nick and trundled just past Mitov’s right-hand post.

The hosts continued to look dangerous and came close to equalising again when an Aaron Donnelly header from an Owen Beck corner was cleared off his own line by Carey.

Carson was called into action in the 33rd minute when a Shaughnessy header fell to Benjamin Kimpioka who unleashed a fierce drive with the keeper producing an outstanding acrobatic save to tip the ball over his crossbar.

Saints struggled to create clear-cut chances after the break but they burst into life on the hour, with Adama Sidibeh producing a bicycle kick that Carson tipped over and then Andy Considine saw a header clatter off the home bar.

However, Dundee finally equalised in the 75th minute.

Referee David Munro was called to the pitchside monitor by the VAR to review an incident in the Saints box involving contact between Liam Gordon and Bakayoko, with the official awarding a penalty to the home side.

McCowan stepped up and fired the spot-kick into the back of the net off the inside of a post.

Dundee then completed their dramatic comeback in the 89th minute when Beck swung a cross into the Saints box with McGhee sending a superb glancing header past Mitov.

The game ended on a sour note for the hosts when substitute Michael Mellon had to be stretchered off prompting 17 minutes of stoppage time.