Football: Scott has Dundee stranded

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By David McKinney

Dundee 0

St Johnstone 1

IT IS appropriate that Dundee is dubbed the city of discovery as one of its teams is still trying to find their way in the Premier Division.

Not only have Dundee lost all three of their league games to date, they are also looking for their first goal on their return to the big time.

The worry for Jocky Scott, the Dundee manager, must be his side's lack of creativity. It was a functional side that finished well clear of the rest in last season's First Division and, despite the addition of half a dozen new faces, there remains a distinct lack of flair about Dundee.

Dreary Dens Park is not the most aesthetically appealing ground in Scotland: there are no shiny new stands here, just the bench seats installed over terracing. On a damp, drizzle-laden day, the experience was numbing.

It came as no surprise that the goalkeepers were barely taxed throughout the game as St Johnstone had similarly been unable to find the net thus far and therefore there was no surprise that it took a single goal to settle the issue.

Just before the hour-mark a cross from the right-hand side was met by Philip Scott whose firm header gave his side victory.

The visitors had appeared to be slightly the better side with more zest about their play, although in the first half Dundee made and squandered their only two plausible opportunities.

In the 30th minute Dariusz Adamczuk found himself in space inside the penalty area but he delayed in shooting allowing the St Johnstone defence the chance to block his shot.

Five minutes from the interval James Grady allowed a through ball to run to the Pole whose prodded shot beat the goalkeeper but finished a yard wide of the post.

The game produced a furious finale as George O'Boyle was sent off with 12 minutes remaining after lifting his hand when tackled by Adamczuk. The striker was immediately shown the red card while the Dundee man received a yellow for his part in the incident.

Even with 10 men St Johnstone held on comfortably to their lead and would have scored again had it not been for a fine save by Robert Douglas in the dying seconds from Keith O'Halloran's diving header.

Against depleted opposition Dundee failed to make the extra man count and all too often elected to play a high ball into the penalty area, a tactic that foundered on a rock-steady Saints defence.

Their victory will not fool Paul Sturrock, the St Johnstone manager, who will be all too aware that his side - which came within one game of a European place last season - have lost their way in the early stages this time. Perhaps a change of approach will lead to welcoming discoveries for both these sides.

Goal: Scott (59).

Dundee (5-3-2): Douglas; Miller, Raeside, Smith, Pounewatchy, Maddison (Annand 76); Adamczuk, McInally, Falconer; Coyne (Garcin, 60), Grady. Substitutes not used: Grant, Bayne, Langfield.

St Johnstone (4-4-2): Main; McQuillan, Dods, Griffin, Bollan; O'Neil, Kane, Scott (O'Halloran,80), Preston; Grant, O'Boyle.

Substitutes not used: Connolly, Whiteford, Ferguson, Lowndes.

Referee: M McCurry (Glasgow).

Bookings: Dundee: Adamczuk. St Johnstone: Bollan, Kane, Griffin.

Sent off: St Johnstone: O'Boyle.

Man of the match: Kane.