Chris Kane scored a quick-fire first-half brace as St Johnstone claimed maximum points from a 3-1 cinch Premiership victory over Dundee in a dominant display from the hosts in the Tayside derby.
Kane bagged his double inside an nine-minute period in the opening period before Stevie May put any possible Dundee resolve to bed early in the second half.
The visitors netted a consolation through Ryan Sweeney with 15 minutes left to end an unwanted record of five games without a goal prior to the match.
It was a victory befitting for Liam Craig, who became St Johnstone’s record appearance holder – beating Steven Anderson – in featuring for the 442nd time. Craig was rewarded for this outstanding achievement by getting the captain’s armband for the day.
The home side took the lead after 31 minutes as Shaun Rooney detected Michael O’Halloran in space on the right-hand side before finding Kane, who blasted an excellent first-time effort into the net.
Kane made it 2-0 nine minutes later after David Wotherspoon cut the Dundee defence open from the right with May finding space before sending a lovely delivery across goal and finding the talisman for his brace.
St Johnstone continued their dominance early in the second half and May turned from provider to goalscorer 45 seconds after the restart to extend the hosts’ lead further.
Dundee were found exposed again on the right flank and O’Halloran found May, who picked out the bottom corner with a cute finish.
Proceedings then began to hit a lull, however, the home side were in search for more with Rooney coming close with a speculative 35-yard effort which goalkeeper Adam Legzdins gathered with ease.
Rooney was unlucky not to score from a set-piece like he did from his exploits at Dens Park in the corresponding fixture 10 days ago as his stinging header towards goal was cleared off the line by Paul McGowan.
Dundee pulled a goal back after 74 minutes, ending a goal drought that amassed five matches.
Paul McMullan delivered a great delivery from the left finding Sweeney, who rose well to guide the ball beyond the reach of Zander Clark for Dundee’s first goal at McDiarmid Park since December 2017.
The visitors continued to ask St Johnstone questions in an attempt to retrieve something from the match in the closing stages.
A McMullan cross from the left found Cammy Kerr, who sent a downward header towards goal but Clark pushed the ball past the side-netting to the relief of St Johnstone who moved up to eighth, while their opponents remain rooted to the bottom of the table.
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