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Wednesday, October 27, 1999 Published at 21:56 GMT 22:56 UK


Dodds proves the difference



St Johnstone 0-1 Dundee United

Scottish international Billy Dodds grabbed his sixth goal of the season to secure the points for Dundee United in a scrappy game at McDiarmid Park.

After their 2-1 win in the CIS Insurance Cup two weeks ago, United were looking for a double lift that would secure their third place in the table.

The visitors however started slowly in a poor spectacle as St Johnstone looked to put a cruel defeat to Celtic on Sunday firmly behind them.

The lively George O'Boyle turned superbly on the edge of the area but the United defence did well to block his goal-bound effort.

In the 24th minute Portuguese striker Joaquim Ferraz out-jumped Alan Main in the Saints goal from Telesnikov's free-kick but he failed to direct his effort goalward.

Ten minutes later, Davidson's cross had the St Johnstone defence in a panic but David Worrell crashed his shot into a crowded penalty area and the danger was cleared.

Then David Partridge was handed United's best chance of the game when he rose highest in the St Johnstone box but he his header flew over Main's bar.

United press forward

After the break United continued to look the more likely of the two sides to break deadlock as they continued to probe the young St Johnstone defence.

Ferraz took the ball to the by line before whipping in a cross that was just too high for Dodds.

But hit-man Dodds soon got United's reward for their persistence. He spun on the edge of the box after taking Telesnikov's pass before firing past Main eluding his desperate dive.

Moments later United should have sewn the points up when a fantastic move between Davidson and Telesnikov gifted the youngster a gilt edged opportunity from six yards out but he fired over with the goal at his mercy.

In the dying minutes St Johnstone threw everything into clawing an equaliser but Sandy Clark's men just did not have the quality to break the United defence down.



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