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Tuesday, 22 January, 2002, 21:34 GMT
Terrors trounce Saints
Charlie Miller
Charlie Miller celebrates his strike
St Johnstone 1-4 Dundee United

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A superb hat-trick by Derek Lilley disposed of beleaguered St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park.

Saints had the better of the first 20 minutes but found themselves out of the game by half-time.

Lilley scored twice either side of a goal by Charlie Miller.

The United striker put United four ahead six minutes after the break and though debutant Sammy Youssouf pulled a goal back, St Johnstone were well beaten.

United started the stronger side and David Hannah had a header cleared off the line by Mark Lynch in two minutes.

Derek Lilley scores
Derek Lilley hits the back of the net
St Johnstone missed the best chance of the match so far when Youssouf's acrobatic overhead kick crept just wide of Paul Gallacher's right post.

Saints failed to capitalise on further chances and were made to pay when United took the lead after 28 minutes.

A long ball out of defence by McIntyre was flicked on by Steven Thompson and Lilley was able to slot the ball past Miller from just inside the box at the keeper's near post.

United extended their lead on 36 minutes when Thompson picked out Charlie Miller who placed the ball beyond the keeper into the net.

A minute before the interval Miller split the defence to set up Lilley who slid the ball under the advancing keeper from 16 yards out.

Lilley completed his hat-trick on 51 minutes with a blistering strike.

David Hannah and Graeme Jones clash
David Hannah and Graeme Jones clash
McCluskey conceded a free kick 20 yards out after fouling Thompson and Charlie Miller rolled the ball to Lilley, whose thumping drive soared into the top right-hand corner.

Keigan Parker came on for St Johnstone in 56 minutes after three months out through injury but it was United that nearly added a fifth - Craig Easton's volley from eight yards cannoned back off the face of the crossbar.

The home side finally pulled a goal back when Hartley found Youssouf and he nodded home his first for the club, sending the ball into the roof of the net.

The strike seemed to breathe new life into the strugglers and although it was too late to save the game, they laid siege to United's goal.

Youssouf came close twice in the next two minutes, with his latter attempt being well followed up by Hartley but his effort was blocked well by Scotland under-21 ace Gallacher.

St Johnstone: Miller, Dods, McCluskey, Falconer (Russell 84), Lynch (Maher 77), Murray, Kane, Hartley, McClune, Jones (Parker 56), Youssouf.

Subs not used: Cuthbert, Connolly.

Booked: Hartley.

Dundee Utd: Gallacher, McCunnie, Wright, Lauchlan, Hannah, Easton, Miller, Fullarton, McIntyre (Venetis 86), Thompson (Winters 90), Lilley (McConalogue 82).

Subs not used: Combe, McCracken.

Booked: McIntyre, Miller.

Att: 3,711

Referee: J Underhill

Dundee Utd manager Alex Smith
"It was a great win for us"
Dundee Utd's Derek Lilley
"That's quadrupled my tally for the season"
St Johnstone boss Billy Stark
"We defended abysmally"
Links to more Scot Prem stories are at the foot of the page.


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