Date: 21st April 2012 at 2:40pm
Written by: Vital Arabs

Former striker Francisco Sandaza was sent-off as Dundee United moved back into fourth place in the table courtesy of goals from Scott Robertson and John Rankin at rivals St Johnstone.

The Tangerines went ahead shortly after the half-hour when midfielder Robertson converted their opener with a low angled finish.

Spanish striker Sandaza was then dismissed for a second bookable offence twelve minutes after the break before Rankin wrapped up the victory in added time.

The result leaves the visitors a couple of points clear of fifth-placed Saints and with a much better goal-difference as the pair still contest a European place with only four games remaining.

They also currently only trail Motherwell – who entertain champions Celtic tomorrow – by three points.

Saints included recent signing Derek Riordan, who soon had a free-kick blocked by goalkeeper Dusan Pernis and Cillian Sherdian sent the rebound against an upright.

Former Hibernian striker Riordan then allowed Murray Davidson to drill straight at Pernis from the edge of the area, while Paul Dixon’s cross to the far post at the opposite end almost sent in Robbie Neilson.

But the visitors should have gone ahead on fifteen minutes as goalkeeper Alan Mannus lost possession under challenge from Gavin Gunning and Willo Flood blazed over from close-range.

Flood tried to make amends with a free-kick delivery headed narrowly wide by leading marksman Jon Daly, who then combined with Rankin before Robertson struck home an angled finish to open the scoring.

Daly soon had an opportunity to add to that following a weak clearance from Mannus but couldn’t find the necessary touch, while Flood’s free-kick presented further problems for Mannus, who also had to keep out Dixon’s fierce long-range effort before the break.

Following the restart Sandaza was brandished a red card for reacting to a challenge from Sean Dillon before Daly headed wide and Robertson then drove forcefully at Mannus as the visitors threatened on the break.

Skipper Daly also missed when Johnny Russell laid off Dixon’s cross before Rankin surged forward in added time and drove in a second goal to finally settle the issue.

St Johnstone: Mannus, MacKay, Wright, Maybury, McCracken (Anderson 52), Davidson, Robertson, Adams (Moon 75), Sheridan, Sandaza, Riordan (Haber 59)

subs (unused): Enckelman, McIntosh, Oyenuga, Keatings

Dundee United: Pernis, Neilson, Dillon, Gunning (Watson 54), Dixon, Flood, Robertson, Rankin, Mackay-Steven (Ryan 89), Daly, Russell

subs (unused): Banks, Douglas, Swanson, Armstrong, Dow

Goals: Robertson (32), Rankin (90)

Ref: Norris

Att: 5,826

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