Dundee United remained top of the Scottish Premiership with a deserved 2-0 win over Tayside opponents St Johnstone at Tannadice.Dundee United Vs St Johnstone highlights.
It was no more than United merited after back-to-back wins over Dundee in the league and League Cup in the past week.
St Johnstone were forced to make a change pre-match after midfielder Chris Millar hurt his groin in the warm-up so his place was taken by Murray Davidson.
It was the hosts who threatened first in 10 minutes as John Rankin released Erskine who then found Nadir Ciftci.
Turkish striker Ciftci let fly from 25 yards but saw his well-struck shot saved low down by Saints keeper Alan Mannus.
But they went on to take the lead in the 23rd minute.
United keeper Radoslaw Cierzniak got things going as he caught David Wotherspoon’s corner and quickly threw the ball upfield to Ciftci, who cutely dummied it and went on to outpace visiting defender Brian Easton.
Ciftci cut in before rolling a perfectly-weighted pass into the path of Erskine who steadied himself to send a crisp low finish, with his weaker right foot, beyond Mannus and into the far corner of the net for a deserved opener.
Saints could not be so below-par after the break and at the start of the second half they at least applied some pressure on the home rearguard.
Wotherspoon’s flighted free-kick found the head of Steven Anderson, whose glancing header went not that far wide of Cierzniak’s left-hand post.
Then, at the other end, United striker Mario Bilate shot just over Mannus’ cross-bar from 22 yards.
The visitors continued their search for an equaliser by bringing on substitute pair Simon Lapp in and Adam Morgan, in favour of Lee Croft and Gary McDonald.
Saints could sense an equaliser might have been on the cards and they came close to getting it on the hour mark.
United central defender Callum Morris made a mess of trying to clear Brian Easton’s cross from the left and could only kick the ball into the path of Michael O’Halloran.
O’Halloran seized the opportunity and looked as though he had done enough to level things with a low left-foot shot across Cierzniak, only for the ball to come bouncing back off the post.
Ciftci became first player to be booked for going in high on Anderson after the Saints defender had fouled him in the first place in the 67th minute.
However, United surged 2-0 ahead five minutes later.
Ciftci appeared to be lining up a shot from outside the penalty area but instead elected to pass to Keith Watson who had overlapped down the left.
Watson looked up to square for Paton who calmly rolled his left-foot finish into the bottom corner of the net via Mannus’ near post to kill the contest.Follow @Football7x24