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St Mirren took a significant step towards securing European football after second-half goals from Mikael Mandron and Toyosi Olusanya gave them all three points against Dundee.

The win enables Stephen Robinson’s side to move nine points clear in fifth place after beating the Dens Park side – and are now just one point within Kilmarnock.  

They played the latter stages of the game with ten men after James Bolton was dismissed after picking up a second booking.

Kick-off was delayed 30 minutes due to the Dundee bus stuck in traffic following a road traffic accident but this was a game that was slow to get going when kick-off eventually did get underway.

“You can’t help the traffic,” said Robinson. “We agreed when to move it back to.Tony wanted it a little later than that, I’d probably have been asleep by then!”

Mandron had one half chance when he snatched at a chance and drove his effort over the bar but genuine chance were few and far between.

Mandron brought out a save from former Saints stopper Trevor Carson when he got down to deny the forward after Kwon had slipped the forward through on goal.

As St Mirren tried to impose themselves on the game, Alex Gogic had a header that slipped just wide of the back post.

James Scott was next up as he passed up a chance.

Dundee almost paid them pay for their profligacy when Owen Beck carved out the best chance of the game. The on-loan Liverpool youngster drove forward but tried to cut back onto his left foot and slipped, allowing St Mirren to regroup and clear their lines.

The second-period was fairly tepid with Caolan Boyd-Munce planting a free-kick on to the head of Bolton, however his attempt was straight into arms of Trevor Carson

It was Mandron who gave Saints the lead. Dundee failed to properly clear a ball into the box. It fell to Madron at the edge of the box who chested it down before laughing his effort goal wards with Carson perhaps culpable for the effort ending up in the back of the net.

“I thought it was very important the last two games to get maximum points, which we’ve done,” said Robinson. “We created a lot more chances, it probably should have been more comfortable than it was. Dundee were stubborn but we defended well too. We controlled the game, lots of good chances.
“Trevor made two great saves, one in the first half and one in the second. It was important to follow up Saturday’s result with another good one. So we’re delighted to be able to do that.”

James Bolton was dismissed in the latter stages. Having already been booked for a foul on Beck, he took out Owen Dodgson on the half way line. After a VAR check, he was dismissed.

If that had the home support howling their derision, it was nothing to the frustration of Dens boss Tony Docherty who was incensed that there was no VAR check after he felt there had been a handball in the box just three minutes from time – and identical to the penalty given against his side in their weekend defeat to Hearts.

His anger was compounded when the technology intervened to allow Olusanya’s late second after it had initially been chopped off for offside. Indeed, Caron appear to pause thinking the Saints player was clearly offside –  only for VAR to confirm its legality.

“It’s identical to the one we were punished for against Hearts,” said Docherty.  “Yes, I agree the player’s hands were in an unnatural position. But it stops the ball’s path to goal. I don’t understand why that one against Hearts was a penalty, and that one wasn’t.
“I don’t know what a handball is. In the context of the game, it was the 87th minute. Every single Dundee player claims for handball. I think the referee should go over and check it. I don’t understand.
“The whole point is to make sure in games of that magnitude, when there’s so much resting on it, it should be checked. Why not use the technology. It’s a handball that gives us an opportunity to equalise in the 87th minute.
“In the context, I need to protect my football club. We’ve had five penalties against us in the last four matches. That decision went against us.
“Luke McCowan, it’s the exact same scenario, and I fail to see the logic between that.”

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