Two wins out of two and a place at the top of the cinch Premiership – at least until Sunday’s games kick in – meant it was a good day at the office for Stephen Robinson’s side on Saturday afternoon.
Zach Hemming stole the headlines for his first-half penalty save from Zach Robinson, a chance that had come from nothing after Saints had dominated. VAR flagged up a Mikael Mandron tug on the shirt of Lee Ashcroft but the Dens Park side failed to take the lifeline.
“Zach was outstanding, as he has been since he came into the club,” said Robinson.
Robinson’s penalty was weak with Hemming diving to his left and kicking the ball over the bar and it was interesting to note the instructions that former Saints keeper Trevor Carson had given the on-loan striker. It seemed to have the effect of leaving him over-thinking the kick rather than helping him out.
It also served as further incentive for the home crowd to continue booing Carson. Robinson and Carson had exchanged a warm embrace before the game kicked off but such sentiment wasn’t shared by the Paisley locals who booed his every touch. And then had the last laugh.
“I’ve had a brilliant relationship with Trevor for a long, long time,” said the St Mirren manager. “I class Trevor as a friend and I wish him nothing but success. Dundee have got a very good goalkeeper there.
“Football is pantomime. Some of the things that get shouted at me, I think surely they don’t mean that. Maybe they do!”
Mandron headed Saints into a 2-0 lead on the cusp of the break to add to goal that ex-St Mirren skipper Joe Shaughnessey had glanced into his own net in the opening stages.
Dundee introduced Scott Tiffoney into the mix in the second period and the former Jags winger was only on the park six minutes before teeing up Josh Mulligan.
The goal changed the tone of the game with St Mirren anxious and rattled while Dundee looked to draw level.
St Mirren’s Alex Greive had an effort kicked off the line from Shaughnessesy which VAR ruled had not fully crossed the line but there were nervous moments for the hosts as Dundee pressed to find a way back.
“When opportunities present themselves, you need to take them,” lamented Dens boss Tony Docherty. We had golden opportunities to take a point from the game, possibly go on and win it. We never did that today.
“It’s hard to take, because I feel we put a lot in to merit something from the game.
They stood firm with Hemming commanding his box in a way that drew the respect of his boss.