Dundee United 2 St Johnstone 0
Sat 9th Apr 3pm
Johnny Russell scored for the third successive game and substitute David Robertson added a late second as Dundee United cut the gap on third placed Hearts to eight points, while also increasing their own advantage over nearest rivals Kilmarnock to five.
The visitors were always in trouble after Steven Anderson was sent-off for collecting two yellow cards inside the opening fifteen minutes.
And they were made to pay as Russell broke through on the stroke of half-time despite calls for offside before David Robertson ensured victory with five minutes remaining.
Anderson was initially cautioned following a couple of early challenges on Danny Swanson before soon being dismissed for a third foul on the same player.
However, home keeper Dusan Pernis was in turn required to save from both Danny Grainger and Murray Davidson, while his opposite number Graeme Smith did well to keep out Swanson's header from Craig Conway's delivery.
Pernis then had to snatch onto a deflected effort from Danny Invincibile before Russell headed Paul Dixon's cross wide in reply.
But the in-form forward wasn't about to miss when seizing upon Swanson's partially blocked drive just before the break and comfortably taking the ball past the keeper to claim his eighth goal of the season.
The visitors weren't best pleased, however, and manager Derek McIness was sent to the stands for the rest of the contest.
His side tried to respond with Invincible calling Pernis into action and Collin Samuel and Grainger each trying their luck from distance.
At the opposite end Conway crossed for leading scorer David Goodwillie to head over before the latter set up David Robertson to add a late second.
There was still enough time remaining for Pernis to again deny Davidson just before the final whistle.
Dundee United: Pernis, Dillon, Dixon, Kenneth, Severin, Conway (Daly 81), Swanson (S. Robertson 72), Buaben, Gomis (D. Robertson 82), Goodwillie, Russell
subs (unused): Banks, Douglas, van der Meulen, Kovacevic
Goals: Russell (45), D. Robertson (85)
St Johnstone: Smith, Grainger, Duberry, Anderson, Maybury, Millar, Moon, Davidson, Invincibile (J. Robertson 77), MacDonald (Gartland 17), Samuel
subs (unused): Clark, Caddis, Taylor, May, Novikovas
Ref: M. Tumilty