Late heartache for United
Mon 1st Apr 8pm
Seventeen-year-old Ryan Gauld scored on his full senior debut but ten-man Dundee United were denied by an injury-time Liam Craig equaliser in a 1-1 draw with St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park.
The teenager raced through to poke Mark Millar's through ball past advancing goalkeeper Alan Mannus for the lead midway through the opening half.
But the visitors' ranks were unsettled when losing centre-back Brian McLean to injury with thirteen minutes remaining and midfielder Stuart Armstrong was promptly dismissed moments later after collecting a second yellow card for simulation.
Saints were then rewarded deep into added time when Craig was left unchecked to head in from a corner delivered by substitute Mehdi Abeid.
The Tangerines enjoyed plenty of early possession during a high-tempo start until they saw Murray Davidson heading Craig's corner narrowly over their goal.
But when Millar recovered an initially lost ball he sent in the slight figure of Gauld to earn them the lead with a calm stabbed finish.
Polish keeper Radoslaw Cierzniak was though required to keep out a deft Steven MacLean flick at his near post before Craig swept a free-kick over ahead of the break.
St Johnstone noticeably stepped up their performance during the second-half with Cierzniak going full-length to keep out a terrific Craig strike.
Defender Barry Douglas then cleared a Davidson header off the line and MacLean's follow up effort was turned onto an upright by keeper Cierzniak.
Following the departure of the dismissed Armstrong on 79 minutes, Davidson saw another low drive dealt with by Cierzniak, although he should have had no chance when a slip from substitute John Souttar allowed MacLean to blaze well over.
However, an equaliser still arrived when Craig headed powerfully into the net in the third minute of added time to leave the visitors now relying on others for a top half finish.
St Johnstone: Mannus, MacKay, Wright, Anderson, Scobbie (Abeid 88), Millar, Davidson, Craig, Tade (Hasselbaink 62), MacLean, Vine (Edwards 79)
subs (unused): Tuffey, Miller, Caddis, Cregg
Goals: Craig (90)
Dundee United: Cierzniak, Watson, Dillon, McLean (Souttar 77), Douglas, Flood, Millar, Armstrong, Gauld (Ryan 76), Daly, Gardyne (Dow 77)
subs (unused): Banks, Tornstrand, Johnston, Boulding
Goals: Gauld (24)