With the bells looming on 2017, most folk are tentatively pondering the prospect of giving up something in the new year. Forget, fags, booze or microwaveable swill, though. Richard’s Foster’s resolution will probably be to abstain from playing Dundee.

This was a fairly dismal day for Foster. He couldn’t stop Marcus Haber opening the scoring early on for the visitors and he was then sent off by Willie Collum on 22 minutes for a wild lunge on Paul McGowan. Back in September, Foster was given a two-match ban in the wake of a defeat to Dundee when he booted the referee’s changing room door amid heated scenes after the final whistle.

The 32-year-old is now facing another stint on the sidelines after this latest moment of ill-discipline during a sprightly Tayside derby which continued St Johnstone’s grisly home form. It’s now seven games without a win at McDiarmid Park. The 10-men certainly could have plundered something from this encounter with a spirited second-half rally but it wasn’t to be.

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“I thought we were outstanding in the second half but that’s the cruel world of football,” lamented Tommy Wright, the St Johnstone manager, who wasn’t particularly pleased with the man in the middle. “The sending off makes it an uphill struggle. But I was more concerned with the decisions we didn’t get and the bookings we got for similar fouls as the Dundee players. I wasn’t happy with his (Collum’s) performance overall.”

Dundee were lively and inventive from the off and were ahead in just three minutes. Some tidy probing led to A-Jay Leitch-Smith flicking the ball on to Haber who muscled out Foster and plonked the ball between the legs of Zander Clark.

Dundee were dictating proceedings and Foster’s reckless dismissal flung a sizeable spanner in the St Johnstone works.

Despite their numerical disadvantage, the Saints emerged for the second-half with defiant purpose and were unlucky not to be level within nine minutes of the re-start. Stefan Scougall’s fine free-kick clattered the post and from the rebound, Liam Gordon’s volley was brilliantly saved by Elliott Parish.

The hosts deserved credit for their plucky endeavours which had Dundee rattled at times but the visitors also possessed menace on the break with Faissal El Bakhtaoui bringing out a fine save from Clark and then cracking the foot of the post. Dundee finally sealed it in the last knockings with a terrific drive from the impressive Leitch-Smith.

“It’s a brilliant way to end the year,” beamed Dundee manager Neil McCann. “I wasn’t pleased with the way we managed the second half. We invited pressure on ourselves. But I did finish our talk with the positive of saying that this was a huge win."