Scottish Premiership
St Johnstone1Inverness CT0

St Johnstone 1-0 Inverness CT

  • Brian Graham penalty wins game
  • Ross Draper sent off for Inverness
  • Caley Thistle drop to fourth in table

A Brian Graham penalty was enough to secure St Johnstone a deserved victory over Inverness Caledonian Thistle.

The defeat at McDiarmid Park meant the visitors slipped from second to fourth in the Scottish Premiership.

Graham won and converted the spot-kick, after he was tripped inside the area by Inverness goalkeeper Dean Brill.

There was a further setback for the visitors when they were reduced to 10 men with the dismissal of Ross Draper, and the game was then beyond them.

During different spells, both sides were able to claim possession of the ball for extended periods, but that alone was not enough to gain control of the outcome. There was a lack of penetration and creativity, so chances were sparse.

Billy McKay, for instance, tended to be isolated up front for Inverness, although the visitors were quick and agile on the counter attack, only for the delivery in the final third to let them down.

Aaron Doran saw a long-range effort deflected wide, but otherwise the visitors were relying on their concentration and their wits.

Inverness midfielder Ross Draper is sent off against St Johnstone
The dismissal of Draper (second from right) came just after Saints' goal

St Johnstone were able and industrious, with a good solid shape to the side and unpredictability whenever Michael O'Halloran set off on a direct run towards goal. All that was missing for the home side was poise at the critical moment.

A chance fell to Saints captain Dave MacKay inside the penalty area, and though his shot skewed through the legs of an Inverness defender Graeme Shinnie cleared off the line.

O'Halloran was sent through on goal before half-time, but his shot hit the chest of Brill as the keeper rushed off his line.

The home side would have been buoyed by their recent form - having been unbeaten in six games - and they remained full of conviction after the break.

Inverness were diminished, though McKay almost broke the deadlock with a well-struck free-kick that Brill tipped away.

The Highlanders may have felt under pressure, but there was also an element of controversy about the opening goal.

Graham was sent clear and Brill ran out to dive at his feet. The striker fell over with dramatic aplomb and, after a brief pause, referee Brian Colvin pointed to the spot.

After Graham had converted the spot-kick, Inverness were further hampered by the dismissal of Draper.

The midfielder made a strong challenge for the ball on Simon Lappin and appeared to throw out his elbow. Colvin made no hesitation with this decision, and immediately reached for his red card.

Inverness were not wholly subdued, and David Raven sent a shot flying across the face of the goal.

The home side were always dangerous on the break, though, and David Wotherspoon's shot from close range was pushed over by Brill.

Line-ups

St Johnstone

  • 1Mannus
  • 2Mackay
  • 6Anderson
  • 5Wright
  • 24Easton
  • 22CroftSubstituted forMillerat 90+3'minutes
  • 7MillarSubstituted forDavidsonat 55'minutes
  • 4Lappin
  • 29O'Halloran
  • 10WotherspoonSubstituted forMcDonaldat 88'minutes
  • 14Graham

Substitutes

  • 8McDonald
  • 15Banks
  • 16Caddis
  • 18Davidson
  • 19Miller
  • 20Brown
  • 33McLaren

Inverness CT

  • 12Brill
  • 2RavenBooked at 60mins
  • 6Meekings
  • 5Warren
  • 3ShinnieBooked at 62mins
  • 16Tansey
  • 4VincentSubstituted forWatkinsat 56'minutes
  • 22ChristieSubstituted forWilliamsat 85'minutes
  • 8DraperBooked at 67mins
  • 10DoranBooked at 28minsSubstituted forRossat 81'minutes
  • 7Mckay

Substitutes

  • 1Esson
  • 11Ross
  • 14Devine
  • 15Watkins
  • 18Tremarco
  • 19Williams
  • 20Polworth
Referee:
Brian Colvin
Attendance:
2,891

Match Stats

Home TeamSt JohnstoneAway TeamInverness CT
Possession
Home49%
Away51%
Shots
Home9
Away10
Shots on Target
Home4
Away4
Corners
Home8
Away2
Fouls
Home14
Away20

Live Text

Match ends, St. Johnstone 1, Inverness CT 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, St. Johnstone 1, Inverness CT 0.

Michael O'Halloran (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by David Raven (Inverness CT).

Substitution

Substitution, St. Johnstone. Gary Miller replaces Lee Croft.

Foul by Murray Davidson (St. Johnstone).

Billy McKay (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Gary McDonald (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Gary Warren (Inverness CT).

Brian Graham (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Nick Ross (Inverness CT).

Substitution

Substitution, St. Johnstone. Gary McDonald replaces David Wotherspoon.

Foul by Lee Croft (St. Johnstone).

Greg Tansey (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

David Mackay (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Graeme Shinnie (Inverness CT).

Substitution

Substitution, Inverness CT. Danny Williams replaces Ryan Christie.

Gary Warren (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Brian Graham (St. Johnstone).

Foul by Frazer Wright (St. Johnstone).

Marley Watkins (Inverness CT) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Substitution

Substitution, Inverness CT. Nick Ross replaces Aaron Doran.

Foul by Michael O'Halloran (St. Johnstone).

Gary Warren (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Corner, St. Johnstone. Conceded by Dean Brill.

Attempt saved. David Wotherspoon (St. Johnstone) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the right is saved in the top centre of the goal.

Hand ball by Marley Watkins (Inverness CT).

Ryan Christie (Inverness CT) hits the left post with a right footed shot from the right side of the box.

Lee Croft (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Graeme Shinnie (Inverness CT).

Attempt saved. Billy McKay (Inverness CT) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

Foul by Murray Davidson (St. Johnstone).

Graeme Shinnie (Inverness CT) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Steven Anderson (St. Johnstone).

(Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Lee Croft (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Graeme Shinnie (Inverness CT).

Dismissal

Ross Draper (Inverness CT) is shown the red card.

Simon Lappin (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Ross Draper (Inverness CT).

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic16122233102338
2Aberdeen1711152617934
3Hamilton17103430181233
4Inverness CT1710252418632
5Dundee Utd1610152819931
6St Johnstone178271517-226
7Dundee175662222021
8Kilmarnock176381722-521
9Partick Thistle175572320320
10Motherwell1742111227-1514
11Ross County1723121737-209
12St Mirren1722131131-208
View full Scottish Premiership table

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