St Mirren 1-1 St Johnstone

By Clive LindsayBBC Sport Scotland at St Mirren Park

Nine-man St Johnstone survived a late assault from St Mirren to extend their unbeaten run in Paisley to 11 games.

Murray Davidson had risen superbly to head the Perth side into an undeserved lead early in the first half.

But Steven Anderson was sent off for a trip just before half-time and Chris Millar followed after a second yellow card with 20 minutes remaining.

Paul Dummett powered home an equaliser, but Saints' rearguard effort and some poor Buddies finishing ensured a draw.

While history was in the visitors' favour, form was not, with St Johnstone having won only once in six outings and their hosts looking to extend their unbeaten run to four games.

And it was St Mirren who exerted the early pressure.

Manager Danny Lennon admitted prior to kick-off that the scouts were out in force looking at Scotland Under-21 midfielder Kenny McLean, but it was the even younger John McGinn who was to impress most in black and white.

The 18-year-old forced a fine one-handed save from goalkeeper Alan Mannus and Gary Teale flashed another effort across goal from the resulting corner.

St Mirren, with captain Jim Goodwin and top scorer Steven Thompson back in the side, were playing neat possession football as they probed for openings.

However, St Johnstone were dangerous on the break and Liam Craig ought to have at least found the target instead of heading meekly over when found unmarked by a Gregory Tade cross.

That vulnerability at the back was exploited again shortly after when the Perth side took what was a lead they hardly deserved on the balance and quality of play.

Callum Davidson, the veteran former Scotland defender back from injury to replace the suspended Dave Mackay, curled in a cross that was flicked on by Craig and Murray Davidson rose above his marker to power a header past Craig Samson's despairing hand.

The goalkeeper did manage to prevent the lead being extended when he stretched full length to turn wide a drive from Steven MacLean that was curling into the far post after the striker was given too much space 25 yards from goal.

The flow of the match was to turn again thanks to some calamitous defending by Anderson.

His first slip allowed Lewis Guy an opportunity to fire just wide from the edge of the area and his subsequent hesitation moments later led to him downing the Buddies forward.

With the defender sent off for denying a goalscoring opportunity, McLean forced a fine save from Mannus with a powerful low free-kick.

St Mirren should have been level at the break when, after some fancy footwork followed by a thundering drive from McGinn, the ball crashed off the crossbar and into the path of the unmarked Marc McAusland, but the defender bundled the ball wide.

The home side took control after the break and the tide truly turned when Millar was shown a yellow card for halting the dancing feet of McGinn in their tracks.

St Mirren immediately took advantage of the defensive disarray as McLean's thundering drive was pushed into the path of Dummett, who fired his first goal for the Paisley outfit.

Teale blazed over from a promising position, McGinn fired low off the outside of the far post and Thompson glanced a header wide then had another cleared off the line by Frazer Wright.

However, despite their late siege, the Buddies had to make do with the small consolation of extending their unbeaten run but having missed a golden opportunity to end their Saints hoodoo.