Scottish Premiership
St JohnstoneSt Johnstone2St MirrenSt Mirren0

St Johnstone 2-0 St Mirren

St Johnstone pushed back into the top six of the Scottish Premiership with a convincing home win against St Mirren.

A commanding first half for the hosts saw David Wotherspoon, Nigel Hasselbaink and Stevie May all denied.

Murray Davidson broke the deadlock from a Wotherspoon corner, nodding home after goalkeeper Chris Dilo had attempted to punch clear.

May then struck from the edge of the penalty area to clinch all three points for the Perth side.

The victory lifts the McDiarmid Park outfit above Hibernian and with a game in hand over the Easter Road side, while the Buddies remain in the lower half but still well clear of bottom club Hearts.

There was a minute's silence before the game in tribute to former St Johnstone player Ian Redford, who died on Friday.

An unchanged Saints side controlled the first 45 minutes with some conviction without being able to get the ball in the net.

Numerous attempts on the St Mirren goal began in the seventh minute when midfielder Wotherspoon forced Dilo into a decent save with a long-distance drive, although the corner came to nothing.

Moments later the Buddies' replacement keeper was less convincing when he batted a clearance off the on-rushing May and was glad to see the ball rebound behind for a goal-kick.

The busy St Johnstone striker then hit the top of the bar with a shot from the edge of the area after Hasselbaink and midfielder Murray Davidson combined at the edge of the box.

The Perth side were well on top and in the 24th minute a chance presented itself when May, with a fine reverse pass, sent Hasselbaink clear of St Mirren full-back Jason Naismith.

The former Buddies forward won the race for the ball with Dilo, but toe-poked it inches past the post from the edge of the area.

The Paisley keeper then did well to get his hand to an angled-drive from May, but soon had to rely on the woodwork to save him again.

In the 33rd minute, after Goodwin was penalised for a foul on Davidson 25 yards from goal, Mackay beat Dilo with his curling free-kick only to see the ball crash off the bar, with the Paisley side eventually clearing their lines.

The visitors' first real attempt on goal came a minute before the break when midfielder Paul McGowan fired wide from the edge of the box.

St Mirren started the second half in a more positive mode, forcing the home side back for the first time in the game, but St Johnstone soon reasserted themselves.

Goodwin, booked for a foul on May in the 65th minute, was shown some leniency by referee Calum Murray after a further two fouls, to the annoyance of the home support.

However, those fans soon changed their tune when Davidson forced in a Wotherspoon corner after a weak Dilo punch to give the home side the lead.

And they they were further elated three minutes later when May's curling effort from 20 yards beat Dilo and went in off a post.

St Mirren appeared to have little to say about their predicament as the Perth men piled forward in the search for more goals.

The home side passed up on more chances before keeper Alan Mannus made a good save from St Mirren substitute Stephane Bahoken, on for Adam Campbell, in injury-time to ensure a clean sheet.

Line-ups

St Johnstone

  • 1Mannus
  • 2Mackay
  • 3Scobbie
  • 8McDonald
  • 6Anderson
  • 5Wright
  • 7Millar
  • 18Davidson
  • 17MayBooked at 64mins
  • 11HasselbainkSubstituted forCroftat 78'minutesBooked at 87mins
  • 10WotherspoonSubstituted forO'Halloranat 88'minutes

Substitutes

  • 4Cregg
  • 15Banks
  • 19Miller
  • 20Brown
  • 22Croft
  • 29O'Halloran
  • 31Easton

St Mirren

  • 22Naismith
  • 18Kelly
  • 6GoodwinBooked at 65mins
  • 14McAusland
  • 4McGregor
  • 12CampbellSubstituted forBahokenat 54'minutes
  • 24Newton
  • 10McGowan
  • 9Thompson
  • 27GraingerBooked at 22mins
  • 30Dilo

Substitutes

  • 2van Zanten
  • 5Mair
  • 17Reilly
  • 19Bahoken
  • 26Brady
  • 29Hughes
Referee:
Calum Murray
Attendance:
2,329

Match Stats

Home TeamSt JohnstoneAway TeamSt Mirren
Possession
Home58%
Away42%
Shots
Home19
Away3
Shots on Target
Home6
Away0
Corners
Home9
Away3
Fouls
Home14
Away15

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, St Johnstone 2, St Mirren 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, St Johnstone 2, St Mirren 0.

  3. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Lee Croft (St Johnstone) left footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked.

  4. Post update

    Hand ball by Daniel Grainger (St Mirren).

  5. Substitution

    Substitution, St Johnstone. Michael O'Halloran replaces David Wotherspoon.

  6. Booking

    Lee Croft (St Johnstone) is shown the yellow card.

  7. Post update

    Foul by Lee Croft (St Johnstone).

  8. Post update

    Sean Kelly (St Mirren) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  9. Post update

    Attempt missed. Steve May (St Johnstone) right footed shot from the left side of the box is close, but misses to the right.

  10. Post update

    Foul by Chris Millar (St Johnstone).

  11. Post update

    James Goodwin (St Mirren) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  12. Post update

    Foul by David Mackay (St Johnstone).

  13. Post update

    Sean Kelly (St Mirren) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  14. Post update

    Lee Croft (St Johnstone) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  15. Post update

    Foul by Daniel Grainger (St Mirren).

  16. Substitution

    Substitution, St Johnstone. Lee Croft replaces Nigel Hasselbaink.

  17. Post update

    Corner, St Mirren. Conceded by Frazer Wright.

  18. Post update

    Attempt missed. Steve May (St Johnstone) right footed shot from outside the box is too high.

  19. Goal!

    Goal! St Johnstone 2, St Mirren 0. Steve May (St Johnstone) right footed shot from a difficult angle and long range on the left to the top right corner.

  20. Post update

    Corner, St Johnstone. Conceded by Sean Kelly.