Scottish Premiership
St JohnstoneSt Johnstone0Ross CountyRoss County1

Scottish Premiership: St Johnstone 0-1 Ross County

By Andrew SouthwickBBC Scotland

A first-half strike from Melvin De Leeuw eased Ross County's relegation fears as they defeated St Johnstone.

It was only the second away win of the season for Derek Adams' team, moving them above St Mirren and into 10th place in the Scottish Premiership.

St Johnstone passed up a number of chances, not least from Dave Mackay and Stevie May either side of half-time.

Steven Anderson also had the ball in the net in the final seconds, only for it to be ruled out for handball.

With Hibernian losing to Partick Thistle earlier in the day, St Johnstone had the opportunity to cement their place in the top six.

However, it was the Dingwall men who took advantage of the Easter Road side's defeat, moving to within just four points of the seventh-placed Leith men as they bid to haul themselves clear of the relegation play-off spot.

St Johnstone were keen to build on their midweek win over Dundee United, and could have been ahead after just two minutes.

Lee Croft hit the bye-line and picked out Nigel Hasselbaink, who headed just over. Mackay then had an effort blocked yards from the goal-line by Yoann Arquin.

Steven Anderson's late effort for St Johnstone is disallowed
Steven Anderson's late effort for St Johnstone is disallowed

The Perth side continued to have most of the play, but it was Ross County who took the lead in their first real foray forward.

Evangelos Ikonomou fed De Leeuw on the edge of the box, and he nudged the ball into space before unleashing a left-foot shot into the far corner.

The home side really should have been back on level terms when Richard Brittain allowed Mackay to meet Gary Miller's cross unmarked, but his downward header shaved a post.

De Leeuw could have made it 2-0 shortly after the restart when Jordan Slew played him through in space, but the Dutchman ran the ball too wide and his cross failed to trouble the St Johnstone defence.

Anderson was inches away from an equaliser when he met David Wotherspoon's free-kick at the back post. His header bounced agonisingly in a crowded six-yard box before being clawed behind by Mark Brown.

Brown pulled off an even better save minutes later. Yann Songo'o's headed clearance was unconvincing and May's overhead kick was headed for the net before the goalkeeper reacted to tip it over the bar.

With the next goal vital, the game was opening up . Arquin curled wide from just inside the box, then Filip Kiss struck a 35-yard effort that Alan Mannus almost spilled.

At the other end Chris Iwelumo chested down into the path of Steven MacLean, who volleyed wide.

Mackay again went close late on, with his deflected shot looking like it was set to creep under the bar, but Brown palmed it over.

There was further frustration seconds later for Tommy Wright's side when Anderson thought he had snatched a dramatic equaliser in injury-time.

Brown saved his header brilliantly on the line, but Iwelumo got to the rebound before Anderson headed in. The celebrations were cut short though with an alleged handball given against Iwelumo in the build-up.

St Johnstone manager Tommy Wright:

"It was a poor performance from us. We were out-worked in the first half and that doesn't happen too often.

"We're all down tonight but we're still in a great position for the top six and we'll pick ourselves up and get ready for Hibs next week."

Ross County manager Derek Adams:

"We were positive in the team we played and we were ambitious - and that paid off.

"We've done really well since 1 January. We are one of the form teams in the league and I'm delighted with the way we are playing."

Line-ups

St Johnstone

  • 1Mannus
  • 19Miller
  • 23ClancyBooked at 26mins
  • 12DunneSubstituted forMillarat 69'minutes
  • 2Mackay
  • 6Anderson
  • 22CroftSubstituted forWotherspoonat 45'minutes
  • 8McDonald
  • 9MacLean
  • 17May
  • 11HasselbainkSubstituted forIwelumoat 69'minutesBooked at 90mins

Substitutes

  • 4Cregg
  • 7Millar
  • 10Wotherspoon
  • 15Banks
  • 25Iwelumo
  • 29O'Halloran
  • 38Gilchrist

Ross County

  • 1Brown
  • 2Cikos
  • 26Oikonomou
  • 8Brittain
  • 5Boyd
  • 28Songo'o
  • 12TidserSubstituted forSaundersat 90'minutes
  • 7Kiss
  • 25SlewSubstituted forGlenat 84'minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 27Arquin
  • 11De LeeuwSubstituted forQuinnat 78'minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Gordon
  • 10Quinn
  • 15Glen
  • 21McLean
  • 22Saunders
  • 24Dingwall
  • 42McCarthy
Referee:
Bobby Madden
Attendance:
2,213

Match Stats

Home TeamSt JohnstoneAway TeamRoss County
Possession
Home54%
Away46%
Shots
Home9
Away9
Shots on Target
Home4
Away7
Corners
Home5
Away3
Fouls
Home15
Away12

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, St Johnstone 0, Ross County 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, St Johnstone 0, Ross County 1.

  3. Booking

    Gary Glen (Ross County) is shown the yellow card.

  4. Booking

    Chris Iwelumo (St Johnstone) is shown the yellow card.

  5. Post update

    Hand ball by Chris Iwelumo (St Johnstone).

  6. Post update

    Corner, St Johnstone. Conceded by Mark Brown.

  7. Post update

    Attempt saved. David Mackay (St Johnstone) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top right corner.

  8. Post update

    Chris Millar (St Johnstone) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  9. Post update

    Foul by Richard Brittain (Ross County).

  10. Substitution

    Substitution, Ross County. Steven Saunders replaces Michael Tidser.

  11. Post update

    Attempt missed. Filip Kiss (Ross County) header from very close range is just a bit too high.

  12. Post update

    Corner, Ross County. Conceded by Gary McDonald.

  13. Post update

    Hand ball by Steven MacLean (St Johnstone).

  14. Substitution

    Substitution, Ross County. Gary Glen replaces Jordan Slew.

  15. Post update

    Attempt saved. Yoann Arquin (Ross County) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top right corner.

  16. Substitution

    Substitution, Ross County. Rocco Quinn replaces Melvin De Leeuw.

  17. Post update

    Attempt missed. Steven MacLean (St Johnstone) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left.

  18. Post update

    Foul by Gary McDonald (St Johnstone).

  19. Post update

    Michael Tidser (Ross County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  20. Post update

    Attempt saved. Filip Kiss (Ross County) right footed shot from more than 35 yards is saved in the centre of the goal.

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic29253171145778
2Aberdeen28173840261454
3Motherwell2816394643351
4Dundee Utd29138852351747
5Inverness CT2713683326745
6St Johnstone29115133532338
7Hibernian30810122938-934
8Kilmarnock3086163752-1530
9Partick Thistle29611123246-1429
10Ross County2985163450-1629
11St Mirren2976162947-1827
12Hearts2956182554-296
View full Scottish Premiership table

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