Scottish Cup - Fourth Round
St Johnstone2Ross County1

St Johnstone 2-1 Ross County

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Highlights - St Johnstone 2-1 Ross County

St Johnstone extended their grip on the Scottish Cup for at least another few weeks after they won a breathtaking tie at home to Ross County.

Tommy Wright's men were 2-0 ahead early through Michael O'Halloran and a fine effort from James McFadden.

County roared back through Jake Jervis, before the striker passed up a golden chance to level minutes later.

In an enthralling end Brian Graham, Dave Mackay, David Wotherspoon and O'Halloran all could have scored more.

It means Jim McIntyre leads his team back north with a second defeat in Perth in seven days, but the Scottish Premiership's bottom club can be heartened by their display, bar a nightmare opening.

Joe Cardle's inclusion ahead of the benched Michael Gardyne was the only change from last week's 2-1 win for the home side in the league.

County had struggled to get going in the first 45 minutes in the previous week and they were determined to assert themselves earlier this time.

Within 12 minutes they were 2-0 down.

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Interview - St Johnstone boss Tommy Wright

First James McFadden's free-kick rebounded off the wall to O'Halloran who was given the time to turn and drive past Mark Brown.

However, the assistant referee had flagged for offside against Graham who was standing in front of the goalkeeper, but it was ignored and the goal stood, to the fury of the Highlanders.

There was no doubt, though, about the second. The County defence sat off McFadden as he picked up a poor clearance, and gave him time to take a touch and pick a spot in the top corner from just outside the box.

Saints continued to flood forward with both goalscorers going close again.

County rallied before half-time. Martin Woods rattled in a shot from close range that was blocked, then Frazer Wright almost headed into his own net, forcing a great save from Alan Mannus.

The danger was always that they could lose a third with the home side breaking at pace, and Lee Croft was denied only by a goal-line clearance from Scott Boyd.

It was frantic action and the half-time break did little to curb the flow of the game.

Joe Cardle jinked past a huddle of blue shirts before hitting his shot the wrong side of the post, and Mannus had to tip over a Jamie Reckord shot.

Michael O'Halloran lashes in the opening goal as St Johnstone got off to the perfect start.
Michael O'Halloran lashes in the opening goal as St Johnstone got off to the perfect start.

At the other end O'Halloran's low drive was deflected over and Graham was inches away from finishing a McFadden cross.

If referee John Beaton had angered the visitors at the first goal, it was smart play from the man of the middle that allowed County to pull one back, playing advantage after Liam Boyce was sent sprawling.

Jervis beat the offside trap to collect the long ball forward and slotted past Mannus.

The relentless pace continued with four great chances from both sides all passed up.

Jervis should have made it all square when Filip Kiss picked him out in the box, but he swiped at the ball.

At the other end Graham thumped the ball off the bar, then knocked wide with the goal gaping shortly after Mackay had screwed a volley past the top corner.

Brown denied Wotherspoon at the near post, but County could only create half chances at the other end and the home side held on to make the next round.

Line-ups

St Johnstone

  • 1Mannus
  • 2Mackay
  • 6Anderson
  • 5WrightBooked at 31mins
  • 24Easton
  • 22CroftSubstituted forMillerat 89'minutes
  • 7Millar
  • 4Lappin
  • 29O'HalloranSubstituted forDavidsonat 64'minutes
  • 14Graham
  • 17McFaddenSubstituted forWotherspoonat 71'minutes

Substitutes

  • 10Wotherspoon
  • 11Morgan
  • 15Banks
  • 16Caddis
  • 18Davidson
  • 19Miller
  • 20Brown

Ross County

  • 21Brown
  • 8Brittain
  • 5Boyd
  • 43QuinnBooked at 61mins
  • 12ReckordBooked at 6mins
  • 26WoodsSubstituted forBoyceat 45'minutes
  • 36Irvine
  • 7Cardle
  • 23CareyBooked at 90mins
  • 30DingwallSubstituted forGardyneat 79'minutes
  • 9JervisSubstituted forArquinat 75'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Reguero
  • 15Arquin
  • 16Boyce
  • 18Frempah
  • 25Toshney
  • 31Dunfield
  • 40Gardyne
Referee:
John Beaton
Attendance:
2,383

Match Stats

Home TeamSt JohnstoneAway TeamRoss County
Possession
Home45%
Away55%
Shots
Home12
Away13
Shots on Target
Home3
Away4
Corners
Home7
Away8
Fouls
Home10
Away14

Live Text

Match ends, St. Johnstone 2, Ross County 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, St. Johnstone 2, Ross County 1.

Scott Boyd (Ross County) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Brian Graham (St. Johnstone).

Hand ball by Joe Cardle (Ross County).

Booking

Graham Carey (Ross County) is shown the yellow card.

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

Foul by Liam Boyce (Ross County).

Foul by Murray Davidson (St. Johnstone).

Scott Boyd (Ross County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

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

Chris Millar (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Joe Cardle (Ross County).

Corner, Ross County. Conceded by Steven Anderson.

Corner, Ross County. Conceded by Steven Anderson.

Attempt blocked. Richard Brittain (Ross County) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Foul by Murray Davidson (St. Johnstone).

Michael Gardyne (Ross County) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

David Wotherspoon (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Yoann Arquin (Ross County).

Attempt missed. David Mackay (St. Johnstone) left footed shot from the left side of the six yard box is close, but misses to the left.

Corner, St. Johnstone. Conceded by Mark Brown.

Attempt saved. David Wotherspoon (St. Johnstone) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

Foul by Steven Anderson (St. Johnstone).

Liam Boyce (Ross County) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Yoann Arquin (Ross County).

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

Substitution

Substitution, Ross County. Michael Gardyne replaces Tony Dingwall.

Attempt missed. Brian Graham (St. Johnstone) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left.

Attempt missed. David Mackay (St. Johnstone) left footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left.

Corner, St. Johnstone. Conceded by Richard Brittain.

Substitution

Substitution, Ross County. Yoann Arquin replaces Jake Jervis.

Brian Graham (St. Johnstone) hits the bar with a right footed shot from outside the box.

Substitution

Substitution, St. Johnstone. David Wotherspoon replaces James McFadden.

Attempt missed. Jake Jervis (Ross County) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right.

Brian Graham (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Scott Boyd (Ross County).

Attempt missed. Tony Dingwall (Ross County) right footed shot from the centre of the box is too high.

Substitution

Substitution, St. Johnstone. Murray Davidson replaces Michael O'Halloran.

Goal!

Goal! St. Johnstone 2, Ross County 1. Jake Jervis (Ross County) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Joe Cardle.

goal

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