Scottish Premiership
St JohnstoneSt Johnstone2St MirrenSt Mirren0

St Johnstone 2-0 St Mirren

By Andrew SouthwickBBC Scotland

St Johnstone closed the gap on fourth-placed Dundee United to two points with a comfortable home win over struggling St Mirren.

Brian Graham passed up a host of first-half chances but eventually broke the deadlock with a close range finish.

Steven Anderson headed in at the back post to quell signs of a St Mirren comeback.

St Mirren tried to rally but find themselves four points adrift at the bottom of the Scottish Premiership.

With Motherwell, Ross County and Partick Thistle all posting wins, Gary Teale's men are in need of inspiration if they are to avoid relegation with just eight games left to preserve their top flight status.

St Johnstone showed the more urgency in the opening stages with Graham twice getting a sight of goal.

His first effort was headed wide after he slipped between two defenders. His second a drilled shot straight at the goalkeeper from an acute angle.

The visitors weathered the early storm and started to venture forward with Steven Thompson close to finishing Alan Gow's low cross.

Graham continued to be guilty of passing up chances at the other end; curling a shot wide before failing to direct another header on target.

However, the striker finally found the back of the net as the visitors relented under the constant waves of home pressure.

David Wotherspoon's cross found Graham free in the area, and he was able to get the ball out from under his foot before goalkeeper Mark Ridgers could react.

St Mirren started the second half with a lot more purpose and James Dayton drove a shot just wide of the far post after Stephen Mallan had released him.

The hosts were still enjoying large spells of domination though and both Graham and Anderson went close with headers before they latter eventually doubled their lead, bulleting Wotherspoon's corner in at the back post.

Viktor Genev almost gave the visitors a foothold in the game but Alan Mannus denied him from point blank range, pushing his shot over the bar.

St Mirren did not give up the fight and tried to keep going forward, but the goalkeeper was remaining largely untroubled as they struggled to carve out a clear opportunity.

St Johnstone were happy to pick them off on the counter attack, and Wotherspoon twice found space on the right hand side before firing over.

Murray Davidson was teed up on the edge of the box but could not quite find the power to find a late third.

Line-ups

St Johnstone

  • 1Mannus
  • 2Mackay
  • 6Anderson
  • 5Wright
  • 24EastonBooked at 82mins
  • 10Wotherspoon
  • 7Millar
  • 18Davidson
  • 29O'HalloranSubstituted forSwansonat 79'minutes
  • 14GrahamSubstituted forKaneat 81'minutes
  • 9MacLean

Substitutes

  • 3Scobbie
  • 11Swanson
  • 15Banks
  • 17McFadden
  • 19Miller
  • 22Croft
  • 25Kane

St Mirren

  • 12Ridgers
  • 2Naismith
  • 6Goodwin
  • 52Genev
  • 22TesselaarBooked at 74mins
  • 17DaytonSubstituted forArquinat 53'minutes
  • 31MallanSubstituted forSadlierat 75'minutes
  • 7McGinn
  • 3Kelly
  • 9Thompson
  • 8GowSubstituted forMclearat 73'minutes

Substitutes

  • 4McAusland
  • 10Sadlier
  • 11Wylde
  • 14Reilly
  • 15Arquin
  • 28Kello
  • 32Mclear
Referee:
John Beaton
Attendance:
3,166

Match Stats

Home TeamSt JohnstoneAway TeamSt Mirren
Possession
Home56%
Away44%
Shots
Home13
Away6
Shots on Target
Home4
Away2
Corners
Home3
Away1
Fouls
Home14
Away17

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

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

  4. Post update

    Foul by Lewis Mclear (St. Mirren).

  5. Post update

    Attempt saved. Murray Davidson (St. Johnstone) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

  6. Post update

    Foul by Steven Anderson (St. Johnstone).

  7. Post update

    Kieran Sadlier (St. Mirren) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  8. Post update

    Foul by Christopher Kane (St. Johnstone).

  9. Post update

    John McGinn (St. Mirren) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  10. Post update

    Foul by Steven MacLean (St. Johnstone).

  11. Post update

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

  12. Post update

    Murray Davidson (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  13. Post update

    Foul by Kieran Sadlier (St. Mirren).

  14. Post update

    Attempt missed. Steven Thompson (St. Mirren) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left.

  15. Booking

    Brian Easton (St. Johnstone) is shown the yellow card.

  16. Post update

    Foul by Brian Easton (St. Johnstone).

  17. Post update

    Jason Naismith (St. Mirren) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  18. Substitution

    Substitution, St. Johnstone. Christopher Kane replaces Brian Graham.

  19. Substitution

    Substitution, St. Johnstone. Danny Swanson replaces Michael O'Halloran.

  20. Post update

    Attempt missed. David Wotherspoon (St. Johnstone) right footed shot from the right side of the box is just a bit too high.