Scottish Premiership
St JohnstoneSt Johnstone1Inverness CTInverness Caledonian Thistle1

St Johnstone 1-1 Inverness CT

By Martin DowdenBBC Scotland at McDiarmid Park

St Johnstone fought back against Inverness with Brian Graham's towering header earning a vital point to leave the race for Europe unresolved.

Inverness had gone ahead when David Raven's cross was knocked out to Aaron Doran, whose shot went in off the bar.

Danny Swanson had gone close early on for the home side with a wonderful curling effort which beat Ryan Esson but cracked off the bar.

In the closing stages, David Raven was dismissed for a second booking.

Scottish Cup finalists Inverness, who are third in the Premiership, are now four points clear of Dundee United and St Johnstone.

Third place will secure a Europa League qualifying spot next season but the Highlanders may achieve that through the cup and thus send the fourth-placed side into Europe as well.

Bitterly cold conditions seemed to suppress creativity early on, other than the invention of Swanson.

St Johnstone rolled the ball to the former United winger in space at the edge of the box and he measured a wonderful curling effort that smacked the goal frame.

Aaron Doran scores for Inverness Caledonian Thistle against St Johnstone
Doran temporarily gave Inverness the lead

Chances were scarce in that first half but Doran fired a warning of what would follow when he lofted an effort over from a tight angle.

Michael O'Halloran tried to raise the temperature when he outpaced Warren, only too see his rushed effort sail high and wide.

Inverness struggled to penetrate the St Johnstone rearguard but Danny Williams almost found the answer with a blistering long-range effort which Alan Mannus palmed to safety.

St Johnstone started the second half brightly and Steven MacLean and O'Halloran both had close-range chances to put the hosts ahead, the latter particularly wasteful when blasting over from a few yards.

John Hughes' side capitalised on that profligacy when Raven's cross eventually found its way to Doran, who arrived at speed to finish with composure.

The flow of the game was interrupted by a series of yellow cards but St Johnstone found a way back into the game.

Substitute Graham positioned himself around the six-yard box and Tam Scobbie's delivery was inch perfect, allowing the striker to power his header home beautifully.

Tommy Wright's side were further encouraged when Raven was ordered off for a second yellow card, leaving Inverness exposed.

The visitors saw the match out, though, and earned a point which may prove crucial in their quest for a European place.

However, they have still not won a league game since mid-February.

Inverness Caledonian Thistle defender David Raven is shown a red card against St Johnstone
Raven's match finished early

Line-ups

St Johnstone

Formation 4-4-1-1

  • 1Mannus
  • 2Mackay
  • 6AndersonBooked at 78mins
  • 3Scobbie
  • 19Miller
  • 11SwansonBooked at 90mins
  • 18DavidsonBooked at 61minsSubstituted forGrahamat 76'minutes
  • 7Millar
  • 29O'Halloran
  • 10WotherspoonBooked at 88mins
  • 9MacLeanBooked at 37minsSubstituted forMcFaddenat 73'minutes

Substitutes

  • 4Lappin
  • 5Wright
  • 14Graham
  • 15Banks
  • 16Caddis
  • 17McFadden
  • 25Kane

Inverness CT

Formation 4-4-2

  • 1Esson
  • 2RavenBooked at 85mins
  • 5Warren
  • 6MeekingsBooked at 90mins
  • 3Shinnie
  • 10DoranSubstituted forDevineat 76'minutes
  • 4VincentBooked at 27mins
  • 16Tansey
  • 19Williams
  • 7OfereBooked at 53mins
  • 15Watkins

Substitutes

  • 11Ross
  • 14Devine
  • 18Tremarco
  • 20Polworth
  • 22Christie
  • 25Kink
  • 31Mackay
Referee:
Andrew Dallas
Attendance:
2,986

Match Stats

Home TeamSt JohnstoneAway TeamInverness CT
Possession
Home48%
Away52%
Shots
Home5
Away6
Shots on Target
Home1
Away3
Corners
Home5
Away3
Fouls
Home16
Away21

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, St. Johnstone 1, Inverness CT 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, St. Johnstone 1, Inverness CT 1.

  3. Booking

    Danny Swanson (St. Johnstone) is shown the yellow card.

  4. Post update

    Danny Swanson (St. Johnstone) has gone down, but that's a dive.

  5. Booking

    Josh Meekings (Inverness CT) is shown the yellow card.

  6. Post update

    Steven Anderson (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  7. Post update

    Foul by Josh Meekings (Inverness CT).

  8. Post update

    Hand ball by Greg Tansey (Inverness CT).

  9. Booking

    David Wotherspoon (St. Johnstone) is shown the yellow card.

  10. Post update

    Foul by David Wotherspoon (St. Johnstone).

  11. Post update

    Danny Williams (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  12. Dismissal

    Second yellow card to David Raven (Inverness CT).

  13. Post update

    Danny Swanson (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  14. Post update

    Foul by David Raven (Inverness CT).

  15. Goal!

    Goal! St. Johnstone 1, Inverness CT 1. Brian Graham (St. Johnstone) header from the centre of the box to the top right corner. Assisted by Tam Scobbie with a cross.

  16. Post update

    Foul by Danny Swanson (St. Johnstone).

  17. Post update

    Greg Tansey (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  18. Post update

    Foul by David Wotherspoon (St. Johnstone).

  19. Post update

    Marley Watkins (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  20. Booking

    Steven Anderson (St. Johnstone) is shown the yellow card.