St Johnstone: Broken cheekbone fear for Steven Anderson

St Johnstone defender Steven Anderson with a bruised cheek
Anderson went off 20 minutes from time

St Johnstone defender Steven Anderson suffered a suspected broken cheekbone as his side crashed out of Europa League qualifying against Alashkert.

And manager Tommy Wright was left angry at the incident as his side were knocked out on away goals by Armenians playing their first tie in Europe.

"I've seen it again on the video," he told BBC Scotland. "It was an assault, he's just flown in with an elbow.

"How the referee at that stage gives a free-kick to them is beyond me."

Alashkert travelled to Perth with a slim advantage thanks to last week's first-leg winner by Mihran Manasyan.

And Saints' cause was not helped by the absence through injury of Dave Mackay, Simon Lappin, David Wotherspoon, Chris Millar and Murray Davidson.

"They are all big players for us," said Wright. "I think I've a strong squad, but we can't cope with losing those guys.

"And I've lost people again tonight - Frazer Wright and Steven Anderson, who has had to go to hospital, with a possible fractured cheekbone. He's concussed, he's been sick."

Alashkert's Gevorg Poghosyan and Vaghan Minasyan celebrate at full-time
Alashkert progress after winning their debut European tie

Michael O'Halloran's first-half strike levelled the tie in Perth and Karen Muradyan's sending off shortly after appeared to give the Saints hope.

However, Narek Gyozalyan pounced to score when Saints failed to deal with a long ball through the heart of their defence.

"At 1-0, we're comfortable against 10 men and then we let one straight ball do us," Wright complained.

"It was a shocking goal to give away.

"Over the two legs, you've got to give them a bit of credit, but we've given away two bad goals and that's come back to haunt us."

Wright admitted that his side had not performed well enough to progress.

"We've been in Europe for four years and we've enjoyed it," he said.

"We've only had three weeks off this time and that's made it difficult to cope with.

"That's not an excuse because it's poor from us tonight against 10 men.

"I wanted to still be in Europe, but we would have struggled numbers-wise to go away next week.

"But we've got time to recover, the season doesn't start until August and we'll maybe look at a bit of rest for some of them."

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