Scottish Premiership
St JohnstoneSt Johnstone1Ross CountyRoss County1
By Martin DowdenBBC Scotland at McDiarmid Park

Graham Cummins' second-half equaliser earned St Johnstone a point for the second game in a row as the home side fought back against Ross County.

County started brightly and went ahead when Craig Curran outpaced the defence, latched on to Liam Boyce's pass and fired low across Alan Mannus.

The visitors had chances to extend that lead but Cummins struck moments after watching a shot strike the post.

His a controlled effort into the left corner ensured a point apiece.

Interviews - Wright and McIntyre

In a hard-fought, high tempo encounter a draw was a fair outcome, although both managers will point to chances that could have won the contest.

Jim Mcintyre's side were intent in starting strongly after conceding early penalties in their opening two matches this season.

They did just that with Andrew Davies given space and time at the back post with two headers which suggested frailty in the home defence.

Cummins earned a start for St Johnstone after two goals in two substitute appearances, and should have hit the target with a header from Liam Craig's corner.

Jackson Irvine then conceded cheap possession and Cummins hooked a cross from the left towards goal which Scott Fox held well.

Ross County looked sharper in this period though and Boyce's flick on to Irvine's chest allowed the midfielder in on goal, but his touch was marginally heavy and Mannus pounced.

Without defensive regulars Fraser Wright, Steven Anderson and Dave Mackay, the home side looked vulnerable at times in the first half and markedly so when the opener arrived.

Boyce measured a ball in behind for Curran to chase and the in-form striker struck a confident low shot into the far corner.

Craig Curran scores for Ross County against St Johnstone
Craig Curran netted his third goal in two games

Further dithering at the back for Saints allowed Raffaele De Vita to nip in but the ball was eventually gathered by Mannus.

Tommy Wright's side had presence up front in John Sutton and Cummins and it became more problematic for Ross County as the game wore on.

Sutton nodded a corner towards goal and it rebounded out to Craig but he lashed at it and the ball sailed wildly over.

The visitors then had two great chances to extend their lead.

De Vita stole in to meet Michael Gardyne's cross and watched as the ball crept inches wide via a Mannus touch.

Ian McShane then broke into the box but fired straight at Mannus.

St Johnstone looked far brighter as the second half got underway and Michael O'Halloran looked threatening when he broke on the right and narrowly failed to find John Sutton.

O'Halloran then completely outstripped the County defence before finding Cummins in the box and the big striker could only look on as his placed effort came back off the upright.

He did not have long to wait for a goal, however, as the ball fell to him inside the are on the right.

Cummins did hesitate and confidently angled his across Fox into the corner.

Neither side took a step back in a fiercely competitive second half.

De Vita did have a great opportunity when Mannus dropped a free-kick but the winger's attempt to loft the ball home drifted wide.

Either side could have won the match as the play ebbed and flowed but neither could find the opening they craved as the match ended frenetically but all square.

Line-ups

St Johnstone

  • 1Mannus
  • 14Shaughnessy
  • 15McKay
  • 3ScobbieBooked at 64mins
  • 24EastonBooked at 74mins
  • 10WotherspoonSubstituted forLappinat 74'minutes
  • 8Davidson
  • 26Craig
  • 29O'Halloran
  • 18CumminsSubstituted forKaneat 73'minutes
  • 11SuttonSubstituted forMacLeanat 83'minutes

Substitutes

  • 2Mackay
  • 4Lappin
  • 9MacLean
  • 12Clark
  • 16Caddis
  • 20Brown
  • 25Kane

Ross County

  • 1Fox
  • 2Fraser
  • 6RobertsonBooked at 31mins
  • 15Davies
  • 12Foster
  • 7Gardyne
  • 36Irvine
  • 8McShaneSubstituted forQuinnat 85'minutes
  • 24De VitaSubstituted forDingwallat 68'minutesBooked at 76mins
  • 11CurranBooked at 2mins
  • 10BoyceSubstituted forGrahamat 77'minutes

Substitutes

  • 4Quinn
  • 9Graham
  • 14Holden
  • 17Franks
  • 18Murdoch
  • 19Dingwall
  • 21Bachmann
Referee:
Alan Muir
Attendance:
3,065

Match Stats

Home TeamSt JohnstoneAway TeamRoss County
Possession
Home52%
Away48%
Shots
Home6
Away10
Shots on Target
Home2
Away6
Corners
Home8
Away6
Fouls
Home8
Away17

Live Text

  1. Post update

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

  2. Full Time

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

  3. Post update

    Corner, Ross County. Conceded by Brian Easton.

  4. Post update

    Corner, Ross County. Conceded by Liam Craig.

  5. Post update

    Corner, St. Johnstone. Conceded by Richard Foster.

  6. Post update

    Michael O'Halloran (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  7. Post update

    Foul by Tony Dingwall (Ross County).

  8. Post update

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

  9. Post update

    Steven MacLean (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  10. Post update

    Foul by Andrew Davies (Ross County).

  11. Post update

    Attempt missed. Brian Graham (Ross County) header from the centre of the box misses to the left.

  12. Substitution

    Substitution, Ross County. Rocco Quinn replaces Ian McShane.

  13. Post update

    Attempt missed. Simon Lappin (St. Johnstone) right footed shot from outside the box is too high.

  14. Substitution

    Substitution, St. Johnstone. Steven MacLean replaces John Sutton.

  15. Post update

    Liam Craig (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  16. Post update

    Foul by Tony Dingwall (Ross County).

  17. Post update

    Attempt saved. Michael Gardyne (Ross County) right footed shot from long range on the right is saved in the top centre of the goal.

  18. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Brian Graham (Ross County) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  19. Post update

    Michael O'Halloran (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  20. Post update

    Foul by Richard Foster (Ross County).

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