Scottish Premiership
Ross County2St Johnstone3

Ross County 2-3 St Johnstone

Mackay curled home a superb winner with just two minutes remaining
Mackay curled home a superb winner with just two minutes remaining

A superb free-kick from Dave Mackay snatched victory for St Johnstone in a five-goal thriller at Victoria Park.

Saints appeared to be cruising when a double from David Wotherspoon gave them a two-goal cushion before half-time.

County hit back through Liam Boyce and a Murray Davidson own goal and looked to have earned a share of the points.

But Saints captain Mackay curled home a long-range strike in the dying minutes to snatch a seventh consecutive away win in all competitions.

Manager Tommy Wright will be thrilled that the winning away run continues, but his team made life difficult for themselves by surrendering a two-goal lead, and County will feel they might have won in the end as they pressed forward.

The Staggies had scored in every home game this season. More impressively, St Johnstone had scored in every domestic match and it did not take long for them to continue that run.

What seemed a harmless pass back to home keeper Woods resulted in a bizarre goal that had County boss Jim McIntyre fuming on the touchline.

Wotherspoon took his goals tally to five for the season
Wotherspoon took his goals tally to five for the season

The goalkeeper took his time with an attempted clearance but Wotherspoon had not given in and saw the ball ricochet off him and straight into the net for the opener.

The home side responded with Boyce directing a firm header on target from Jackson Irvine's near post cross, only to see Alan Mannus parry to safety.

Richard Foster almost created an equaliser with a cross from the left but Stewart Murdoch couldn't capitalise from close range under pressure with the goal gaping.

Tony Dingwall then narrowly missed the target with a low shot across Mannus as the home side stepped up the pace.

St Johnstone stamped their authority with a brilliant second. Wotherspoon cut inside Murdoch, into the area and curled a beauty past the outstretched arm of Woods to put his side firmly in command.

County got the shot in the arm they required arrived when Boyce reacted to a ball across the six yard box to slam County back into contention at 2-1.

They took heart from that and, from a corner, Andrew Davies and Davidson challenged for the ball, with the Saints midfielder steering the ball into his own net under pressure.

As the home side smelled blood they created some unrest in that St Johnstone back line but Wright's men have shown their fight and ability many times and pulled a win out of the bag at the finish.

Michael O'Halloran was hauled down by Davies. McKay sized up the free-kick from 25 yards and superbly curled it over the wall for a winner that not only reinforces their top six position, but has them within touching distance of the top three.

Line-ups

Ross County

  • 21Woods
  • 2Fraser
  • 15DaviesBooked at 87mins
  • 5Boyd
  • 12FosterBooked at 63mins
  • 19DingwallSubstituted forSchalkat 59'minutes
  • 36IrvineBooked at 64mins
  • 26Woods
  • 18MurdochSubstituted forFranksat 78'minutes
  • 10Boyce
  • 11Curran

Substitutes

  • 3Reckord
  • 4Quinn
  • 6Robertson
  • 8McShane
  • 17Franks
  • 23Schalk
  • 31Severn

St Johnstone

  • 1Mannus
  • 14Shaughnessy
  • 2Mackay
  • 22FisherBooked at 68mins
  • 3Scobbie
  • 10WotherspoonSubstituted forCaddisat 90+1'minutes
  • 7Millar
  • 8DavidsonBooked at 45mins
  • 26Craig
  • 9MacLean
  • 29O'HalloranSubstituted forEastonat 90+2'minutes

Substitutes

  • 11Sutton
  • 12Clark
  • 15McKay
  • 16Caddis
  • 24Easton
  • 25Kane
  • 27Thomson
Referee:
Kevin Clancy
Attendance:
3,229

Match Stats

Home TeamRoss CountyAway TeamSt Johnstone
Possession
Home54%
Away46%
Shots
Home9
Away9
Shots on Target
Home4
Away6
Corners
Home7
Away4
Fouls
Home18
Away6

Live Text

Match ends, Ross County 2, St. Johnstone 3.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Ross County 2, St. Johnstone 3.

Substitution

Substitution, St. Johnstone. Brian Easton replaces Michael O'Halloran.

Substitution

Substitution, St. Johnstone. Liam Caddis replaces David Wotherspoon.

Goal!

Goal! Ross County 2, St. Johnstone 3. David Mackay (St. Johnstone) from a free kick with a right footed shot to the bottom right corner.

Booking

Andrew Davies (Ross County) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Andrew Davies (Ross County).

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

Attempt saved. Liam Boyce (Ross County) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Foul by Alex Schalk (Ross County).

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

Steven MacLean (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Scott Boyd (Ross County).

Foul by Marcus Fraser (Ross County).

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

Attempt missed. Liam Boyce (Ross County) header from the centre of the box misses to the right.

Attempt missed. Murray Davidson (St. Johnstone) right footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high.

Foul by Liam Boyce (Ross County).

Joe Shaughnessy (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Ross County. Jonathan Franks replaces Stewart Murdoch.

Corner, St. Johnstone. Conceded by Andrew Davies.

Goal!

Goal! Ross County 2, St. Johnstone 2. Andrew Davies (Ross County) header from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Alex Schalk with a cross.

Corner, Ross County. Conceded by Liam Craig.

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

Foul by Chris Millar (St. Johnstone).

Tam Scobbie (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Alex Schalk (Ross County).

Corner, Ross County. Conceded by Tam Scobbie.

Corner, Ross County. Conceded by Joe Shaughnessy.

Foul by Liam Boyce (Ross County).

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

Corner, Ross County. Conceded by Tam Scobbie.

Corner, Ross County. Conceded by Tam Scobbie.

Goal!

Goal! Ross County 1, St. Johnstone 2. Liam Boyce (Ross County) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Stewart Murdoch.

Booking

Darnell Fisher (St. Johnstone) is shown the yellow card.

Andrew Davies (Ross County) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Michael O'Halloran (St. Johnstone).

Attempt saved. Martin Woods (Ross County) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Attempt missed. David Wotherspoon (St. Johnstone) left footed shot from outside the box is too high.

Booking

Jackson Irvine (Ross County) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic16123141122939
2Aberdeen1711242718935
3Hearts1694329171231
4St Johnstone179353526930
5Hamilton166462122-122
6Ross County176382525021
7Dundee174852227-520
8Inverness CT164571722-517
9Partick Thistle164571723-617
10Kilmarnock174581830-1217
11Motherwell164391323-1015
12Dundee Utd1723121333-209
View full Scottish Premiership table

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