Scottish Premiership
St JohnstoneSt Johnstone1Ross CountyRoss County1

Scottish Premiership: St Johnstone 1-1 Ross County

By Chick YoungBBC Scotland at McDiarmid Park

Scottish League Cup winners Ross County rallied to claim a point in Perth and remain level with St Johnstone in the race for a European qualifying spot.

David Wotherspoon rifled home a volley into the roof of the net from a tight angle to give Saints an early lead.

Brian Graham, Michael Gardyne and David Goodwillie all spurned first-half chances for the Highland outfit.

But when substitute Liam Boyce was brought down in the box after 64 minutes, Graham's penalty levelled it.

The two sides, level on points and goal difference at the outset, remain in joint fourth place in the Premiership.

Saints manager Tommy Wright was missing from the home dug-out because of a stomach bug, with assistant Callum Davidson taking charge in his absence.

County, with three changes from their Hampden triumph, were desperate to maintain their fine form and underlined their determination with a lovely move engineered by Jackson Irvine which climaxed with Graham shooting across goal but beyond the far post.

But that woke Saints up and they took the lead in the 11th minute.

Swanson drove powerfully deep into the County half, before Joe Shaughnessy curled in a cross which Wotherspoon, off balance, volleyed home from six yards.

It was an early blow but it clearly affected the Highlanders after an emotional few days since securing their first piece of major silverware by beating Hibs in the League Cup final.

Brian Graham slots home a penalty for Ross County
Graham's second-half penalty was deserved rewards for County's efforts

They spent the rest of the first half toiling to get themselves back into it but Graham, when set up by Irvine; Gardyne ,with a right-footed shot coming in off the left flank; and Goodwillie, with a weak shot straight at Alan Mannus, couldn't fashion a breakthrough.

St Johnstone upped the pressure in the second half and County keeper Gary Woods was a busy man, producing a couple of special saves, in particular a block from Chris Kane.

Woods' defiance lifted his team-mates and County got their equaliser in the 66th minute.

Boyce was brought down just inside the box by Steven Anderson - on the day he matched Saints' club appearance record of 361 set by Alan Main - and Graham confidently dispatched the resulting penalty.

The loss of that goal will hardly be what the doctor ordered for the ailing Wright but the quality of the game in any case would not have lifted the spirits of a crowd of just 2,501.

Martin Woods might have won it for the visitors late on when put through by Hampden match-winner Alex Schalk, but tugged his shot wide.

Line-ups

St Johnstone

Formation 4-4-2

  • 1Mannus
  • 24Easton
  • 3Scobbie
  • 6Anderson
  • 14Shaughnessy
  • 16SwansonSubstituted forCraigat 80'minutes
  • 4LappinBooked at 66mins
  • 8Davidson
  • 10Wotherspoon
  • 9MacLean
  • 25KaneSubstituted forCumminsat 73'minutes

Substitutes

  • 5Doyle
  • 7Millar
  • 11Sutton
  • 12Clark
  • 18Cummins
  • 26Craig
  • 66Krachunov

Ross County

Formation 3-5-2

  • 21Woods
  • 15Davies
  • 43Quinn
  • 2Fraser
  • 7Gardyne
  • 36Irvine
  • 26Woods
  • 8McShane
  • 17FranksSubstituted forFosterat 80'minutes
  • 9GrahamSubstituted forSchalkat 73'minutes
  • 25GoodwillieSubstituted forBoyceat 61'minutes

Substitutes

  • 6Robertson
  • 10Boyce
  • 12Foster
  • 13Konopka
  • 18Murdoch
  • 23Schalk
  • 24De Vita
Referee:
Steven McLean
Attendance:
2,501

Match Stats

Home TeamSt JohnstoneAway TeamRoss County
Possession
Home49%
Away51%
Shots
Home9
Away7
Shots on Target
Home3
Away4
Corners
Home5
Away3
Fouls
Home8
Away11

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 Alan Mannus.

  4. Post update

    Attempt saved. Michael Gardyne (Ross County) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

  5. Post update

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

  6. Post update

    Foul by Martin Woods (Ross County).

  7. Post update

    Attempt missed. Graham Cummins (St. Johnstone) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right.

  8. Post update

    Attempt missed. Michael Gardyne (Ross County) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses the top right corner.

  9. Substitution

    Substitution, St. Johnstone. Liam Craig replaces Danny Swanson.

  10. Substitution

    Substitution, Ross County. Richard Foster replaces Jonathan Franks.

  11. Post update

    Corner, Ross County. Conceded by Brian Easton.

  12. Substitution

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

  13. Substitution

    Substitution, Ross County. Alex Schalk replaces Brian Graham.

  14. Post update

    Attempt missed. Simon Lappin (St. Johnstone) left footed shot from the left side of the six yard box is just a bit too high.

  15. Post update

    Attempt missed. Murray Davidson (St. Johnstone) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left.

  16. Booking

    Simon Lappin (St. Johnstone) is shown the yellow card.

  17. Goal!

    Goal! St. Johnstone 1, Ross County 1. Brian Graham (Ross County) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the bottom right corner.

  18. Post update

    Penalty conceded by Steven Anderson (St. Johnstone) after a foul in the penalty area.

  19. Post update

    Penalty Ross County. Liam Boyce draws a foul in the penalty area.

  20. Post update

    Corner, Ross County. Conceded by Murray Davidson.

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic29206372234966
2Aberdeen30205551321965
3Hearts29168551262556
4Ross County30124144547-240
5St Johnstone30117124547-240
6Motherwell30115143645-938
7Dundee2981294043-336
8Partick Thistle2997132937-834
9Inverness CT2989123441-733
10Hamilton3089133349-1633
11Kilmarnock3077163053-2328
12Dundee Utd2955193053-2320
View full Scottish Premiership table

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