Scottish Premiership
St Johnstone2Ross County4

Scottish Premiership: St Johnstone 2-4 Ross County

County's Michael Gardyne and Craig Curran celebrate
Craig Curran (right) put County 3-0 ahead

Ross County ended their 10-game run without a victory to lift themselves off the bottom of the table by edging a six-goal thriller against St Johnstone.

Powerful headers from Jay McEveley and Christopher Routis put County in command by half-time.

Craig Curran nodded the visitors further in front after the break.

Danny Swanson reduced the deficit from the penalty spot and Steven MacLean's clinical strike made for a tense finish before Liam Boyce's decisive header.

The victory means County leap off the bottom into eighth place in the Scottish Premiership.

Although Tommy Wright's Perth side remain fifth, they have now lost three of their last four games at McDiarmid Park.

Relief for County

Christopher Routis celebrates for County
Christopher Routis scored his first goal for County

The tight nature of the bottom half of the Premiership means County's first win in 11 games has lifted them to within a point of sixth place.

Having taken an encouraging point from their previous match against Rangers, County belied their lowly status by sweeping into a three-goal lead.

As each of the goals went in, their confidence grew and Curran's goal was a particularly impressive move and finish.

This was much more like the County of last season, although they had to survive a nervy period before Boyce made sure of the three points.

Saints slump

St Johnstone have hit a rut and are now without a win in four matches.

Their failure to defend crosses was their downfall here - all of County's goals came from cross-balls.

It's difficult to fathom why as the back four has a settled look about it, but Wright has work to do to improve matters.

They still look a threat going forward, but the absence of important players like Murray Davidson and Chris Millar leaves them lacking a bit of presence in the centre of the park.

Burke and Boyce a big boost

In contrast, the return of Boyce to full fitness has been a major lift for County.

His goal threat is obvious, but his hold-up play is also invaluable to Jim McIntyre and his team.

Although there was a massive slice of luck about his goal, his overall contribution merited such a break, which effectively killed off Saints.

Just as important to the County cause is the wing-play of Chris Burke, whose speed, trickery and delivery makes him a terrific asset and helped bring about the Staggies' first victory since August.

What the managers said

St Johnstone's Tommy Wright (left) and Ross County's Jim McIntyre
St Johnstone's Tommy Wright (left) and Ross County's Jim McIntyre

St Johnstone manager Tommy Wright: "They probably worked harder than us today, but I've got to look at how we conceded the goals and that's totally unacceptable.

"All four goals - and I've told them in there - they're shocking. You can't defend the way we did today and win games.

"The last few games I'd say we've given away seven, possibly eight, diabolical goals and, for me, it's down to individual errors.

"We've conceded too many cheap goals. We had a spell last season where we did it and we're in a spell at the minute and players have got to take responsibility."

Ross County manager Jim McIntyre: "Hearing that you've not won in 10 games is not a stat you're very proud of, so it was great.

"I thought the players put in a fabulous effort today in terms of their work-rate and I thought we showed a lot of quality on the ball as well.

"It's one win - that's all it is. It's great to get off the bottom, but we just want to build on it and try to get some consistency into the side that's been lacking this season.

"There was no-one panicking at our place. We weren't happy where we were but we knew we weren't far away either.

"We know, if we play with that tempo and quality, we can hurt the opposition."

Line-ups

St Johnstone

  • 12ClarkSubstituted forMannusat 51'minutes
  • 19FosterBooked at 62mins
  • 14ShaughnessySubstituted forScobbieat 45'minutes
  • 6AndersonBooked at 4mins
  • 24Easton
  • 4Alston
  • 18PatonBooked at 55mins
  • 26CraigSubstituted forKaneat 45'minutes
  • 10Wotherspoon
  • 11Swanson
  • 9MacLean

Substitutes

  • 1Mannus
  • 3Scobbie
  • 17Coulson
  • 23Gordon
  • 25Kane
  • 29Cummins
  • 32McLaren

Ross County

  • 1FoxSubstituted forMcCareyat 45'minutes
  • 2Fraser
  • 15Davies
  • 5McEveleyBooked at 65mins
  • 28van der WegBooked at 45mins
  • 22BurkeSubstituted forDowat 86'minutes
  • 12Chow
  • 4Routis
  • 7Gardyne
  • 11CurranSubstituted forSchalkat 78'minutes
  • 10Boyce

Substitutes

  • 3Cikos
  • 9Dow
  • 16Dingwall
  • 18McShane
  • 23Schalk
  • 31McCarey
  • 53Morrison
Referee:
John Beaton
Attendance:
2,554

Match Stats

Home TeamSt JohnstoneAway TeamRoss County
Possession
Home47%
Away53%
Shots
Home8
Away10
Shots on Target
Home3
Away5
Corners
Home7
Away3
Fouls
Home11
Away12

Live Text

Match ends, St. Johnstone 2, Ross County 4.

Full Time

Second Half ends, St. Johnstone 2, Ross County 4.

Attempt missed. David Wotherspoon (St. Johnstone) right footed shot from outside the box is too high from a direct free kick.

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

Foul by Jay McEveley (Ross County).

Attempt blocked. Brian Easton (St. Johnstone) left footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked.

Substitution

Substitution, Ross County. Ryan Dow replaces Chris Burke.

Foul by Brian Easton (St. Johnstone).

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

Goal!

Goal! St. Johnstone 2, Ross County 4. Liam Boyce (Ross County) header from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Kenny van der Weg.

David Wotherspoon (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Alex Schalk (Ross County).

David Wotherspoon (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Liam Boyce (Ross County).

Goal!

Goal! St. Johnstone 2, Ross County 3. Steven MacLean (St. Johnstone) right footed shot from very close range to the top right corner. Assisted by Brian Easton.

Substitution

Substitution, Ross County. Alex Schalk replaces Craig Curran.

Foul by Christopher Kane (St. Johnstone).

Andrew Davies (Ross County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt missed. Craig Curran (Ross County) right footed shot from the centre of the box is too high.

Foul by Christopher Kane (St. Johnstone).

Andrew Davies (Ross County) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Goal!

Goal! St. Johnstone 1, Ross County 3. Danny Swanson (St. Johnstone) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the top right corner.

Booking

Jay McEveley (Ross County) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Penalty conceded by Jay McEveley (Ross County) with a hand ball in the penalty area.

Attempt blocked. Blair Alston (St. Johnstone) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Goal!

Goal! St. Johnstone 0, Ross County 3. Craig Curran (Ross County) header from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Liam Boyce.

Booking

Richard Foster (St. Johnstone) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Richard Foster (St. Johnstone).

Michael Gardyne (Ross County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt missed. Christopher Routis (Ross County) right footed shot from outside the box is too high from a direct free kick.

Booking

Paul Paton (St. Johnstone) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Michael Gardyne (Ross County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Paul Paton (St. Johnstone).

Attempt missed. Chris Burke (Ross County) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left.

Attempt saved. Danny Swanson (St. Johnstone) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the right is saved in the bottom right corner.

Corner, St. Johnstone. Conceded by Jay McEveley.

Substitution

Substitution, St. Johnstone. Alan Mannus replaces Zander Clark because of an injury.

Corner, St. Johnstone. Conceded by Kenny van der Weg.

Substitution

Substitution, Ross County. Aaron McCarey replaces Scott Fox because of an injury.

Substitution

Substitution, St. Johnstone. Christopher Kane replaces Liam Craig.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic1211103582734
2Aberdeen1373322121024
3Rangers136521713423
4Hearts125432114719
5St Johnstone145451919019
6Motherwell134361720-315
7Inverness CT143562027-714
8Ross County143561425-1114
9Kilmarnock143561224-1214
10Partick Thistle133461519-413
11Hamilton122641216-412
12Dundee143381219-712
View full Scottish Premiership table

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