Scottish Premiership
St Johnstone2Ross County0

St Johnstone 2-0 Ross County

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Highlights: St Johnstone 2-0 Ross County

Murray Davidson scored twice against 10-man Ross County as St Johnstone eased their relegation fears and earned a first home win since September.

Scott Tanser's cross was headed down by Steven MacLean into the path of Davidson, who drilled the ball into the net for his first.

Then Davidson's powerful shot made it two when County goalkeeper Scott Fox could not keep it out.

County's Craig Curran was sent off late on after pushing over Steven MacLean.

St Johnstone fully deserved the win, while Ross County's promising form of the last two weeks was not in evidence. The result moves the home side nine points clear of County, who stay rooted to the bottom of the Premiership.

The opening of the match saw both teams set-up in 4-4-2 formation but their effort and endeavour saw them effectively cancel each other out.

St Johnstone had enjoyed the better territorial advantage throughout the half and they engineered the breakthrough in a simple but effective manner. Tanser supplied the cross from the right, MacLean stepped away from his man to knock a header into the path of Davidson to finish from close range.

The lift to the home side was obvious and they ensured a satisfying half-time with a second goal. Davidson reacted well to Chris Kane's blocked effort falling to him outside the box. He let fly with a sweeping volley which looked to have been stopped by Fox in the County goal as he dived well to his right, but rather than clear the bar his touch fell underneath into the net.

The game was almost ended as a contest when a David Wotherspoon cross was met by Marcus Fraser facing his own goal, but his strong connection ricocheted off the bar.

Ross County manager Owen Coycle made a double change, but they failed to yield the desired effect as St Johnstone continued to control the game and if their passing in the final third had been better then they could have extended their lead.

Ross County's Craig Curran pushes over St Johsntone's Steven MacLean
Craig Curran pushed over Steven MacLean, leading to a second yellow card for the Ross County striker

The second half was like the first but without the goals. Ross County looked unable to find a constructive route to goal, though they forced a meaningful save from Allan Mannus through David Keillor-Dunn close-range shot.

By that point Ross County had been reduced to 10 men. Substitute Curran, who had been yellow carded for a foul, needlessly got involved in a spat after Joe Shaughnessy attempted to blast the ball out of play after Ross County failed to return it following an injury.

Shaughnessy's clearance hit Fraser who reacted angrily and in the following coming together Curran was yellow carded for grappling MacLean to the floor.

Post-match reaction

St Johnstone manager Tommy Wright: "I thought it was an excellent performance. We controlled the game from start to finish. Their first serious effort was in the 90th minute. I'm probably disappointed we didn't score more.

"Now we've two games in hand and are only five points off Motherwell.

"At least we were more positive at home. Today we were on the front foot from the first whistle. The crowd got really behind them today, sometimes it can be a bit quiet here.

"It's important to try to go on a run now."

Ross County manager Owen Coyle: "The first goal turned the game in St Johnstone's favour, and from then on they were the better team and deserved the points.

"We got no-where near the standard we've shown in recent weeks and that's hugely disappointing. We had a lot of fans who traveled down and I'm disappointed for them because we didn't do enough to get back in the game.

"Our best chances actually came in the last couple of minutes when we were down to 10 men."

Line-ups

St Johnstone

  • 1Mannus
  • 5Shaughnessy
  • 15Kerr
  • 6Anderson
  • 3Tanser
  • 4Alston
  • 7MillarSubstituted forMcCleanat 88'minutes
  • 8DavidsonBooked at 33mins
  • 10WotherspoonSubstituted forCraigat 83'minutes
  • 25KaneBooked at 59minsSubstituted forJohnstoneat 78'minutes
  • 9MacLeanBooked at 86mins

Substitutes

  • 11Williams
  • 12Clark
  • 14Comrie
  • 17Johnstone
  • 20McClean
  • 23Gordon
  • 26Craig

Ross County

  • 1Fox
  • 3Naismith
  • 32Fontaine
  • 5Souttar
  • 2Fraser
  • 23TanseySubstituted forKaitat 55'minutes
  • 10Schalk
  • 4Routis
  • 25O'BrienSubstituted forDowat 65'minutes
  • 40Keillor-Dunn
  • 14N'GogSubstituted forCurranat 56'minutesBooked at 85mins

Substitutes

  • 8Chow
  • 9Dow
  • 11Curran
  • 22Mckay
  • 31McCarey
  • 35Melbourne
  • 47Kait
Referee:
William Collum
Attendance:
2,533

Match Stats

Home TeamSt JohnstoneAway TeamRoss County
Possession
Home53%
Away47%
Shots
Home7
Away3
Shots on Target
Home2
Away2
Corners
Home6
Away1
Fouls
Home11
Away9

Live Text

Match ends, St. Johnstone 2, Ross County 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, St. Johnstone 2, Ross County 0.

Corner, St. Johnstone. Conceded by Harry Souttar.

Attempt blocked. Denny Johnstone (St. Johnstone) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked.

Foul by Kyle McClean (St. Johnstone).

Alex Schalk (Ross County) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt saved. Christopher Routis (Ross County) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Corner, Ross County. Conceded by Alan Mannus.

Attempt saved. Christopher Routis (Ross County) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Substitution

Substitution, St. Johnstone. Kyle McClean replaces Chris Millar.

Booking

Steven MacLean (St. Johnstone) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Dismissal

Second yellow card to Craig Curran (Ross County) for a bad foul.

Booking

Craig Curran (Ross County) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Substitution

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

Substitution

Substitution, St. Johnstone. Denny Johnstone replaces Christopher Kane.

Corner, St. Johnstone. Conceded by Craig Curran.

Attempt missed. Mattias Kait (Ross County) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left.

Foul by Steven Anderson (St. Johnstone).

Craig Curran (Ross County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Ross County. Ryan Dow replaces Jim O'Brien.

Jason Kerr (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Craig Curran (Ross County).

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

Foul by Christopher Routis (Ross County).

Booking

Christopher Kane (St. Johnstone) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Christopher Kane (St. Johnstone).

Liam Fontaine (Ross County) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Substitution

Substitution, Ross County. Craig Curran replaces David N'Gog.

Substitution

Substitution, Ross County. Mattias Kait replaces Greg Tansey.

Attempt missed. David Wotherspoon (St. Johnstone) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.

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

Foul by Liam Fontaine (Ross County).

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

Foul by Jim O'Brien (Ross County).

Murray Davidson (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Jim O'Brien (Ross County).

Second Half

Second Half begins St. Johnstone 2, Ross County 0.

Half Time

First Half ends, St. Johnstone 2, Ross County 0.

Goal!

Goal! St. Johnstone 2, Ross County 0. Murray Davidson (St. Johnstone) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Christopher Kane.

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

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic27187254183661
2Rangers28174755312455
3Aberdeen27164743311252
4Hibernian2813964032848
5Hearts2891182826238
6Kilmarnock269983335-236
7Motherwell28105133437-335
8St Johnstone2686122436-1230
9Dundee2884163043-1328
10Hamilton2675143648-1226
11Partick Thistle2866162647-2124
12Ross County2856172948-1921
View full Scottish Premiership table

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