Scottish Premiership
St JohnstoneSt Johnstone0St MirrenSt Mirren0

St Johnstone 0-0 St Mirren: Both clubs slump to just one point above play-off spot

By Stefan Bienkowski BBC Sport Scotland

St Johnstone and St Mirren slipped to just one point off the Scottish Premiership relegation play-off spot after a dull draw at McDiarmid Park.

St Mirren striker Jon Obika and home winger Michael O'Halloran failed to convert clear first-half chances.

A poor second period offered few opportunities, with both sides now three games unbeaten.

They sit a point clear of second-bottom Hamilton Academical, although St Johnstone have played two games fewer.

A stalemate among Saints

St Mirren had only won one away game in the league this season, yet their bright start belied that poor record.

Although O'Halloran began with a speculative shot to test Vaclav Hladky just a minute into the game, St Mirren quickly wrestled control of possession.

Obika - the star of St Mirren's 3-3 draw with Livingston a week prior - was again the focal point of every attack. In the 18th minute the 29-year-old forward latched on to a poor Jason Kerr clearance to drive past Liam Gordon and fire a shot straight at home keeper Zander Clark.

Twelve minutes later the forward leaped into the air to get on to the end of a knocked-on header and send the ball just over the bar from a few yards out. The forward was getting into good positions but composure and a goal continued to elude him.

O'Halloran almost turned the game on its head when his perfectly-timed run beat St Mirren's high press and offered the winger another chance to get the better of Hladky. Yet, with plenty of time and the goal beckoning before him, O'Halloran failed to knock a tepid shot beyond the St Mirren keeper.

St Mirren dominance was followed by St Johnstone frustrations in the second half, as yellow cards for Anthony Ralston and Murray Davidson characterised a home side that were struggling to track and match their opponents.

Fortunately for Tommy Wright, St Mirren's chances dried up after the break, with an optimistic volley from Junior Morias flying high and wide.

Perhaps the best opportunity of the half came through central defender Sean McLoughlin, who got on the end of an Ilkay Durmus free-kick at the back post to fire the ball towards goal. Yet, like much of the match, the defender's attempt was a little off and flew in to the side-netting.

In the end a goalless draw seems fitting for the teams with the poorest offensive records in the division this season.

St Mirren won only their fourth point on the road and St Johnstone can now point to just one defeat in their last five league games.

Stats

Man of the match - Cammy Macpherson

BBC Scotland's Tyrone Smith at McDiarmid Park

Cammy Macpherson was at the centre of most things that were good about St Mirren. His driving runs from midfield proved problematic for St Johnstone all day and he wasn't scared to try his luck in front of goal.

It was a mature performance by the 20-year-old, whose tireless effort and workrate were crucial to the Paisley side securing a precious point in Perth.

'An away point is always good' - reaction

St Johnstone manager Tommy Wright: "Overall we're disappointed with how we played but it's another clean sheet. It's another point. If we had taken that first chance I think we would have gone on to win."

St Mirren manager Jim Goodwin: "Away from home in this league, I think a point is always a good result. But over the balance of play we were probably, slightly, the better team. I'd suggest a draw was a fair result."

Line-ups

St Johnstone

Formation 4-4-2

  • 1Clark
  • 21RalstonBooked at 61mins
  • 23Gordon
  • 15Kerr
  • 24BoothBooked at 74mins
  • 7Wright
  • 8DavidsonBooked at 61mins
  • 19HoltSubstituted forWotherspoonat 83'minutes
  • 33KennedySubstituted forMcCannat 65'minutes
  • 17O'Halloran
  • 22HendrySubstituted forMayat 75'minutes

Substitutes

  • 2Duffy
  • 3Tanser
  • 10Wotherspoon
  • 12Parish
  • 14May
  • 18McCann
  • 26Craig

St Mirren

Formation 4-4-2

  • 1Hladky
  • 8FlynnBooked at 79mins
  • 2McGinn
  • 5McLoughlin
  • 3WatersBooked at 90mins
  • 24MacPherson
  • 16Foley
  • 7Magennis
  • 11DurmusSubstituted forAndreuat 77'minutes
  • 19MoriasSubstituted forCookeat 82'minutes
  • 9Obika

Substitutes

  • 10Andreu
  • 18Mullen
  • 20Cooke
  • 23Djorkaeff
  • 26Lyness
  • 31McMaster
  • 41Jamieson
Referee:
John Beaton
Attendance:
3,318

Match Stats

Home TeamSt JohnstoneAway TeamSt Mirren
Possession
Home49%
Away51%
Shots
Home9
Away10
Shots on Target
Home3
Away3
Corners
Home6
Away4
Fouls
Home8
Away13

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, St. Johnstone 0, St. Mirren 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, St. Johnstone 0, St. Mirren 0.

  3. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Cameron MacPherson (St. Mirren) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  4. Booking

    Calum Waters (St. Mirren) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  5. Post update

    Foul by Calum Waters (St. Mirren).

  6. Post update

    Drey Wright (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  7. Post update

    Foul by Cody Cooke (St. Mirren).

  8. Post update

    Drey Wright (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  9. Post update

    Corner, St. Johnstone. Conceded by Ryan Flynn.

  10. Post update

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

  11. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Jonathan Obika (St. Mirren) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked.

  12. Substitution

    Substitution, St. Johnstone. David Wotherspoon replaces Jason Holt.

  13. Substitution

    Substitution, St. Mirren. Cody Cooke replaces Junior Morias.

  14. Post update

    Attempt missed. Liam Gordon (St. Johnstone) header from the centre of the box misses to the left following a corner.

  15. Post update

    Corner, St. Johnstone. Conceded by Calum Waters.

  16. Post update

    Corner, St. Johnstone. Conceded by Kyle Magennis.

  17. Booking

    Ryan Flynn (St. Mirren) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  18. Post update

    Foul by Ryan Flynn (St. Mirren).

  19. Post update

    Michael O'Halloran (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  20. Substitution

    Substitution, St. Mirren. Tony Andreu replaces Ilkay Durmus.

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