Scottish Premiership
St Johnstone1Ross County1

St Johnstone 1-1 Ross County: Perth side five games unbeaten

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Highlights: St Johnstone 1-1 Ross County

St Johnstone extended their unbeaten run in the Scottish Premiership to five games with a hard-fought draw against Ross County.

Tommy Wright's side had the better of the contest and had numerous efforts, only for County to take the lead with a close-range finish by Iain Vigurs.

But the Perth side salvaged a point with a late Callum Hendry header.

Brian Graham was then shown a second yellow card and sent off for lunging jump in to Jason Kerr.

The result means St Johnstone and County sit two and three points respectively above 11th place.

Hosts can't turn domination into points

Just one point separated these two sides ahead of Sunday's match - a stat that became abundantly clear after a first half that showed very little between either team.

County perhaps went closest to going ahead in the opening stages when Ross Stewart played a smart one-two with Billy Mckay on the edge of the box, resulting in a shot directly at a grateful Zander Clark.

Amidst a dearth of genuine chances for either side, an injury to the aforementioned Stewart proved to be a pivotal marker in the match.

The 23-year-old had netted 11 goals this season - a third of his club's Premiership tally - so his substitution was a grievous blow for County.

If there was a need to showcase what County were now missing, it came just after the half hour when Kerr allowed a cross to bounce through to Graham, who panicked and squirted his effort out of play.

With County struggling, St Johnstone started the second half with far less to fear in defence and much more to gain up front.

Ali McCann set the tone with a darting run down the left flank, before cutting inside and curling a shot towards the back post. It went wide but not by much.

Five minutes later the hosts came close again when a set-piece from the right found Kerr, who headed back towards Matty Kennedy directly in front of goal. The attacker only had to nod in but the speed of the ball and pressure from his marker resulted it his attempt soaring over the cross bar.

After struggling from a few yards out, Kennedy then came even closer from outside the box with a shot that fizzled towards Nathan Baxter, who managed to push it on to the crossbar.

But for all St Johnstone's pressure, it was County who took the lead. McKay laying the ball off to Vigurs, who knocked the ball in to give his side a surprising lead.

With the game turned on its head, St Johnstone pressed on with half chances and optimistic shots peppering the County goal.

The equaliser did come. With just six minutes left, Kennedy burst down the left and swung the ball in to the front post, where Hendry leaped above his marker to head the ball home.

Off the back of match-winning goals against Hamilton Academical and Hearts, and a second goal to confirm a draw for his side this season, Hendry had once again shown up at the right time.

The 22-year-old would come close just moments later with another header, before Kerr and Stevie May made their own attempts to find a winner. But Baxter was equal to every chance.

County afternoon ended on a further disappointing note when Graham received his second yellow card for a late lunge against Kerr.

In the end, St Johnstone had 15 attempts on goal to County's four. A sign of the home side's new-found fluidity up front but also a sign of two points dropped for the Perth side.

St Johnstone

Man of the match - Matty Kennedy

BBC Scotland's Tyrone Smith at McDiarmid Park

Not for the first team this season, Kennedy caught the eye with another standout display. Every time he had the ball, you sensed something was going to happen and it usually did.

He set up the goal, and could have had one, or two, himself. Kennedy delivered a performance which will further add to his soaring reputation.

'We probably should have won' - reaction

St Johnstone manager Tommy Wright: "The three times we've played Ross County this year have all left us frustrated.

"We controlled the whole game and were by far the better side. We went to sleep and got caught but showed great character to come back and probably should have won the game."

Ross County co-manager Stuart Kettlewell: "There's disappointment in our performance. There's no doubt about it. We never felt as if we got going at any point.

"We came up short in a lot of aspects. So it's probably a point gained for us if I'm being brutally honest. We're not going to try and convince people we were the better team. We weren't."

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County's Vigurs should have been sent off - Wright

Line-ups

St Johnstone

  • 1Clark
  • 21Ralston
  • 23Gordon
  • 15Kerr
  • 24Booth
  • 7WrightSubstituted forO'Halloranat 83'minutes
  • 19HoltBooked at 65minsSubstituted forMayat 74'minutes
  • 8DavidsonBooked at 82mins
  • 18McCann
  • 33Kennedy
  • 9KaneSubstituted forHendryat 65'minutes

Substitutes

  • 2Duffy
  • 3Tanser
  • 12Parish
  • 14May
  • 17O'Halloran
  • 22Hendry
  • 26Craig

Ross County

  • 21BaxterBooked at 88mins
  • 18Foster
  • 4FontaineBooked at 53mins
  • 5MorrisSubstituted forWatsonat 70'minutes
  • 3KellyBooked at 34mins
  • 20SpittalBooked at 41mins
  • 14Mullin
  • 24PatonBooked at 62mins
  • 11VigursBooked at 47mins
  • 9MckaySubstituted forChalmersat 81'minutes
  • 27StewartSubstituted forGrahamat 29'minutesBooked at 90mins

Substitutes

  • 1Laidlaw
  • 2Fraser
  • 8Erwin
  • 15Watson
  • 17Henderson
  • 19Graham
  • 23Chalmers
Referee:
Bobby Madden
Attendance:
2,658

Match Stats

Home TeamSt JohnstoneAway TeamRoss County
Possession
Home55%
Away45%
Shots
Home15
Away4
Shots on Target
Home3
Away3
Corners
Home7
Away1
Fouls
Home6
Away14

Live Text

Match ends, St. Johnstone 1, Ross County 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, St. Johnstone 1, Ross County 1.

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

Liam Gordon (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Dismissal

Second yellow card to Brian Graham (Ross County) for a bad foul.

Foul by Brian Graham (Ross County).

Foul by Matthew Kennedy (St. Johnstone).

Harrison Paton (Ross County) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Corner, St. Johnstone. Conceded by Joe Chalmers.

Nathan Baxter (Ross County).

Booking

Nathan Baxter (Ross County) is shown the yellow card.

Attempt saved. Stevie May (St. Johnstone) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Attempt missed. Jason Kerr (St. Johnstone) header from the centre of the box misses to the right.

Attempt blocked. Callum Hendry (St. Johnstone) header from the centre of the box is blocked.

Corner, St. Johnstone. Conceded by Liam Fontaine.

Goal!

Goal! St. Johnstone 1, Ross County 1. Callum Hendry (St. Johnstone) header from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Matthew Kennedy.

Substitution

Substitution, St. Johnstone. Michael O'Halloran replaces Drey Wright.

Booking

Murray Davidson (St. Johnstone) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Murray Davidson (St. Johnstone).

Joe Chalmers (Ross County) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Substitution

Substitution, Ross County. Joe Chalmers replaces Billy Mckay.

Corner, St. Johnstone. Conceded by Liam Fontaine.

Hand ball by Iain Vigurs (Ross County).

Attempt missed. Josh Mullin (Ross County) left footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the right.

Substitution

Substitution, St. Johnstone. Stevie May replaces Jason Holt.

Goal!

Goal! St. Johnstone 0, Ross County 1. Iain Vigurs (Ross County) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Billy Mckay.

Substitution

Substitution, Ross County. Keith Watson replaces Callum Morris because of an injury.

Booking

Brian Graham (Ross County) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Brian Graham (Ross County).

Liam Gordon (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, St. Johnstone. Callum Hendry replaces Christopher Kane.

Booking

Jason Holt (St. Johnstone) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Attempt saved. Billy Mckay (Ross County) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Blair Spittal (Ross County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Anthony Ralston (St. Johnstone).

Booking

Harrison Paton (Ross County) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Blair Spittal (Ross County) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Anthony Ralston (St. Johnstone).

Matthew Kennedy (St. Johnstone) hits the bar with a right footed shot from outside the box.

Corner, St. Johnstone. Conceded by Josh Mullin.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic20171255134252
2Rangers19162153114250
3Motherwell2112183327637
4Aberdeen2110653026436
5Livingston216783029125
6Hibernian216782936-725
7Kilmarnock2165101724-723
8Ross County205692242-2021
9St Johnstone194871634-1820
10St Mirren2154121729-1219
11Hamilton2146112034-1418
12Hearts2127121835-1713
View full Scottish Premiership table

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