Tuesday 24th October
Saints drew a blank with Ross County this evening at McDiarmid Park. It was Tommy Wright’s 200th game in charge of Saints however he was unable to take his place in the dugout after damaging his knee during a fall in the tunnel at half time on Saturday against Hearts at BT Murrayfield.
The closest Saints came to opening the scoring in the first half was when Scougall did well to control the ball on the edge of the box and turned to fire in an effort that was well saved by County keeper Scott Fox.
Chances for both sides were few and far between although Saints created the best of them but just like in recent weeks the final ball was again lacking. Saints started the second half brightly with Alston having a header well saved by Fox.
The Staggies had to replace keeper Fox with 14 minutes remaining after he went down with an innocuous injury from his own clearance was replaced by Aaron McCarey.
Saints would finish the match the stronger of the two sides but they couldn’t make the break thorough as the match finished goalless.
St Johnstone took on Owen Coyle’s Ross County for the first time this season at McDiarmid Park this evening. Saints made 4 changes to the team that started Saturday’s defeat against Hearts with Tommy Wright bringing Zander Clark, Steven Anderson, Paul Paton and Murray Davidson in for Alan Mannus, Liam Gordon, Liam Craig and David Wotherspoon.
Ross County got the first 45 minutes underway. However, it was Saints who would create the first chance of the match. Some neat passing on the edge of the area between Blair Alston and Paul Paton on 8 minutes’ setup the former Falkirk midfielder who tried to curl the ball into the bottom right hand corner but his shot was blocked by the County defence at the expense of a corner.
Aside from a few crosses straight at the goalkeepers, chances in the first 20 minutes were few. The visitors came close on 19 minutes as the ball broke for County on 19 minutes when a misplaced pass found Thomas Mikkelsen who put Ryan Dow through on goal but the former Dundee United player fired wide of Clark’s goal.
Michael O'Halloran got a break of the ball on 24 minutes and advanced down the right-hand side, he then played the ball just behind Steven MacLean, who was lingering in the box, and it found an advancing Stefan Scougall who's shot that looked goal bound was blocked again by the retreating County defence.
After more pressure from Saints, Scougall get another chance to test Fox again, this time his curled effort from inside the box was tipped around the post by the County keeper.
Saints got the second half underway and they got a great chance in the opening minutes of the second half. A great cross from the left found Alston but his bullet header was straight at the keeper and it stayed 0-0.
Saints continued to press and David Wotherspoon stepped up to take a free kick on the edge of the area after MacLean had been fouled. Spoony fired low and hard, the ball took a couple of deflections in the box before going inches wide of the target.
Zander Clark made a good save on 66 minutes to deny Davis Keillor-Dunn as The Staggies started to come more into the game.
County were forced to replace keeper Fox on 76 minutes when he suffered an innocuous injury from his own clearance with McCarey taking his place between the sticks.
Saints would go on to finish the second half the stronger of the two sides but they could not break down the County defence and the game ended 0-0, with both teams taking a point from the game.
Saints: Clark, Comrie, Anderson, Shaughnessy, Easton, Paton, Davidson, Scougall, Alston (Craig 81), O'Halloran (Wotherspoon 41) and MacLean (Cummins 71).
Unused Substitutes: Mannus (GK), Tanser, Gilchrist, Johnstone.
Ross County: Fox (McCarey 76), Fraser, Naismith, Chow, Dow (Gardyne 68), Davies, Draper, Mikkelsen (Curran 53), O'Brien, Van Der Weg, Keillor-Dunn.
Unused Substitutes: Kelly, Schalk, Lindsay, McKay.
Booked: McCarey, Fraser, Chow, O’Brien
Referee: Barry Cook
Match Report written by Hannah Klatschak
Picture: Stefan Scougall has a shot at goal
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