Sunday 21st May
St. Johnstone were defeated 2-1 by Rangers in Perth this afternoon despite a gutsy performance against Pedro Caixinha's third placed side.
Goals from Kenny Miller (40) and Jon Toral (52) put the Glasgow side two up before substitute Graham Cummins reduced the deficit with 15 minutes remaining. Steven MacLean came closest to scoring after Cummins' strike but Saints couldn't find a way through to earn what would have been a deserved point.
Saints headed into Sunday’s fixture looking to extend their record of most points in a top flight season with a result against Rangers. David Wotherspoon and Danny Swanson were suspended, so Blair Alston and Liam Craig came into the starting lineup, and MacLean came in for Cummins.
Saints produced the first chance, as Alston headed a Foster cross into MacLean who beat the goalkeeper to the ball, but slid the ball agonisingly wide.
On 21 minutes, Liam Craig beat Barjonas in the middle after winning a second ball, and the midfielder leathered a thirty yard volley at goal, but it flew just wide.
Moments later Craig Thomson’s fantastic pace saw him lose Beerman with no trouble, and the winger’s fantastic cross was met by MacLean who directed his shot wide.
And the winger then came close himself, as Foster played him through before making his way into the box and producing a low drive, but Alnwik tipped wide.
Kenny Miller carved out Rangers first real chamnce on half an hour, blasting a Toral cross over from close range.
After some back and forth clearings in the middle of the park, Chris Kane took matters into his own hands, and tested Alnwick from 30 yards, but the swerving shot was held.
Rangers took the lead completely against the run of play, as Kenny Miller slotted a close range effort home from inside the box. 0-1
Saints finished the half with ten men, as Kane limped off, having cut his head in an injury time challenge, and the teams went in with the visitors a goal up, but Saints very much in the game. HT: St Johnstone 0-1 Rangers.
Kane made way for Cummins at half time, and Liam Crig almost had the sides level within three minutes of the restart, but Alnwick tipped his volley over.
Cummins came close moments later, but blasted his effort from 12 y`rds over when the ball took an awkward bounce.
Rangers doubled their lead on 52 minutes as Taverneir danced past Alston and set up Toral who tapped in the easiest goal he’ll score. 0-2.
Waghorn blasted over four minutes later, as Rangers looked for more.
Saints swapped Thomson for Hurst with just over 20 minutes to go.
Rangers then swapped Toral for Barrie McKay with 15 minutes to go.
After a fantastic surging run by Foster, the substitutes combines and Hurst flicked through to set up Cummins who slotted home and bring the game to life. 1-2, Game on.
Moments later, Saints were gifted a golden opportunity to level, as Cummins headed down for Macca who smashed his shot straight at Alnwick.
Rangers swapped Waghorn for Bradley with six minutes remaining as they looked to hold onto their lead.
Barjonas countered for Rangers and saw his strike saved brilliantly, and proceeded to enter the book for taking out his frustration on Alston.
He was promptly replaced by Halliday.
And although Saints pressed, Liam Craig’s last gasp free kick which soared over was as close to an equaliser as the team could find, and the match finished 1-2. Full time: St Johnstone 1-2 Rangers.
Saints: Mannus, Foster, Shaughnessy, Scobbie, Easton, Thomson (Hurst, 67), Millar, Craig, Alston, Kane (Cummins, 46), MacLean. Unused subs: Clark, Anderson, Paton, Gilchrist, Jardine.
Goals: Cummins (75) Booked: Craig (15)
Rangers: Alnwick, Taverneir, Toral (McKay, 74), Miller, Windass, Waghorn (Bradley, 84), Wilson, Barjonas (Halliday, 89), Beerman, Holt, Bates. Unused subs: Foderingham, Dodoo, Lyon, Atakayi.
Goals: Miller (40), Toral (52) Booked; Toral (54), Waghorn (81), Barjonas (89)
Attendance: 6,799 Referee: Andrew Dallas Man of the Match: Graham Cummins
Match report by Ross Gardiner.
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