Saints headed into Tuesday’s clash with Ross County looking to build on their excellent 1-1 draw with Celtic in Greenock last week by going one better and getting a win. Saints brought in Keith Watson and Ally Gilchrist who both returned from injury, as well as new signing Joe Gormley who would be looking to make an immediate impact.
Ross County kicked off shooting into the Ormond Stand, but it was Saints who fashioned the first chance as Watson saw his effort from a McLaren corner parried behind.
On 17 minutes Ian McShane fed through Dingwall who weaved his way into the box, but couldn’t find the target as he struck into the side netting from 12 yards out. 0-0.
McKenzie was tested on 26 minutes as Dylan Dykes found space outside the box and rifled his shot towards the bottom left corner, but the Saints stopper matched the effort.
McShane then curled a free kick at goal for McKenzie to tip behind via the post, and from the resulting corner Sam Morrison headed wide from close range.
Dingwall then tried his luck again from the edge of the box, but couldn’t find the target. Saints were handling the County pressure comfortably.
Danny Jardine came close for Saints after some good goalmouth play, but the winger curled his shot just wide.
And Greg Morrison mustered up the final attack of the half, but McKenzie did well to block from close range. Half time, St Johnstone 0-0 Ross County.
Saints made one change at half time, bringing on Greg Page for Ally Gilchrist.
Saints second switch came on 55 minutes as Keith Watson limped off for Cameron Lumsden.
County brought the second half to life through Dylan Dykes as the youngster crashed his effort of the crossbar from the edge of the area.
Saints’ last switch saw Joe Johnson replace debutant Joe Gormley as Saints looked to open the scoring.
But it was County who found the net through Marcus Fraser, as the defender headed home a corner after finding space in the box. 0-1.
Ross County then brought on Ross MacIver for Davis Keillor-Dunn as theyu looked to hold onto their lead.
And the substitute made an instant impact as he slotted in a close range effort for the visitors. 0-2.
Saints were beginning to find their way back into the match, and Eoghan McCawl was unlucky to see his effort deflected wide, as was George Hunter to see his header from the resulting corner saved.
Ross County’s second and third switches saw Blair Malcolm come on for Russell Dingwall and Tom MacLennan replace Dylan Dykes.
Saints pushed for a way back into the match but it finished at that. Full time, St Johnstone 0-2 Ross County.
St Johnstone: McKenzie, Comrie, Thomson, McCawl, Watson (Lumsden, 55), Gilchrist (Page, 46), McLaren, Jardine, Gormley (Johnson, 64), Hunter, Simpson. Unused subs: Sinclair, McCann, Docherty, Polson.
Ross County: Foden, Fraser, McLaughlin, Morrison, Brownlie, McShane, Tumilty, Dykes (MacLennan, 85), Morrison, Dingwall (Malcolm, 85), Keillor-Dunn (MacIver, 70). Unused subs: Munro, Hall, Wallace.
Goals: Fraser (68), MacIver (73)
Referee: Clark Man of the Match: Eoghan McCawl
Match report by Ross Gardiner.
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