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St Johnstone 1-1 Ross County

Ross County players applaud their fans
The Ross County players paid tribute to their fans after their relegation was confirmed

Ross County were relegated from the Scottish Premiership as they drew at St Johnstone.

Craig Curran scored an early goal that for an hour looked like saving the Staggies from automatic demotion.

But Kris Doolan netted a second-half winner for Partick Thistle at Dundee to secure a Premiership play-off and send County into the Championship.

St Johnstone 1-1 Ross County
St Johnstone 1-1 Ross County

David Wotherspoon’s late goal for Saints proved irrelevant for County as victory would not have been enough.

As County’s six-year top-flight stint ends, Partick Thistle finish 11th and will face Livingston in a two-legged play-off.

The visitors came to Perth knowing victory was essential with no room for any other result if they were to survive in the Premiership.

Craig Curran goal
Craig Curran’s back-post finish was the perfect start for Ross County

Despite the pressure, the Staggies started purposefully and were rewarded early on.

Jason Naismith broke down the right and, after his cross took a deflection and fell perfectly for Curran, he made no mistake at the back post.

It was exactly the kind of fortune that County believe they have been missing, and Curran’s positional instinct was fully rewarded.

The visitors continued to push forward ensuring they were the side generating pressure rather than coping with it.

Michael Gardyne profited from a neat exchange on the right and fired towards goal but it was comfortable for goalkeeper Alan Mannus in his last St Johnstone appearance before departing for Ireland.

St Johnstone began to respond and Scott Tanser was the first to really trouble County’s goal with a floated, angled effort that flew narrowly over the bar.

The visitors nearly got the second when a diagonal from Marcus Fraser found Curran. His header fell to Matthias Kait on the edge of the box and at the second attempt he crashed a shot off the bar.

Curran’s chipped effort from 25 yards drew a fine stop from Mannus.

David Wotherspoon celebrates
David Wotherspoon scored a late goal to earn St Johnstone a point

St Johnstone opened the second half brightly but County’s Billy Mckay broke away and cut back for Naismith, whose fierce, low shot flew across the six yard area with Curran unable to get there for another tap in.

The home side did have the ball in the net midway through the second half but the offside flag halted any celebration.

County should have had a second when Curran found space but somehow pulled it wide from a great position.

As news filtered through that Partick Thistle has taken the lead, the sting came out of this contest.

County’s fate was sealed when Wotherspoon fired a wonderful effort home with the last kick of the match.

For St Johnstone, it was a day of goodbyes, with Mannus, Chris Millar and Steven MacLean departing.

Saints boss Tommy Wright
Saints boss Tommy Wright was less than impressed with his side’s display against Ross County

POST-MATCH REACTION

St Johnstone manager Tommy Wright: “The performance was typical of what we’ve been at home this season, I don’t know what it is. We can go to Motherwell and play the way we did last week, we go to Celtic, Rangers, Hibs, in front of bigger crowds and, with all due respect, better teams and play well, but at home we’ve struggled all season.

“For 80 minutes today we weren’t at the races in any aspect of the game, other than we’ve stayed in it. It was brutal at times for me to watch.

“The last 10 minutes was the only period of the game that we showed any energy or quality, and we could’ve scored two goals – that really would’ve been a mugging job because we didn’t deserve three points.

“It was a nice way to end the game to get a late goal.”

Line-ups

St Johnstone

  • 1Mannus
  • 5Shaughnessy
  • 15KerrBooked at 85mins
  • 23Gordon
  • 3Tanser
  • 14Comrie
    Substituted forScougallat 45′minutes
  • 8DavidsonBooked at 34mins
  • 37McCann
    Substituted forMillarat 58′minutes
  • 10Wotherspoon
  • 11Williams
    Substituted forHendryat 74′minutes
  • 16McMillan

Substitutes

  • 6Anderson
  • 7Millar
  • 12Clark
  • 19Foster
  • 21Scougall
  • 26Craig
  • 50Hendry

Ross County

  • 1Fox
  • 3Naismith
  • 15Davies
    Substituted forSouttarat 14′minutes
  • 32Fontaine
  • 2FraserBooked at 40mins
  • 7Gardyne
  • 17Draper
  • 18Lindsay
  • 47KaitBooked at 61mins
    Substituted forO’Brienat 85′minutes
  • 22Mckay
    Substituted forSchalkat 74′minutes
  • 11Curran

Substitutes

  • 5Souttar
  • 10Schalk
  • 14N’Gog
  • 25O’Brien
  • 31McCarey
  • 35Melbourne
  • 40Keillor-Dunn
Referee:
Nick Walsh
Attendance:
3,279

Match Stats

Home TeamSt JohnstoneAway TeamRoss County
Possession
Home44%
Away56%
Shots
Home6
Away10
Shots on Target
Home2
Away4
Corners
Home4
Away4
Fouls
Home14
Away12

Live Text

Posted at

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

Full Time

Posted at90’+3′

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

Goal!

Posted at90’+2′

Goal! St. Johnstone 1, Ross County 1. David Wotherspoon (St. Johnstone) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the top left corner.

Posted at90’+2′

Attempt blocked. David Wotherspoon (St. Johnstone) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Posted at89′

Corner, St. Johnstone. Conceded by Harry Souttar.

Posted at89′

Corner, St. Johnstone. Conceded by Scott Fox.

Posted at89′

Attempt saved. David Wotherspoon (St. Johnstone) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Posted at88′

Foul by Jamie Lindsay (Ross County).

Posted at88′

Stefan Scougall (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Substitution

Posted at85′

Substitution, Ross County. Jim O’Brien replaces Mattias Kait because of an injury.

Posted at85′

Michael Gardyne (Ross County) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Booking

Posted at85′

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

Posted at85′

Foul by Jason Kerr (St. Johnstone).

Posted at79′

Attempt blocked. Liam Fontaine (Ross County) header from the centre of the box is blocked.

Posted at79′

Alex Schalk (Ross County) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Posted at79′

Foul by Liam Gordon (St. Johnstone).

Posted at78′

Foul by Craig Curran (Ross County).

Posted at78′

David McMillan (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Posted at77′

Corner, Ross County. Conceded by Stefan Scougall.

Posted at75′

Attempt missed. Alex Schalk (Ross County) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right.

Substitution

Posted at74′

Substitution, St. Johnstone. Callum Hendry replaces George C Williams.

Substitution

Posted at74′

Substitution, Ross County. Alex Schalk replaces Billy McKay.

Posted at71′

Attempt missed. Stefan Scougall (St. Johnstone) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right.

Posted at70′

Craig Curran (Ross County) hits the right post with a left footed shot from a difficult angle on the right.

Posted at65′

Foul by Marcus Fraser (Ross County).

Posted at65′

Joe Shaughnessy (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Posted at63′

Corner, Ross County. Conceded by Joe Shaughnessy.

Posted at62′

Attempt blocked. George C Williams (St. Johnstone) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Booking

Posted at61′

Mattias Kait (Ross County) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Posted at61′

Foul by Mattias Kait (Ross County).

Posted at61′

David McMillan (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Substitution

Posted at58′

Substitution, St. Johnstone. Chris Millar replaces Alistair McCann.

Posted at57′

Foul by Jamie Lindsay (Ross County).

Posted at57′

Joe Shaughnessy (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Posted at55′

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

Posted at55′

Foul by David Wotherspoon (St. Johnstone).

Posted at55′

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

Posted at54′

Billy McKay (Ross County) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Posted at54′

Foul by David McMillan (St. Johnstone).

Posted at52′

Corner, Ross County. Conceded by Jason Kerr.


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