St Mirren and St Johnstone drew a blank in a league encounter that produced some entertaining football, but few clear-cut chances for either side.

Nigel Hasselbaink fired wide with the best chance of the first half after being played through by Paul McGowan.

St Johnstone's Cillian Sheridan had a long shot saved by Craig Samson and McGowan had several efforts denied in the second half.

A late Jon McShane header sailed over the bar and the spoils were shared.

The result leaves both clubs mid-table, with St Mirren on nine points in sixth place and St Johnstone two places below on six points.

St Mirren boss Danny Lennon handed a debut to Ilias Haddad in place of Marc McAusland in the centre of the defence, while St Johnstone manager Derek McInnes was forced into making two changes from the 3-3 home draw against Dundee United, with Alan Maybury replacing the injured Callum Davidson at left-back and Chris Millar coming in for captain Jody Morris in midfield.

The game started brightly, Millar shooting over for the visitors and Steven Thompson hooking a Gary Teale free-kick over the bar inside the first three minutes.

Liam Craig had St Johnstone's best opportunity of the opening quarter after being played through by Sheridan but debutant Haddad recovered well to clear the danger.

The pace of Nigel Hasselbaink and trickery of McGowan were causing St Johnstone right-back Dave MacKay all sorts of problems but too often the Dutchman chose the wrong option when well placed to put some quality into the box.

Steve Thomson, though, did have the home side's best chance of the opening 20 minutes from a Hasselbaink cross but his back-post header was blocked by Maybury.

Teale was next to threaten for the home side but his fierce free-kick flew just over the target on 25 minutes.

Hasselbaink then shot wide with the best chance of the game after a wonderful move.

Goalkeeper Craig Samson fired the ball into the former Hamilton striker's feet and, after a neat one-two with McGowan, Hasselbaink was through on goal but he dragged his left-footed shot wide.

St Johnstone had the first shot on target in the 31st minute, Sheridan's low drive from 20 yards forcing Samson into a smart stop down to his left.

The visitors had claims for a penalty turned down minutes later when Francisco Sandaza's shot seemed to strike a St Mirren hand in the box but referee Steven McLean only awarded the Perth Saints a corner.

Hasselbaink came close again five minutes before the break with a curling effort from the edge of the box that went just past Peter Enckelman's left post.

Teale nearly gave the hosts the lead right on half-time but his effort was deflected over by MacKay.

Shortly after the restart, McGowan had several shots blocked and one low drive in particular kept out by Enckelman.

Sheridan was lucky to get away with just a yellow card following a foul on David van Zanten, then an effort on goal by Steven Thompson from just inside the penalty went harmlessly over the bar.

McShane's header from inside the six-yard box in the dying minutes cleared the St Johnstone crossbar, then Sandaza sent in a left-footed shot from just outside the box that went wide right of the mark, leaving both sides with a point apiece.

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