Ross County earn a point through a Richard Brittain double
Richard Brittain struck a penalty double as Ross County earned a point in an exciting tussle with St Johnstone.
Saints twice led through headers from Steven McLean and Murray Davidson.
However, they shot themselves in the foot, conceding penalties either side of half-time, and pre-contract signing Brittain took full advantage.
Both goalkeepers made a string of impressive saves, with County's Michael Fraser denying Gregory Tade a late winner with a world-class stop.
St Johnstone, a point better off than the Staggies, are now four points behind third placed Inverness CT, with the sides meeting in Perth next weekend.
Brittain was centre of attention after his bid to cancel his agreed move to McDiarmid Park but he did not let that distract him and the County skipper celebrated both of his goals with great enthusiasm.
St Johnstone were ahead with the first real chance of the game, Gregory Tade directing a free header into the path of McLean, who had drifted in behind the static defence, and he nodded over Michael Fraser.
It could have been 2-0 three minutes later when Medhi Abeid swiped a shot wide after Tade's header was clawed off the line.
Iain Vigurs sparked the visitors into life after 13 minutes; winning a penalty after a fierce drive was spilled by Alan Mannus and Chris Millar bundled him over.
Brittain kept a cool head to drive his penalty low into the left hand corner to a background of boos from the home support.
The hosts resumed control of the game, and Dave MacKay stung the gloves of Fraser with a long range shot a minute before they restored their lead.
Abeid's floated free-kick from the right found the head of Davidson who expertly directed his header beyond the keeper.
St Johnstone went looking for a third, and Rowan Vine and Abeid both went close but, as half-time approached, Ross County had two great chances to level.
Andre Hainault headed over from close range, then Ivan Sproule - who had been quiet until that point - hit a right-foot volley which Mannus did well to tip wide.
The impressive Abeid opened another opportunity for Saints shortly after half-time; nipping down the right and cutting a low ball across the danger area that just evaded Tade.
Steffen Wohlfarth went close for County on 67 minutes when he spun a shot wide but it wasn't looking like their day, and it got worse when January signing Branislav Micic lasted 25 minutes after coming off the bench for his debut before going off with a shoulder injury.
However, their luck changed with 15 minutes remaining when Tam Scobbie brought down Sproule in the area after a great diving save from Mannus despite the Northern Irishman running away from goal, leaving referee Willie Collum no choice but to point to the spot.
Brittain once more accepted the opportunity and sent the keeper the wrong way.
Only top class goalkeeping from Fraser denied St Johnstone the lead again three minutes later when he produced an instinctive point-blank stop from Tade's powerful downward header.
A misplaced header from Frazer Wright presented Wohlfarth with a great chance to snatch a winner for the visitors but the striker nodded wide as the action swung to the other end.
Both sides went in search of a third goal in a frantic closing sequence but had to settle for a share of the spoils which will have pleased Inverness more than the managers at McDiarmid Park.
- 01 Mannus
- 02 MacKay
- 05 Wright
- 06 Anderson
- 33 Scobbie
- 07 Millar Booked
- 08 Davidson
- 21 Abeid
- 09 Tade (Hasselbaink - 83' )
- 17 MacLean
- 23 Vine (Gwion Edwards - 68' )
- 15 Tuffey
- 19 Miller
- 04 Cregg
- 14 Gwion Edwards
- 16 Doughty
- 11 Hasselbaink
- 41 Kane
- 01 Fraser
- 04 Munro Booked
- 13 Hainault
- 18 Ikonomou (Micic - 46' Booked )
- 22 Kovacevic
- 08 Lawson Booked
- 10 Brittain
- 11 Vigurs
- 12 Quinn
- 16 Sproule
- 15 Wohlfarth (Kettlewell - 90' )
- 19 Gallacher
- 03 Micic (Ross - 73' )
- 23 Macphee
- 07 Kettlewell
- 14 Scott
- 21 Cooper
- 24 Ross
Live Text Commentary
Full Time The referee signals the end of the game.90:00 +3:00
Steven MacLean gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Paul Lawson. Michael Fraser takes the direct free kick.90:00 +1:34
Free kick taken by Alan Mannus.90:00 +1:34 Substitution
Substitution Stuart Kettlewell is brought on as a substitute for Steffen Wohlfarth.90:00 +1:34
Rocco Quinn concedes a free kick for a foul on Chris Millar.89:25
Unfair challenge on Nigel Hasselbaink by Mihael Kovacevic results in a free kick. Free kick crossed by Thomas Scobbie.87:34
Nigel Hasselbaink delivers the ball.84:00
Steffen Wohlfarth is caught offside. Free kick taken by Alan Mannus.82:50
Unfair challenge on Steven MacLean by Andre Hainault results in a free kick. Free kick crossed by Mehdi Abeid, Iain Vigurs makes a clearance.82:09 Substitution
Substitution Nigel Hasselbaink joins the action as a substitute, replacing Gregory Tade.81:38
Steffen Wohlfarth takes a shot. Comfortable save by Alan Mannus.79:30
Steffen Wohlfarth produces a header from deep inside the six-yard box which goes wide of the right-hand post.77:29
Iain Vigurs concedes a free kick for a foul on Gwion Edwards. The ball is swung over by Mehdi Abeid, Gregory Tade takes a shot. Fantastic save by Michael Fraser.76:30
Gwion Edwards takes a shot. Michael Fraser makes a comfortable save.75:38
Assist on the goal came from Ivan Sproule.75:38 Goal scored
Goal! - Richard Brittain - St J'stone 2 - 2 Ross Co Richard Brittain scores a placed penalty. St Johnstone 2-2 Ross County.74:48
Richard Brittain takes a shot. Save by Alan Mannus. Penalty awarded for an unfair challenge on Ivan Sproule by Thomas Scobbie.74:20
Steven MacLean concedes a free kick for a foul on Andre Hainault. Michael Fraser takes the direct free kick.72:22
Grant Munro takes the direct free kick. Ivan Sproule is ruled offside. Alan Mannus takes the indirect free kick.72:22 Substitution
Substitution (Ross County) makes a substitution, with Steven Ross coming on for Branislav Micic.
Mehdi Abeid is penalised for a handball.71:48
The ball is crossed by Chris Millar.71:28
Outswinging corner taken by Mehdi Abeid.69:44
Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Mehdi Abeid from the left by-line, Mihael Kovacevic manages to make a clearance.69:14
Steffen Wohlfarth gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Thomas Scobbie. Alan Mannus takes the direct free kick.68:08
Steven MacLean gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Grant Munro. Direct free kick taken by Michael Fraser.67:18 Substitution
Substitution Gwion Edwards joins the action as a substitute, replacing Rowan Vine.67:08
Shot by Steffen Wohlfarth from deep inside the penalty area misses to the right of the target.65:53
David MacKay restarts play with the free kick.65:53 Booking
Booking Paul Lawson is shown a yellow card.65:49
Foul by Paul Lawson on Mehdi Abeid, free kick awarded.61:07
The free kick is delivered right-footed by Rowan Vine from right channel.61:07 Booking
Booking Branislav Micic goes into the book for unsporting behaviour.60:53
Branislav Micic concedes a free kick for a foul on Gregory Tade.59:04
Corner taken by Mehdi Abeid from the right by-line.56:30
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Andre Hainault by Mehdi Abeid. Michael Fraser takes the direct free kick.55:24
Iain Vigurs sends in a cross, clearance made by Frazer Wright.55:01
Paul Lawson takes a short corner.53:40
Foul by Mehdi Abeid on Paul Lawson, free kick awarded. Michael Fraser takes the direct free kick.52:40
Chris Millar delivers the ball, Steven MacLean has an effort at goal from deep inside the area missing to the right of the goal.51:19
Ivan Sproule is caught offside. Alan Mannus takes the indirect free kick.50:10
The ball is swung over by Mehdi Abeid.47:30
The ball is swung over by Branislav Micic, Thomas Scobbie makes a clearance.45:12
Free kick awarded for a foul by Gregory Tade on Grant Munro. Michael Fraser takes the free kick.45:01
The second half kicks off.45:01 Substitution
Substitution Branislav Micic on for Evangelos Ikonomou.45:00 +0:05 Half time
Half Time The match has reached half-time.44:45
The ball is crossed by Rowan Vine, save by Michael Fraser.44:07
Unfair challenge on Rowan Vine by Mihael Kovacevic results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Alan Mannus.43:44
Rowan Vine is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Free kick taken by Andre Hainault.42:19
Shot by Ivan Sproule. Save made by Alan Mannus. Paul Lawson takes a inswinging corner from the left by-line played to the near post, Steven MacLean manages to make a clearance. Shot by Evangelos Ikonomou from outside the box goes high over the crossbar.41:40
Rocco Quinn fouled by Steven MacLean, the ref awards a free kick. Andre Hainault takes the free kick.38:53
Corner taken left-footed by Iain Vigurs, clearance by Steven MacLean. Paul Lawson takes a shot. Save by Alan Mannus. Corner taken by Paul Lawson from the left by-line, clearance by Steven MacLean. Corner taken left-footed by Iain Vigurs, save by Alan Mannus.37:10
Corner taken left-footed by Iain Vigurs, Steven Anderson makes a clearance.36:35
Mehdi Abeid takes a shot. Michael Fraser makes a save.35:41
Grant Munro fouled by Gregory Tade, the ref awards a free kick. Michael Fraser takes the free kick.33:46
Free kick awarded for a foul by Richard Brittain on Steven MacLean. Mehdi Abeid crosses the ball in from the free kick.33:17
Andre Hainault gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Steven MacLean. Steven Anderson takes the free kick.32:44
Mehdi Abeid challenges Evangelos Ikonomou unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Grant Munro.31:07
Iain Vigurs shoots direct from the free kick.31:07 Booking
Booking Chris Millar goes into the referee's book.30:05
Foul by Frazer Wright on Paul Lawson, free kick awarded.29:20
Foul by Mehdi Abeid on Richard Brittain, free kick awarded. Paul Lawson takes the free kick.28:25
Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Mehdi Abeid from the right by-line to the near post, clearance made by Iain Vigurs. Rowan Vine produces a left-footed shot from just outside the box that misses to the right of the target.28:14
Shot by Chris Millar. Iain Vigurs gets a block in.26:29
Grant Munro challenges Mehdi Abeid unfairly and gives away a free kick. Mehdi Abeid crosses the ball from the free kick right-footed from right wing.25:50
Shot from long range by Paul Lawson goes wide of the left-hand post.25:25
Murray Davidson is penalised for a handball. The free kick is delivered left-footed by Iain Vigurs from right wing, Frazer Wright manages to make a clearance.24:12
Assist on the goal came from Mehdi Abeid.24:12 Goal scored
Goal! - Murray Davidson - St J'stone 2 - 1 Ross Co Murray Davidson grabs a headed goal from inside the penalty area. St Johnstone 2-1 Ross County.23:37
The ball is delivered by Mehdi Abeid,23:37 Booking
Booking Grant Munro is cautioned.23:29
Grant Munro challenges Murray Davidson unfairly and gives away a free kick.22:12
David MacKay takes a shot. Save by Michael Fraser.20:52
The ball is delivered by Evangelos Ikonomou, Header from deep inside the area by Iain Vigurs goes over the bar.20:38
Richard Brittain takes a shot. Blocked by Steven Anderson.17:40
Ivan Sproule produces a right-footed shot from the edge of the box and misses to the right of the goal.17:11
Iain Vigurs takes a shot. Thomas Scobbie gets a block in.16:11
Inswinging corner taken by Iain Vigurs from the right by-line, clearance by Thomas Scobbie.15:30
Centre by Iain Vigurs, Steven Anderson makes a clearance.14:49
Evangelos Ikonomou fouled by Gregory Tade, the ref awards a free kick. Grant Munro restarts play with the free kick.14:01
The assist for the goal came from Iain Vigurs.14:01 Goal scored
Goal! - Richard Brittain - St J'stone 1 - 1 Ross Co Richard Brittain scores a placed penalty. St Johnstone 1-1 Ross County.13:37
Foul by Steven Anderson on Iain Vigurs, Penalty awarded.13:23
Iain Vigurs takes a shot. Save by Alan Mannus.12:10
Iain Vigurs takes a shot. Alan Mannus makes a save.11:35
Unfair challenge on Mihael Kovacevic by Rowan Vine results in a free kick. Andre Hainault takes the direct free kick.8:46
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Mehdi Abeid by Paul Lawson. Mehdi Abeid takes the free kick.7:16
Rocco Quinn gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Murray Davidson. Direct free kick taken by Steven Anderson.5:07
Assist on the goal came from Gregory Tade.5:07 Goal scored
Goal! - Steven MacLean - St J'stone 1 - 0 Ross Co Steven MacLean finds the net with a headed goal from just inside the penalty area. St Johnstone 1-0 Ross County.0:53
Richard Brittain fouled by Rowan Vine, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Andre Hainault.0:13
Mehdi Abeid is caught offside. Free kick taken by Andre Hainault.0:00
The game kicks-off.
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