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's Murray Davidson
Murray Davidson headed St Johnstone in front

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.

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