Scottish Premiership
Ross County1St Johnstone2

Ross County 1-2 St Johnstone

St Johnstone opened their Scottish Premiership campaign with a hard-fought victory over Ross County in Dingwall.

Saints, who sold Stevie May to Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday, went ahead through Michael O'Halloran's strike.

And last season's Scottish Cup final goalscorer Steven MacLean headed the Perth side's second after the interval.

Debutant Jake Jervis nodded one back for County but Derek Adams' men were unable to find a leveller.

And with the three points, Saints made up for the disappointment of Europa League elimination at the hands of Spartak Trnava on Thursday.

Thursday's draw, which completed a 3-2 aggregate win for the Slovak side, featured May's last goal for St Johnstone and it was down to O'Halloran and MacLean to bear the goalscoring burden.

County's line-up featured five new players after a busy summer of recruitment at Victoria Park.

And they threatened early on with Filip Kiss, Yoann Arquin and Tim Dreesen having shots charged down before Jervis was denied by goalkeeper Alan Mannus.

At the other end, David Wotherspoon's free-kick flew narrowly over,

But before too long, the visitors had the lead as captain Dave Mackay's cross was swept home by O'Halloran.

Michael O'Halloran scores for St Johnstone against Ross County
O'Halloran despatched the ball into the net to give Saints the lead

The hosts were almost level when Carey ran at the Saints' defence and saw his shot brilliantly touched onto the crossbar by Mannus.

The second half was barely minutes old when St Johnstone scored their second.

Scott Brown fired a ball into the penalty area and MacLean was first to react with a diving header past Antonio Reguero.

However, County were thrown a lifeline when a deep cross from Arquin was met by Jervis, who climbed at the back post to head home.

Jervis then set up Kiss for a shot that was far too high.

Claims for a Ross County penalty were turned away following Tam Scobbie's challenge on Jervis and the home side kept pushing in the closing stages.

But St Johnstone saw out victory ahead of their home match against Celtic on Wednesday.

Line-ups

Ross County

  • 1Reguero
  • 2DreesenBooked at 28mins
  • 19Fenlon
  • 5Boyd
  • 3Celcer
  • 23Carey
  • 10KissSubstituted forCardleat 77'minutes
  • 8Brittain
  • 4QuinnSubstituted forDe Leeuwat 69'minutes
  • 15ArquinBooked at 90mins
  • 9JervisSubstituted forBoyceat 85'minutes

Substitutes

  • 6Saunders
  • 7Cardle
  • 11De Leeuw
  • 14Maatsen
  • 16Boyce
  • 20Balk
  • 21Brown

St Johnstone

  • 1Mannus
  • 3Scobbie
  • 2Mackay
  • 5Wright
  • 6Anderson
  • 10WotherspoonSubstituted forCaddisat 73'minutes
  • 29O'HalloranSubstituted forCroftat 82'minutes
  • 8McDonald
  • 7Millar
  • 20Brown
  • 9MacLeanSubstituted forKaneat 90'minutes

Substitutes

  • 11Morgan
  • 15Banks
  • 16Caddis
  • 19Miller
  • 22Croft
  • 25Kane
  • 28Gilchrist
Referee:
Kevin Clancy
Attendance:
3,287

Match Stats

Home TeamRoss CountyAway TeamSt Johnstone
Possession
Home54%
Away46%
Shots
Home9
Away11
Shots on Target
Home5
Away5
Corners
Home4
Away8
Fouls
Home11
Away18

Live Text

Match ends, Ross County 1, St. Johnstone 2.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Ross County 1, St. Johnstone 2.

Booking

Yoann Arquin (Ross County) is shown the yellow card.

Foul by Yoann Arquin (Ross County).

Lee Croft (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt saved. Melvin De Leeuw (Ross County) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Substitution

Substitution, St. Johnstone. Christopher Kane replaces Steven MacLean.

Corner, Ross County. Conceded by Tam Scobbie.

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

Foul by Frazer Wright (St. Johnstone).

Jim Fenlon (Ross County) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Tam Scobbie (St. Johnstone).

Substitution

Substitution, Ross County. Liam Boyce replaces Jake Jervis.

Corner, St. Johnstone. Conceded by Richard Brittain.

Attempt blocked. Scott Brown (St. Johnstone) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Steven MacLean (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Uros Celcer (Ross County).

Richard Brittain (Ross County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Liam Caddis (St. Johnstone).

Substitution

Substitution, St. Johnstone. Lee Croft replaces Michael O'Halloran.

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

Foul by Scott Brown (St. Johnstone).

Attempt saved. Liam Caddis (St. Johnstone) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Attempt missed. Michael O'Halloran (St. Johnstone) left footed shot from the right side of the box is too high.

Corner, St. Johnstone. Conceded by Scott Boyd.

Substitution

Substitution, Ross County. Joe Cardle replaces Filip Kiss.

Foul by Filip Kiss (Ross County).

Steven Anderson (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Corner, St. Johnstone. Conceded by Tim Dreesen.

Substitution

Substitution, St. Johnstone. Liam Caddis replaces David Wotherspoon.

Jim Fenlon (Ross County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Michael O'Halloran (St. Johnstone).

Substitution

Substitution, Ross County. Melvin De Leeuw replaces Rocco Quinn.

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

Foul by Steven Anderson (St. Johnstone).

Foul by Tim Dreesen (Ross County).

Steven MacLean (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt missed. Filip Kiss (Ross County) right footed shot from the centre of the box is too high.

Corner, Ross County. Conceded by Tam Scobbie.

Steven MacLean (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

goal