Scottish Premiership
Ross County1St Johnstone1

Ross County 1-1 St Johnstone: Billy McKay earns County late point

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Highlights: Ross County 1-1 St Johnstone

Billy Mckay's late equaliser earned Ross County a scrappy Scottish Premiership draw against St Johnstone.

Stevie May put the visitors ahead in Dingwall, finishing well in wild conditions after 32 minutes.

The visitors had numerous chances to finish the game off, but Mckay touched in from close-range deep into added time.

Ross County remain in ninth with just one win in their last 10 league matches.

Had they held on, Tommy Wright's side would have only been behind Hibernian in sixth on goal difference, with the Perth side still unbeaten in their last five games in all competitions.

The game was one of just two Scottish Premiership matches to go ahead on Saturday, with Rangers v Livingston and Motherwell v St Mirren both postponed.

St Johnstone's naivety costs them dear

"It's a real kick in the teeth to lose a goal that late on when we have possession of the ball. We mess about on the ball twice. There's a real naivety."

St Johnstone's players may not have read the words of Motherwell manager Stephen Robinson following their own last-gasp winner at McDiarmid Park on Wednesday night, but that is irrelevant. They watched as they were handed possession, gratefully receiving one last chance to secure all three points, which they duly took. They watched as their counterparts fell to the ground, knowing everything they had worked for over the course of 90 minutes had been ruined.

Just three days later, St Johnstone were this time on the receiving end of it.

It took a while for them to get to grips with the conditions left in the aftermath of Storm Ciara during their fixture with Motherwell on Wednesday night. In fact, it took them 70 minutes to really turn up. But in those last 20 they were superb.

You would have forgiven them for a similarly slow start in Dingwall. The pitch seemingly half-grass, half-mud by half-time, Storm Dennis in full flow and a much-changed line-up.

And start slowly they did, but this time, that lethargy lasted about 15 minutes as they felt their way into the game. It should be said they did not concede so much as a chance during that time as well, Oli Shaw's long-range effort the only thing Zander Clark had to think about as he turned the shot round the post.

Shortly after that, they turned the screw. Ross Laidlaw first saved from May, then from Drey Wright seconds later. Scott Tanser headed Wright's cross straight at the County keeper, when he really should have scored.

The warning signs were there for the home side. David Wotherspoon was inches away from giving St Johnstone the lead, as his effort from a cut-back somehow went wide of the far post.

Just after the half-hour mark, they got their breakthrough. May picked up a loose ball, scooped it out of the mud to Kane. He returned the ball with a delicate pass and May ruthlessly slotted past Laidlaw.

County raced out the traps after the break, with St Johnstone half asleep. But rather than get their second wind with 20 minutes to go like against Motherwell, they drifted further into their slumber.

St Johnstone have not beaten Ross County since 2017, a run stretching eight matches

Zander Clark, whose error allowed Motherwell to equalise midweek, started flapping at crosses. With just minutes to go, he spilled one of them on to Mckay's toe. The ball rolled across the line, then cleared straight back into Clark's mid-section, before rolling along the line once more and eventually being cleared to safety.

At last St Johnstone found some life as their opponents opened up in search of an equaliser. But they got a bit over-excited. They flooded forward in injury time, and nearly scored through Michael O'Halloran, while Wright twice missed the target.

But those misses and failure to kill the game allowed the hosts one last opportunity to get the ball into the box. Clark once again came, Clark once again flapped, and the ball was fired back across goal for a delighted Mckay to tap in.

Two big points dropped by St Johnstone, entirely of their own doing, and a big point for Ross County as they do their utmost to avoid getting dragged into a relegation battle.

Man of the match - Stevie May

Eilidh Davies at the Global Energy Stadium for BBC Scotland

St Johnstone's Stevie May proved why he's part of an in-from side who for large parts of the match looked to have done enough to secure a victory in Dingwall.

The striker appears to have found his confidence again. The 27-year-old broke the deadlock in the first half. He also set up an excellent chance for David Wotherspoon with the ball dropping perfectly in the area only for Wotherspoon to fire wide.

May's attitude and flair was evident throughout the match - although it wasn't quite enough to claim all three points in the end.

'Huge disappointment' - reaction

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Donaldson may have cheek fracture - Kettlewell

Ross County co-manager Stuart Kettlewell: "St Johnstone were rightfully ahead after 45 minutes. But we were able to rectify it and change our shape. Fortunately, it comes up trumps for us. It's a very valuable point and we've just said to the players that we have to ensure that after the next 11 games, we can look back and say it was a vital point in the season."

St Johnstone manager Tommy Wright: "Huge disappointment, [our] performance deserved all three points. It was an opportunity to gain on the teams above us to get three points it would have taken us above Kilmarnock, took us level on points with Hibs and three points closer to Livingston."

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St Johnstone 'wasteful' in draw with County - Wright

Line-ups

Ross County

  • 1Laidlaw
  • 2Fraser
  • 5Morris
  • 25Donaldson
  • 14Mullin
  • 26CowieSubstituted forSpittalat 76'minutes
  • 6DraperBooked at 35minsSubstituted forPatonat 45'minutes
  • 11Vigurs
  • 18Foster
  • 9Mckay
  • 19ShawSubstituted forErwinat 62'minutes

Substitutes

  • 4Fontaine
  • 8Erwin
  • 15Watson
  • 20Spittal
  • 21Baxter
  • 22Tillson
  • 24Paton

St Johnstone

  • 1Clark
  • 15Kerr
  • 23Gordon
  • 4McCart
  • 7Wright
  • 18McCann
  • 10WotherspoonBooked at 84mins
  • 16ButcherSubstituted forHoltat 72'minutes
  • 3Tanser
  • 14MaySubstituted forO'Halloranat 70'minutes
  • 9KaneSubstituted forHendryat 82'minutes

Substitutes

  • 11Swanson
  • 12Parish
  • 17O'Halloran
  • 19Holt
  • 21Ralston
  • 22Hendry
  • 24Booth
Referee:
Colin Steven
Attendance:
3,569

Match Stats

Home TeamRoss CountyAway TeamSt Johnstone
Possession
Home52%
Away48%
Shots
Home5
Away13
Shots on Target
Home2
Away5
Corners
Home7
Away3
Fouls
Home11
Away5

Live Text

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

Full Time

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

Goal!

Goal! Ross County 1, St. Johnstone 1. Billy Mckay (Ross County) right footed shot from very close range to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Josh Mullin.

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

Attempt missed. Drey Wright (St. Johnstone) right footed shot from outside the box is too high.

Attempt saved. Michael O'Halloran (St. Johnstone) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the left is saved in the bottom left corner.

Corner, Ross County. Conceded by Michael O'Halloran.

Corner, Ross County. Conceded by Jason Kerr.

Corner, Ross County. Conceded by Scott Tanser.

Booking

David Wotherspoon (St. Johnstone) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

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

Foul by David Wotherspoon (St. Johnstone).

Callum Morris (Ross County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Callum Hendry (St. Johnstone).

Substitution

Substitution, St. Johnstone. Callum Hendry replaces Christopher Kane.

Foul by Iain Vigurs (Ross County).

David Wotherspoon (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt saved. Michael O'Halloran (St. Johnstone) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Foul by Harrison Paton (Ross County).

Liam Gordon (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

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

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

Foul by Jason Holt (St. Johnstone).

Substitution

Substitution, Ross County. Blair Spittal replaces Don Cowie.

Substitution

Substitution, St. Johnstone. Jason Holt replaces Matt Butcher.

Substitution

Substitution, St. Johnstone. Michael O'Halloran replaces Stevie May.

Hand ball by Harrison Paton (Ross County).

Foul by Iain Vigurs (Ross County).

Matt Butcher (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Ross County. Lee Erwin replaces Oli Shaw.

Attempt missed. Marcus Fraser (Ross County) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.

Foul by Iain Vigurs (Ross County).

Drey Wright (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Corner, Ross County. Conceded by Jason Kerr.

Corner, Ross County. Conceded by Liam Gordon.

Josh Mullin (Ross County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by David Wotherspoon (St. Johnstone).

Foul by Josh Mullin (Ross County).

Jamie McCart (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt missed. David Wotherspoon (St. Johnstone) right footed shot from long range on the left is too high.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic26231277156270
2Rangers25193360164460
3Aberdeen2611873329441
4Motherwell26132113534141
5Livingston2610793834437
6Hibernian268993741-433
7Kilmarnock2695122733-632
8St Johnstone2671092544-1931
9Ross County2768132654-2826
10St Mirren2657142135-1422
11Hamilton2748152850-2220
12Hearts27310142749-2219
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