Scottish Premiership
St JohnstoneSt Johnstone1St MirrenSt Mirren0

St Johnstone 1-0 St Mirren: Goodwin left frustrated with referee in his side's defeat

By Nick McPheatBBC Scotland

St Mirren boss Jim Goodwin described the call to send off Cammy MacPherson as "a joke" in his side's Scottish Premiership loss to St Johnstone.

The midfielder received two bookings for sliding challenges either side of the half-time interval.

Chris Kane's finish won the game, and Goodwin also took exception to the referee's decision making in the build-up to the goal.

"It's been a miserable afternoon," said Goodwin.

"Joe Shaughnessy clearly heads the ball onto Guy Melamed's arm [in the build-up to the goal], whose arm is way above his head. If it happens in the penalty area you are screaming for a penalty. Steven McLean's view of that is perfect.

"The sending off is a joke as far as I'm concerned. For the first one I think it's a good honest tackle. You could argue Cammy's trailing leg catches the St Johnstone player. The second one is just a mistake. I think the referee's position is all wrong. I don't think he can see Cammy touches the ball."

The win for St Johnstone ended a 10-game winless league run and means they are now level on points with eighth-placed St Mirren.

The visitors briefly started the brighter of the two sides as Eamonn Brophy came close to getting on the end of a Jamie McGrath volley that was driven into the ground.

But as the early stages progressed, the home side began to feel their way into the game as both Scott Tanser and Shaun Rooney saw two dangerous balls in quick succession evade everyone in the St Mirren box.

David Wotherspoon then came close to breaking the deadlock with a curling free-kick that drifted narrowly wide of Jak Alnwick's top-right corner, before Joe Shaughnessy glanced wide from a deep McGrath free-kick up the other end.

Shaughnessy was then called into duty in his own box as Kane turned Conor McCarthy before feeding Guy Melamed, but the St Mirren captain did well to deny the Israeli striker with a last-ditch challenge at close range.

However, the hosts would have their goal less than a minute into the second period. Melamed flicked a neat through ball to Kane who hammered a volley towards Alnwick from the edge of the box.

The St Mirren keeper could only parry straight back into the path of Kane who tapped home his sixth goal of the season.

The away side's afternoon went from bad to worse when MacPherson was dismissed for a second bookable offence just 10 minutes later, having mistimed two sliding tackles either side of the break.

Man of the match - Chris Kane

Chris Kane challenges with Jake Doyle-Hayes
The 26-year-old worked tirelessly all afternoon, grabbed the important winner and was unlucky not to have a brace

What did we learn?

So many times this season St Johnstone's frontline has failed to take chances when it counts, and it increasingly looked like an area of the pitch that Davidson would have to address in January.

However, with two goals in his last two games in matches that have earned the Perth side four points, Kane looks like he might be working himself into a run of form in a striking partnership with Melamed that looks promising.

As for St Mirren, after an impressive run throughout November and December - taking 14 points from seven games - their form has begun to stutter with no wins in four league games. And while their Covid breach appeal may have brought good news, the Paisley club now see themselves just five points off the bottom two. Goodwin's men cannot afford to let this dip in form spiral out of control.

What they said

St Johnstone manager Callum Davidson: "It was a funny game. First half there wasn't a lot in it. But if we wanted the three points, I asked for a scrappy 1-0 win and we got that.

"We can play better. The energy levels can be better. Defensively we were really good today. We were really solid and we got close to St Mirren."

St Mirren manager Jim Goodwin: "It was a really poor game. Jak Alnwik has had one save to make all afternoon and it's the save that leads to the goal. I thought it had 0-0 written all over it."

What's next?

Both sides take part in next weekend's Scottish League Cup semi-finals as St Johnstone face Hibernian on Saturday (17:30 GMT) before St Mirren take on Livingston (16:00) the following day.

Player of the match

McCannAlistair McCann

with an average of 7.34

St Johnstone

  1. Squad number18Player nameMcCann
    Average rating


  2. Squad number9Player nameKane
    Average rating


  3. Squad number17Player nameMelamed
    Average rating


  4. Squad number10Player nameWotherspoon
    Average rating


  5. Squad number19Player nameRooney
    Average rating


  6. Squad number5Player nameKerr
    Average rating


  7. Squad number6Player nameGordon
    Average rating


  8. Squad number3Player nameTanser
    Average rating


  9. Squad number4Player nameMcCart
    Average rating


  10. Squad number14Player nameMay
    Average rating


  11. Squad number1Player nameClark
    Average rating


  12. Squad number13Player nameBryson
    Average rating


  13. Squad number8Player nameDavidson
    Average rating


  14. Squad number26Player nameCraig
    Average rating


  15. Squad number22Player nameHendry
    Average rating


St Mirren

  1. Squad number23Player nameErwin
    Average rating


  2. Squad number1Player nameAlnwick
    Average rating


  3. Squad number2Player nameTait
    Average rating


  4. Squad number4Player nameShaughnessy
    Average rating


  5. Squad number5Player nameMcCarthy
    Average rating


  6. Squad number22Player nameFraser
    Average rating


  7. Squad number14Player nameMacPherson
    Average rating


  8. Squad number17Player nameMcGrath
    Average rating


  9. Squad number7Player nameDoyle-Hayes
    Average rating


  10. Squad number29Player nameBrophy
    Average rating


  11. Squad number25Player nameErhahon
    Average rating


  12. Squad number21Player nameConnolly
    Average rating


  13. Squad number45Player nameQuaner
    Average rating


  14. Squad number9Player nameObika
    Average rating


  15. Squad number10Player nameMcAllister
    Average rating



St Johnstone

Formation 3-4-1-2

  • 1Clark
  • 5Kerr
  • 6Gordon
  • 4McCart
  • 19Rooney
  • 13BrysonSubstituted forCraigat 88'minutes
  • 18McCann
  • 3TanserBooked at 65mins
  • 10WotherspoonSubstituted forDavidsonat 68'minutesBooked at 85mins
  • 17MelamedSubstituted forMayat 68'minutes
  • 9KaneSubstituted forHendryat 82'minutes


  • 7Conway
  • 8Davidson
  • 12Parish
  • 14May
  • 22Hendry
  • 24Booth
  • 26Craig

St Mirren

Formation 4-3-3

  • 1Alnwick
  • 22Fraser
  • 5McCarthy
  • 4Shaughnessy
  • 2Tait
  • 14MacPhersonBooked at 55mins
  • 7Doyle-Hayes
  • 17McGrath
  • 21ConnollySubstituted forErhahonat 60'minutes
  • 29BrophySubstituted forQuanerat 67'minutesSubstituted forMcAllisterat 87'minutes
  • 23ErwinSubstituted forObikaat 87'minutes


  • 8Flynn
  • 9Obika
  • 10McAllister
  • 11Durmus
  • 16Foley
  • 20Dennis
  • 25Erhahon
  • 26Lyness
  • 45Quaner
Steven McLean

Match Stats

Home TeamSt JohnstoneAway TeamSt Mirren
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, St. Johnstone 1, St. Mirren 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, St. Johnstone 1, St. Mirren 0.

  3. Post update

    Offside, St. Johnstone. Liam Craig tries a through ball, but Stevie May is caught offside.

  4. Post update

    Hand ball by Ethan Erhahon (St. Mirren).

  5. Substitution

    Substitution, St. Johnstone. Liam Craig replaces Craig Bryson.

  6. Substitution

    Substitution, St. Mirren. Kyle McAllister replaces Collin Quaner because of an injury.

  7. Substitution

    Substitution, St. Mirren. Jonathan Obika replaces Lee Erwin.

  8. Booking

    Murray Davidson (St. Johnstone) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  9. Post update

    Collin Quaner (St. Mirren) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  10. Post update

    Foul by Murray Davidson (St. Johnstone).

  11. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Craig Bryson (St. Johnstone) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  12. Substitution

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

  13. Post update

    Attempt missed. Conor McCarthy (St. Mirren) header from the centre of the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Jamie McGrath with a cross following a set piece situation.

  14. Post update

    Jamie McGrath (St. Mirren) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  15. Post update

    Foul by Scott Tanser (St. Johnstone).

  16. Post update

    Foul by Jake Doyle-Hayes (St. Mirren).

  17. Post update

    Alistair McCann (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  18. Post update

    Offside, St. Johnstone. Alistair McCann tries a through ball, but Stevie May is caught offside.

  19. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Craig Bryson (St. Johnstone) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Stevie May.

  20. Post update

    Corner, St. Johnstone. Conceded by Joe Shaughnessy.

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