Scottish Premiership
St MirrenSt Mirren1Ross CountyRoss County0

St Mirren 1-0 Ross County: Late Jamie McGrath penalty the difference

By Andrew SouthwickBBC Scotland

Collin Quaner should be punished if he is found to have cheated to earn the decisive penalty in St Mirren's win over Ross County, says Jim Goodwin.

The German forward was labelled a diver by Ross County boss John Hughes after going down under a challenge from Leo Hjelde late in the game.

Jamie McGrath converted the spot-kick to put Saints on course to finish in the Scottish Premiership top six.

"It was minimal contact," said St Mirren manager Goodwin.

Goodwin, who earlier this month called for divers to be named and shamed, told BBC Scotland: "If there is any indication that our player has dived, I'll be the first person to tell him it's not acceptable.

"There's far too many players getting far too many soft penalties out there. If my player is the one to get the book thrown at him then so be it. I don't think it's simulation, I think there's contact, but is it enough to go over - I don't know."

St Mirren were heading for their fifth draw in a row when Irish midfielder McGrath's spot-kick ensured the hosts are now four points clear of seventh-placed Dundee United, and one behind fifth-placed Livingston.

County, who hit the woodwork twice, remain in 10th.

And bottom-of-the-table Hamilton have a game in hand over John Hughes' strugglers, who were unable to build on last week's win over Celtic.

St Mirren dominated the first half, and it took an excellent Ross Laidlaw save to deny Conor McCarthy's point-blank header from breaking the deadlock.

They had other chances, too, with Dylan Connolly shooting over and Lee Erwin flashing a shot wide. It was a fine first 45 minutes from Jim Goodwin's side and all that was missing was the goal.

But St Mirren captain Joe Shaughnessy was unable to emerge for the second half after failing to shake-off a head knock.

County boss Hughes made three changes to try and get his side going, and it appeared to work with the Highlanders hitting the woodwork twice in the opening minutes.

Jordan White's point-blank header forced a great save from Jak Alnwick, who pushed it off the bar. As the hosts struggled to get it clear, Stephen Kelly rattled a shot off the same crossbar.

After 10 minutes of County dominance, Goodwin made a triple change of his own to turn the tide.

However, Ross County remained in the ascendency, with Cammy MacPherson having to head Alex Iacovitti's header off the line, and they looked the more likely as the home side were pushed deeper.

But then Quaner skipped into the County box and was tripped by on-loan Celtic defender Hjelde. McGrath dispatched the penalty low into the bottom right-hand corner.

Harry Paton fired over as County tried to rally, but MacPherson nearly made it two only to put his curling effort the wrong side of the post.

Man of the match - Cammy MacPherson

St Mirren's Cammy MacPherson (left)
St Mirren's Cammy MacPherson (left) crucial goal line clearance was pivotal, and he was unlucky not to score late on

What did we learn?

Not since 1985 have St Mirren finished in the top half of the top flight, but it is just one defeat in seven games now, and a third clean sheet in five.

Ross County struggled to create much in the first 45 minutes and it took a string of changes to get them going. While Hughes said they "carried a bit of luck" against Celtic, it deserted them this time.

What did they say?

Jim Goodwin admits St Mirren penalty 'dodgy'

St Mirren manager Jim Goodwin: "I've not watched the penalty back. I thought Quaner got goal side of the defender but it was minimal contact. But it's a terrible time to be a defender, it's not a stick on stonewaller, but we've had a few dodgy ones given against us so to get a dodgy one for us we're pleased, But I'd rather have won it in other terms."

Ross County manager John Hughes: "The referee is paid to make these decisions. I know it's a hard job, but this time of year, what's at stake, he's got to get it right. It was never a penalty, it wouldn't even be a free-kick in open play. It's just another sore one we have to take.

"In the second half I thought we created the better chances a little lady luck deserted us."

Collin Quaner 'dived' for penalty - John Hughes

What's next?

St Mirren next face a trip to Ibrox to play Rangers on Saturday (15:00 GMT), while at the same time Ross County host fellow Premiership strugglers Kilmarnock.

Player of the match

KellyStephen Kelly

with an average of 9.81

St Mirren

  1. Squad number23Player nameErwin
    Average rating

    6.46

  2. Squad number1Player nameAlnwick
    Average rating

    6.24

  3. Squad number17Player nameMcGrath
    Average rating

    5.93

  4. Squad number22Player nameFraser
    Average rating

    5.75

  5. Squad number5Player nameMcCarthy
    Average rating

    5.74

  6. Squad number21Player nameConnolly
    Average rating

    5.48

  7. Squad number2Player nameTait
    Average rating

    5.37

  8. Squad number7Player nameDoyle-Hayes
    Average rating

    5.36

  9. Squad number25Player nameErhahon
    Average rating

    5.25

  10. Squad number45Player nameQuaner
    Average rating

    5.23

  11. Squad number11Player nameDurmus
    Average rating

    5.20

  12. Squad number10Player nameMcAllister
    Average rating

    5.19

  13. Squad number4Player nameShaughnessy
    Average rating

    5.09

  14. Squad number9Player nameObika
    Average rating

    4.92

  15. Squad number14Player nameMacPherson
    Average rating

    4.92

  16. Squad number8Player nameFlynn
    Average rating

    4.89

Ross County

  1. Squad number18Player nameKelly
    Average rating

    9.81

  2. Squad number26Player nameWhite
    Average rating

    5.31

  3. Squad number20Player nameSpittal
    Average rating

    5.23

  4. Squad number8Player nameShaw
    Average rating

    5.18

  5. Squad number1Player nameLaidlaw
    Average rating

    5.13

  6. Squad number25Player nameDonaldson
    Average rating

    5.07

  7. Squad number23Player nameNaismith
    Average rating

    4.97

  8. Squad number16Player nameIacovitti
    Average rating

    4.90

  9. Squad number19Player nameLakin
    Average rating

    4.89

  10. Squad number7Player nameGardyne
    Average rating

    4.82

  11. Squad number4Player nameHjelde
    Average rating

    4.61

  12. Squad number22Player nameTillson
    Average rating

    4.59

  13. Squad number15Player nameWatson
    Average rating

    4.54

  14. Squad number24Player namePaton
    Average rating

    4.28

  15. Squad number3Player nameTremarco
    Average rating

    4.24

  16. Squad number28Player nameAndreu
    Average rating

    3.34

Line-ups

St Mirren

Formation 3-4-2-1

  • 1AlnwickBooked at 74mins
  • 22Fraser
  • 5McCarthy
  • 4ShaughnessySubstituted forTaitat 45'minutes
  • 21ConnollySubstituted forQuanerat 56'minutes
  • 7Doyle-Hayes
  • 25ErhahonSubstituted forMacPhersonat 56'minutes
  • 11DurmusSubstituted forFlynnat 66'minutes
  • 17McGrath
  • 10McAllister
  • 23ErwinSubstituted forObikaat 56'minutes

Substitutes

  • 2Tait
  • 8Flynn
  • 9Obika
  • 14MacPherson
  • 15Finlayson
  • 26Lyness
  • 30Henderson
  • 33Jamieson
  • 45Quaner

Ross County

Formation 4-4-1-1

  • 1Laidlaw
  • 23Naismith
  • 15Watson
  • 4Hjelde
  • 3TremarcoBooked at 28minsSubstituted forIacovittiat 45'minutes
  • 20SpittalSubstituted forTillsonat 63'minutes
  • 18Kelly
  • 19LakinSubstituted forPatonat 67'minutes
  • 7GardyneSubstituted forShawat 45'minutes
  • 28AndreuSubstituted forDonaldsonat 45'minutes
  • 26White

Substitutes

  • 6Draper
  • 8Shaw
  • 9Mckay
  • 14Hylton
  • 16Iacovitti
  • 21Hilton
  • 22Tillson
  • 24Paton
  • 25Donaldson
Referee:
Greg Aitken

Match Stats

Home TeamSt MirrenAway TeamRoss County
Possession
Home50%
Away50%
Shots
Home13
Away11
Shots on Target
Home4
Away4
Corners
Home4
Away8
Fouls
Home8
Away13

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, St. Mirren 1, Ross County 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, St. Mirren 1, Ross County 0.

  3. Post update

    Attempt missed. Cameron MacPherson (St. Mirren) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Kyle McAllister.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Jamie McGrath (St. Mirren).

  5. Post update

    Jordan Tillson (Ross County) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  6. Post update

    Attempt missed. Jordan Tillson (Ross County) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Oli Shaw with a cross.

  7. Post update

    Corner, Ross County. Conceded by Richard Tait.

  8. Post update

    Offside, Ross County. Coll Donaldson tries a through ball, but Jordan Tillson is caught offside.

  9. Post update

    Attempt missed. Harrison Paton (Ross County) left footed shot from the centre of the box is too high.

  10. Post update

    Goal! St. Mirren 1, Ross County 0. Jamie McGrath (St. Mirren) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the bottom right corner.

  11. Post update

    Penalty St. Mirren. Collin Quaner draws a foul in the penalty area.

  12. Post update

    Penalty conceded by Leo Fuhr Hjelde (Ross County) after a foul in the penalty area.

  13. Post update

    Jake Doyle-Hayes (St. Mirren) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  14. Post update

    Foul by Harrison Paton (Ross County).

  15. Post update

    Foul by Kyle McAllister (St. Mirren).

  16. Post update

    Coll Donaldson (Ross County) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  17. Post update

    Offside, St. Mirren. Jak Alnwick tries a through ball, but Kyle McAllister is caught offside.

  18. Post update

    Corner, Ross County. Conceded by Ryan Flynn.

  19. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Oli Shaw (Ross County) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Coll Donaldson.

  20. Post update

    Corner, Ross County. Conceded by Cameron MacPherson.

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As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Rangers3026407396482
2Celtic31207465234267
3Hibernian30157841281352
4Aberdeen3113993230248
5Livingston29117113635140
6St Mirren31109122934-539
7Dundee Utd31811122843-1535
8St Johnstone3089133139-833
9Motherwell3188152846-1832
10Ross County3075182254-3226
11Kilmarnock3174202743-1625
12Hamilton2966172856-2824
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