Match ends, St. Mirren 1, Ross County 0.
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
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?
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."
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.
- 1AlnwickBooked at 74mins
- 4ShaughnessySubstituted forTaitat 45'minutes
- 21ConnollySubstituted forQuanerat 56'minutes
- 25ErhahonSubstituted forMacPhersonat 56'minutes
- 11DurmusSubstituted forFlynnat 66'minutes
- 23ErwinSubstituted forObikaat 56'minutes
- 3TremarcoBooked at 28minsSubstituted forIacovittiat 45'minutes
- 20SpittalSubstituted forTillsonat 63'minutes
- 19LakinSubstituted forPatonat 67'minutes
- 7GardyneSubstituted forShawat 45'minutes
- 28AndreuSubstituted forDonaldsonat 45'minutes
- Greg Aitken
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, St. Mirren 1, Ross County 0.
Attempt missed. Cameron MacPherson (St. Mirren) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Kyle McAllister.
Foul by Jamie McGrath (St. Mirren).
Jordan Tillson (Ross County) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
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.
Corner, Ross County. Conceded by Richard Tait.
Offside, Ross County. Coll Donaldson tries a through ball, but Jordan Tillson is caught offside.
Attempt missed. Harrison Paton (Ross County) left footed shot from the centre of the box is too high.
Goal! St. Mirren 1, Ross County 0. Jamie McGrath (St. Mirren) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the bottom right corner.
Penalty St. Mirren. Collin Quaner draws a foul in the penalty area.
Penalty conceded by Leo Fuhr Hjelde (Ross County) after a foul in the penalty area.
Jake Doyle-Hayes (St. Mirren) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Harrison Paton (Ross County).
Foul by Kyle McAllister (St. Mirren).
Coll Donaldson (Ross County) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Offside, St. Mirren. Jak Alnwick tries a through ball, but Kyle McAllister is caught offside.
Corner, Ross County. Conceded by Ryan Flynn.
Attempt blocked. Oli Shaw (Ross County) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Coll Donaldson.
Corner, Ross County. Conceded by Cameron MacPherson.
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