St Johnstone 1-1 Ross County- Match Report

Saints held againSt Johnstone's winless start to the new Scottish Premiership season continued as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Ross County at McDiarmid Park on Tuesday.The away side were quicker out of the traps and took the lead when Craig Curran made it three goals in two games with a cool finish in a first half which they dominated.Tommy Wright's men improved after the break and their own in-form striker, Graham Cummins, equalised with an accurate finish moments after he had hit the post from close range.But County looked the more likely to find a winner as the Saints, who finished fourth last season, had to settle for a draw which means they have only gathered two points from their opening three matches in a start to the season which has also seen them exit the Europa League at the first hurdle.The match got off to a lively start with both sides creating half-chances

County threatened first when Michael Gardyne's cross found Andrew Davies at the back post and the defender's header was pushed away by home goalkeeper Alan Mannus.Cummins forced his way into St Johnstone's starting line-up having scored from the bench in his side's first two league matches but the forward failed to convert two early opportunities provided by Liam Craig

First, he headed wide from a corner before his hooked effort was well saved by Scott Fox.At the other end, Mannus was out quickly to smother Jackson Irvine's attempted effort after the midfielder was sent through by Liam Boyce, but the visitors did not have to wait much longer for the breakthrough.Boyce again was the creative force on 17 minutes, slipping a through-ball to Curran which caught out the Saints' high defensive line and the in-form Englishman made no mistake by calmly slotting his effort past Mannus.St Johnstone enjoyed plenty of possession and territory as they attempted to respond, but an end product was lacking and the closest they came to a first-half leveller was when Craig smashed over from the edge of the box after County had failed to clear a corner.Jim McIntyre's men twice came close to scoring a second before the interval

Gardyne's delivery found Raffaele De Vita six yards from goal and the winger looked certain to score but his effort deflected agonisingly wide of the post.A slick passing move involving Boyce and Gardyne then gave Ian McShane an opportunity but he could only fire straight at Mannus as the away side were denied what would have been a great team goal.St Johnstone came out after the break looking like a different team and they came so close to scoring within minutes of the restart.O'Halloran beat three players in a tremendous run down the right and picked out Cummins with a cut-back

The striker looked destined to score from close-range, but saw his effort somehow bounce off the post and out to safety as County's defenders attempted to throw themselves in the way.Cummins, though, netted the Saints' equaliser in the 52nd minute

O'Halloran again caused havoc down the right and his drilled cross eventually found its way to the Irishman, who finished impressively with a left-footed effort inside the far post.County attempted to respond when Marcus Fraser's free-kick was fumbled by Mannus, but De Vita could only chip his effort off target in a major let-off for the hosts.Both sides made substitutions in a bid to find a winning goal and it was the visitors who looked most likely, with Gardyne forcing Mannus into a late stop with a powerful effort

Source : PA

Source: PA