St Johnstone 2-1 Ross County- Match Report

St Johnstone 2-1 Ross County: Match Report - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game as it happened.McFadden shines for Saints St Johnstone clung on for a 2-1 victory over bottom side Ross County to make it a hat-trick of games without defeat.A first-half opener from the excellent James McFadden deservedly gave the McDiarmid Park side the upper hand at half-time.It was an advantage they doubled after the interval when Michael O'Halloran made up for an incredible point-blank miss by rifling home.Jake Jervis pulled one back immediately for the Highlanders, who pressed strongly in search of an equaliser, but time was against them and the hosts held on.Victory will give Saints heart ahead of the Scottish Cup tie between the two sides in seven days' time, but the way County put their hosts under considerable pressure late on will have also given them belief for the rematch.County knew a positive result could be enough to take them off the foot of the Premiership table, but they could not follow up their 3-0 victory over Kilmarnock in their last outing with the point they needed due to St Mirren's defeat at Hamilton.McFadden was pivotal to most of St Johnstone's positive play in what was otherwise an uneventful opening spell.Chris Millar sent in the first shot on target after 10 minutes before Saints threatened again moments later

A magnificent left-wing cross from Simon Lappin put the County defence under pressure, but Jamie Reckord did well to header over with Brian Graham lurking dangerously behind.McFadden was again heavily involved in the 14th minute as he turned on a pass 40 yards from goal and drove forward with intent

His reverse pass was perfect for O'Halloran, but the attacker's shot was too straight and was gathered comfortably by Michael Brown.Brown was beaten midway through the half when McFadden's corner bounced off two players at the edge of the six-yard box, but Graham Carey was in the right place at the right time to hack the ball off the line.With County keeping possession comfortably enough at times but failing to create anything in the final third, it seemed only a matter of time before Saints found the breakthrough at the other end.And it duly came five minutes before the interval.Lee Croft's corner picked out McFadden, who worked enough space to fire in a low shot from 12 yards out on the angle

A deflection off Richard Brittain helped the ball past Carey on the line.There was little change to the pattern of play in the early stages of the second period, although County displayed slightly more ambition.One free-kick just evaded the in-rushing Paul Quinn, but County manager Jim McIntyre then decided to bring on Joe Cardle and Filip Kiss in the 59th minute in a bid to spark his team into life.However, it was Saints who should have doubled their lead in the 65th minute.Croft sprinted to reach McFadden's pass on the bye-line and chipped a tempting ball into the goalmouth

O'Halloran should have scored but somehow managed to head against a post from barely a yard out.The former Bolton man made amends eight minutes later, however.County were busy claiming for a penalty following Millar's challenge on Tony Dingwall when the hosts raced up the field and O'Halloran blasted his finish past Brown from just inside the area.The Staggies gave themselves hope, however, as they suddenly found their attacking verve and pulled a goal back two minutes later.Cardle, who had injected pace and trickery into the visiting side, swung in a dangerous diagonal cross from the left that was nodded down by Scott Boyd and Jervis bundled the loose ball in from four yards out.From a position of comfort at 2-0 up, St Johnstone were suddenly clinging to their slender advantage, but they were able to hold on

Source : PA

Source: PA