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Ross County 1 – 2 St Johnstone

By February 18, 2017No Comments

St Johnstone substitute Christopher Kane hit a dramatic stoppage time winner as Saints maintained their fine away form with a 2-1 Ladbrokes Premiership win at Ross County.

Steven MacLean gave Saints the lead just after the half hour mark but Craig Curran levelled with 17 minutes remaining.

However, in added time Kane flashed home a shot from outside the box worthy of winning any game.

Saints’ Blair Alston had the first chance of the game when he forced a fine save from Scott Fox in the fourth minute. David Wotherspoon sent an inviting ball into the box and Alston’s backheel was touched onto the post by the County goalkeeper.

Saints lost midfielder Murray Davidson after 13 minutes to an injury – he was replaced by Keith Watson.

At the other end both Martin Woods and Liam Boyce had shots charged down in front of goal in quick succession, then Curran cut into the box but his shot was deflected for a corner.

The hosts wasted a glorious chance in the 27th minute when Curran and Boyce linked up in the box – but when the ball fell for Michael Gardyne he blasted over from close range.

County had claims for a penalty turned down on the half hour mark when a Woods free-kick appeared to be handled in the box but nothing was given.

The opening goal came at the other end a minute later. Wotherspoon flicked the ball on for Alston, whose ball back across goal was swept home by MacLean from eight yards.

The visitors created another opening in the 35th minute when Watson floated over a deep cross for MacLean but his downward header was easily held by Fox.

Watson knocked another inviting ball into the box three minutes later but this time Wotherspoon failed to get enough power in his header to trouble Fox.

Saints escaped in the 40th minute when a hopeful ball from Kenny van der Weg found Gardyne, whose effort came off the upright.

However, the visitors hit back seconds later and Brian Easton fired a left foot drive over the bar.

County had the last chance of the half when Boyce turned Watson 20 yards out and flashed a shot just wide of Saints’ keeper Zander Clark’s left hand post.

The second half started with a snapshot from Saints’ Liam Craig which flew well wide of target.

County made an early swap with Jason Naismith replaced Van der Weg in the 53rd minute.

A fast flowing move just before the hour mark finished with an effort from County’s Milan Lalkovic which was deflected behind for a corner.

Saints came close to doubling their lead in the 64th minute when a Keith Watson header from a Wotherspoon corner was blocked on the line by Woods and Fox tipped the loose ball over the bar. The visitors were left claiming Woods had handled the ball but referee John Beaton saw nothing amiss.

County made another couple of changes and it seemed to spark life into them and they drew level in the 73rd minute when Woods threaded the ball through to Curran, who took a touch and slotted the ball past Clark from 10 yards.

The home side came close to edging ahead in the 83rd minute when County skipper Andrew Davies just failed to connect with a Woods corner in front of goal

The game looked to be heading for a draw but in stoppage time Wotherspoon won the ball back and when the ball went into the middle substitute Christopher Kane lashed the ball high into the net from just outside the 18-yard box.

County had another chance to level just before the full time whistle when Alex Schalk forced a save from Clark – and Davies blasted the rebound well over.