St Mirren were again left counting the cost of wasted chances as they failed to make their dominance pay against St Johnstone – leaving Perth with a point after a 0-0 draw.
There was a frenetic start at McDiarmid Park as the hosts almost took the lead straight from kick-off after being gifted possession by the visitors – Glenn Middleton picking the ball up and driving at goal before his effort was comfortably saved by former Rangers teammate Jak Alnwick.
The Buddies responded immediately as Jamie McGrath, back in the side after a hip injury, picked out Curtis Main in the St. Johnstone box but the striker headed tamely into the arms of Zander Clark.
Jim Goodwin’s side kept up the pressure and had another opportunity soon afterwards when the impressive McGrath was slipped in down the left by Connor Ronan’s quick free-kick.
The Irish international’s cross eventually fell for Conor McCarthy but the Saints defender put his attempt over the bar when he probably should have done a bit better following some clever attacking play.
St Johnstone went close through Craig Bryson but it was McGrath who provided the real spark in the game and looked most likely to make something happen.
The Irishman showed exactly what the Buddies have been missing since he was carried off against Rangers and his attacking play made up for the weaknesses in Jim Goodwin’s side defensively in the first half.
St Mirren controlled the game after the break, much the same as they had before, with McGrath continuing to pull the strings for Jim Goodwin’s side.
However, there was a familiar problem for the Buddies as they failed to take their chances and wasted their dominance of proceedings by failing to break the deadlock.
Saints boss Callum Davidson will have been happy enough with the point but for Goodwin and his players, there was far too many wasted opportunities in a game they really should have won.
Chris Kane’s late red card had little impact on proceeding with the game ending in a stalemate and it is clear which of the two Saints gaffers will be the happier after the 90 minutes in Perth.
St Johnstone: Clark, Muller, Gordon, McCart, Booth, Davidson, Bryson, Crawford, O’Halloran, Kane, Middleton
Substitutes: Parish, Rooney, Devine, Craig, Wotherspoon, May, Vertainen
St Mirren: Alnwick, Fraser, Shaughnessy, McCarthy, Tait, Flynn, Power, Tanser, Ronan, McGrath, Main
Substitutes: Lyness, Dunne, Erahon, Kiltie, McAllister, Dennis, Brophy
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