St Mirren wasted a glut of chances to score against Ross County as the Buddies recorded their eighth draw in sixteen Premiership games this season, playing out an entertaining 0-0 draw with the Staggies at the SMISA Stadium.
Buddies manager Jim Goodwin made two changes to his side following the weekend loss at Hearts, Ryan Flynn dropping to the bench with Kristian Dennis taking his place in the starting XI while the suspended Joe Shaughnessy – sent off at Tynecastle late on – replaced by Kyle McAllister.
Ross County made four changes with Jordan Tillson, Regan Charles-Cook and Jordan White among the substitutes with Ross Callachan, Dominic Samuel and Joseph Hungbo coming into the side and Harry Paton replaced by Jake Vokins as he serves a ban after he was sent off at the weekend.
The home side were unbeaten in six against the Staggies, winning the last four and were looking to leapfrog Hibs into sixth place in the league table with three points over Malky Mackay’s side.
Goodwin had said earlier in the week that he suspected his side would hand out a ‘doing’ to somebody soon but it was the visitors who took control of the early proceedings in Paisley, Dominic Samuel forcing a smart save from Jak Alnwick.
Samuel had done brilliantly to bring the ball down before cutting inside a St Mirren defender and trying to wrap his foot around the ball and curl the ball home but Alnwick was more than a match for it and pushed it clear.
Blair Spittal was also causing some real problems for St Mirren, getting a couple of early efforts at goal as Ross County took control and looked the more likely of the two to grab the opener.
It wasn’t all Ross County though, Scott Tanser firing well over after a brilliant run saw him work his way through the Staggies before blowing his chance at opening the scoring.
Samuel found another fantastic chance to break the deadlock, cutting inside the St Mirren area and showing some dazzling footwork to create some space before launching his shot right out of the ground.
The Buddies then spurned two great chances to get in front – a consistent problem for St Mirren this problem – Connor Ronan finding some space to blast one at goal only for County goalkeeper Ashley Maynard-Brewer to deal with it comfortably before Eamonn Brophy beat his marker and got an effort beyond Maynard-Brewer but Vokins managed to clear it off the line and avert the danger.
As the game ticked towards the break, the hosts started to assert themselves on the game a bit more and found themselves in the ascendancy, Eamonn Brophy again having a chance to open the scoring but getting his shot all wrong.
By the time the teams were heading off at half-time, St Mirren had had arguably the best chances of the game and were controlling the tempo but, had continued to waste their chances in front of goal.
— St Mirren FC (@saintmirrenfc) December 1, 2021
After the restart, it was more of the same from both sides as they wasted chance after chance to break the deadlock – highlighting exactly what both managers should be demanding when the transfer window opens next month.
With the number of chances being created, there was surely going to be a goal and Ronan was next to try his luck, forcing an impressive save from Maynard-Brewer.
St Mirren were well on top and Goodwin must have been wondering what was going wrong as the Buddies continued to pass up chance after chance to score as they ensured County’s keeper earned his wages this week.
There was almost a late sickener for the hosts, Alnwick making two massive saves to deny to first deny Spittal and then the follow up from Cancola as Ross County almost stole the three points right at the death.
St Mirren had just enough time to get one more chance cleared off the line, Keith Watson somehow stopping substitute Curtis Main from scoring and ensuring a share of the spoils.
The most infuriating thing for Goodwin is that he clearly has some very talented players in the final third but they lack an old-fashioned goal-scorer who can make the most of playing ahead of the likes of Brophy and Jamie McGrath.
Goodwin’s prediction of giving someone a ‘doing’ remains unfulfilled so far but it’s hard not to at least see where he gets his confidence from.
All the Buddies need now is someone who can score regularly.
For Ross County, it’s hard to be too critical of Malky Mackay’s side despite being second-best for much of the game; taking a good point back up the road to Dingwall with them.
St Mirren: Alnwick, Tait, Fraser, Dunne, Tanser, Power, McGrath, McAllister, Ronan, Dennis, Brophy.
Substitutes: Lyness, Millar, Erhahon, Flynn, Kiltie, Erwin, Main.
Ross County: Maynard-Brewer, Randall, Baldwin, Iacovitti, Vokins, Paton, Cancola, Callachan, Spittal, Hungbo.
Substitutes: Robertson, Watson, Charles-Cook, Burroughs, Tillson, White, Laidlaw.
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