St Mirren and St Johnstone remain without a win in the Scottish Premiership after a tight goalless draw in Paisley.
St Johnstone’s Glenn Middleton hit the bar with a free-kick in the game’s best chance before Ethan Erhahon was sent off for St Mirren moments later. The home side hung on for a point but linger in 11th with two points from four games while St Johnstone are ninth with three heading into the international break.
For a first half that produced no knockout blow, there were certainly plenty of punches thrown. St Mirren’s makeshift midfielder Conor McCarthy had one in the net but it was ruled out for offside. Then David Wotherspoon had a go at the other end, forcing a fine save from home goalkeeper Jak Alnwick.
The home side had another couple of attempts at beating recently called-up Scotland goalkeeper Zander Clark. Jamie McGrath – being tracked by multiple English clubs with the transfer deadline looming – teed up Curtis Main but he couldn’t finish. Clark then defied logic to make a one-handed save from Richard Tait’s effort from about a yard out.
Both teams were searching for their first wins of the season off the back of successful campaigns last term but they were cancelling each other out. St Mirren were becoming more and more dominant though as the impacts of playing every three or four days throughout August impacted St Johnstone.
Middleton almost won it for the visitors and Shaun Rooney had a go too as St Johnstone created some late chances. Middleton’s second opening was the best, cracking the crossbar with a 25-yard free-kick. St Mirren rode a late storm to earn their point, made harder by Erhahon’s late lunge. Here are three things we learned.
Time to regroup
St Johnstone’s domestic campaign will really begin after the international break, failing to win any of their opening four games. The impacts of playing two games per week for four weeks were clear in the second half. Rest and recovery time will come as relief. Keeping key players beyond Tuesday’s transfer deadline may provide an extra boost.
St Mirren’s big issue last season was getting goals. And again it’s proved to hinder them in this match. All four strikers -Eamonn Brophy, Kristian Dennis Lee Erwin and Main – got minutes but only the latter managed a notable chances. The likes of McGrath are creating, but there’s nobody about to convert.
This was a game of both teams being too close to call. If St Mirren had a chance, St Johnstone were to grab one too. But they both ended up with the same prize, a point, which was a fair reflection of the game. Nobody really did enough to merit three points for the first time this season.
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