MATCH REPORT BY ROSS GARDINER
The Perth Saints headed into Saturday’s clash with St Mirren looking to make it three games in a row unbeaten.
Last week’s Tynecastle hero Callum Hendry was given a place in the starting line-up after coming off the bench to grab a late winner against the struggling Edinburgh side.
The home side came quick out the blocks and great linkup from Hendry and Michael O’Halloran culminated in the latter fizzing a low drive on target inside 50 seconds, but the effort was matched by St Mirren’s stopper.
The former Rangers attacker had another glaring opportunity from a one-on-one position, but Vaclav Hladky did enough to keep the number 17’s strike out.
Hosts St Johnstone presses up the left hand side for the majority of the first half, but Kennedy’s frustration grew as he struggled to get past the Buddies back line.
The Northern Irish internationalist can close and had a penalty shout waived away despite appearing to have been pushed down in the box.
Jim Godwin’s side countered well from a series of St Johnstone corners but resolute defending kept a fairly uneventful game goalless at the interval.
St Mirren were the livelier team in the second spell, but again the home side came close to an early goal again.
Callum Booth blasted a thunderbolt from 25 yards at goal, but the attempt whizzed past the post leaving the stunned Buddies back line in its wake. Tensions rose high and both Tony Ralston and Murray Davidson saw yellow in a touch line fracas with their adversaries in pink.
The visitors had the most momentum but couldn’t pierce the Saints defence, with a long range strike from Sam Foley the closest the Paisley side came to breaking the deadlock. The rasping drive was no match for the robust palms of Zander Clark, however.
Tommy Wright’s team looked to have fashioned a great chance with ten minutes left on the clock when Tony Ralston burst through the Buddies defence and looked to square for an easy finish, but the loan man had his final ball smashed behind for a corner.
But after 90 minutes and a further four in injury time, nothing could separate the sides.
St. Johnstone made it three consecutive clean sheets and three unbeaten, with a trip to Hamilton on Boxing Day next up.
SAINTS: Zander Clark, Anthony Ralston, Callum Booth, Liam Gordon, Jason Kerr (c), Drey Wright, Matty Kennedy (McCann 63), Murray Davidson, Jason Holt (Wotherspoon 80), Michael O'Halloran, Callum Hendry (May 72)
UNUSED SUBS: Elliott Parish, Wallace Duffy, Scott Tanser, Liam Craig
BOOKINGS: Davidson, Ralston, Booth
ST MIRREN: Vaclav Hladky, Paul McGinn, Callum Waters, Sean McLoughlin, Kyle Magennis, Ryan Flynn, Jon Obika, Ilkay Durmus (Andreu 75), Sam Foley, Junior Morias (Cooke 80), Cammy Macpherson
UNUSED SUBS: Dean McMaster, Danny Mullen, Oan Djorkaeff, Dean Lyness, Lewis Jamieson
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