Ross County and St Mirren settled for a point apiece in an entertaining goalless draw at Global Energy Stadium.
The teams produced nine goals the last time they met but although there were no goals on this occasion the match was not short on incident.
County’s Sam Morrow headed against the crossbar in the first half and the visitors twice came close in the second, with Sam Parkin denied by a post and John McGinn’s effort cleared off the line.
After kick-off was delayed by five minutes as the lights temporarily went out, the home side made a bright start as an Iain Vigurs shot was blocked in the fifth minute after he played a one-two with Rocco Quinn.
Kenny McLean let fly from distance at the other end but his effort was well wide of Mark Brown’s left-hand post. Saints threatened again five minutes later when an angled cross from David van Zanten was only partially cleared and McGinn hooked his shot high and wide.
At the other end Richard Brittain laid the ball off for Morrow 16 yards out but the forward’s effort flew well over the bar.
McGinn then picked up a loose clearance from County’s Ross Tokely but his effort was straight at Brown.
County came closest to an opener in the 16th minute when Brittain sent a cross into the box for Morrow, whose header crashed off the face of the crossbar before being cleared.
Saints came close themselves five minutes later when a Jim Goodwin drive just cleared the bar. The visitors were seeing more of the ball and they forced two corners in quick succession. From the second, Gary Teale’s delivery was met by Steven Thomson but his flicked header flew wide of the left-hand post.
The chances kept coming and after McLean lashed a shot wide from a good position before Vigurs whipped a free-kick past Craig Samson’s left-hand post.
The County man looked as if he was heading clean through when he was taken down by Lee Mair, who became the first player to go into referee Steven McLean’s book
Both sides made half-time changes, with Colin McMenamin and Marc Fitzpatrick coming on for Morrow and Grant Munro while St Mirren replaced Stephen Thompson with Parkin.
A McLean shot was deflected behind for a corner off Tokely’s head as St Mirren started the second half on the front foot. The visitors were pressing for the opener and they came close again in the 59th minute when the ball fell for McLean, but his shot from 12 yards broke off Tokely and went behind.
The Paisley side were looking the more dangerous at this stage and they came agonisingly close to the opener in the 63rd minute. Brown did well to parry a close-range shot from McGinn and, when they ball fell for Parkin, his drive cannoned off the keeper’s right-hand post. County were living dangerously and Parkin dribbled his way towards the County goal but a last-ditch tackle by Tokely denied him the chance to shoot. At the other end, Vigurs curled a ball in for McMenamin whose glancing header flew wide of the far post.
Samson was forced to make his first save of the match in the 70th minute when Vigurs got on the end of a Mark Fotheringham pass and his shot was on target before the Saints keeper got a hand to it. But it was mostly Saints and Scott Boyd, making his 200th appearance for County, was forced to clear the ball off the line in the 77th minute when McGinn made contact with a Parkin knockdown.
Ross County: Brown, Munro (Fitzpatrick 46), Boyd, Tokely, Kovacevic, Kettlewell, Brittain, Vigurs, Quinn, Fotheringham (Cooper 81), Morrow (McMenamin 46). Subs not used: Fraser, Macphee, Lawson, Ross.
St Mirren: Samson, Van Zanten, Dummett, Mair, McAusland, Goodwin, Mclean, Teale, Thompson (Parkin 46), Guy (Imrie 71), J McGinn. Subs not used: Smith, Barron, Robertson, Carey, Reilly.