HIBS-BOUND Liam Craig kept his new employers in with a very slim chance of reaching the SPL’s top six last night after his stoppage-time equaliser for St Johnstone pegged back Dundee United at McDiarmid Park.
Craig, who signed a pre-contract agreement with the Easter Road club in January, rose unchallenged to head home two minutes into injury time to rescue a 1-1 draw for the Saints, who had trailed to Ryan Gauld’s 24th-minute opener before United’s Stuart Armstrong was sent off on 81 minutes for a second booking.
The draw now means St Johnstone and Ross County are assured of their places in the top six, with Dundee United, Aberdeen, Kilmarnock and Hibs all left fighting for the last remaining berth. Kilmarnock have two pre-split matches left to play, while the other contenders have one and, were Killie to win against St Mirren tomorrow at Rugby Park, they would be in pole position to take the slot. A Kilmarnock victory would also eliminate Hibs from the race, as they would sit four points clear of the Capital club in sixth place.
St Johnstone manager Steve Lomas was effervescent in his praise for his players and hailed the Perth Saints’ back-to-back attainment of a top-six place. “It’s a remarkable achievement for St Johnstone to finish in the top six two seasons in a row. We’re delighted to get there in the end,” he said.