ST MIRREN manager Danny Lennon has told the club’s fans to continue to expect the unexpected after Steven Thompson’s magnificent last-minute overhead kick earned Saints an incredible 5-4 victory over Ross County in a thrilling clash at St Mirren Park on Saturday.
St Mirren - Thompson (39, 89), Guy (54 pen), Parkin (59), McLean (64)
Ross County - Vigurs (11), Munro (45), Quinn (79, 80)
Referee: S McLean
Iain Vigurs opened the scoring for County after 10 minutes and despite Thompson’s leveller in the 39th minute, Grant Munro restored the visitors’ lead on the stroke of half-time.
Three St Mirren goals in the space of 10 minutes turned the game in the favour of the home side as Lewis Guy levelled from the penalty spot, Sam Parkin beat Michael Fraser to net the third and Kenny McLean drilled a low shot from outside the area into the bottom right-hand corner. County refused to give up, however, and Rocco Quinn netted with 10 minutes remaining and again 90 seconds later to level the game at 4-4.
But as the clock approached the 90-minute mark, Thompson got on the end of Graham Carey’s precise cross to beat Fraser in stunning style and earn St Mirren all three points.
The win moved the Paisley side up to the giddy heights of fourth place, just two points off top spot. “You talk about emotional rollercoasters and that certainly was,” said Lennon. “You play lovely football, you’ve got the fans at the edge of their seat and then, five seconds later, it’s in the back of your net. That is us, and we will continually do that.
“That’s what that performance was all about. It’s a very, very difficult game to digest.” The St Mirren manager also hailed the impact of his second-half substitutes Parkin and McLean, who both hit the target against the Dingwall outfit.
“I thought the two subs that came on, it was written for them, that the two of them went on and scored two wonderful goals.”
Match-winner Thompson said of his decisive overhead kick: “It was pure instinct. I didn’t have time to think about it – it’s the sort of thing that comes off once in God knows how many times.
“For a neutral watching the game it was brilliant but from our point of view that first half was the worst I have seen us play since I joined the club.
“We were second to everything – our tempo was poor and our passing even worse. In the second half we improved but while our fans will be buzzing we know that losing four goals at home isn’t good enough.” County manager Derek Adams was stunned after losing in the league for the second game in a row.
The visitors looked like they had done enough to fight back for a point before conceding the last-gasp winner and Adams is hoping the disappointment will spur his side on to another run of good form after their incredible 40-game unbeaten run was halted the previous weekend by St Johnstone.
“That’s the first time we’ve conceded five since we lost to Hamilton in Division One and we all know what happened after that – we went 40 games unbeaten so maybe it’s an omen,” said Adams. “It was a very good start from us and we dominated the first half but we haven’t done well enough defensively.
“All five goals we conceded were preventable so from that point of view St Mirren got out of jail when there shouldn’t have been a way back for them after the first half.