St Mirren 0 - 0 St Johnstone: Saintly rivals Potter to a disappointing goalless draw
St Mirren manager Danny Lennon paid tribute to outgoing captain John Potter following the defender's final game for the club.
Potter helped St Mirren keep a clean sheet in their 0-0 draw with St Johnstone 24 hours after being told he had no future at St Mirren Park.
The defender and Craig Dargo were the most high-profile of 11 players who were told their contracts were not being renewed but both featured in an uneventful finale to the Clydesdale Bank Premier League season.
Lennon had hoped his side could finish with a flourish after securing their SPL safety with a 1-0 win over Aberdeen on Tuesday, but he admitted an uncertain time may have taken its toll.
"It was a very, very difficult week," Lennon said. "There was delight and relief on Tuesday but I knew I would have to do the ugly bit of the business.
"That happened (on Friday] and it was very difficult.
"I would like to thank each and every one of them for their efforts and commitment and, more importantly, their professionalism has been terrific.
"Regardless of whether they take the offer, I wish the players and their families all the best.
"I think John Potter deserves a particular mention. It was a big, big call for me and a difficult one because he is a top, top bloke to have in the dressing room.
"That will be sorely missed but hopefully somebody can step in and do half as good a job as he did."
Lennon said of the game: "It was a poor show, to be fair. Much appreciation to the supporters who came out. It was just a pity there wasn't more excitement for them."
St Johnstone manager Derek McInnes has also been reshaping his squad and striker Peter MacDonald captained the side after being told his ten years at McDiarmid Park had come to an end.
St Johnstone are expected to confirm the full list of departures tomorrow and McInnes admitted the game had been affected by the time of the year.
"As much as you guard against it and hope it's not going to be like that, it was typical end-of-season fare," he said.
"It looked like both teams had nothing to play for. I know both managers had some tough decisions to make and that was possibly hanging over the day.
"Both teams didn't do enough in the final third to win it, but equally both teams defended resolutely. There was no lack of commitment but a lack of quality at times."
Thankfully for fans of both clubs they had reason to celebrate in midweek as there was little to cheer in a goalless finale to their league season.Fans who came to St Mirren Park hoping for a final flourish were instead subjected to an archetypal end-of-season encounter with a dearth of meaningful goalmouth action.
The best that could be said about the game was that Potter helped his defence keep a clean sheet in his 251st and final appearance for the club and while there was no shortage of effort, both teams lacked a creative spark.
Potter - the only Saints player to start of the 11 who were told by Lennon on Friday that their contracts would not be renewed, although another, Dargo, came off the bench - was given a standing ovation after being taken off in the 87th minute. Meanwhile the visiting fans spent the last few minutes singing the praises of defender Michael Duberry, one of several St Johnstone players whose future remains unclear.
Meanwhile, Perth skipper MacDonald, who also ended his club career by being substituted, handed his shirt to a young St Johnstone fan following the final whistle.
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