St Johnstone top-six push gathers pace

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Steve Lomas admits he will need all of his players to chip in to fire St Johnstone to a top-six finish after Rowan Vine’s strike handed them a 1-0 victory over St Mirren amid a heavy schedule.

St Johnstone 1-0 St Mirren

Vine (52)

Vine netted the only goal from close range early in the second half after Murray Davidson had bundled Mehdi Abeid’s corner towards goal. Substitute Gregory Tade, twice, and Frazer Wright headed against the woodwork afterwards as the home side looked to put the game out of St Mirren’s reach. But Perth Saints manager Lomas was content with the narrow victory after his players recovered well from the exertions of their 1-1 midweek draw with Celtic.

They moved just one point off second place and gave themselves some breathing space in the ultra-tight battle for a top-half berth in the SPL.

Wednesday’s trip to local rivals Dundee is the second of three consecutive midweek games as Saints play six matches in a 23-day period which could define their season.

Midfielder Davidson came back from injury and left-back Callum Davidson also returned to the team on Saturday, and Lomas admits he will need to utilise his full squad in the coming weeks. He said: “The next game is critical. We then have another tough away game against Hearts and have Kilmarnock after that, so it’s definitely a squad game. Chris Millar is not far away and Dave Mackay was on the bench, we just didn’t want to risk him. Hopefully, we are getting a few back at the right time.”

St Mirren manager Danny Lennon knows his side are bang up against it in the battle to make the top six. He said: “It’s disappointing. That’s two out of three games where we are playing on difficult pitches and totally going against our beliefs, but we have got to be intelligent and adapt to that.”