St Johnstone 1 - 1 Ross County: Cup winners fight back

St Johnstone's Simon Lappin tugs the shirt of Ross County's Jackson Irvine. Picture: Bill Murray/SNS
St Johnstone's Simon Lappin tugs the shirt of Ross County's Jackson Irvine. Picture: Bill Murray/SNS
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Steven Anderson gave away a penalty on his record appearance for St Johnstone as League Cup winners Ross County grabbed a 1-1 draw at McDiarmid Park.

Anderson equalled former team-mate Alan Main’s club appearance record with his 361st game for Saints. But it was one to forget for the defender as he went to ground in the 65th minute and brought down Liam Boyce 
to allow Brian Graham to equalise.

Saints had gone ahead in the 11th minute through David
Wotherspoon but County showed resolve and stamina to force a point just three days after celebrating their Hampden victory over Hibernian.

The teams remain locked 
on identical records in the Ladbrokes Premiership with 40 points from 30 games, each having scored 45 goals and conceded 47.

Saints, whose manager 
Tommy Wright was absent with a bug, looked sharper in the first quarter than their 
visitors, who started with eight of their triumphant Hampden line-up.

They soon took the lead. Wotherspoon brought down Joe Shaughnessy’s cross after it bounced into a crowded penalty area, before turning and firing high into the net from the corner of the six-yard box.

County could have opened the scoring themselves before that when Graham beat Tam Scobbie inside the box but fired just wide of the far post.

And they began to push their hosts back as the half progressed. Alan Mannus held Michael Gardyne’s ambitious effort before watching an Andrew Davies header loop onto the roof of his net. The goalkeeper stopped David Goodwillie’s effort after the on-loan Aberdeen striker failed to make the most of a good chance.

The Perth side got back on top at the start of the second half and Gary Woods stopped powerful efforts from Chris Kane and Wotherspoon before clawing away Shaughnessy’s drilled cross.

Wotherspoon then fired over from 18 yards as St Johnstone kept up the pressure.

Boyce came on for the visitors in the 61st minute and he soon won the penalty as he invited a clumsy tackle from Anderson. Graham stepped up and sent former Saints team-mate Mannus the 
wrong way.

Anderson redeemed himself with a crucial interception to stop Hampden match-winner Alex Schalk getting fellow sub Boyce away.

Saints had the better of the final stages but Gardyne came closest to a winner with a 
curling effort.