Scottish Cup: St Mirren 1 - 1 Ross County: Saints face tricky replay

LEE Mair is determined that St Mirren should make the most of their second chance to reach the quarter-finals of the William Hill Scottish Cup, following their injury-time reprieve against Ross County.

The defender conceded a last-gasp penalty against the First Division outfit with the tie poised at 1-1, but visiting captain Richard Brittain then missed having earlier scored from the spot to put his side ahead.

Mair was relieved to see the late effort – awarded for his foul on Mark Corcoran – fail to find the back of the net, ensuring that the teams will meet again for a replay in Dingwall.

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He said: “There was contact in the box and if it was at the other end I’d be screaming for a penalty so I’ve no qualms about the decision at all – it’s just fortunate that they missed.

“I wondered if he was going to go the same side as his first penalty, but Craig Samson read it well, and the main thing is that we’re still in the cup.

“We were a bit flat and never really got going on all cylinders, which is disappointing, so we’re fortunate that we have another chance to get into the next round and can put things right in the replay up there.” Brittain’s first, successful penalty was cancelled out within moments by a Steven Thompson header, with the draw meaning that St Mirren face a second replay in as many Scottish Cup matches, after taking two attempts to see off Hamilton Accies in the previous round.

Mair said: “The important thing in the game was scoring immediately after they did, if they’d got confidence from being 1-0 up for a long time, it would have been difficult for us.

“We have to give credit to Ross County as they’ve done really well; they were in our faces and they pressed and were organised well.

“Teams are playing well against us and Ross County are difficult to beat, so we’ll have to do it the hard way by going up there and trying to get through.” County manager Derek Adams was pleased with the showing of his team, who are currently top in the First Division.

The Dingwall side are unbeaten in 16 league and cup matches, a run dating back to September and Celtic’s visit to Victoria Park on League Cup business.

Adams said: “I thought my players were terrific and we deserved to win the match; we missed a penalty with the last kick of the ball and overall, it was a very good performance.

“Our goal came from good play, a great ball from Richard Brittain to Stuart Kettlewell who took on Craig Samson and was pulled down for the penalty; but they got back in the game quite quickly.

“We knew that we could cause St Mirren problems and we acquitted ourselves very well.”