Goalkeeper Smith defies Inverness and illness

St Mirren 1 Mehmet (75) Inverness CT 1 Munro (28)

ST MIRREN manager Gus MacPherson was thankful for the recovery of goalkeeper Chris Smith ahead of the draw with Inverness Caledonian Thistle at Love Street on Saturday.

The Scotland Under-21 keeper returned from a four-team international tournament in Portugal in midweek with swollen glands and was a doubt for the visit of the Highlanders.

However Smith, who last month extended his contract at Love Street until 2011, shrugged off his ailment with the help of antibiotics.

Although Caley took the lead in the first half through Grant Munro – the captain scoring the club's 1,000th competitive goal since their formation in 1994 – the Saints keeper made saves from Ian Black and Dennis Wyness which kept the home side in touch.

St Mirren looked down and out at the interval but fought back after the break and deservedly drew level when striker Billy Mehmet scored with 15 minutes remaining.

The Love Street manager, who watched his side go 13 points clear of bottom side Gretna, acknowledged that his keeper deserved his share of the praise.

He said: "Chris came back from under-21 duty with swollen glands. He played on Wednesday, travelled on Thursday and tried to train on Friday but he had to go home.

"He was on a course of antibiotics before the game but he phoned in the morning to say he felt a lot better and I was glad that he was able to play.

"He has been an ever-present this season and he is an important player for us. But I thought we deserved a point at least even though we didn't play as well as we have done in recent weeks. We tried to play the game the right way and get players forward.

"Inverness are difficult to play against, they play the counter-attack so well and you have to be guarded against that."

Caley player-manager Craig Brewster will await a report on the hamstring injury David Proctor picked up during the first half.

The former Dundee United defender failed to appear after the interval, being replaced by Dougie Imrie, who made his debut following his move from Clyde.

In the resultant reshuffle, which appeared to affect Caley's flow, Richard Hastings moved to centre half with Roy McBain reverting to left back, allowing Imrie to slot into the left-hand side of midfield.

Brewster said: "David has a hamstring injury which is always dangerous and we will have to wait until Monday to see how long he will be out. With Grant Munro having to go to the right centre-back position, it maybe affected us a wee bit but I thought we coped reasonably well."