Should yesterday’s match at McDiarmid Park resulted in three points for visiting Ross County? Yes, probably. Would it have been especially helpful against a Saints side that County will be competing against for a top six finish this year? Definitely. However, as I’ve said repeatedly since County joined the Premiership, an away point is always a good result. Maybe not the “best” result or a “fun” result, but still a good one.
County started the match on the front foot (and what a difference that makes!) and it didn’t take too long for their positive approach to the match to pay dividends. In the 17th minute Liam Boyce led Craig Curran through the defense with a perfectly weighted pass and Curran kept it on the deck as he shot across Saints’ goalkeeper Alan Mannus and into the corner of the net for his third goal in two matches.
The score remained 1-0 to County until shortly after the break when St. Johnstone’s Graham Cummins, who had looked like scoring all day (he hit the post and had several other near misses), finally found the net in the 52nd minute. It was the Irishman’s third goal in three matches for St. Johnstone, the first two having come as a substitute and no doubt earning him the start against County.
The remainder of the second half was a hard fought battle between the two sides and each had numerous opportunities to snatch the lead, with both Raffa De Vita (on several occasions) and Ian McShane having chances for County and Cummins and John Sutton coming close for St. Johnstone.
In the end a draw was probably a fair enough result and it sees County within one win of their entire point total for the first half of last season with only three matches played. Given the number of new faces added to the squad in the last six weeks it’s safe to say that the players are still adapting to one another and that, unlike their previous Premiership campaigns, County are probably due for one of their amazing point streaks in the first half of the season rather than the second. What a joy- and relief!- that would be!
Finally, well done to the County traveling support for bringing almost 300 people to Perth for this match. I can’t think of another club in the Premiership (or otherwise) that brings such numbers on a routine basis with such a small pool of supporters from which to draw!
Next up for County are Heart of Midlothian, who will make the trip north do Dingwall this Saturday.