Buddies all sweetness and light in County draw

THE lights may have gone out at the start of St Mirren's Highland fling – but the Buddies were switched on well enough to prove it's not all grim up north with this 0-0 draw.

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Ross County's Mark Fotheringham gets up close and personal with St Mirren's Kenny McLean in last night's match
Ross County's Mark Fotheringham gets up close and personal with St Mirren's Kenny McLean in last night's match

Paisley gaffer Danny Lennon will be happy to have picked up a vital point on the road at Ross County as they bid to ease themselves away from a relegation fight with Dundee – the gap is now up to five points.

Both teams produced nine goals the last time they met, but although they drew a blank on this occasion, the match was not short on incident.

The home side's Sam Morrow headed against the bar in the first half and the visitors twice thought they had broken through in the second, with Sam Parkin denied by a post and John McGinn's effort cleared off the line.

After kick-off was put back five minutes as the lights temporarily went out at the ironically titled Global Energy Stadium, the home side made a bright start as an Iain Vigurs shot was blocked in front of goal in the fifth minute after he played a one-two with Rocco Quinn.

Kenny McLean let fly from distance at the other end, but his effort was wide of the left-hand post.

Play was swinging from end to end and McGinn picked up a loose clearance from Ross Tokely inside, but this time his effort was straight at Brown.

County came closest to an opener in the 16th minute when Richard Brittain sent an inviting cross into the box for Morrow, whose header crashed back off the bar before St Mirren managed to clear.

Lennon's men then were inches away from breaking the deadlock themselves five minutes later when captain Jim Goodwin rifled a shot that just cleared County keeper Mark Brown's crossbar.

The visitors were seeing more of the ball and they forced two corners in quick succession.

From the second, Gary Teale's delivery was met by Steven Thompson but his flick-header flew narrowly wide of Brown's left-hand post as the Paisley side turned up the heat.

Both sides made changes at the start of the second half, with Colin McMenamin and Marc Fitzpatrick coming on for Morrow and Grant Munro while St Mirren replaced Stephen Thompson with Parkin.

The visitors continued to press for the opener and they came agonisingly close to the opener in 63 minutes.

Brown did well to parry a close-range shot from McGinn and when they ball fell for Parkin his drive cannoned off the right-hand post.

But it was mostly Saints and Scott Boyd, making his 200th appearance for County, was forced to clear the ball off the goal-line in the 77th minute after McGinn made contact with a Parkin knockdown.

Lennon felt his side did well against a team difficult to beat at home.

He said: "They are a very hard-working side. But I thought we matched that and showed a bit of quality in the second half.

"All that was missing for us was a goal, but our endeavour couldn't be faulted."

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