St Johnstone go fourth with win at Ross County
St Johnstone moved up to fourth place in the Ladbrokes Premiership with to a 1-0 victory over Ross County in scrappy game at Global Energy Stadium.
Steven MacLean grabbed the winner just before the hour mark when he flicked a downward header from Joe Shaughnessy over the line from close range.
There was little between the teams throughout although the visitors created more chances. County had to wait until the 63rd minute to get their first shot on target.
St Johnstone won a free-kick in a dangerous position in the second minute but Darnell Fisher's effort looped off the top of David Wotherspoon's head and behind for a goal kick.
At the other end Jonathan Franks swung a dangerous cross into the Saints' box but the visitors' defence did its job and the ball was cleared.
The match already had a distinct feel about it and there was little in the way of goalmouth action until the 20th minute. Alex Schalk picked up a though ball inside the area but Saints' defender Shaughnessy stepped in to make a timely tackle.
The County defence was almost opened up four minutes later when Danny Swanson found Graham Cummins in space but his shot was blocked by Paul Quinn in front of goal.
Quinn was booked for a clumsy tackle on Liam Craig but County goalkeeper Scott Fox pulled off a fantastic finger-tip save in the 33rd minute from Wotherspoon's dipping free-kick.
County made a change at the start of the second half with Martin Woods replacing Ian McShane in the middle of the park.
The home side threatened first when a Franks delivery was headed down by Liam Boyce but there was no power in his effort and the ball was cleared.
But the opening goal came at the other end in the 56th minute. Saints won a corner on the left and Shaughnessy's downward header was flicked into the net by MacLean who was practically standing on the goal-line.
County had their first shot on target seven minutes later when Franks cut inside and let fly at goal but Saints keeper Zander Clark got down to make the save.
The home side brought on Brian Graham for Boyce with 20 minutes left on the clock to try and pep up the County attack.
Michael Gardyne got behind the Perth team's defence a minute later and fired over a dangerous cross which Steven Anderson did well to divert. It was the County midfielder's last contribution as he was replaced by Tony Dingwall.
Woods forced a save from Clark then took the corner which resulted in a diving header from Andrew Davies which flashed past the keeper's right hand post.