St Johnstone sink Ross County thanks to Swanson and Kane
Danny Swanson and Chris Kane struck to give St Johnstone a deserved 2-0 victory over Ross County at the Global Energy Stadium.
The visitors dominated the first half of the Ladbrokes Premiership fixture and had their reward three minutes from the break when Swanson scored from the penalty spot after Kane was fouled.
County came more into the match after the break but Kane put the outcome beyond doubt when he slotted past Scott Fox with 17 minutes left on the clock.
Swanson had the first shot on target in the 11th minute but his effort was deflected behind for a corner. The visitors forced two more flag kicks in quick succession but nothing came of them.
As St Johnstone built pressure on the home goal, attempts by Steven MacLean and Liam Craig were beaten down by some stout defending.
Craig then tried his luck in the 16th minute with a shot from outside the 18-yard box but a deflection took the sting out of it and Fox gathered easily. The same player then flashed another chance wide after MacLean set him up.
At the other end Liam Boyce got on the end of a Kenny van der Weg free-kick but he failed to get enough power on his header to trouble goalkeeper Zander Clark.
County threatened again in the 21st minute when Martin Woods found space for a shot but dragged his effort well wide.
MacLean was inches away from connecting in front of goal soon after as St Johnstone reasserted themselves as the team with the most threat.
Just when it looked as if the half would end goalless, Kane was bundled to the ground in the penalty area by Jay McEveley.
Swanson sent Fox the wrong way from the spot to give the visitors the lead.
County almost pinched a leveller before the break but Michael Gardyne headed wide from Jonathan Franks' right-wing cross.
The home side made a bright start to the second half and when Clark failed to make a full clearance Woods picked up the loose ball and broke into the box, but his shot flew high and wide.
Then Van der Weg played a neat one-two with Gardyne but his cross into the box was clawed away by Clark.
County were getting closer to an equaliser and a driven cross from Franks just needed a touch in front of goal but the chance was missed.
St Johnstone had another let-off on the hour mark when Boyce sent a glancing header wide from Gardyne's expert delivery.
County made a double substitution in the 68th minute with latest signings Ryan Dow and Chris Burke coming on for Greg Morrison and Franks.
Dow almost made an instant impact when he forced a fingertip save from Clark following a Woods free-kick into the box.
But just when it looked as if County might get back into the game, St Johnstone doubled their lead in the 73rd minute when substitute David Wotherspoon played in Kane who shot the ball past Fox from 12 yards.
County were forced to play the closing minutes with 10 men having used all their substitutes, after Boyce was helped off the field with an injury.