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Scottish Premiership

St Mirren Park (ATT 3,855) 10th September 2011 - Kick off 15:00 Ref: Steven Mclean

St Mirren St Mirren vs St Johnstone St J'stone

Buddies and Saints share spoils

Last Updated: 10/09/11 6:13pm

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Hasselbaink (left): Fired wide when through on goal

Hasselbaink (left): Fired wide when through on goal

St Johnstone extended their unbeaten run against St Mirren to 14 games in a disappointing 0-0 SPL draw at St Mirren Park on Saturday.

The hosts had the best chance in both halves as Nigel Hasselbaink shot wide when through on goal before the break and Paul McGowan was denied by a goal-line clearance from Frazer Wright in the second period.

The visitors' best effort was a Cillian Sheridan shot from outside the area that Craig Samson was able to push away comfortably.

St Johnstone came into the game in a confident frame of mind after a three-match unbeaten run prior to the international break but it was the hosts who impressed in the opening stages, Steven Thompson hooking a Gary Teale free-kick over the bar inside the first three minutes.

Liam Craig had St Johnstone's best opportunity of the opening quarter after being played through by Sheridan but debutant Ilias Haddad recovered well to clear the danger.

The pace of Hasselbaink and trickery of McGowan were causing St Johnstone right-back Dave Mackay all sorts of problems but too often the Dutchman chose the wrong option when well placed to put some quality into the box.

Teale was next to threaten for the home side but his fiercely struck free-kick flew just over the target on 25 minutes.

Hasselbaink then shot wide with the best chance of the half after a wonderful move.

Goalkeeper Samson fired the ball into the former Hamilton striker's feet and after a neat one-two with McGowan, Hasselbaink was through on goal but he dragged his left-foot shot wide.

St Johnstone had the first shot on target in the match on 31 minutes as Sheridan's low drive from 20 yards forced Samson into a smart stop down to his left.

Hasselbaink came close again five minutes before the break with a curling effort from the edge of the box that went just past Peter Enckelman's left-hand post.

St Johnstone began the second half on the front foot with both full-backs getting forward and Alan Maybury fired the first shot of the half wide of Samson's goal.

However, the home side ought to have been ahead on 50 minutes when Hasselbaink again found himself behind the St Johnstone defence and after his shot was saved by Enckelman, McGowan should have scored but his shot lacked accuracy and was blocked on the line by Wright.

McGowan then forced Enckelman into a save after a smart pass from Haddad found him free on the edge of the box and from the rebound Thompson was booked for trying to win a penalty by diving at the hands of the Finnish goalkeeper.

Both sides pushed for a winner in the final quarter but in keeping with the rest of the match both lacked poise and a degree of quality in the final third.

Danny Lennon brought on an extra striker with Jon McShane replacing Thomson and Derek McInnes also changed his forward line with Carl Finnigan coming on for Sheridan but neither had the desired impact as the game became increasingly scrappy with neither side retaining possession for any period of time.

Thompson headed a Teale cross over the bar and Jim Goodwin shot wide from distance but Enckelman was not called into action as the hosts pressed in the final few minutes.

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Table

Scottish Premiership

Scottish Premiership
Pos Team P Pts
1 Celtic 16 38
2 Inverness CT 16 32
3 Dundee United 16 31
4 Aberdeen 16 31
5 Hamilton Academical 16 30
6 St Johnstone 16 23
7 Kilmarnock 16 21
8 Dundee 16 20
9 Partick Thistle 16 19
10 Motherwell 16 11
11 Ross County 16 9
12 St Mirren 16 8