St Mirren passed up a series of second-half chances in a goalless draw with Ross County – the Paisley side’s eighth stalemate of the season.
County also had a number of opportunities early in the game and could have snatched the three points with a late break.
However, the home side were left to rue more missed opportunities after failing to convert from 24 efforts at goal, compared to the visitors’ 12.
County had the better of the opening exchanges, getting the ball in space in the final third as St Mirren adjusted to the loss of Joe Shaughnessy through suspension. Richard Tait had dropped into the back three.
Blair Spittal twice threatened from the edge of the box before Joseph Hungbo and Harry Paton forced decent saves from further out.
Their best first-half chances fell to Dominic Samuel, who was making his first start since July.
The striker did everything right from the first opportunity after a long ball put the Buddies in trouble, but stand-in captain Jak Alnwick produced a brilliant diving stop. Samuel later did well to make space for himself in the box but shot high and wide.
St Mirren improved as the half progressed. Connor Ronan saw a powerful strike saved and Eamonn Brophy had an effort cleared from the goalmouth before failing to get a proper shot away with County defender Alex Iacovitti down injured and about to be taken off for Keith Watson.
Samuel forced a save from Alnwick near the start of the second half after failing to make the most of Hungbo’s cross but Saints were having most of the play.
The home side’s chances were regular and often clear-cut. Kristian Dennis headed wide from eight yards and shot weakly straight at Ashley Maynard-Brewer from even closer in.
Brophy shot straight at the goalkeeper from a decent chance, Ronan had a dangerous effort pushed wide and Maynard-Brewer made a brilliant stop with his foot from Curtis Main’s volley moments after the striker had come on.
County left-back Jake Vokins, making his league debut following foot surgery, made an excellent block from Kyle McAllister, and Saints wing-back Scott Tanser failed to make the most of two good chances.
Maynard-Brewer pushed over Greg Kiltie’s effort and County centre-backs Baldwin and Watson combined to stop Main’s shot finding the net after the sub was played clean through.
County almost won it on the break with two minutes left but Alnwick made an excellent double stop from Spittal and Paton.
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