'It’s a drug': Levein enjoys drama as St Johnstone beat St Mirren

A last-gasp goal separated the sides at McDiarmid Park.

It’s a drug: Craig Levein enjoys dramatic ending as St Johnstone beat St Mirren SNS Group

St Johnstone boss Craig Levein savoured an “intoxicating” finale after striker Chris Kane put him through the wringer before scoring a stoppage-time winner against faltering St Mirren.

The Perth side eked out a hard-fought 1-0 victory in the dying moments when the forward forced home the rebound after his initial penalty had been saved by Zach Hemming.

Levein, who suffered a heart attack while manager of Hearts in 2018, joked that Kane put his health at risk once more by failing to score at the first attempt.

“I don’t think he knows I had a heart attack five years ago,” smiled the Saints boss. “Honestly, just put the ball in the net, you know what I mean?

“But all credit to him. He stepped up and took the penalty and then put the rebound in.”

Levein took the reins at Saints last month after four years out of front-line management and he admitted the dramatic ending to Wednesday’s tightly-contested clash reminded him why he was so keen to get back involved.

“It’s a drug,” he said. “I’ve gone from down here to up there in a quick space of time. There’s something intoxicating about it.

“I honestly didn’t know Chris was going to take it – I thought it was going to be Graham (Carey).

“The last thing I’d have wanted was a dispute who was on it. Graham was a good team-mate in that situation and didn’t create any hassle.”

Levein was pleased with the spirit his team showed as they climbed from 10th to 11th in the table.

“I thought it was fairly scrappy match at times,” he said. “It was a bit bitty.

“In spells we had a wee bit of control in the game then it would fall away and St Mirren put us under pressure and our goalkeeper had to make a few good saves, but in general I thought our defending was excellent.”

Stephen Robinson felt St Mirren did enough to win the game as they suffered a third straight defeat. The fourth-placed Paisley side have now won only one of their last seven matches.

“I can’t believe it, it’s a hard one to take,” said the Buddies boss. “We’ve missed several good chances.

“We only have ourselves to blame. The game should have been out of sight long before they scored.

“We are in a moment where things aren’t going our way but we’ve not lost belief. I’m very confident we will get back to winning ways.”

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