St Johnstone boss Davidson left to rue Bryson red card

The Perth side were beating Hibs with seven minutes left to play.

St Johnstone boss Davidson left to rue Bryson red card SNS Group

St Johnstone manager Callum Davidson admitted Craig Bryson’s red card cost his side the game after they fell to a late 2-1 defeat by Hibernian.

Liam Gordon headed Saints into the lead in the 40th minute of a tight first half in Perth, but Bryson handed Hibs a lifeline in first-half stoppage-time.

The 35-year-old midfielder was on a booking for a foul on Ryan Porteous when he went in for a bouncing ball with a studs-up challenge which left Joe Newell clutching his lower leg. There was zero doubt referee Euan Anderson would get his cards out again and the red followed a second yellow.

Davidson said: “The first half wasn’t a great game, both teams struggled a little bit. It was a bit of a bonus getting the lead, but ultimately the sending-off cost us the game.

“It was two bookings. He has taken a bad first touch and gone in, and nowadays that sort of tackle turns into a booking. It’s unlike Craig to do that and unfortunately it put our backs against the wall.

“He knows himself. I always thought it would be a tight game. Both teams play similar formations, so it was always going to be one-v-one situations, so to go a man down made it really difficult for us.

“Second half we defended our box really well and Zander (Clark) pulled off one great save, but I thought we were going to get there. We were a little bit sloppy for the last goal.”

Hibs head coach Jack Ross praised his side for keeping the faith as they ended a five-match losing streak in the league.

They had to be patient, hitting the frame of the goal three times and having two Kevin Nisbet goals disallowed.

But they got there in the end with Jamie Murphy setting up Nisbet to slot home in the 83rd minute before netting himself three minutes later after a brilliant assist from fellow substitute Scott Allan.

Ross said: “With the run we have been on, we would have taken any sort of win, and we got that.

“I also think the manner of the performance was absolutely deserved, in both halves of the game. The result was the be all and end all, but it was a really good performance.

“We spoke beforehand, when you lose that number of games consecutively, sometimes you feel within the group that they are losing faith in what you do. But it’s not felt like that. They have been very upbeat and bright and I think they showed that, even in the first half.

“The second half they had to show a lot of trust because, with the exception of maybe a five-minute spell around 70 minutes when they got a bit frantic, I thought we were excellent and created so many opportunities. Thankfully we got there in the end.”

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