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St Johnstone stay in the Premiership after play-off final win

The Perth side beat Inverness 4-0 in the second leg to retain top flight status.

St Johnstone stay in the Premiership after play-off final win over Inverness SNS Group
Stevie May opened the scoring for St Johnstone.

St Johnstone will be in the Premiership next season after beating Inverness Caledonian Thistle 6-2 on aggregate in the play-off final.

The Perth side had drawn 2-2 away from home in the first leg on Friday but beat Billy Dodd’s side 4-0 in the return match at McDiarmid Park.

The result keeps St Johnstone’s Premiership status after Callum Davidson’s team had finished 11th in the table. For Inverness a long promotion-chasing campaign came to an end with a second-half collapse.

After a goal-less first half where Inverness had been on top, Callum Davidson had replaced Glenn Middleton with Stevie May in the hope of finding a spark in attack. He got an instant reward when Melker Hallberg’s header was saved by Mark Ridgers and May was on hand to smash in the rebound.

With a lead to defend, St Johnstone grew in confidence and they had a second goal after 52 minutes. Cammy McPherson sized up a chance from outside the box and his shot took a deflection tat left Ridgers unable to stop it as it flew into the net.

With the hosts in control, Inverness needed to chase the game and they were undone twice in the final minutes as their hopes of promotion evaporated.

Callum Hendry was played through on goal and kept his composure before dinking a finish over the keeper with two minutes to go.

The hosts then rounded off a memorable night when Shaun Rooney sprinted on to a pass to find himself in the same position as Hendry just moments earlier, and produced an identical finish to make it 4-0 on the night and 6-2 on aggregate.

Neil Doncaster, SPFL chief executive sent his congratulations to the winning side.

“I would like to warmly congratulate St.Johnstone on winning the cinch Premiership play-off final,” he said.

“It was a fitting end to the SPFL calendar this season with St.Johnstone maintaining their place in Scotland’s top tier for the twelfth consecutive year.

“I would also like to send our commiserations to everyone at Inverness Caledonian Thistle, who more than played their part in this excellent contest.”