This McDiarmid Park war of attrition will go down in Scottish football history as the 0-0 that never was.

Never, for so long, has a Premiership fixture looked so destined to finish goalless. So little action was there, that St Johnstone’s sublime steak and haggis pie played a starring role in an earlier draft of this match report.

Thankfully, my half-hearted attempts at humour were rendered obsolete by two late goals – St Mirren’s Alex Gogic cancelling out substitute Zak Rudden’s unlikely opener. Unlikely, in that St Johnstone played 45 minutes with 10 men, thanks to Daniel Phillips’ red card.

A draw long felt the most likely outcome – St Johnstone don’t often win at home these days, and St Mirren aren’t too fond of their travels. Rudden had other ideas, scoring only two minutes after coming on. The home side’s celebrations were short-lived, however, as Gogic headed home an equaliser that probably cost the bookies a few quid.

A long 90 minutes

Is it the match reporter's job to evoke in their retelling of events or simply to be straight up and tell you what happened?

For selfish reasons, and for the fact I don't want to stretch the realms of credulity, I'll go for the latter. It says everything about the first half that the closest the deadlock came to being broken was through a pair of accidents. Curtis Main, deciding not to shoot after being played in behind, cut the ball back and Liam Gordon almost stumbled it into his own net.

Ryan Strain then sliced a deep cross that left Remi Matthews scrambling to palm over. Saints did have an effort of their own up – Stevie May meeting a cross near the penalty spot and forcing a save from Trevor Carson. Fair play to the St Mirren keeper, his stop was, at least a little, for the benefit of the cameras – and to give us something to talk about.

Phillips sees red

In fairness, the increasingly infamous McDiarmid Park pitch played a major role in the lack of fluency. It certainly had a hand in Phillips’ red card.

The midfielder’s first touch bounced up erratically off the treacherous turf and he found himself scrambling to recover. Unfortunately, he only succeeded in coming down dangerously on Ryan Flynn’s ankle.

There was no malice in Phillips’ challenge, and referee Craig Napier initially issued a yellow card. However, once VAR gets involved in these situations, there tends to only be one outcome.

Drama, at last!

That moment, of course, changed the dynamic of the fixture in that St Mirren were now enjoying most of the play. Enjoying may be the wrong word, right enough – more that they were forced to grudgingly accept that their numerical advantage was giving them more possession of the football.

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They didn’t do much with it, aside from Tony Watt’s header clipping the bar. Were it not for Gogic heading home Joe Shaughnessy’s cross, the Paisley men would’ve gone home empty-handed.

Rudden’s goal, a looping header from a free-kick that left Carson flailing, felt destined to be the winner. That we got two goals in the end felt like a minor miracle.