Updated Sunday, 19th September 2010
Andy Jackson put his head on the line for St Johnstone
St Johnstone manager Derek McInnes did not know whether to hail Andy Jackson's bravery or question his judgement after the goalscorer was stretchered off with a head injury during their 2-1 victory over St Mirren. Jackson scored on the rebound after Danny Grainger's third-minute free-kick before appearing to be knocked unconscious by St Mirren goalkeeper Paul Gallacher as he chased a long ball midway through the first half. The recalled Jackson's movement had made a difference for the Perth side as they chased their first SPL win of the season but his team-mates finished the job. Sam Parkin headed home a second in the 33rd minute and St Johnstone held on comfortably after Sean Lynch's deflected effort three minutes later. Jackson had endured three years of bad luck through serious illness and major knee and Achilles injuries before this season and McInnes wants him to cut down his risks.
The McDiarmid Park manager said: "I don't know whether he is the bravest boy I've seen or the stupidest. He should never have gone for the challenge. You're looking at it and it's like a car crash. He doesn't take his eye off the ball. He is so brave. He linked brilliantly with Parkin the whole time he was on the pitch. He gets his goal, he gets his head knock that he gets every few games, but he is all right, he is up and about and he's bubbly and enjoying the win." The win moved the Perth side above Hamilton and St Mirren and made amends for their 2-0 home defeat by Motherwell. McInnes said: "A lot was made about last week's performance and how poor it was, and rightly so, but we have had a lot of solid performances. What we haven't had is a really good performance but I thought in spells today we were really good and there is no question the three points deserved to stay in Perth. It could have been more convincing but all the qualities you need to win a game were there in abundance."
St Mirren manager Danny Lennon felt his team failed to heed the lessons of their 2-1 defeat at Kilmarnock. He said: "For the second week running we gave ourselves an uphill battle, the way we are starting games. It was the same as last week, we highlighted things and asked individuals to take things on board. We spoke about how they are a big, big team and have good quality from set-plays from Grainger. At the start of the game we gave away a cheap free-kick. We spoke about the second ball being important. We got a great save from Gallacher and there was no-one there to clear it for us."
With Paul McGowan suspended following his red card at Rugby Park, Gareth Wardlaw was St Mirren's only available striker. But the former Raith Rovers forward, who had been in bed with a virus for most of the week, missed a great chance in the 45th minute when he sliced wide from six yards. Lennon said: "You're looking for your striker in these situations to have a cool head and unfortunately Gareth didn't. I'm not going to make excuses about players missing. All the players I'm missing are strikers and that's the hardest part of the game, scoring goals. But one thing we're not lacking is defenders and we're not defending at the moment. That's my question to them."
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