JASON Scotland was sent off as Saints and Hamilton battled out this stalemate at McDiarmid Park. Scotland's 85th-minute dismissal summed up a frustrating afternoon for the Caribbean striker after he failed to score despite conjuring up some great opportunities. The Trinidad & Tobago international walked after the referee's assistant flagged having seen an elbow thrown at Derek Fleming. Official Craig MacKay immediately showed Scotland the red card.
It was an eventful encounter all in despite the lack of goals with MacKay flashing a fair share of yellow cards in the first half. There were also numerous goalscoring chances; most falling to Scotland. The striker could have had an eighth minute penalty kick although the evidence was inconclusive for MacKay as, from his angle, David Elebert and Scotland were both pulling at each other. Shortly afterwards, Scotland skinned Elebert on the edge of the area but Accies goalkeeper Raymond Jellema raced out to block the Saints man.
The visitors then had their on-form keeper to thank again in 25 minutes following a neat set piece from Owen Coyle's side. Darren Sheridan passed the free-kick into the box where Scotland laid it off for strike partner Steven Milne, but Jellema reacted quickly to divert the attempt away.
Australian Scott Tunbridge contributed Accies' best first-half effort with a 25 yard free-kick which was a yard over.
Coyle's men had a goal chalked off two minutes before the break when Andy Lawrie's goalbound effort was side-footed over the line by Martin Hardie, who was standing in an offside position. Had he left the ball, Lawrie's attempt would surely have counted.
After the interval, Scotland continued to trouble Reid's side. Mark Gilhaney then had Accies' best opening five minutes into the second half when he got in behind the Saints defence but saw his attempted lob brilliantly saved by Bryn Halliwell, who punched the loose ball clear. From the resultant corner, Alex Neil guided Derek Fleming's cross inches over the bar.
St Johnstone enjoyed a lot of possession in the second half but just could not force that elusive opening goal.
Scotland had another half chance In the 80th minute which deflected off Fleming for a corner before the two had the altercation which led to the Saints player's ordering off.
Within seconds of the dismissal, Paul Sheerin struck the post for St Johnstone which was typical of the day they were having.
St Johnstone: Halliwell, Lawrie, Stanic, Mensing, McManus (Anderson 72), James, Hardie, Sheridan (Young 56), Milne (MacDonald 78), Scotland, Sheerin
Hamilton: Jellema, Parratt, Fleming, Tunbridge, Elebert, McLaughlin (Thomson 82), McArthur, Wilson, Offiong (Wake 46), Neil, Gilhaney
Referee: Craig MacKay