Saturday 29th July
Tommy Wright's side wrapped up pre season with a comfortable 2-0 win away to East Fife, which ensured Saints go into the league season on the back of four successive victories.
Stefan Scougall grabbed his first goal for the club on 38 minutes and David Wotherspoon continued his superb pre season form with a strike on 58 minutes to seal the win.
The major talking point of the day though was the inclusion in the matchday squad of Michael O'Halloran following his move this morning from Rangers on a 5 month loan deal. The 26 year old came at the interval for Blair Alston to get some much needed game time under his belt ahead of next Saturday's match at Kilmarnock.
Saints travelled to Methil today for a lunchtime friendly against East Fife. Prior to the match it was announced that Michael O’Halloran had returned to the club on loan from Rangers until January 2018 and he was included in the squad for today’s match. Tommy Wright made 5 changes to the side that started last Saturday’s 1-0 friendly win at home to Hartlepool United as Blair Alston, Joe Shaughnessy, Chris Millar, Liam Craig and Graham Cummins came into the starting line-up to replace Liam Gordon, Paul Paton, Murray Davidson, trialist Romain Habran and Steven MacLean who couldn’t plan on the artificial surface at New Bayview. Whilst for East Fife Saints players Liam Gordon and Greg Hurst were listed as trialists as the Fife club were short of players for today’s match.
Saints got the match underway and they started brightly, forcing a couple of corners but they couldn’t create any clear-cut chances from them.
The home sides first chance of the match came on 8 minutes as the ball fell to Kyle Wilkie whose effort at goal was straight at Alan Mannus.
Saints were awarded a free kick on 10 minutes after Scott Tanser had been fouled. The free kick was taken by David Wotherspoon and he slipped a neat ball to Liam Craig whose strike at goal was palmed away by Ryan Goodfellow. The loose ball then fell to Graham Cummins but Goodfellow produced another good save to deny the Saints striker.
Saints had the ball in the net on 14 minutes as Blair Alston passed the ball to Wotherspoon and he went on a good driving run down the middle of the park before slipping the ball to Craig who slotted it into the net. However, the goal was disallowed as Craig was deemed to have been in an offside position.
On 18 minutes Saints were awarded another free kick and it was taken by Stefan Scougall who delivered a great ball into the box which picked out the head of Joe Shaughnessy but his effort was gathered by Goodfellow.
Saints were looking the better side and on 24 minutes Cummins saw his header from a Richard Foster cross go wide.
Good passing by East Fife on 26 minutes’ setup Trialist Greg Hurst however, he could not make a proper connection with the ball as his effort went wide of the target. Then just before the half an hour mark the home side forced a couple of corners but they couldn’t create anything of significance as the Saints defence comfortably cleared the danger.
With 10 minutes of the first half remaining Saints took the lead as Scougall headed Cummins cross from the right past Goodfellow and into the net.
East Fife missed a glorious chance to draw level on 41 minutes as Greg Hurst and Nathan Flannagan combined down the right before crossing to Paul Willis who incredibly fired well over from 5 yards out.
Saints made 6 six changes at the start of the second half as Scott Tanser, Blair Alston, Joe Shaughnessy, Chris Millar, Richard Foster and Graham Cummins were replaced by Brian Easton, Ally Gilchrist, Paul Paton, Aaron Comrie, Chris Kane and Michael O’Halloran.
Saints made another change on 53 minutes as Stefan Scougall was replaced by Craig Thomson. The young Saints attacker was quickly involved in the action as on 59 minutes he went on a good run down the right to the by-line before cutting it back to Wotherspoon who knocked the ball into the net to double Saints lead.
East Fife player-manager Darren Young was introduced into the action on 67 minutes. Then shortly after Saints created a decent chance as good passing between Comrie and Thomson forced a corner from which Easton’s header was cleared.
More great play by Thomson on 77 minutes saw him deliver a dangerous ball into the box to Paton whose shot at goal was blocked. The loose ball then fell to Kane who fired over.
Saints were controlling the game and they almost got a third late on as a Kane cross picked out Callum Hendry but the young strikers effort was saved by the trialist goalkeeper.
Overall, it was a comfortable 2-0 win for Saints and they will be looking forward to the start of the league campaign next Saturday when they travel to Kilmarnock.
East Fife: Goodfellow (Trialist 45), Trialist (Dunsmore 45), Trialist, Watson (Reilly 45), Trialist, Wilkie (Young 67), Wilson (Slattery 45), Millar, Trialist, Flannagan (Inglis 71), Wills (Duggan 45) Scorers:
Saints: Mannus, Tanser (Easton 45), Alston (O’Halloran 45), Shaughnessy (Gilchrist 45), Anderson, Millar (Paton 45), Wotherspoon (Hendry 59), Foster (Comrie 45), Scougall (Thomson 53), Craig, Cummins (Kane 45) Unused Substitutes: Clark, Davidson, Hendry Scorers: Scougall (35), Wotherspoon (59)
Referee: Peter Stuart
Match Report by Daryl Scott
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