Match preview: Saints v Stenhousemuir

Friday 20th January

St. Johnstone end their three week break from competitive football tomorrow afternoon when they face Stenhousemuir at McDiarmid Park in the third round of the William Hill Scottish Cup. The fixture is the first meeting between the two sides since 2009, when Saints defeated the League One outfit 5-0. St Johnstone were also victors a year earlier in the early stages of the League Cup, winning 5-1 in August 2008.

The match is the first for Saints since the disappointing 3-0 defeat to Dundee in their last game of 2016. However, Saints did finish the calendar year fifth in the Premiership table and face Celtic in their first league match of 2017 next Wednesday. Visitors Stenhousemuir haven’t enjoyed such fortune in their domestic campaign. ‘Stenny’ sit 9th in League One, only a point ahead of bottom of the table Stranraer.

Summer signing Michael Coulson is out of the fixture having suffered another injury which will see him sidelined for four to six weeks, while Murray Davidson misses out due to a virus. Defender Ally Gilchrist is also out of the fixture.

The competition holds fond memories for all associated with St Johnstone FC, this May will mark the third anniversary of 2014’s famous Scottish Cup triumph over Dundee United. Scorer of the second goal that day in a 2-0 victory Steven MacLean is eager for another shot at the cup, but knows Stenhousemuir will prove a tough test on Saturday.

“I’ve not been involved in any big upsets in cup competitions, and I don’t want that to change on Saturday,” he said. “Stenhousemuir are a good side who have picked up a few results recently so we’re all conscious it’ll be a difficult encounter. There will be a shock somewhere this weekend, but we need to make sure we’re not the victims of it.”

“Each year it gets tougher in cup competitions but we’ve had a pretty good record of late. It was a fantastic achievement to win the cup a few years ago and we’d love to have another go at it.”

Match preview by Joshua Barrie

ADMISSION INFO

Cash admission across both open stands (West and East) is:

Adult: £15 Over 65s: £10 13-18 year olds £5 Accompanied Kids 12 and under Free of charge

All Stenhousemuir fans will be accommodated in the north end of the West Stand (turnstiles 5, 6 and 7).

Season tickets are NOT valid UNLESS the ‘Scottish Cup top-up’ option was purchased at the time of purchase. Supporters who did that should bring their season tickets with them for proof of seat ownership and use Scottish Cup top up Voucher no 1 on entry.