Saturday 15th July
St. Johnstone ran out comfortable 3-0 winners against Sunderland in a friendly this afternoon at McDiarmid Park.
Steven MacLean opened the scoring on 18 minutes after firing home a freekick inside the area following a backpass before David Wotherspoon scored on 21 and 24 minutes following some nifty footwork inside the box from the former Hibernian winger.
Zander Clark, who saved a penalty with the score still goalless, was taken off just before half-time following a collision with a Sunderland attacker, and was later taken to hospital as a precaution.
Saints made 3 changes to the starting eleven which started against FK Trakai in Lithuania for this afternoon's home friendly with Sunderland, bringing MacLean, Wotherspoon and Cummins in for Alston, Craig and Kane.
Sunderland kicked off the first half of the friendly.
After six minutes both sets of fans stood and showed their appreciation for the young Sunderland fan Bradley Lowery who sadly lost his life after a battle with cancer.
The first chance of the game fell to David Wotherspoon, who came close for Saints within 10 minutes but Vito Mannone was quick to react to his low strike.
On 10 minutes Sunderland's Jermaine Lens was brought down in the box by Scott Tanser and the referee awarded a penalty, but Zander Clark made an impressive save to deny James Vaughn.
Shortly after and a Mackems pass back resulted in the referee calling it back for an indirect free kick inside the area. The resultant kick was converted by Steven Maclean with a low drive to make it 1-0 on 18 minutes.
Three minutes later, Saints doubled their lead when the impressive Wotherspoon calmly slotted the ball into the bottom right hand corner after some neat passing between Murray Davidson and Stefan Scougall.
three minutes later again and David Wotherspoon netted his second of the afternoon. The midfielder made a run into the box and expertly dummied Mannone before firing into the empty net to make it 3-0 Saints.
Wotherspoon, again tormenting the opposition defence, made several step overs before chipping the ball over the defence but it fell just behind Graham Cummins.
Moments later and Scougall had a chance, collecting the ball just outside the box and running at the Black Cats defence. But his strike went over the bar.
Just over the half hour mark St. Johnstone were awarded a free kick on the edge of the box but Wotherspoon's effort curled just over the bar - denying him a first half hat-trick.
On 37 minutes Sunderland tried ot hit back - Jermaine Lens made his way into the area and curled a ball to Khazri who was waiting at the back post but his attempt flew wide.
Just a minute before half time Sunderland's number 8, Jack Rodwell, was played into the box as Zander Clark made his way out to close his angle down he was clattered by the Sunderland midfielder and needed immediate attention from medics.
Saints got the second half underway.
Mark Hurst was the only substitution after the break coming on for the injured Zander Clark.
Saints brought on French trialist Romain Habran and young Euan O'Reilly late into the second half.
The only real chance in the second half came for Sunderland when Donald Love made a quick run into the box but the former Manchester United youngster couldn't control the ball at his feet quickly enough and fumbled his shot.
The second half was a possession based half with no real chances for either side.
St Johnstone ran out 3-0 winners in an impressive performance against their English Championship side opponents.
Next up is a behind closed doors match with Rangers on Tuesday afternoon before Saints return to McDiarmid Park next Saturday for a friendly against Hartlepool United.
St Johnstone: Zander Clark (Mark Hurst 45), Scott Tanser, Joe Shaughnessy, Chris Millar (Kyle McClean), Murray Davidson, Steven MacLean, David Wotherspoon, Richard Foster (Keith Watson 74) Stefan Scougall (Euan O'Reilly 74), Ally Gilchrist, Graham Cummins (Trialist 74)
Unused subs: Gordon, Greg Hurst
Sunderland: Vito Mannone (Tom Beading 67), Adam Matthews, Brendan Galloway (Donald Love 45) , Lamine Kone (Papy Djilobodji 60), John O'Shea (George Honeyman 60), Lee Cattermole (Darron Gibson 60), Didier N'dong, Jack Rodwell (Josh Maja 45), James Vaughn, Wahbi Khazri (Browning 60) Jeremain Lens (Joel Astro 45).
Unused subs: Embleton, Ledger.
Goals: MacLean 18, Wotherspoon 21,24
Referee: Nick Walsh
Match Report by Hannah Klatschak
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