Tuesday 12th September
Saints Under 20s undefeated start to their Development League campaign came to an end this evening against Falkirk Under 20s at McDiarmid Park. An own goal by Ally Gilchrist on 17 minutes secured the 3 points for the visitors.
Saints Under 20s welcomed Falkirk to McDiarmid Park this evening for a Development League game. Alex Cleland’s side, who have had an undefeated start to their league campaign, included several first team players such as Zander Clark, Ally Gilchrist, Liam Gordon and Graham Cummins in the starting eleven.
Graham Cummins got the action underway for Saints who were shooting towards the North Stand. Saints created a chance in the first minute as Jamie Docherty played in Callum Hendry and the young striker saw his effort deflected for a corner by Mark Finlayson. The corner was taken by Kyle McClean but his ball into the box was well caught by Robbie Mutch in the Falkirk goal.
Zander Clark was called into action on 9 minutes as he made a good save; tipping over Scott Shepherd’s powerful strike for a corner from which Peter Grant fired well over from 14 yards.
Falkirk, who are coached by former Saints player Alan Maybury, took the lead on 17 minutes as Reis Peggie released Mark Stowe who broke down the left before delivering a good cross into the box which was turned into his own net by Ally Gilchrist.
The visitors created another chance 10 minutes later as Finlayson directed a header towards goal after Clark missed a cross from the left. The ball deflected for a corner which, when delivered into the box, broke to Jonathan Mitchell who had a strike at goal which was deflected for another corner.
Falkirk were looking the more dangerous side in front of goal, but Saints created a chance on the half hour mark as Kyle McClean saw his effort at goal go inches over the bar.
Saints were coming more into the match and they created another opening on 39 minutes as Jamie Docherty saw his fizzing strike go inches wide of Mutch’s goal.
A slack pass back by Ciarán Brian on 47 minutes was intercepted by Shepherd, who setup Kevin O’Hara and he tried to take advantage of Clark being off his line but the Falkirk striker fired well wide.
On 51 minutes a good one-two between O’Hara and Peggie released the midfielder who was one-on-one with Clark but the Saints keeper stood tall to make a great block with his legs.
Saints made their first change of the match on 62 minutes as Danny Jardine came onto replace Ciaran Brian.
A neat one-two with McClean and Ally McCann setup the later on 69 minutes but the young midfielder was unable to control the ball as Mutch was quick off his line to clear the danger.
Saints were playing much better and on 72 minutes a great ball into the box from the right by Euan O’Reilly found the head of Shaun Struthers who direct the ball goal wards. However, Mutch, who was having a great game for the visitors, was able to get a fingertip to the effort before the danger was cleared by the Falkirk defence. Then shortly after Gilchrist saw his effort go wide from a McClean corner.
Falkirk came very close to sealing all 3 points on 82 minutes’ as Shepherd cut in from the right before setting up O’Hara on the edge of the box whose low strike at goal hit the post and then trundled across the face of the Saints goal before being cleared.
The young Saints continued to press in the closing stages and deep into added on time they almost snatched a point as Docherty did well to lose his man before unleashing a strike at goal that hit the post.
Overall, it was a disappointing evening for Alex Cleland’s youngsters. Next up for the Saints U20s is a trip to face Aberdeen U20s at Glebe Park in a fortnight.
Saints U20s: Clark, Brian (Jardine 62), Thomson, McClean, Gordon, Gilchrist, O’Reilly (Ballantyne 82), McCann, Cummins (Struthers 70), Hendry, Docherty
Unused Substitutes: Sinclair (GK), Lumsden, Wilson, Quigley
Falkirk U20s: Mutch, Finlayson, Munro, Gasparotto, Grant, Peggie, Jarvie (Langton 67), J. Mitchell, Shepherd, O’Hara, Stowe (Girdwood 84)
Unused Substitutes: Cantley (GK), K. Mitchell, McBride, Sweeney, Laverty
Scorer: Gilchrist OG (17)
Referee: Scott Lambie
Match Report by Daryl Scott
Picture: Jamie Docherty
©Copyright 2016 - all rights reserved by St Johnstone Football Club
Registered in Scotland 7629
Unless otherwise stated all photographs on this site are ©Perthshire Picture Agency and may not be used without permission.