St Mirren 1-1 Saints

Saturday 27th April

A late Danny Mullen goal denied Tommy Wright’s men all three points in Paisley this afternoon.

The first half was a largely uneventful affair with Saints best chance seeing Murray Davidson break into the St Mirren box before sending his effort wide of the target.

Oran Kearney’s side are currently battling for survival at the foot of the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership and the home fans were very vocal during the second half as they tried to cheer their team onto an important victory.

It was the Perth Saints who would take the lead with 11 minutes remaining as an excellent crossfield pass by Liam Craig picked out Richard Foster. The Saints defender then setup substitute Chris Kane who slotted the ball low past Vaclav Hladký.

However, the Paisley Saints equalised in the final minute of the match as Danny Mullen sent a spectacular effort past Zander Clark to rescue a point for the hosts.

MATCH REPORT

Saints headed west to Paisley today to take on St Mirren as they looked to build on last Saturday’s 2-0 win against Dundee. Tommy Wright made two changes to the side that started the victory against our Tayside neighbours as Joe Shaughnessy and Chris Kane dropped to the bench to be replaced by Jason Kerr and Murray Davidson. St Mirren manager Oran Kearney made one change to the side that won 3-1 at Livingston last weekend as Ethan Erhahon dropped out to be replaced by Mateo Mužek.

Before the match got underway there was a minute’s applause for Scottish football legend Billy McNeill, the first British man to lift the European Cup, who sadly passed away earlier this week.

St Mirren got the match underway and it was a balanced opening 15 minutes as neither keeper was tested.

The first chance of the game came on 19 minutes as Michael O’Halloran lost control of the ball on the edge of the area. Mateo Mužek won the ball before unleashing a powerful shot but Zander Clark got a strong hand to it to turn it over for a corner.

Then on 24 minutes Saints created their first chance of the game as Murray Davidson did well to hold off the challenge from two St Mirren defenders to break into the box. The midfielder then had a shot at goal which went wide of the target.

On 27 minutes Anders Dreyer and Paul McGinn linked up well down the right to win a corner. It was taken by Dreyer whose delivery picked out Brad Lyons before the danger was cleared by the Saints defence.

The first booking of the game came on 32 minutes as Michael O’Halloran was cautioned after he brought downs Lyons who was looking to break on the counter. Then a minute later Davidson was also booked for a foul on Paul McGinn as the Paisley Saints were awarded a free kick in an inviting position. It was taken by Dreyer whose delivery evaded everyone before clattering off Zander’s right-hand post before being cleared.

Then a couple of minutes later Saints were awarded a free kick on the edge of the St Mirren area after Davidson hand been fouled. Matty Kennedy took the free kick as he saw his delivery into the box turned behind for a corner which came to nothing.

After a quite opening the game suddenly came alive as Paul McGinn saw his effort blocked by the Saints defence on 43 minutes. Tommy Wright’s men then tried to hit the hosts on the counter however, St Mirren won the ball back and it eventually found its way to Stephen McGinn who picked out Danny Mullen in the box but he put his header well wide of the target.

Before the second half could get underway both sides made a change. Saints brought on David Wotherspoon for Ross Callachan whilst for St Mirren Jack Baird remained the dressing room and was replaced by Kyle Magennis.

9 minutes into the second half Scott Tanser was booked for a foul on Dreyer as St Mirren were awarded a free kick on the edge of the Saints box which was comfortably dealt with by the Saints defence.

Then a minute later Matty Kennedy was halted in his tracks by Ryan Flynn who was booked for the foul. Kennedy played the resultant free kick out wide to Wotherspoon who switched the ball onto his right foot before crossing from the left however, he couldn’t pick out a Saints player with his delivery. Saints were starting to look more positive and shortly after Tanser saw his effort block by Gary MacKenzie.

Saints went on to have a good spell of pressure as they won several free kicks out wide on the left however, they couldn’t take advantage as the game remained goalless.

St Mirren, who are currently in a relegation battle with Dundee and Hamilton Accies, were given a boast with just over 15 minutes remaining as news filtered through to the fans that Accies were losing 3-2 after being 2-0 up. A big roar erupted around The Simple Digital Arena as the fans tried to cheer their team onto victory.

However, they would suffer a setback with 11 minutes remaining as Saints took the lead. Liam Craig excellently switched the play as he sent the ball across field to Richard Foster. The Saints right-back then broke down the wing before cutting inside, beating Kyle McAllister, to set up Chris Kane who took a touch before firing into the bottom corner.

The hosts were though regrouped and they found themselves back on level terms in the final minute of the match. A long ball up field by Vaclav Hladký was knocked down by substitute Simeon Jackson to Danny Mullen who produced a spectacular left foot strike that gave Clark no chance as the hosts rescued a point to keep their survival bid alive.

St Mirren: Hladký, P. McGinn, Mužek, S. McGinn, MacKenzie, Flynn, Dreyer (McAllister 59), Lyons (Jackson 73), Baird (Magennis 45), Popescu, Mullen

Unused Substitutes: Holmes (GK), Nazon, Hodson, Ferdinand

Booked: Lyons, Flynn, Popescu

Scorer: Mullen (90)

Saints: Clark, Tanser, Davidson, Kerr, O’Halloran, Foster, Hendry (Kane 65), Gordon, Craig, Callachan (Wotherspoon 45), Kennedy (Swanson 77)

Unused Substitutes: Bell (GK), Shaughnessy, Easton, Goss

Booked: O’Halloran, Davidson, Tanser

Scorer: Kane (79)

Referee: Steven McLean

Attendance: 5,123 (236 Saints fans)

Match Report by Daryl Scott

Picture: Chris Kane puts Saints in the lead