Europa League qualifiers 2015


The following are passages from ‘Manifest Destiny: the official history of St. Johnstone FC’ by Alastair Blair and Brian Doyle.


Alashkert


In 2015, after qualifying once more for the Europa League, Saints were drawn with a team from Armenia.  Alashkert FC were well below St Johnstone in the European rankings but the first leg, played in Yerevan in temperatures that reached 35 C, saw the home side come away with a deserved 1 – 0 win.  The return leg, on the 9th of July, was a game Saints should have won by a sufficient margin to progress. Michael O’Halloran brought the aggregate scores level in the 34th minute, then Alashkert’s midfielder, Muradyan was dismissed for a second yellow card soon after the hour mark.  Saints went on to dominate the match, only for a terrible defensive blunder to allow Gyozalyan through to score.  A late winner on the night from Brad McKay gave Saints only a few minutes to seek a third goal that would take us through, but it was too late.  There were 5,764 fans in McDiarmid that night, the lowest home attendance at a European game in Saints’ history, and it must be wondered when they will next be able to see the team take on European opposition. But we should not let that detract from the achievement of the team in getting to European competition for the fourth successive season. It has been a stupendous achievement and is probably unlikely to be equalled for many years, if ever.