Monday 31st October
Saints U20’s will hope to build on last week’s last minute win over Rangers at Forthbank when they take on bottom of the table Inverness at McDiarmid Park this evening.
Despite last week’s result against the Glasgow giants, St. Johnstone have had a difficult start to their Development League season, where they are 14th in the table (from 17 teams) and still searching for their first home win of the campaign.
However 19-year-old goalkeeper Ben Mackenzie believes last week’s result can act as a catalyst going into tonight’s match.
“That win has definitely brought our confidence up a lot. We’ve not had the best start to the season but when you win a game like that then it will make us more confident going into the match with Inverness, who haven’t been doing that well this season.
“It’ll be a tough game, every game in the league is a tough game. Everyone can beat anyone but hopefully it will be us who get the win on Monday.”
Last week, Saints had opened the scoring through Connor McLaren in the first half before Rangers’ Serge Atakayi equalised shortly before the break. However, it was Joe Johnson who struck with a minute left to take the three points back to Perth.
“It was a really good result. We’ve not had many wins, that was only our second of the season so far, so hopefully we get back on the winning trail on Monday.
“Connor’s goal was a screamer from 25 yards out into the top corner and Jo-Jo’s came from good work by Danny (Jardine). It was a really cool finish into the bottom corner from Jo-Jo.
“Rangers dominated us in the second half but we did well to keep going to the last minute to eventually get that goal.
“When it went in we were all buzzing. We’d been under pressure for pretty much all of the second half, so we were relieved to get that goal and make all the hard work worth it.”
Matchwinner Joe Johnson was one of five younger players who made the step up from the academy in the summer and Mackenzie believes the newboys have all settled in well to full-time football.
“All the younger boys have done well. We’re closer now than at the start of the season, and hopefully we can show that on the pitch as well.
“Last season we only trained with them once a week (when they were in the U17’s side) but we’re now with them everyday and we’re finding it easier to play with them as well the more we train together.
“Cammy Thomson has done really well, he was on the bench for the first team against Hearts last month. But they’ve all made the step up quite well.”
On his own performances this season, the Edinburgh-born stopper said:
“I’ve done quite well in the games I’ve played. Last year I didn’t play as many games, but now I’m the only goalie, I’m playing more games. It’s boosting my confidence playing week in week out.”
Kick off is 6pm at McDiarmid Park and admission is £5 for adults, £2 for concessions and FREE to all valid season ticket holders.
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