Tuesday 27th February
Saints lost 4-1 to Rangers at a wintry McDiarmid Park this evening. The visitors took the lead on 12 minutes as James Tavernier converted from the penalty spot after Alfredo Morelos had been fouled by Alan Mannus.
It was 2-0 on 25 minutes as Josh Windass beat the offside trap before coolly slotting the ball into the net. Rangers then added a third on 42 minutes as Sean Goss curled his free kick up and over the Saints wall and into the bottom left-hand corner of the net giving Mannus no chance.
Alfredo Morelos got a fourth for The Gers on 56 minutes to finish the game off as a contest.
Saints though did get a consolation on 62 minutes when Jason Kerr rose to head a Liam Craig corner past Wes Foderingham for his first goal for the club.
Saints looked to go into the game with good form, having beat Ross County last Saturday with Saints beating The Staggies 2-0. Rangers also came into the game, having won their previous 5, and recently beating Hearts at Ibrox. Both teams looked to carry on their recent form, with a tie under the floodlights at McDiarmid Park. Tommy Wright made three changes as Scott Tanser, Chris Millar, Steven MacLean and David Wotherspoon dropped out to be replaced by Aaron Comrie, Matty Willock, George Williams and Liam Craig.
Saints get the game kicked off however, it was the visitors who took control of the early proceedings. Then on 12 minutes Rangers were awarded a penalty as a ball over the top caught out the Saints defence and Alfredo Morelos pulled away from Aaron Comrie. Alan Mannus then rushed from his goal and tackled the Rangers striker who went down in the box. The Saints goalkeeper received a yellow card for the challenge. James Tavernier took the penalty and slotted it into the keepers left hand side, sending the goalkeeper the wrong way.
Saints tried to respond and a Liam Craig cross into the edge of the 18-yard box was met by George Williams who tried to feed the ball to Blair Alston however, the ball ran out of play with 18 minutes played.
Rangers then doubled their lead on 25 minutes with Josh Windass scoring. Greg Docherty for Rangers played a neat one-two with Daniel Candeias before sending the ball through to Windass who made no mistake with his first-time strike giving Mannus no chance.
A Saints free kick on the edge of the right-hand side of the box was passed out to Blair Alston whose strike hit against a barricade of Rangers defenders, which was eventually cleared. Saints first real chance to test Foderingham.
Saints were looking to quickly respond on 33 minutes as Murray Davidson and Liam Craig linked up on the left-hand channel before Craig put an inviting ball into the box, which Williams met and struck on the volley. However, Foderingham was equal to it and pulled off a great save tipping it over the bar to deny Saints a chance to get back into the game, it remained 2-0 Rangers.
Rangers continued to press and Jamie Murphy gathered possession and surged towards a gap in the home defence. Davidson slid in to tackle, but referee Steven McLean judged that the midfielder caught Murphy before the ball, and awarded a free-kick in a dangerous position. The Saints midfielder was booked for his tackle on the Rangers’ man. The ball was placed with precision into the bottom left of Mannus’ goal by Sean Goss who did well to curl his effort over the Saints wall and the Saints goalkeeper couldn’t do much to prevent it. 3-0 to Rangers on 42 minutes.
Just after the second half was kicked off, Saints Liam Craig took a corner which was whipped into the 6-yard box whom Jason Kerr connected with, however his header went the wrong side of the post, that chance would give Saints a small glimpse of hope to get back into the game.
10 minutes after the restart a James Tavernier cross was whipped into the near post where Jason Kerr and Rangers’ Morelos’ both contested however Morelos managed to get his body in front and glanced his header past Mannus into the far post. Rangers grab their fourth of the game and put the tie to bed.
Saints grabbed one back on 62 minutes with Jason Kerr heading in from 6 yards out from a Liam Craig corner. It was Kerr’s first goal for the club.
In the final 10 minutes of the game, a rare chance fell to Saints as Liam Craig whose shot whistled wide of the left-hand side of the goal, Saints were now just looking to have a strong end to the game and play for their pride.
Full time descends on McDiarmid Park where Rangers came out the victors with a convincing 4-1 win over Saints. A game of few chances for both sides, however Rangers ultimately took their chances and Saints did not. Saints will look to bounce back on Saturday with a home time against Hamilton Accies.
Saints: Mannus; Kerr, Shaughnessy, Anderson, Comrie, Willock, Davidson (Wotherspoon 58), Craig, Alston, Kane (Johnstone 62), Williams
Unused Substitutes: Clark (GK), Millar, MacLean, Thomson, Gordon
Booked: Mannus, Davidson, Kane
Scorer: Kerr (62)
Rangers: Foderingham, Tavernier, Bates, Martin, Halliday, Docherty, Goss, Candeias (Cummings 62), Windass, Murphy (Alves 77), Morelos
Unused Substitutes: Alnwick (GK), Miller, Herrera, Hodson, Holt
Scorers: Tavernier (12 pen), Windass (25), Goss (40), Morelos (56)
Referee: Steven McLean
Match Report by Ruairidh Smith
Picture: Jason Kerr scores his first goal for the club
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