Connor McLaren's superb second half strike gave Saints a point in Monday night's 1-1 draw at home to Motherwell.
Saints under 20’s faced the team top of the SPFL Development League, Motherwell, at McDiarmid Park on Monday evening. The home side started with several players with first team experience including David Wotherspoon, Michael Coulson and Graham Cummins.
Motherwell got out of the blocks well with Jacob Blyth putting an early effort over the crossbar.
After just five minutes, Motherwell had the lead as David Turnbull put in a cross for Blyth, whose header squirmed under Ben McKenzie. McKenzie managed to recover and grab hold of the ball before it hit the net but the Referee and his Officials agreed that the ball had crossed the line despite the protests of the Saints players.
Less than ten minutes later, McKenzie made a great save with a strong left hand to stop Jake Hastie doubling the lead for his side.
Micheal Coulson and Graham Cummins looked dangerous for Saints as they began to get a grip on the game. Coulson saw several of his long shots go just wide of the target and forced Peter Morrison into action as he smashed a close range shot straight at the Goalkeeper.
Cummins got on the end of several crosses from David Wotherspoon and Aaron Comrie on the right hand side but could not trouble the Motherwell number one.
With nearly forty minutes played, a great cross from Cameron Thomson found the head of Cummins and the Irish striker did get good power on it, but Peter Morrison tipped the ball over the bar.
The best chance to add to the score line before half time fell to Motherwell’s Dylan Mackin. Ross McLean found his way past Jason Kerr in the box and squared it to Mackin, but the striker’s side-footed effort right in front of the goal went wide of the mark when he really should have done better.
In the second half, Jack McMillan almost caught Ben McKenzie out as his deep cross was heading into the goal but the Saints Goalkeeper managed to push it over the bar.
Whilst at the other end, Connor McLaren and David Wotherspoon both had half-hearted attempts at goal.
With an hour played, Cameron Thomson did well down the left hand side and got a right footed shot away, but the effort went right across the face of the goal.
Just two minutes later, Saints were level as Connor McLaren disposed Allan Campbell and sprinted his way into the box before unleashing a powerful low shot to beat Morrison.
Michael Coulson tried to get Saints ahead but his long shot dragged wide of the goal. With just fifteen minutes left to play, Saints came very close to scoring again as Cummins’ header from a Comrie cross hit the top the crossbar.
With just over ten minutes left to play, Motherwell substitute Dylan Falconer was sent through with no defenders between him and the goal, but Ben McKenzie came off his line quickly to brilliantly close down the midfielder.
Both sides had good chances to go ahead through their left backs as Cameron Thomson and Adam Livingstone both saw their attempts go wide of the goal.
Saints finished the match strongly as Eoghan McCawl had a shot saved by Peter Morrison and then the final chance of the game fell to Jason Kerr from a David Wotherspoon corner, but the defender couldn’t get his powerful header on target. The referee ended the game shortly after and both sides took a point away from the match each.
Saints line up: McKenzie, Comrie, Cameron Thomson, McCawl, Gordon, Kerr, McLaren, Wotherspoon, Cummins, Coulson, Simpson. Subs: Sinclair, Page, Lumsden, McCann, Jardine, Docherty, Johnson.
Motherwell line up: Morrison, McMillan, Maguire, Ferguson, Kennedy, Campbell, McLean, Turnbull, Mackin, Hastie, Blyth. Subs: Trialist, Scott, Falconer, Livingstone, Fry, Watters, Armstrong.
Match report by Nick Drummond-Hay
You can watch the highlights package of the game provided by Motherwell FC below:
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