Saints U20's 1-2 Partick Thistle

Sunday 4th December

Saints' Development side were this afternoon knocked out of the Scottish Youth Cup at the Fourth Round stage by Partick Thistle at McDiarmid Park.

James Penrice and Ian Stokes scored for Partick each side of a Paul Simpson volley to take them into the quarter finals.

MATCH REPORT

Saints under 20s welcomed their Partick Thistle counterparts to McDiarmid Park this afternoon for a SFA Youth Cup fourth round tie.

Prior to kick off there was a minute’s silence in memory of those who lost their lives in the Chapecoense plane crash in Columbia earlier this week.

Saints got the match underway attacking the Ormond Stand end and they found the opening 10 minutes difficult with Thistle playing a high pressing game which had the young Saints on the backfoot. Then on 14 minutes the visitors took the lead as a low cross from James Stokes found James Penrice who slotted home from close range.

Saints got their first shot on target on 19 minutes as Daniel Jardine slipped the ball to Greg Hurst whose strike was saved at the second by Thistle keeper Conor Cullen. Then a minute later Saints created another chance as Cameron Thomson’s free kick found the unmarked Jason Kerr however, he could not get enough power on his header as Cullen gathered.

On 28 minutes Saints had a shout for a penalty as Hurst went down in the box but the referee waved play on. Then a minute later Connor McLaren slipped a great ball to Joe Johnson and the striker was in on goal however, his effort was turned behind for a corner by Cullen. The corner was taken by McLaren but it was knocked behind for another corner. This time McLaren’s delivery found Greg Page who headed the ball back across the face of the goal to Kerr whose header was straight at Cullen.

Saints were playing much better and on 38 minutes a goalmouth scramble saw the ball cleared off the line firstly by Matthew McInally and then Dominic Docherty. The pressure on the Thistle goal eventually told a minute later as Paul Simpson volleyed home from 12 yards.

Saints finished the half strongly and they could have taken the lead with 2 minutes remaining as a McLaren cross found Hurst whose volley went inches wide.

Before the second half got underway Saints made a change as Cameron Lumsden came onto replace Greg Page.

5 minutes after the restart the visitors regained the lead as Ian Stokes played a good ball forward to Neil McLaughlin who did well to hold the ball up before passing to Mark Lamont and he slipped the ball to Stokes who slotted the ball past Ben McKenzie.

Saints had another penalty shout on 53 minutes as Johnson went down in the box but again the referee waved play on. Then a minute later up the other end Thomson did well to get back to clear an inviting McLaughlin cross into the Saints box.

Just before the hour mark Thistle really should have got their third of the afternoon as McInally’s header found Stokes however, luckily for Saints the ball took a bounce so the Thistle player couldn’t get enough power on the ball to turn it into the net.

A Saints free kick on 70 minutes was taken by Simpson and his delivery into the box found the head of Aaron Comrie who headed over.

Great play on 77 minutes by Hurst saw him skip past two Thistle defenders and was in on goal however, Cullen stood up well to deny the Saints striker from close range what looked like a certain goal.

As the match entered the closing stages Saints continued to create opportunities. They created one final chance deep into stoppage time however, Comrie’s strike was well saved by Cullen as the visitors saw the match out to progress to the next round.

St Johnstone U20s: McKenzie, Comrie, Thomson, McCann (O’Reilly 82), Kerr, Page (Lumsden 45), McLaren, Jardine, Johnson (Docherty 70), Hurst, Simpson Unused Substitutes: Sinclair (GK), Polson, Brian, MacKenzie Booked: Kerr Scorers: Simpson (39)

Partick Thistle U20s: Cullen, McInally, Penrice, Grainger, McMullin, Lamont, Stokes, Docherty, McLaughlin (Hall 86), Wilson (Nisbet 73), Stokes (King 86) Unused Substitutes: Kelly Booked: Wilson, Lamont Scorers: Penrice (14), Stokes (50)

Match Report by Daryl Scott