Wednesday 30th August
New boy Denny Johnstone and winger Craig Thomson both bagged a brace for Saints U20s in last night's 4-2 win at home to Partick Thistle.
Johnstone opened the scoring after 13 minutes before Thomson made it 2-0 on 21 minutes. Thomson got his second of the match on 29 minutes and Johnstone scored Saints' 4th two minutes before half time. Neil McLaughlin scored twice for the visitors.
Saints U20s welcomed their Partick Thistle counterparts to McDiarmid Park this evening for the first home game of the season. First team players Chris Millar, Ally Gilchrist, Denny Johnstone and Craig Thomson were included in the starting eleven for Alec Cleland’s side.
Saints got the match underway shooting towards the North Stand. However, it was the visitor that got the first chance of the match after 2 minutes as a deep ball into the Saints box picked out Mark Lamont who had a shot at goal which was saved by Mark Hurst. The loose ball then fell to Neil McLaughlin but his shot at goal was blocked. The ball then broke to James Stokes whose deflected shot hit the bar before going behind for a corner.
The young Saints got their first sight of goal 2 minutes later when Euan O’Reilly’s cross picked out Ally McCann whose header went over the bar.
Saints took the lead on 13 minutes as Craig Thomson went on a good direct run at the Partick Thistle defence before delivering a great ball into the box which Denny Johnstone despatched past Ryan Scully in the Thistle goal.
Alec Cleland’s side then doubled their lead on 21 minutes as Craig Thomson intercepted a poor pass before running in on goal and slotted the ball past Scully.
A good interchange on the edge of the Saints box on 27 minutes’ setup McLaughlin who lashed a low shot past Hurst to half the deficit.
However, 2 minutes later Saints restored their 2 goal advantage as Craig Thomson nicked the ball off the Thistle defence before running into the box a firing a low shot across the keeper and into the net for his second of the evening.
Partick Thistle tried to get an immediate response on 32 minutes as Kevin Nesbit went for goal from a 30-yard free kick but it was well held by Hurst.
Saints were then awarded a free kick after Craig Thomson was fouled on the edge of the area by Harry Granger for which the young defender was booked. Craig took the free kick himself but his effort hit the wall before going behind for a corner.
Saints made it four 2 minutes before half time as Jamie Docherty did well to hold off the Thistle defence before setting Johnstone free who broke into the box before firing a low shot past Scully for his second of the evening.
Partick Thistle got the second half underway and they pulled a goal back 5 minutes after the restart as Nisbet won the ball before playing in McLaughlin who slotted the ball low past Hurst for his and Thistle’s second of the match.
On 55 minutes Craig Thomson tested Thistle keeper Scully with a long-range effort which was palmed behind for a corner. Then a minute Scully was again called into action as he pushed a Chris Millar free kick behind for a corner.
Craig Thomson was looking to complete his hat trick and on the hour mark but he volleyed over after a great cross into the box by Cameron Lumsden. Then on 64 minutes the Saints winger fired well over after being setup by Docherty.
Thistle were reduced to ten men on 66 minutes as Granger was sent off after picking up a second booking for a foul on O’Reilly on the edge of the box. The resultant free kick was taken by Craig Thomson but his strike was deflected for a corner from which Ally Gilchrist headed over.
The closing stages saw Saints dominate play, passing the ball around well but they couldn’t add to their tally as they comfortably saw the game out.
Saints U20s: Hurst, Lumsden, Cameron Thomson, Millar, Gilchrist, Quigley, O’Reilly (Robertson 83), McCann, Johnstone, Craig Thomson, Docherty Unused Substitutes: Sinclair (GK), Brian, Wilson, Struthers, Ballantyne
Scorers: Johnstone (13, 43), Craig Thomson (21, 29)
Partick Thistle U20s: Scully, I. Stokes, Fleming, Duncanson, Granger, Wilson, Lamont (Eadie 69), McCarthy, Nisbet (Higgins 79), McLaughlin, J. Stokes (Fitzpatrick 72)
Unused Substitutes: Kerr Booked: Granger, Eadie
Sent off: Granger
Scorers: McLaughlin (27, 50)
Referee: Jordan Curran
Saints: Hurst, Lumsden, Thomson, Millar, Gilchrist, Quigley, O'Reilly, McCann, Johnstone, Thomson, Docherty. Subs: Sinclair, Brian, Wilson, Struthers, Robertson, Ballantyne.
Partick: Scully, Stokes, Fleming, Duncanson, Grainger, Wilson, Lamont, McCarthy, Nisbet, McLaughlin, Stokes. Subs: Kerr, Eadie, Fitzpatrick, Higgins.
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