Millennium Champions: Paying the penalty
By Stuart Gillespie
Updated Friday, 2nd October 2009
A draw and a defeat were hardly the ideal way to head into the international break, and it could have been so much better. Had Tom Brown not missed a late penalty, we'd have beaten Livingston on their first trip to Love Street.I remember a few odd things about this game. For one thing, it was a rare chance to watch a Saints game from the Caley Stand. For another, we had a samba band, a bit odd soncisdering it was chucking it down. And we left Mark Yardley on the bench.
However, the problems were at the other end of the park. We were surprisingly shaky in the early stages and while we looked to have a let off when Ray McKinnon's effort hit the bar, the bedraggled figure of Gerry Britton was able to net the rebound.
The visitors continued to push but were unable to extend their lead before the break, which worked just fine for us. Yards was introduced and when he passed to Sergei Baltacha, the youngster's shot deflected straight to Barry Lavety. Basher didn't waste much time in pouncing to slam home the equaliser.
In what was becoming a common theme, we were then helped by the opposition having a player sent off. This time it was Allan McManus (not the snooker player) that was naughty, crunching into Junior Mendes.
We failed to make the man advantage count until a few minutes from time when Brown was felled inside the box. The man himself took the spot kick, but Ian McCaldon - who'd join us on loan 12 months later - pulled off a superb save to ensure media darlings Livingston left with a point.
A bit of an anti-climax then as we headed into a fortnight off. But when we came back, it was time for the fun to start...