Millennium Champions: Saints stutter to victory
By Stuart Gillespie
Updated Friday, 20th November 2009
It doesn't matter what form or division Saints are in, we have nearly always struggled when we are favourites to win a match. So it proved when we took on Clydebank at Love Street.
Recent years have shown we aren't great when it comes to cup games against lower league sides, but this game proved the theory even more. We were cruising along at the top of the league while Clydebank were down the wrong end of the table with hardly any money and slightly more players. Yet we played poorly and ended up sneaking victory by the narrowest of margins.
The first half was pretty much a non-event from what I can remember, so we'll move swiftly on to the few highlights of the second 45 minutes. Before the hour mark we were in front, Steven McGarry scoring from the spot after Sergei Baltacha had been fouled by Peter Cormack.
However, with 20 minutes left former Saint Ian Cameron - who won the Scottish Cup with the club in 1987 - scored Clydebank's own penalty, the offside Kris O'Neil fouled by Iain Nicolson.
Fortunately, Niccy managed to atone for his error as we conjured up another late goal. The wing back flighted in a free-kick and big Mark Yardley headed it past Colin Scott from close range.
It was the end of the scoring, but not the entertainment as sub Ryan Robinson found himself replaced in the final minute after a rather foolish pass!
Not great, but it got the job done. The same sort of performance at Livingston seven days later would probably not work as well.