Updated: Aug 28, 2021
St. Johnstone's European dream has come to an end as the Perth side bow out with a 2-0 home defeat to Austrian side LASK.
[Kane battles for the ball]
Saints lost the game 2-0 in front of a packed McDiarmid Park and towards the end it got ugly. The final whistle could not have come soon enough.
Callum Davidson's St. Johnstone fought valiantly till' the end but sadly it just wasn't quite enough. The adventure is over after 2 very difficult ties eventually ended in defeat.
Here are 4 talking points from last nights European defeat:
Zander Clark and Murray Davidson Were Excellent
Before we go into a few of the "lesser" performances, I think it is only fair to say how good these two were. Neither Zander nor' Murray deserved to be on the losing side last night.
Scotland goalkeeper Clark made some top saves to keep us in the game as chants of "Zander Clark - Scotland's number 1" rang around McDiarmid Park throughout the 90 minutes.
[Clark makes a reaction save]
He had no chance with either of the goals and without him in-between the sticks the score line could have been much harsher on Saints.
33 year-old midfielder Murray Davidson was my man of the match yesterday and for good reason. He covered every blade of grass and won the ball repeatedly in the centre of the park and as per usual he never shirked a challenge.
[Murray Davidson put a standout performance in yesterday]
As they say - 71 percent of the Earth is covered by water, the rest is covered by Murray Davidson
Poor Discipline Cost us
At 1-0 down Callum Davidson decided to go for it and make changes. In the 75th minute hometown hero David Wotherspoon entered the fray to make his return to the pitch after missing 2 weeks in isolation.
The 31 year-old was brought on to make a change and oh my did he do that. 50 seconds after entering the field he was off again after lashing out with his arm against the LASK defender who was severely injured, lying on the floor face down until the decision was made and he was right as rain.
[Wotherspoon is given his marching orders]
Wotherspoon has had an absolute mare and it's not a moment he will look back on fondly. His sending off killed the game and it's such an out-of-character thing for the St. Johnstone legend to do.
He was on and off within the blink of an eye and nobody will be hurting more than the man himself.
Whilst 1 goal and 1 man down Saints were penned in as LASK searched for a second to kill the game. To make matters even worse Shaun Rooney was also given his marching orders for "pulling down" a LASK player in on-goal.
[Saints are reduced to 9 men]
As much as many fans and players thought it was a bit soft the referee pointed to the spot and showed the St. Johnstone man a straight sending off as things went from bad to worse for the home side. Zander Clark then booted the ball up and out of McDiarmid Park.
The penalty was coolly dispatched by Raguz and now there was no way back.
Poor decision making and poor discipline cost us dearly last night. Once they took the lead and once we went down to 10 the game was done. The big moments defined the tie and sadly Saints just weren't able to capitalise when it counted, whereas their opponents did.
The Atmosphere Was Brilliant
Once again McDiarmid Park was rocking and the Fair City Union once again were excellent - hats off to all involved for creating such a great atmosphere. They chanted, booed and kept the spirits up for the full 90.
[The Fair City Union were out in full force]
They got everyone else singing and it made the game so much better. McDiarmid was rocking and we all got behind the team. Despite the result nobody stopped for the whole game.
Even after the whistle plenty of fans stayed to clap for the team, this St. Johnstone side got the support they deserved. Lets hope we can see even half of the people who went yesterday back supporting the saintees this season.
Signings Needed; Outgoings expected
After failing to qualify for the Europa Conference League it is apparent that St. Johnstone could do with a couple of additions and there are certainly gaps needing to be filled.
However, due to the income we have lost out on it is likely that there will have to be departures. The most likely of these is Jamie McCart who in all honesty has looked distracted in the last few games and it looks as though he will be leaving the club, with 'Hibs' and 2 clubs down south both rumoured to be in for the defender.
[McCart looks set to depart the club]
With Vertainen's transfer saga still dragging on Saints need to add players to the squad and soon with deadline day on Tuesday.
Ah well, one journey is over and now we need to focus on domestic football once again. It's still early days of the new season and we can still have a great season. Keep the faith in this St. Johnstone side!