St. Johnstone faced Fleetwood Town today in their final Pre-Season friendly before the cinch Premiership kicks off next Saturday, with an away trip to Dingwall.
[The game kicked off at 1pm]
It was a tight affair which ultimately ended in a frustrating 0-0 draw, nobody managed to break the deadlock but at the end of the day it was a good run out for the whole squad in a bid to gain some crucial match fitness.
Callum Hendry had the first chance of the game when a long ball forward sent him through on goal in acres of space and only the keeper to beat he struggled to get the ball under control and couldn’t get a shot off, in the end the move broke down. The St. Johnstone striker looks devoid of confidence.
Captain Jason Kerr had to prevent Fleetwood from taking the lead on 10 minutes, with his vital tackle denying an almost certain goal.
David Wotherspoon almost opened the scoring from a free-kick in a dangerous area 22 minutes in with his effort curling up and over the wall but glancing past the goal and into the upper side netting. He couldn’t have been any closer without scoring.
In the 32nd minute the entire stadium errupted into applause and chants of “Rooooooneyy” once again as St. Johnstone fans showed their appreciation of the cup hero.
Penalty claims from the team in blue were waved away on 40 minutes following a cross into the box appearing to strike a hand. Spoony then chopped inside from the resulting throw-in but his effort was curled well over. His magic hat was certainly on today.
0-0 at the half and St. Johnstone were edging it but neither team could muster an effort on target in the opening 45.
[Fleetwood Town kicked off the second half]
Saints started the second half with a quadruple substitution, with Ballantyne, O’Halloran, Davidson and McCann replacing Craig, Kane, Wotherspoon and Bryson.
Ballantyne nearly put Saints in front with a header from close range but he couldn’t get enough on it and it flashed back across goal, for Fleetwood to clear to safety.
More changes came just after the hour mark with Shaun Rooney coming on for James Brown and then Hayden Muller replaced Liam Gordon.
[Shaun Rooney moments after coming on]
Hendry came closest to breaking the deadlock in the second half when he dispossessed one of the Fleetwood defenders in their own box from close in by fighting for the ball, he then tried to take a touch in side and slot home but he couldn’t quite beat Cairns in the opposition net. The only shot on target of the 90.
Fleetwood made 8 substitutions, including even swapping their goalkeepers. Saints also made a solitary change, bringing on Northcott for Hendry.
Fleetwood’s biggest chance of the 90 came moments later when they found themselves in down the left hand side and fired the ball across goal but nobody could get onto the end of the inviting delivery, with the scuffed Saints clearance just managing to thwart the threat.
Final Score: 0-0
Overall, the game wasn’t very entertaining but not through a lack of effort. Both teams put a lot into the game but quality in the final third was lacking and nobody could really take their chances or really produce much attacking quality, leading to game to end in a stalemate.
Nobody had a particularly bad performance, the result doesn't really matter at the end of the day and we also got to see the Scottish Cup and League Cup paraded around McDiarmid Park which was amazing to see in the flesh.
[The players and backroom staff did a lap of the pitch with the cups]
There was also the announcement which got the biggest cheer of the day that St. Johnstone will be allowed to host our Europa League tie at McDiarmid Park which is amazing news, European football is coming home to Perth!