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St. Johnstone 2-1 St. Mirren as Middleton Fires Perth men to Scottish Cup Final!!!

The battle of the 'Saints' kicked off at 14:15 on Sunday. The referee for the match was Willie Collum.

The winner of today's encounter would secure a Scottish Cup Final against Hibernian on the 22nd of May.

First Half

The first half began and it was a cagey first 15. In the 5th minute Wotherspoon and Melamed linked up early on with some neat passes, the ball was then laid off to Bryson who fired it at goal from distance. His shot bounced on the way through and didn't trouble Alnwick.

Jamie McGrath tested the St. Johnstone back line as he darted in behind to send a well placed delivery into the box. Tait just missed it by a hair and the attack fizzled out.

McCann had a long range effort deflected towards goal which was saved by the St. Mirren stopper once again. A Rooney strike from just outside the box on his left foot was curving into the top of the goal but Alnwick clawed it out.

St. Johnstone were beginning to take a hold of the game now.

Booth had a long range curling effort fly wide of the right hand post. Kane then drove in and found himself in space, dashing to the left and firing an effort at goal, sadly missing the target.

St. Mirren remained a threat and a ball into the box from the left was met by Dennis at close range low down. The forward thought he had put the 'Buddies' 1-0 up but to his dismay Clark threw his body at it and somehow kept the sides level.

Rooney had an excellent game down the right hand-side and his cross in the 37th found Melamed in the danger zone, but the Israeli scuffed his shot wide.

[Rooney and Shaughnessy battle it out]

The first half was cagey and neither team could break the deadlock and stamp their authority on the game, Saints shaded it overall but St. Mirren really had the biggest chance. If it hadn't been for Zander Clark, it would likely have been St Mirren ahead at the half.

Second Half

Some nice St. Johnstone build up play down the left as Booth and Kane linked up with a 1-2, nearly led to Saints going 1-0 up as the left backs effort was blocked just as it looked threatening.

Shaun Rooney slipped in defence and Durmus nicked into a dangerous area in behind, he fired a low shot across goal but Clark beat it away with both hands. St. Mirren were moments later denied by 2 excellent St. Johnstone defensive blocks inside the area.

Wotherspoon, who was excellent on the day, sold his marker a dream by cutting the ball back onto his left foot. He then put an attempt on goal from far out which narrowly avoided breaking the deadlock as it went over Alnwick's goal.

In the 65th minute Davidson brought on Rangers loanee Glenn Middleton, coming off was Guy Melamed who had struggled to make an impact all afternoon.

[Middleton coming on]

Saints were on the attack once again now and Booth played it to Spoony, the winger then sent a lovely through pass to substitute Middleton. He then crossed it low and hard into the centre of the opposition box where Kane met it on the ground and poked past Alnwick who had no chance! 1-0 St. Johnstone in the 72nd minute.

2 minutes later and Middleton made his way past ex-saintee Shaugnessy with lovely trickery, before he tore the wide man down as the Irishman picked up a yellow card. This gave St. Johnstone a free-kick in a dangerous area.

Wotherspoon and Middleton hovered over the ball. Middleton looked as if he was going to dummy the ball but instead thundercunted it into the top corner of the St. Mirren goal!!!!!!! An absolute wonder goal as all Saints fans watching on celebrated in disbelief. 2-0 St. Johnstone and Davidson's team looked to have secured the victory.

[Middleton celebrating his goal to make it 2-0]

Within minutes Shaun Rooney looked to have added a third for St. Johnstone. Middleton was driving down the left hand side causing more problems for St. Mirren and his cross was deflected into the path of Rooney mere yards out. The right back put a powerful header goal wards and it appeared a certain goal but somehow Alnwick kept it out.

Quaner should have pulled one back for St. Mirren only minutes later but his header went high and wide from close up. Connor McCarthy would then actually score for the 'Buddies' and pull his side back into the game with only 5 minutes to go.

McCarthy nodded beyond the reach of Clark from a set piece, to remind St. Johnstone that St. Mirren were not down and out yet. Game on, 2-1.

Eamonn Brophy was inches away from clawing St. Mirren level late on but his strike just missed the target. A long range volley from McGrath also came close to finding the back of the net but was always rising and went over.

Deep into the 3 minutes of added time and St. Mirren were launching bodies and the ball forward. Gordon had to come off to a blood wound but St. Johnstone never wavered and remained firm to defend their goal.

Following 3 minutes which felt like 30, time was up. St. Johnstone had done it! A second Cup Final of the season, a real chance of a cup double and a chance to add the 3rd trophy to our cabinet since 2014.

What a game, end to end with plenty of chances and it really could have gone either way. A few moments of magic set the sides apart and St. Johnstone are through to another cup final! Unbelievable.

[Saints celebrating a job well done]

Final Score 2-1

Man of The Match

Just about any player could have been picked for this today, they were all excellent but I think it's a toss up between Middleton, Wotherspoon and Kane. Nothing really to chose between the 3 of them.

Middleton gets it for me due to the sheer outrageous nature of his goal and the devastating impact he had after coming off the bench. He ran St. Mirren ragged and was directly involved in both goals.

Scottish Cup Final

This win puts Saints into the second Scottish Cup Final of the clubs history as we now aim to make it a cup double for the season, while also adding a second Scottish Cup in 7 years.

We will face Hibernian on the 22nd of May at Hampden to battle it out for the trophy.

Sensational on the day and it still hasn't quite sunk in for me yet. We are in another cup final. Although the lack of fans is a kick in the teeth, you won't find many St. Johnstone fans complaining about a chance at silverware.

Callum Davidson and his team continue their excellent season and today was a neccessary performance, rarely allowing St. Mirren in at us and Middleton's wonder goal will be replayed for years to come.

The fairy tale continues!

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