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Saints battle to hard-fought victory

St Johnstone FC 1

Kane 62'

Dunfermline Athletic FC 0

  • Tuesday, 13 October 2015
  • McDiarmid Park
  • Under 20´s
  • SPFL Development League

Matthew Amery | YFS East Region Journalist
Author's Bio | Articles by Author | [email protected]

A second half goal from Chris Kane was St Johnstone's reward for persistence against a well-drilled and organised Dunfermline side. St Johnstone had much of the possession in a match which carried opportunities for both sides, Dunfermline’s defence and tracking midfielders held the opposition’s first half attacks and looked as though they would seal a deserved point until Kane’s headed goal found the away team’s net. This win saw St Johnstone’s development squad continue their impressive start to the season and keep hold of second place in the SPFL Development league but Dunfermline could also take some inspiration from a positive away performance.

The match began ambitiously with the home side taking a shot at goal straight from kick off. It may have been unsuccessful but proved a benchmark for Saint’s attacking attitude.

The first half an hour of the game was characterised by St Johnstone making runs into the opposition half but finding no gaps in Dunfermline’s tight-knit defensive line. Many of the attacking chances came from corners and Jason Kerr came close with a glancing header floating past the wrong side of the post by inches.

Dunfermline were restricted primarily to counter-attacks but when these opportunities arose, the away team looked very dangerous, with Paul-Joseph Crossan making some piercing runs into the Saints defensive third. As Dunfermline grew in confidence, a busy McDiarmid park urged their home side into some counter-attacks of their own. Full-back Craig Thomson showed his first team credentials with some pacey and unstoppable runs down the wing and his crossing game provided Saints with yet more attacking corners.

The first half ended with a shot from St Johnstone winger Connor McLaren who cut in from the left and shoot convincingly towards the goal, only to see his effort find the fingertips of Dunfermline Athletic’s David Hutton. Dunfermline’s back line of Duncan, McClair, Orru and Potter did an excellent job of restricting a confident home side to long range opportunities and attacking corners and could be proud of their first half display.

  • Half Time:
  • St Johnstone FC
  • 0-0
  • Dunfermline Athletic FC

The second half picked up where the first left off, a home corner lead to a near miss for St Johnstone. Dunfermline responded with a corner of their own, resulting in a very narrow miss for James Thomas who was an extremely bright light in the Dunfermline ranks. However, Saints were adamant that they would get the goal they felt was deserved. Liam Caddis beat the keeper but not the post and it looked as though fate was against the home side before Kane’s sixtieth minute opener.

Jason Kerr was responsible for an assist which saw Kane use his head to guide the ball past the stalwart Hutton into the right side of the Dunfermline net. The away team’s attitude and effort was not to be faulted but Saints got their goal after a long period of knocking on the door with a quality header.

As the game drew to a close, Saints opportunities were limited by a hard-working Dunfermline midfield, who continually tracked backwards to help their defence. This organisation lead to some convincing chances for Athletic’s Thomas who could be considered unlucky not to walk away with a goal to his name.

The last ten minutes proved to be fiery, with St Johnstone fighting to maintain their lead and Dunfermline battling back just as hard to find that all-important equaliser. However, it was not to be and the match ended with Kane’s effort the only separation between two teams who showed their SPFL quality. Saints remain in second place in the SPFL Development League and Dunfermline showed that they have the quality to move up the table from their current twelfth position.

  • Full Time:
  • St Johnstone FC
  • 1-0
  • Dunfermline Athletic FC

Lineups

St Johnstone FC
Dunfermline Athletic FC
1. Jordan Millar
2. Craig Thomson
3. Aaron Comrie
4. Neil Martyniuk
5. Brad Mckay
6. Jason Kerr
7. Connor McLaren
8. Eoghan McCawl
9. Chris Kane
10. Greg Hurst
11. Liam Caddis
12. Paul Simpson
14. Greg Kerr
15. Ben McKenzie
16. Greg Page
17. Paul Esslemont
18. Cameron Lumsden
19. Joseph Johnson
1. David Hutton
2. Reece Duncan
3. Cammy McClair
4. Jordan Orru
5. John Potter
6. Brandon Luke
7. Johnny Galloway
8. James Thomas
9. Paul-Joseph Crossan
10. Scott Sutherland
11. Robbie Crawford
12. Callum Smith
14. Craig Kirkland
15. Jack McClair
16. Paul Allan
21. Cammy Gill
Star Player
St Johnstone FC
Dunfermline Athletic FC
Craig Thomson - At full-back was a constant threat to Dunfermline in both attack and defence, making some very dangerous runs and forcing the opposition to reinforce their flanks. His performance is showing why he is now giving Tommy Wright food for thought.
James Thomas - While the award could go to anyone across the Dunfermline back line, it was in fact number eight, James Thomas who stood out as a bright light for the future. His constant presence in the St Johnstone defensive third made Dunfermline look like they could have gained a share of the points.
Magic Moment
St Johnstone FC
Dunfermline Athletic FC
Chris Kane's headed goal was a moment of huge relief for the home support as it was looking more and more likely that a goal might have been out of the question.
David Hutton's fingertip save epitomised the away side's defensive work-rate and proved a great marker for what could have been a night of frustration for second-placed Saints.
  • Match report and photos copyright Youth Football Scotland.
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