Saints started their season with a tough Grill League Cup match at Milton Park against last seasons champions Banks O’Dee. Having had five wins out of five in pre-season friendlies confidence was high despite a few key players missing, but the performance on the day was bit disappointing, suffering a heavy 6-0 defeat.
Dee were on the front foot immediately and Euan Morrison had to make a point blank save in the 1st minute. Dee continued to force the issue, but Saints went close when Greg Mackie when he fizzed a 20 yard left foot shot just past on 10 minutes. A Dee goal was averted when Josh Robertson cleared off the line on 20 minutes, but three minutes later it was 1-0 to Dee when a cut back from a move down the left was forced over the line. Five minutes later Grant Munro lost possession just outside the box and one pass later it was 2-0 with an easy chance taken.
At the other end Darren Reid forced the Dee keeper to save low at his post on the half hour mark and then Mark Reid had a half chance but blazed well over. Saints were punished for not taking these chances when another move down the Dee left when they scored again from a cut back to make it 3-0 on 37 minutes. A similar move on 41 minutes made it 4-0 before Mark Reid had a good penalty claim turned down when he appeared to be downed in the box when clean through.
Into the second half and what was not needed was an early Dee goal, but that’s what happened. The referee awarded a soft free kick 25 yards out and the resultant low shot was saved at the post by Morrison but he could not gather the rebound before Dee forced the ball over the line to make 5-0 after 52 minutes. With 30 minutes remaining Calum Wilson was shown his second yellow card for dissent and was therefore sent off, which did not help the Saints cause one bit.
Euan Morrison brought off a great save on 63 minutes and Saints actually began to play some better football when down to 10 men. Manager Ewan Robb made three changes in the space of 15 minutes to get some fresh legs on the park. Conran Wilson went very close with a 20 yard effort that went inches over the Dee bar with 15 minutes remaining. It should have been 6-0 to Dee when ex Saint player Jack Henderson was clean through one on one but Morrison denied him with another save. But Henderson got his revenge on 88 minutes when he glided the ball into the net from a slick pass.
The Saints Boss said…
We went into the game with a bit of confidence, even with some key players missing but we just didn’t turn up. You have to be at your very best to compete with a team of Dee’s quality, and we were at our worst. We gave them so much space to play in and when we did get the ball, we gave it away. Despite the poor performance, we got in behind them and created maybe 4 or so good chances, and despite losing 6 goals, young Euan Morrison didn’t do much wrong.
If you give everything and get beat, you congratulate the opponent and move on but for as good as Dee were, we were awful. We’ll need to put it behind us quickly and move on, making sure it doesn’t happen again. But credit to Dee, they moved the ball well, pressed hard and took their chances. I’m sure we’ll not be the last team on the end of sore one from them this season
Back to the drawing board for Tuesdays Grill League Cup game against East End at New Advocates Park kick off 7.00pm.
Team: Euan Morrison, Darren Reid, Conran Wilson, Calum Wilson, Josh Robertson, Steve Young, Craig Peter (Owen Shand), Grant Munro, Mark Reid (Mantis Mickevicius), Greg Mackie (Ben Ross), Jordan Clark. Unused Subs: Jason Ritchie, Dean Henderson.