Stenhousemuir 1 v 5 St. Johnstone
Played at Ochilview Park on Tuesday, 5th August 2008 at 19:30
Scottish Communities League Cup
Stenhousemuir v St.Johnstone at Ochilview Park, Stenhousemuir on 05.08.08
Co-operative Insurance Cup First Round Att 687
Stenhousemuir 1 [Love 12] St. Johnstone 5 [Sheeran 23 pen, Milne 78, Holmes 79,84, Hardie 88]
For this Co-operative Cup match the Warriors made no less than 8 changes to the starting eleven from the side that had met Elgin in the league 3 days earlier. On the other hand St.Johnstone who were the top ranked team in the competition at this stage made only one change. On paper therefore it looked even more as if St.Johnstone could run out easy winners. The changes however freshened up the Stenhousemuir side who for the first half as least played the most free flowing football of the competitive matches played so far and were more than a match for their illustrious opponents even if the score did not reflect it. The home side looked to have taken the lead in the 4th minute of thegame when John Ovenstone headed home a Kevin Motion corner kick but the effort was disallowed for a foul that only the referee Chris Boyle spotted. Another Ovenstone effort was cleared off the line in the 7th minute before the Warriors took a well deserved lead in the 12th minute when Robert Love scored from close range. He was unable to celebrate however as he was injured in the process and had to be carried off with ankle ligament damage. The Saints got back into the game in the 23rd minute when Martin Hardie went down in a challenge from Gary Thom and the referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot much to the disbelief of everyone who had a clear view of the play. Paul Sheerin stepped up to mark and sent Scott Bennett the wrong way with his effort to bring the tie level. St.Johnstone were lifted by this and Andy Jackson looked as if he had missed a sitter at the back post in the 35th minute but his blushes were saved as the assistant referee had flagged for offside. Stenhousemuir were determined to get back into the lead and Thom had an effort that deflected just wide before half time. In the second half both sides came close to taking the lead with a 64th minute header by Chris Millar and a deflected effort by Graham Gibson in the 71st minute being the best efforts. In the 78th minute however the Saints took the lead when substitute Steven Milne headed home a Gavin Swankie cross. After this the floodgates opened and the Warriors were swamped in the closing stages of the game. In the 79th minute another sub Derek Holmes headed home a Millar cross and this was followed by his second goal in the 84th minute when he tapped in a Liam Craig cross and the game ended in controversy when Scott Bennett appeared to be bundled into the net when Martin Hardie connected with a Swankie corner. The score of 5-1 to St.Johnstone was definitely not a true reflection of how the game went. St.Johnstone were more clinical in their execution and also had the rub of the green when it came to vital decisions. The Warriors supporters knew that their team had given their all and despite the final score the team got a good reception as they came off the park with many feeling that it was an overall better performance than the Elgin one on the Saturday.
Stenhousemuir – Bennett, McEwan, Motion, Thom, Ovenstone, Desmond [Brazil 65], Love [Tyrrell 15], Shirra, Dalziel [Hampshire 73], Brand and Gibson. Subs not used – Smith and Renton
St.Johnstone, McLean, Irvine, Craig, Millar, Rutkiewicz [McCaffrey h/t], James, Swankie, Hardie, Jackson [Milne 65], MacDonald [Holmes 73] and Sheerin. Subs not used – Weatherston and Kelly
Referee – Chris Boyle
Assistants – Terry Brunton and John McCrossan
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