Paisley Daily Express



A combinatio­n of dreadful finishing and questionab­le refereeing sent the Buddies crashing out of the Scottish Cup.

St Mirren were looking to atone for their gutting League Cup semi-final loss to Livingston in January, and despite starting slowly should have had the perfect chance to open the scoring from the penalty spot.

Willie Collum denied Jim Goodwin’s side what looked to be a stonewall penalty when Kristian Dennis’ shot clearly hit Jamie McCart’s arm inside the box.

Zander Clark then denied Lee Erwin from six yards as the striker’s point-blank effort was superbly stopped on the line.

After a fairly even first half the Paisley Saints started to dominate the tie and again should have gone ahead when Collin Quaner was presented with a wonderful chance inside the box. Somehow he managed to send Ilkay Durmus’ superb cross wide.

St Mirren’s finishing has been their Achilles’ heel all season, and their wastefulne­ss came back to bite them once again as substitute Glenn Middleton picked out Chris Kane who squeezed home the opener.

Just a few minutes later Middleton looked to have put the game beyond the Paisley side when his free-kick appeared to outfox Alnwick.

Defender Conor McCarthy gave his side hope when he nodded home Jamie McGrath’s excellent free-kick with five minutes to go.

But while Eamonn Brophy went close to levelling at the death with a fine strike, it was St Johnstone who hung on to earn the chance to meet Jack Ross’ Hibs side in the final on May 22.

Goodwin put his faith in Erwin up front, with the former Killie and Motherwell striker partnering Kristian Dennis in attack.

The Buddies started the game matching St Johnstone’s 3-5-2 formation, with Richard Tait and Ilkay Durmus filling in at wing-back and Ethan Erhahon alongside Jake Doyle-Hayes and Jamie McGrath in midfield.

Craig Bryson tested Jak Alnwick early on with a shot from distance that was comfortabl­y held by the Buddies keeper.

Durmus then pulled off a brilliant clearing header from a dangerous David Wotherspoo­n cross as the Perthshire side threatened to break the deadlock in the opening ten minutes.

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