After a week of freezing fog i the central belt some Livi fans were recollecting a previous trip to McDiarmid Park when the game was abandoned in the 80th minute after fog made it impossible for play to continue. We were glad when we arrived that although the car park was frosty that the lights in the houses on the hill to the south were still clearly visible.
only league side in British Football to contain the letter J does not
come from somewhere called St. Johnstone, nor should it be mistaken with
Johnstone in East Renfrewshire. It is the team of the Fair City of
Perth on the River Tay.
It is conveniently located
just off the City's by-pass to the west of the City on land donated by
local farmer Brian McDiarmid after whom the new stadium is named.
in 1989 it is deemed to be the first of the modern football stadia,
with 4 covered seated, single tier stands holding a maximum on 10,673.
There are no obscured views from any seat. Three of the stands are of
equal height with the Main Stand to the West being a little higher. The
South Stand is the Ormand Stand named after Willie Ormand the teams most
successful manager to date. However, in recent years only the main and
east stand are opened for league games due to attendance levels unless a
big match is being hosted. For our visit we were seated in the Northern
half of the Main Stand which is accessed half way up from the raised
level of the car park on that side of the hollow in which the ground
In the North East corner is an electronic
scoreboard, which can keep excited and nervous fans updated of the
scores elsewhere, and brought the news after full time in Perth last
year that Gretna with a late, late goal had sealed promotion to the SPL
instead of the Saints.
atmosphere was cracking as every at McDiarmid Park, and although we
didn't have another fan run unto the pitch our fans kept singing for
most of the game. Which when you get to the match report you'll find all
the more surprising, especially if you've ever been to Almondvale.
£2.50. As expected not a match to last week's zenith, but still a
worthy programme. 32 pages and this week featured an early St. Johnstone
versus Johnstone game in a little bit of history. The opening notes
commented that Colin Mcmenamin had yet to score on his return on loan
from Gretna, and predicted that he didn't expect last season's top
scorer in Scotland's maiden strike to be long in coming. He proved to be
better than Mystic Meg 14 minutes into the game.
Pie and Bovril
for hot drinks with the water steaming out of a tap in front of you
from the servery counter. £1.30 for a steak and gravy pie. Mine was fine
but one of my neighbours said theirs was cold on the inside.
Admission £17 (most expensive of the season)
(Bacon Butty) and Bovril £2.40
League Table of Cost
St. Johnstone £21.90
Well it was pantomime season and I had jested with one Saint's fan on Pie and Bovril
the Scottish Football forums, when he asked surely we couldn't beat
them again, responded with oh yes we could, before laying a few
conditions, based on our inconsistent showings thus far.
the game certainly started looking like oh yes we could. Livi started
strong and started to dominate. Time and again getting into danger
areas. Before Colin McMenamin got his head on the end of the ball and
guided it into the back of the net. The old chant of his name at last
resounded from the Livi choir in goal celebration, me very joyfully as I
have the Livi number 9 in the sweep from the coach trip up.
our joy was all too short lived. St Johnstone started to find their
feet on the hard pitch and too often the Livi players started to lose
theirs. Andy Jackson after some applied pressure got what was a deserved
equaliser, but from the starts we were getting more and more anxious
about the amount of space and opportunity that we appeared to be giving
another team for the second game on the bounce. We were hoping for a
goal ourselves, possibly from our other striker Steven Craig. When a
Craig scored though it was Saint's defender Liam scoring his first goal
for the club in the 41st minute. So for the second week on the trot we
conceded a cheap but inevitable goal just before half time.
came out with a little renewed vigour at the start of the second half
but it was soon snuffed out when Rocco Quinn burst through the
non-existent defence to grab a third. Things then went from bad to worse
and time and again the Livi players were leaving gaps on the park and
two and sometimes three Saint's players had time space and no real
challenge as they advanced.
We were just hoping there
wasn't going to be a fourth goal from the home team. Livi have been in 8
games this season where 4 goals or more have been scored by one team,
winning three 4-0, one each 5-0, 4-3 and 4-2, we have also been on the
wrong end of 4-0 and 4-1 defeats. However with 18 minutes remaining
Jackson scored again making it 4-1 followed 6 minutes later by a fifth
from Peter MacDonald.
As I said before the fans were
still singing backing their team and when chants of we want six appeared
to be misconstrued by some of the players the chant was swiftly changed
to '6-5 we're gonna win 6-5'. Just before the fifth goal Tam Pesir came
unto the field and started to show the bit we'd been lacking for most
of the game it was he who concluded the scoring more or less bang on the
90 minutes, sadly the ref didn't allow any additional time for us to
attempt to get the three goal we still needed to draw level the
Final Score St. Johnstone 5
Livingston (St Johnstone: Jackson 22, 72, Craig 41, Quinn 56, MacDonald
78. Livingston: Colin McMenamin 14, Tomas Pesir 90)
on the relative teams' positions. Morton didn't need asking two weeks
in a row their draw at Firhill lifted them back above Livingston who
dropped back to 6th and it could have been worse if Clyde's pitch hadn't
been frozen causing an abandonment. St Johnstone on the other hand
benefited from Morton's result leapfrogging Partick into 3rd spot.
Winning their game in hand over the top two to bring them within 13
Next time its the third of three consecutive road trips as we head South to Dumfries and Palmerston.
Previous Stadia Dens Park, East End Park, Broadwood