Football stories of barren goal-scoring runs ending when least expected are ten a penny.
Few, however, are quite as impactive as the example new St Johnstone recruit Craig Bryson can bring to the table.
Six years ago the Perth midfielder was part of a Derby County side that hadn’t found the net in four matches.
But when the dam burst, it was with a flood rather than a trickle.
“All it takes is one shot to go in from anyone and that turns things around for you,” said the 33-year-old, who made the move to Saints from Aberdeen a week ago.
“I remember at Derby we hadn’t scored for four games before playing Nottingham Forest in a derby game. We went into it without a goal in a long time but beat them 5-0 that day.
“I got a hat-trick and the fans there will speak to me about it to this day.
“It was unbelievable. It’s a huge game – you get 30,000-odd fans packing the stadium out. So that was a great memory from my time there and it just shows how things can pan out.
“We came off the back of four games without a goal thinking: ‘We have Forest next, we need to get our finger out’ and by half-time we were 3-0 up. After that game we went on a run and ended up in the play-off final.”
A clash with Livingston behind closed-doors is a world away from the blood and thunder of an East Midlands grudge match but the same principles apply as Bryson’s new team seek to turn narrow and undeserved defeats into victories.
“What you have to do is stay confident and keep doing the right things,” he said.
“If you watch the games we’re getting into good positions and it will turn in our favour. As the gaffer said, if you are playing badly and losing you need to be worried – but that’s not the case.
“We are playing good football and creating chances. It’s just not going our way at the moment.”
After recovering from illness early in the week, Bryson may get the chance to make his debut this afternoon.
“It would be nice to bring goals because everyone has to contribute on that front,” he said.
“I felt a bit ill at the start of the week with an upset stomach but with everything going on you don’t want to come in and be around people.
“That’s the first thing you think these days. You don’t know what it is and what it could be. I’m just glad to get in and get going now. I can’t wait to get playing. I’m fit, ready and raring to go.
“I have seen the team play a few times this season and the boys have been unlucky. They have played well but just not scored goals at the right times to go on and win.
“The Ross County game was like that. We dominated the game but just couldn’t get a goal.
“I came off the bench in the Aberdeen game as well and that could have gone either way. From what I’ve heard about all the other matches, that’s happened a lot this season.”
The former Kilmarnock man added: “I want to play with a smile on my face in the last few years of my career.
“Leaving Aberdeen was mutual on both parts. A lot of things came into play – the season I had, the pandemic and cost-cutting. It was the best thing for both of us.”
Last season was a tortuous one at Pittodrie but it would be unjust to give Bryson the ‘injury-prone’ tag on the back of it.
“I’ve played a lot of games in my career and have never been out for that long before,” he pointed out.
“We have got to the bottom of it now. The ankle injury was hurting other areas of my body because it was making be run differently.
“But thankfully now I am able to play pain-free. I want to push on now and get back to doing what I enjoy.
“I’ve not played at Livingston since I came back up the road but watched Aberdeen there and it’s always a difficult place to go. They are a good side and we know it’s going to be difficult to get the three points.”