St Johnstone spotkick hero Stevie May believes Scotland’s players have inspired the nation – himself included – with their shootout success in Serbia.
May paid his own personal tribute to the national team by slotting home two excellent penalties to help secure safe passage for the Perth side into the next stage of the Betfred Cup on Saturday.
He won, took and scored two kicks to put his team in control at Peterhead and the visitors eventually ran out 3-1 winners, with substitute Chris Kane adding a third goal.
May admitted he had been inspired by the Scots’ achievement in reaching Euro 2020 – their first major finals since 1998 – and he thinks the feelgood factor will resonate throughout Scottish football.
He said: “They have shown us all how to do it when it comes to penalties!
“They have had two shootouts and not missed once.
“It was great to see it, the other night.
“Scotland have given everyone a real boost and the boys were brilliant.”
Saints may not have quite been brilliant at Balmoor but they were still pretty good and thoroughly deserved the win that meant they finished at the top of Group C ahead of second-placed Dundee United, who failed to qualify.
“Thankfully we got the job done as well,” added May.
“This cup group stage has been good for us.
“It is nice to play these ties. I have always enjoyed the cup competitions when you get to face teams you wouldn’t normally play.
“It is also good for the lower league sides to get the experience of facing teams from the Premiership. It is a good experience for both us and them and we make sure we take every team seriously.
“You have to do that. I think in this match they showed in the first half that they are a good side but our experience showed through in the end.”
There was little doubt over the two spotkicks, with first Jason Brown fouling May then Kieran Freeman having a go.
The Saints striker said: “Yeah, I think there were as stonewall as they come, really.”
May is now allowing himself to dream of just how far the McDiarmid men can go in the cup.
He said: “I thought we came through a tough group, including Kelty in our first match.
“We did manage things well and the game against Brechin gave us that foothold in the group after getting the two wins.
“We then had Dundee United but even after those performances we still had to come up here and get a result.
“Peterhead is a place where you can come and slip up, as has been shown in the past by teams.
“We are delighted as players and so is the manager. We came here to do a job and we managed to do it.
“Anything can happen now and cups are brilliant for that reason.
“A few wins and you can go far. You then get a real excitement around the whole city.
“I think this is a competition in which we have done well in the past and there is no reason why can’t dream while taking each game as it comes. If you do make progress there can be a big reward at the end of it all.”