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St Johnstone player ratings as Hampden heroes make themselves immortal

Stevie May, Callum Booth and David Wotherspoon celebrate at full-time.
Stevie May, Callum Booth and David Wotherspoon celebrate at full-time.

St Johnstone’s Betfred Cup legends will go down in history.

Here’s how the Perth club’s Hampden heroes made themselves immortal.

Zander Clark – 7

Zander Clark makes a crucial early clearance.

That St Johnstone’s stopper was so untroubled speaks volumes for the McDiarmid men’s performance. Clark was only required on a handful of occasions – but when he was needed he stood up to be counted.

His early save from Josh Mullin was top drawer. His domination in the six-yard box was unquestionable. A rock solid showing.

Shaun Rooney – 9

Shaun Rooney celebrates with the Betfred Cup.

Saints’ man of the match – again.

His pace, strength and directness was on display from the start, despite the close attentions of Marvin Bartley.

Rooney outfought the man tasked with shutting him down and outmuscled Jon Guthrie to notch the winner. Perth fans should enjoy him while they can.

Jason Kerr – 7

St Johnstone captain Jason Kerr lifts the trophy.
Jason Kerr lifts the trophy.

A dominant defensive display from the skipper.

Livewire Livi striker Scott Robinson was a pest early on but, as the game progressed, it became clear he was running repeatedly into a brick wall.

Kerr curbed his own attacking instincts and focused on providing rear guard robustness. It was an inspired decision.

Liam Gordon – 8

Liam Gordon lifts the Betfred Cup Trophy.

The Perth defender was at his vocal, physical best at Hampden.

Robinson’s early contributions suggested he may cause Gordon problems, but the Livi star quickly found himself shackled.

After weathering that storm, the Saints man may as well have been playing with a cigar on the go. A magnificent display.

Jamie McCart – 7

Jamie McCart with (L to R) Michael O’Halloran, Shaun Rooney and Craig Bryson.

Along with Kerr and Gordon, McCart was imperious.

He didn’t give Livi’s attackers any chance, even after the West Lothian club loaded up with attacking bodies in the second half. His performances these days seem low key – but that’s because he only rarely has to scramble.

McCart has positional intelligence and technique to spare.

Callum Booth – 7

St Johnstone stars Callum Booth and David Wotherspoon.
Callum Booth (left) and David Wotherspoon with the trophy.

Retained his left back spot ahead of Scott Tanser and more than justified his manager’s decision.

Didn’t offer the attacking prowess of Shaun Rooney – but few left backs in Scotland today could.

What he did provide was real defensive solidity. Nobody got the better of him all afternoon.

Ali McCann – 7

Ali McCann (left) and Chris Kane.

Worked quietly during Livingston’s early spell of superiority but his increasing influence coincided with St Johnstone’s seizure of control.

His fitness was key in the second half whenever Saints broke beyond their sensible, containing approach.

His cross one minute into the second half deserved a goal, but neither David Wotherspoon, nor Chris Kane, could put it away.

Liam Craig – 8

Liam Craig lifts the trophy.

Having left Saints the summer before the club’s Scottish Cup win of 2014, lifting the Betfred Cup must have meant more to Craig than most.

He was a calming, controlling presence in the middle of the park – and in increasingly influential one as the game progressed.

Like Liam Gordon, he could have been on the cigars.

Craig Conway – 7

Craig Conway (left) celebrates with goalscorer Shaun Rooney.

His delivery has been questionable at times this season – but not at Hampden.

His corner found Shaun Rooney for the winner and he was a constant danger. Conway’s experience also told, with his willingness to cut back and retain possession rather than launching speculative crosses a notable plus point.

Chris Kane – 7

Chris Kane is unable to bundle the ball home after Robby McCrorie makes a save.

Callum Davidson gave Kane the nod up top and the hard-working front man played a key role.

He is often criticised for a poor goal return but his value in terms of holding the ball up, chasing down defenders in possession and winning free kicks is unquestionable.

Should have done better when David Wotherspoon’s effort was palmed straight to his feet with the goal gaping early in the second half, but he worked his socks off throughout.

David Wotherspoon – 7

David Wotherspoon goes down under Jon Guthrie’s challenge.

Hometown hero Spoony showed off his magnificent technique at Hampden. There are very few players in Scotland with feet as good as his when he is in full flight.

Could have capped his performance with a goal had he managed to stay on his feet after megging Guthrie just before the hour mark.


Stevie May (on for Conway, 77 mins) – 6

Stevie May (right) with David Wotherspoon.

Came on to provide an additional out-ball for Saints as they closed in on victory. Used all of his experience to retain possession, claim territory and win free kicks in the final stages of the game.

He was Saints’ talisman in 2014, this time he was a bit part player – but he did his job expertly.

Unused subs – Parish (GK); Brown; Tanser; Bryson; Gilmour; Melamed; O’Halloran

ERIC NICOLSON: Inside every blue and white St Johnstone shirt there was a backstory waiting to burst out into cup final-winning technicolour glory