An instantly forgettable pre-season friendly for St Johnstone culminated in a heart-warming double celebration in the McDiarmid Park stands.
It was announced over the tannoy near the end of the 0-0 draw with Fleetwood Town that Saints had successfully secured government permission to play their Europa League qualifiers against Galatasaray in Turkey and a week later, more significantly, in Perth.
The fans now have a glamour second leg to look forward to on August 12, having feared that both games would be played at a neutral venue.
EUROPEAN FOOTBALL IS COMING BACK TO MCDIARMID PARK!
We will play our Europa League qualifier game at McDiarmid Park!
Fantastic news for Saints fans!#SJFC
— St. Johnstone FC (@StJohnstone) July 24, 2021
Then after the final whistle the Scottish Cup and League Cup trophies were taken round the pitch by players and coaches to add to the McDiarmid feelgood factor as Saints prepare to face Ross County in the Premiership opener next weekend and Galatasaray – should they not overturn a 5-1 deficit against PSV Eindhoven – a few days after.
As for the Fleetwood game, there was nothing to worry about.
It was typical pre-season fare, with Saints looking a much better team than their English League One opponents but lacking the sort of attacking sharpness that will only come when there is jeopardy in a contest.
The best chance of the first half fell to Callum Hendry with less than two minutes on the clock.
A Liam Gordon long ball presented the striker with an opportunity to get a first-time shot away at the back post but his choice to try and cut inside proved to be the wrong one.
David Wotherspoon produced a few of his trademark skills and came close to breaking the deadlock with a 25-yard free-kick that had Fleetwood keeper Alex Cairns beaten but was inches wide of the post.
Saints were the more dominant side after the break as well but for all the possession they enjoyed, a couple of half-chances and balls into the box that didn’t drop nicely for attackers were as good as it got.