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How St Johnstone stars rated as European dream dies for nine-man Perth side

St Johnstone defender Shaun Rooney couldn't prevent the LASK opener as the Perth side crashed out
St Johnstone defender Shaun Rooney couldn't prevent the LASK opener as the Perth side crashed out

It was one of the biggest nights in St Johnstone’s 137 year history as they had the chance to secure a £2.9 million European Conference League jackpot against LASK.

And for the best part of an hour, they looked to be in touching distance of glory before it all fell apart.

There haven’t been many painful moments during Callum Davidson’s but the last half an hour was a tough watch for Perth fans against Austria side LASK.

Two goals and two red cards made it a night to forget for Saints.

Here’s how Courier Sport rated the St Johnstone fans as the European dream ended:

Zander Clark

Zander Clark could do nothing about the goals

Boosted by his long-awaited Scotland call-up, Clark had very little to do in the opening period but keep a cool head. Produced stunning second half stops to deny Michorl and Hong but couldn’t do anything at goals. 7

James Brown

Defensively sound and a threat going forward. Great early pressure took him to the byline several times as he won a series of corners. Always looked comfortable in possession as he linked up superbly well with Michael O’Halloran. (subbed by David Wotherspoon, 77) 7

Callum Booth

Did well defensively as he generally kept Florian Flecker in check but didn’t offer the same level of attacking threat as Brown on the right. (Subbed by Devine 88) 6

Jamie McCart

On the left of central defensive three, McCart was general comfortable – apart from one scary first-half moment where he gave the ball away to Nakamura. Held it together for most of the game and can be pleased with his performance. 7

Jason Kerr

Jason Kerr held the Saints backline together

The lynchpin of the Saints defence looked unflustered as he held the backline together, keeping Mamoudou Karamoko quiet in the first period. But like the rest of the Saints defence, he was pulled apart for the opener. 7

Shaun Rooney

Stopped Nakamura in his tracks with a perfectly-timed first-half challenge on Nakamura but couldn’t stop Balic from scoring opener and was deservedly red-carded for the substitute to give away the penalty. 5

Murray Davidson

Davidson embodied the drive and desire needed by St Johnstone with a series of meaty early challenges and forward runs. Survived a first-half injury scare to control the midfield and was Saints best performer until he tired. 8

Austin McCann

The darling of the Saints fans heard his name ring throughout McDiarmid Park before kick-off but he wasn’t quite as on-song as normal, with a couple of careless moments in possession, as he was overshadowed by Davidson. 7

Glenn Middleton

On a night of very few clear-cut chances for the home side, he was Saints most attacking threat. Middleton had two great second half chances to score with LASK keeper Schlager denying the on-loan Rangers star with a stunning stop. (Subbed by Craig 88) 7

Michael O’Halloran

Michael O’Halloran put in a tireless display for St Johnstone

Linked up well with Brown on the right side to take Saints up the pitch. Constantly harried the visiting defence but didn’t get the same joy as Middleton did on the Dovetailed well with Brown on the right hand side. (Subbed by Charlie Gilmour) 7

Chris Kane

Ran his socks off as a constant pest to the LASK defence trying to force them into making mistakes. But, at times, it was a lonely shift for Saints’ unsung hero as he didn’t get the chance to test Schlager. (Subbed by May, 88) 6

Subs

Wotherspoon had a nightmare 90 seconds as he was red carded after touching the ball once for an off-the-ball elbow on Flecker. May, Craig, Devine and Gilmour all on too late to make an impact.

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