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St Johnstone walk a corridor of fan anger after being knocked out the Scottish Cup by Kelty Hearts

St Johnstone manager Callum Davidson.
St Johnstone manager Callum Davidson.

Scottish Cup holders St Johnstone have been dumped out of this year’s competition by Kelty Hearts.

No Perth fan was expecting their team to win the competition again but they were expecting a better defence of the trophy than this.

And, even more importantly, they were hoping for a morale-boosting victory to take into Wednesday night’s Premiership basement battle with Dundee.

Instead, confidence will be on the floor after a club record-equalling 10th defeat in a row.

And at full-time when the players and management had to walk through a gap between the travelling supporters to get back to their changing room they were met with a furious reaction.

Saints were utterly dominant in terms of possession in the first half but didn’t have many chances to show for it.

The two best of them came within a few seconds of each other.

First Chris Kane had a glancing header from a Tony Gallacher cross saved by Darren Jamieson and then the Kelty keeper tipped an Ali Crawford shot over the bar.

The hosts’ best opportunity fell to Joe Cardle but he couldn’t keep an effort from 12 yards on target.

The second half came and went with only a Nadir Ciftci header over the bar as a near miss of note.

Crawford struck the bar with a 25-yard free-kick early in the first period of extra-time but a few minutes later Saints were hit by a sucker punch.

Gallacher lost the ball on the half-way line after a Saints corner broke down and Kelty had a three on two counter-attack which Kallum Higginbotham finished off.

They could have made it two near the end when substitute Alfredo Agyeman hit the bar.

Kelty only needed one goal, though, and Saints’ calamitous run of form continues.

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