Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

4 St Johnstone talking points as Callum Hendry takes a step closer to club folklore and Perth fans get a glimpse of a Steven MacLean future

Callum Hendry was the hero for St Johnstone again.
Callum Hendry was the hero for St Johnstone again.

St Johnstone’s Premiership survival chances are on the rise after a dramatic and late, late comeback win against Motherwell.

So too is the profile of their two-goal hero, Callum Hendry.

Courier Sport picks out four talking points from a match that will live long in the memory.


Callum Hendry heading for St Johnstone folklore 

In keeping with most of what has happened to St Johnstone in the last couple of seasons, the Callum Hendry story has a bit of a logic-defying feel about it.

Here is a player twice sent out on loan, both times on the back of getting plenty of first team chances it has to be stressed.

He missed out on four Hampden wins and two trophy lifts and when he returned to Perth for a second time the team he rejoined was on its knees – bottom of the league and riddled with self-doubt.

Eight new signings were made in around his recall from Kilmarnock.

Some have played a significant role in things improving after the winter break.

The same can be said of those who were already there.

But none of them come close to the sort of season-changing impact Hendry has made.

It really has been truly astonishing.

There aren’t any medals handed out for escaping relegation.

But if Saints do manage to save their top flight status, Hendry’s part in it will go into club folklore along with the effort of his team-mates in winning two cups.


Remember the passes

The spotlight was, of course, shining brightest on the star man.

But the support role of a couple of unsung characters warrants a mention.

For Hendry’s opening goal, Ali Crawford’s floated diagonal ball which landed in the path of Melker Hallberg without the need for him to break stride was perfectly weighted and not in keeping with the standard of passing football that had preceded it on either side.

And after that, even though he didn’t get the chance to put his creative stamp on the game again, Crawford made sure he closed down his opponents, put himself in the right positions to stop counter-attacks and, as the Opta statistics show, made more tackles than any other Saints player.

Ali Crawford made more tackles than any other Saints player.
Ali Crawford made more tackles than any other Saints player.

Like Crawford, Jacob Butterfield has been a great divider of opinion among the Perth fan base.

A bit like Liam Gordon’s pass for Guy Melamed’s Bergkamp-esque finish against Hamilton last season, Butterfield’s first touch and looping volley ball over the top for Hendry’s van Basten-esque one was integral to a Saints goal of the season story.


The right direction

To indulge the superstitious among us, sticking with the all blue strip clearly hasn’t been the worst idea.

Saints have won two, drawn one and only lost one (narrowly but playing pretty well) while the white shorts have been left in the kit man’s cupboard.

Another, more important, change has happened on McDiarmid Park match-days of late, though.

And it’s the Perth side shooting towards the Ormond Stand in the first half and the North Stand in the second.

Maybe it’s because I’m old enough to remember the siege of Airdrie keeper John Martin’s goal in the greatest game the ground has witnessed but trying to find an equaliser or winner in that direction when the game is heading towards its conclusion just feels right.

There’s the benefit it gives Saints in having the loudest of the home supporters closest to the goal they want to score into.

And there’s the benefit it denies their opponents, with their fans at that end as well.


A glimpse into the future?

The preparation was guided by Callum Davidson, the team selection was made by Callum Davidson and the substitutions were called and timed by Callum Davidson.

This was a Callum Davidson-led win like any other.

But it was also an insight into what life after him may look like.

Whenever Davidson leaves, Steven MacLean will be a strong contender to follow on.

That he struck the right notes in his pre and post-match media duties came as no surprise.

Nor did the fact that the players were receptive to his messages in the dressing room and from the touchline.

With Liam Craig taking a prominent role alongside MacLean, Saints fans may just have been given a glimpse into life after Davidson.

St Johnstone hero Callum Hendry marries confidence and technique to come up with his ‘Van Basten’ goal

Already a subscriber? Sign in