Tomorrow’s match with Livingston is the sixth time Saints have met their opponents in Cup competitions. The previous five meetings in the Scottish and League Cups have resulted in Saints winning 2 and our visitors coming out on top on 3 occasions.
The first meeting between the teams was in the 2nd Round of the Coca Cola sponsored League Cup at McDiarmid Park on 19 August 1995. On a hot Saturday afternoon a crowd of 2,226 watched as a 38th minute George O’Boyle strike levelled matters after Bailey had put “Livi” ahead with only 8 minutes on the clock. In the second half Saints piled on the pressure but chance after chance was scorned. There seemed more danger to the fans in the stand behind the goal rather than see the net bulging. At the end of the match a jubilant Jim Leishman saw his newly formed Third Division team create a major upset when they won 4 – 2 on penalties after extra time. Not a good day at the office for Paul Sturrock.
Saints team that day was: – Main, McQuillan, Preston, Griffin, Irons, McGowne, Scott, Grant, Twaddle, O’Boyle, Farquhar. Subs: – Cherry, O’Neil, McLean.
Saints fared much better in the next meeting – a Scottish Cup 4th round tie at Almondvale on 13 February 1999. Saints host were now riding high in the Second Division and had knocked out Premier League side Aberdeen in the previous round at Pittodrie. A record crowd of 5,771 turned out in anticipation of another shock. However, this would not be the case as Sandy Clark’s Saints turned in a professional performance and comfortably eased their way into the quarter finals. Two goals from Roddy Grant and a Philip Scott strike had the visitors 3 up before John Robertson notched a late consolation for the home team.
The team was: – Main, McQuillan, Bollan, Dasovic, Dods, Kernaghan, Scott, O’Neil, Kane, Grant, Lowndes. Subs: – McMahon, Griffin, Simao.
The third drawing together was in the 3rd round of the CIS League Cup. Livingston were now in the Premier League with Billy Stark’s St Johnstone team trying to restore Saints fortunes and regain their top flight status. Fog had caused the abandonment of a goalless match the previous week at McDiarmid Park. So the teams met again on 5 November 2002 and whilst Saints played well that evening a goal from Dadi on the hour mark would give Livingston a 1 – 0 passage into the next round. Saints had been the better side in the first half but could not turn chances into goals and after taking the lead “Livi” were content to hold onto their advantage.
Saints team was: – Main, J.Robertson, Murray, McCann, Dods, Maxwell, Hay, Reilly, Hartley, Connolly, Parker. Subs: – Cuthbert, McCulloch, Ferry, Stevenson, McClune.
On 26 August 2008 the teams met again at Livingston this time in the Co-op Insurance League Cup. Earlier in the month Saints had won the league game between the teams at McDiarmid by 2 – 0. However, successive league defeats by Dunfermline ( 0 – 3 ) and Partick Thistle ( 0 – 4 ) had taken the wind out of the team’s sails. Derek McInnes rung the changes for this match but despite a spirited performance Saints went down 2 – 1 after extra time.
Liam Craig had put Saints ahead in the second half but a Leigh Griffiths equaliser had take the match into extra time. Cuenca scored to take the Almondvale team through. Only 979 fans bothered to turn up for this match.
Saints team: – Main, Irvine, Morgan, McKoy, Anderson, McCaffrey, Millar, Hardie, Jackson, Holmes, Sheerin. Subs: – McLean, Milne, Swankie, Samuel, Craig.
The most recent occasion was 24 August 2011 in the Scottish Communities League Cup 2nd round. Derek McInnes team cruised to a 3 – 0 victory at McDiarmid Park thanks to goals from Frazer Wright and two from Fran Sandaza in the first 25 minutes.
Saints team: – Enkelman, Mackay, Craig, Wright, Anderson, Morris, M. Davidson, Adams, Sheridan, Sandaza, Gibson. Subs: – Mannus, Maybury, Robertson, Higgins, Haber.