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St Mirren V Morton

St Mirren welcome Greenock Morton to the Paisley 2021 Stadium tomorrow for the final game of 2016 as we look to end the year on a high.

Saints come into this game unbeaten in their last three home games and are aiming to make it four when our Renfrewshire rivals come to town.

The team will look to the first game of 2016 for inspiration after Lawrence Shankland’s first half header got St Mirren’s year off to a flying start securing a 1-0 win over our Renfrewshire rivals at Cappielow on January 2.

Tickets are on sale at smfctickets.co.uk and will be on sale at the ticket office from 10am right until kick-off.

The Club are offering fans who buy an adult ticket for the 31st December game against Morton a discount on their ticket for the first home game of 2017 when St Mirren face Queen of the South on 7th January at The Paisley 2021 Stadium.

If you have already purchased an adult ticket for the Morton game then hold on to your ticket stub after the match as it will let you buy an adult ticket for £15 for the upcoming match against Queen of the South.

Alternatively, you can purchase tickets for both matches at the same time and it will only cost £35.  Also, any Season Ticket holder who attends the Morton game also has the opportunity to purchase a ticket for a friend for the Queen of the South game for £15.

Please note that this offer needs to be purchased at the St Mirren Ticket Office in person or over the phone, there is no online option. This offer is only available until 2:00pm on Friday 6th January.

Your support is greatly appreciated and it truly makes a difference to the players when the supporters are in top voice.

So come along tomorrow and make some noise as we look to end 2016 in style.

Come on Ye Saints!

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Street Stuff set for festive fun

Renfrewshire’s award-winning Street Stuff programme will entertain hundreds of young people this Christmas as a special activity camp takes place.

St Mirren Manager Jack Ross

St Mirren Manager Jack Ross

Football, dance, table tennis, photography and gaming are just some of the activities on offer from Monday 26 December to Tuesday 3 January at the Paisley 2021 Stadium.

St Mirren legend Tony Fitzpatrick will be showcasing the second book in his Babakoochi Bear series on Wednesday 28 December- as part of a festive party featuring a DJ and talent show which will see 150 young people have a Christmas meal in the St Mirren hospitality suite..

Youngsters in attendance will receive a free meal as part of each session of the programme ensuring they learn the importance of exercise and healthy eating.


(L-R) St Mirren players Kyle Magennis, John Sutton and Kyle McAllister

The programme is being supported by the Paisley 2021 Bid Team to introduce cultural activities to young people taking part including the brand new culture bus which features DJ decks and other musical equipment.

Activities are free to attend and places will be assigned on a first-come, first-served basis.

The full list of activities on the Christmas programme can be found at: www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/streetstuff

Councillor Eddie Devine, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Environment Policy Board, said: “Our Street Stuff programme is helping to engage with young people and is making a noticeable difference in our communities.

“Thousands of our young people are taking part in free interactive activity sessions which is keeping them safe, fit, happy and healthy.

“There are a fantastic range of activities on across the festive period and I would encourage everyone to sign up to take part.”

Street Stuff began in 2009 as a partnership between Renfrewshire Council, St Mirren FC, Engage Renfrewshire, Police Scotland and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service.

It aims to work with young people on the streets and since its inception; reported incidents of youth disorder and antisocial behaviour in Renfrewshire have dropped by 75 per cent.

To sign up for any of the sessions contact: Stephen Gallacher via stephen.gallagher@stmirren.com or Emma Phelan via emma.phelan@stmirren.com.

Further information on Street Stuff and an up-to-date Renfrewshire-wide programme of activities can be found at: www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/streetstuff

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St Mirren FC boss ‘bears’ up to school storytelling session

St Mirren FC boss –  and children’s author – Tony Fitzpatrick  was in for a storytelling treat along with a class of P3 pupils when he visited St Catherine’s Primary School in Paisley.


The local football legend was in the Gallowhill school to join a storytelling session of his book Babakoochi Bear – The Promise: Together Again, published last year in memory of his late son Tony.

The session was the first time that the popular St Mirren Director and Chief Executive had heard a story teller narrate the loving tribute he penned to Tony jnr, who died in 1983 aged just six.

Tony sat with the 22 Primary 3 pupils who took it in turns to hear children and families mobile library worker Laurence Doherty tell the adventures of the magical bear – named after father Tony’s nickname for his wee boy.  And all the action took place in Renfrewshire Leisure’s award-winning Skoobmobile early years outreach bus on one of its regular visits to St Catherine’s.

While one half of the class was captivated by the storytelling, the other half took part in mini focus group sessions by the Council’s Paisley 2021 officials to hear what the children like about Paisley – and what they would like happen if Paisley is awarded the  coveted UK City of Culture title.

Tony spoke about his book and its characters to the youngsters and donated copies to St Catherine’s school and the Skoobmobile.

His visit was a welcome return to St Catherine’s Primary School as his twins – Steven and James, now aged 27 – attended the primary school for a while as nippers.

Tony said: “It was a terrific experience to hear Babakoochi read by a storyteller – it really came over well and was a great moment for me.

“I loved the experience – the kids really took Babakoochi and the other characters to heart. They started to speak about their own losses. One wee girl said she had lost her dog and her gran – it was wonderful to hear them talking about the themes in the book.”

Originally Tony had hoped to bring along his second Babakoochi Bear story: “The Dream: You Can Do This” – due out in a few weeks with the plot based around Babakoochi’s ambition to become a footballer.

This time, says Tony, the theme will be about the importance of self-belief and determination in reaching goals in life.  

Babakoochi is told he’s too small to become a footballer and has to work hard to prove everyone wrong – a theme from Tony’s own young life before he went on to have a glittering football playing career which included captaining St Mirren to the Scottish Cup Final in 1987.

Despite his new book not quite ready to show to the pupils, Tony relished the chance to be with the youngsters.

“It was also really nice to be back in St Catherine’s. I used to pick the boys up from school there.  It was a great day.”

Teresa Brown, Head Teacher of St Catherine’s, said: “Tony’s visit and the Skoobmobile sessions were wonderful opportunities and a great way to inspire the children.

“To welcome an author who has written such a marvellous book and to hear reading brought to the life by the narrator was a fantastic experience for all the children.  

“We’ve already begun reading the book which Tony so kindly gave to the school – and the children are loving it!

“We’re also delighted to have the chance to contribute to the 2021 bid to become UK City of Culture.  St Catherine’s has 14 Active Citizenship groups and one of them is for Paisley 2021 – they’re very involved in doing what we can to promote and support Paisley’s goal of getting the UK title.”

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Macca in town to kick off Pro-Life charity match

A team of football legends organised by former St Mirren boss Alex Rae and featuring former Celtic and West Ham player Frank McAvennie will fulfill their pledge to a Paisley charity when they take part in a five a side challenge game on Monday night. (Oct 17).


The unbeaten squad will face big-hearted Buddie Neil McMahon’s determined hopefuls in the match at Pro-Life Fitness Centre in the town’s New Sneddon Street.

Neil won the chance to get a team together to face the legends line up after he put in the highest bid at a charity auction to raise funds for Renfrewshire Sports Charity.

Macca will take to the pitch alongside team mates that include ex Aberdeen, Celtic and Scotland  player Joe Miller.

Alex Rae and ex Dundee United star Andy McLaren will also be joined by well known sports journalist and broadcaster Mark Guidi who completes the celebrity line up.


Neil’s Nutters  are looking forward to the match against the celebrity team which will be played under the floodlights at the adjoining Pro 5’s with a kick off at 7pm.

Gayle Brannigan, chief executive at RSC said: “Alex Rae who is a great friend of the charity donated the game for our recent fundraiser and Neil who is a fantastic supporter of Pro-Life and what we do here for our hospices put in the highest bid.

“It would be great if we got a crowd along to support them. It promises to be great fun and a tough fought game. Everyone is welcome and there will be a light buffet afterwards.”



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Football star is quizzed as he goes back to school

A St Mirren player who has been tipped for footballing stardom went back to his old school – to tell current pupils how his time there helped kickstart his career.

14/09/16 - 16091402 - SFA     RENFREW HIGH SCHOOL     St. Mirren's Kyle McAllister visits Renfrew High School.     (L/R) Scott Chaplin (Player & Coach, Dev Officer), Tony Fitzpatrick (St. Mirren General Manager), Billy Burke (Head Teacher), Kyle McAllister, Cllr Henry and Alan McManus (St. Mirren Coach).

14/09/16 – 16091402 – SFA
St. Mirren’s Kyle McAllister visits Renfrew High School.
(L/R) Scott Chaplin (Player & Coach, Dev Officer), Tony Fitzpatrick (St. Mirren General Manager), Billy Burke (Head Teacher), Kyle McAllister, Cllr Henry and Alan McManus (St. Mirren Coach).

Kyle McAllister, 17, was among the first pupils to benefit from Renfrew High’s School of Football status – an innovative link-up with the Scottish Football Association which aims to use the power of sport to help develop pupils.

Since leaving school in 2015, Kyle has signed a full-time contract, made his Saints first-team debut, and starred for Scotland under-17s.

The SFA Schools of Football are about more than just playing ability, they aim to mould better citizens and develop social and academic abilities through football.

RENFREW HIGH SCHOOL     St. Mirren's Kyle McAllister visits Renfrew High School

St. Mirren’s Kyle McAllister visits Renfrew High School

The programme sees S1 and 2 pupils follow an enhanced timetable which includes a period of football activity run by SFA coaches every day.

Kyle met the 30-strong current School of Football class for a Q&A session, during which he covered topics as diverse as the best players he has played with and against, and whether he gets nervous before games.

He also revealed his favourite subject at school was PE and the club he would most like to play for is Real Madrid.

He advised the pupils to ‘work hard and try to do extra training if you can’ but added that his time at the School of Football gave him the chance to do that.

Renfrew High is one of two Schools of Football in Renfrewshire – Castlehead High being the other.

Councillor Jacqueline Henry, convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Education and Children Policy Board, said: “We want our schools to be among the best in Scotland, and are delighted to have been working with the SFA on two schools of football here in Renfrewshire over the past few years.

“The first group of pupils to pass through the scheme in S1 and 2 a few years back have now left school and it was great to see the unique opportunities Kyle and others received have served them so well.”

Billy Burke, head teacher of Renfrew High added: “We feel privileged to be part of this scheme – not many in Scotland get the opportunity.

“A full range of footballing abilities take part and it has really helped develop every young person in terms of confidence, leadership and teamwork.

“Four of the previous pupils have gone on to become professional footballers but many others have gone on to positive destinations in other areas.”

The SFA Schools of Football are supported by the Scottish Government’s CashBack for Communities initiative which puts criminals’ ill-gotten gains to a good use. The SFA are one of four national CashBack sports partners of the Scottish Government.

Paul McNeill, SFA West regional manager, said: “The School of Football is one of our best achievements in the past eight years in helping to develop young people.

“We are delighted Kyle came back to school to show the current crop of young people they can achieve anything they wish – whether it’s the ultimate goal of becoming a professional footballer or just gaining the confidence and skills to succeed at whatever they choose.”

More information about the School of Football programme is available at  www.scottishfa.co.uk

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Saints legend gets fit at Pro-Life to find love

Saints legend looking for his perfect match

St Mirren chief Tony Fitzpatrick is on a mission to get fitter and healthier in a bid to find his perfect love match.


The Saints legend has joined Pro-Life Fitness Centre in Paisley in a bid to improve his lifestyle, shed pounds and get himself back into the dating game.

Fitz is taking action hoping he might find the love of his life at the popular gym where he will be put through his paces under the watchful eye of fitness guru Gayle Brannigan.


The former captain and manager of the Buddies has vowed to dump crisps, chocolate and biscuits in the fight to get leaner while tackling a tough training programme designed to help him reach his goal.

Tony, who took over as chief executive at the club he loves earlier this year, revealed: “The truth is I’m looking for love. The time is right. It’s been a long while since I had someone special in my life.

“But I need to get myself back into shape first, leaner, fitter and healthier and if I train hard I will be lucky enough find romance at Pro-Life.

“To be honest I think it is time to tackle both my fitness and love life.  I’m not in the best shape I’ve ever been in and would like to lose a few pounds. I used to be a machine – working hard at training and fitness levels daily as a player and then as a manager.

“I’ve let that slip because of the hours I put in and the lifestyle I lead where I’m grabbing a snack whenever I can and it is never a healthy option. It’s easier just to have a packet of crisps or chocolate on the road or when I get home late at night than cook something. I love chocolate, it’s my downfall.

“My goal is to get fitter, healthier and if, at the same time I meet someone special that would be great. I know the team here can help me with nutrition and exercise advice. They are training our players so I thought it would be a good idea to join Pro-Life as well to take advantage of the expertise here.

The former Saints captain revealed frankly: “it would be a real bonus if I found romance and I believe it might just happen at this smashing gym in Paisley.

“I don’t mind admitting that the truth is I’m hoping to find the new love of my life and if I get fitter and healthier in the process then what’s not to like.”

The former player and manager added: “The fact that every penny profit from the gym goes to help our hospices and rising young sports stars in the community is another reason I’m here.

“Renfrewshire Sports Charity who run Pro-Life is doing a great job with Gayle and the team working hard to make sure it just keeps growing and growing getting better and better.”

The gloves are off too as Tony is going head to head in this fitness challenge with the Buddies commercial manager Campbell Kennedy.

Campbell joked: “I’ve been in the gym but only to hand in a signed strip or a ball as a donation for a charity event. I’m a bit nervous about all of this but I’m definitely up for it.

“Tony and I do stressful jobs with long and often unusual hours. You’re basically on call 24 hours a day and that’s fine but it can lead to ignoring your lifestyle when it comes to eating healthy food at regular times and getting some exercise.

“I’ll give it my best shot.”

The duo kicked off their new fitness regime by trying out some of the equipment at the centre in New Sneddon Street where they were left in no doubt it wasn’t going to be easy.

Chief executive at RSC Gayle Brannigan said: “We’re delighted Tony and Campbell have joined the Pro-Life family but they will get no favours from us.

“After their induction which incudes a health check and fitness level test we will devise a unique programme for each of them which will include cardio vascular workouts like the treadmill, rowing machines and bikes.

“Campbell’s wife Eileen and his daughter Fiona have also joined us so it is great to get this support for the gym and the charity.”

Gayle added: “I remember Tony training as a player. He was like a machine nothing got in his way. I know his level of dedication for anything he takes on board.  I never knew Tony was looking for love but he deserves to have someone special in his life. He’s just a great guy.”

If you want to get into shape while looking for love just like Tony or join a gym where members become part of the family then ring the Pro-Life team at 98 New Sneddon Street on 0141 889 5027.

Your membership will also help Renfrewshire’s two hospices.






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St. Mirren v Albion Rovers match report

st mirren

Saints’ travelled to Coatbridge on Saturday, to take on League One Albion Rovers in the third round of the Irn Bru Cup. It was a long day.

st mirren

The League one side took the lead six minutes in when a free-kick was weakly punched away by Jamie Langfield and the rebound was converted by Ross Dunlop. Seven minutes later the lead was doubled by Rovers’ captain Michael Dunlop, who rose above everyone to score the second.

Half an hour in the lead was halved by academy graduate Lewis Morgan, who cut inside on the edge of the box and curled a shot into the top corner. Five minutes later and another academy graduate levelled the game. Stevie Mallan’s deflected effort made the score to a piece. Tom Walsh’s cross was converted by John Sutton to give the Buddies’ the lead. But the first half drama didn’t end there. A minute before the break the home side levelled thanks to Ross Dunlop’s second goal of the day leaving it three all at the interval after an action-packed first half.

Andrew McDonald was brought on at half-time for Jordan Stewart, for his first team debut and the full-back was unlucky not to open his account with a blocked effort. Lawrence Shankland was also brought on for David Clarkson and he would go on to score the winning goal in the first half of the extra 30 minutes as the game ended all square at the end of the regulation nine. The Aberdeen loanee won the game as John Sutton’s deflected effort came his way and he headed home from about two yards.

The other positive for Saints as they headed into Tuesday’s fourth round draw was the second half return of Rocco Quinn. The midfielder had been out with injury since the 16th of July made a substitute appearance replacing Kyle Hutton. Full time from Coatbridge, saw the final score Albion Rovers 3 St. Mirren 4.

Full time from Coatbridge, saw the final score Albion Rovers 3 St. Mirren 4.

Article written by Kyle Gunn

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Renfrewshire responds to SIMD statistics

renfrewshire council logo .JPG

Ambitious programme to tackle poverty remains key to improving life for communities

Civic leaders believe statistics labelling part of Paisley as Scotland’s most deprived neighbourhood do not tell the full story – and say a long-term plan to change the area’s fortunes is already under way.

renfrewshire council logo .JPG

Figures published today by the Scottish Government show part of Paisley’s Ferguslie Park area sits at the top of the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation table.

But council bosses and poverty campaigners believe a pioneering anti-poverty programme started last year is already making a difference – while major regeneration programmes including Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021 will transform the life chances of residents over the long term.

Renfrewshire Council leader Mark Macmillan said: “The council has adopted an innovative approach to tackling poverty, recognised as leading the way in Scotland – and the SIMD stats are based on data from last year which does not fully capture the impact of that.

“The figures show the overall picture for Renfrewshire has improved and we believe we are making a difference on the ground.

“Last year our Tackling Poverty Commission provided a detailed study of the root causes of deprivation and was the first of its kind in Scotland to look at child poverty on a local level.

“We backed that up with a two-year £6m Tackling Poverty programme – with 50 projects covering education, health, digital and cultural participation, employability and income advice.

“That included an extension of our pioneering early-years programme Families First, described by independent research as ‘having a profound impact’ on the lives of families in Ferguslie and Linwood.

“We made that investment a key priority for the council despite the challenging financial situation councils have been placed in by the Scottish Government.

“In the four years since the last SIMD figures were released, Renfrewshire has seen a 10% real-terms drop in the cash coming our way from Holyrood.

“It’s also worth saying Ferguslie itself has a strong sense of community – a recent survey showed 47% of people rated it as a very good place to live.

“The deprivation issues affecting Ferguslie and similar areas are long-term and deep-rooted – there are no easy solutions but through our unique approach, we believe we are on the right track.”

The SIMD figures rank almost 7,000 data zones in Scotland according to a series of statistical measures.

Overall, they show the picture across Renfrewshire has improved – the area has a lower share of local datazones ranked within Scotland’s most deprived 20% than in 2012.

And the wider regeneration of Renfrewshire includes a number of massive projects intended to bring about far-reaching economic, cultural and social change.

The town last year launched an ambitious bid to be UK City of Culture 2021, based on Paisley’s unique place as the one-time home of the world’s textile industry and thriving contemporary cultural scene.

Councillor Mark Macmillan added “We are bidding for UK City of Culture because it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to transform Paisley and Renfrewshire’s fortunes.

“There is a clear link between culture and wellbeing – we want to harness the power of culture to change people’s lives for the better.

“The UK Government tends not to award the title to a city with everything in its favour, it goes to one which can demonstrate need and knows how it wants to use the title to change that.

“At the same time we will also have massive infrastructure projects as part of the Glasgow City Region City Deal, which are worth £274m to Renfrewshire and will create thousands of jobs – and the work to make sure local people have the skills to fill those jobs is under way.

“And Ferguslie itself could become the site of a planned regional sports village which is currently being consulted over, potentially to be built on land adjacent to St Mirren’s Paisley 2021 stadium.”

And poverty campaigners have backed up the assertion that the SIMD statistics don’t tell the full story.

Dr Jim McCormick, Associate Director Scotland to the independent Joseph Rowntree Foundation, was one of Renfrewshire’s Tackling Poverty Commissioners.

He added: “Ferguslie Park is not unique – there are neighbourhoods like it in other parts of Scotland.

“Renfrewshire’s approach to tackling child poverty is comprehensive and the council was the first in Scotland to do it in that way.

“But it will take some time for impact to be felt and the SIMD is a snapshot based on last year’s data which does not show that yet.

“The SIMD stats are useful but don’t show everything. The geography of deprivation has shifted in the last generation – struggling and better-off families can be living a street away from each other.”

Post Match Quotes – Alex Rae (27/08/2016)


http://www.saintmirren.net/pages/?p=57774By James Hunter at Somerset Park
St Mirren scored a late equaliser today to get a share of the points against Ayr United at Somerset Park.
After the match St Mirren manager Alex Rae looked back on the ninety minutes. He said: “If you don’t defend a simple ball into the back post you’re going to become unstuck and we didn’t do that again. I want us to be a wee bit braver on the ball. It looks like we’re asking them to shell the ball and we done some stuff in the last couple of days about playing the lines because we felt as if we could get joy by doing that and we’re just shelling balls up. It’s just a wee bit of a [lack of] confidence – taking the easy option – but I’m pleased we got the point but it’s nowhere near acceptable.
“One of the things that gives you confidence is how you are playing yourself. When you’re getting on the ball and passing the ball. At no point have we told the boys to start shelling the ball. There’s the odd diagonal that might be effective when it is up to John Sutton but it becomes an easy option.
“We tried to utilise Ryan [Hardie’s] pace in behind and when we get the service into him he just sets it on a plate.
“We wanted to be brave. We played three at the back and wanted to try and take the game to Ayr.”

Report: Ayr United 1-1 St Mirren


http://www.saintmirren.net/pages/?p=57718By James Hunter at Somerset Park
Tom Walsh’s 89th minute header rescued a point for St Mirren at Somerset Park. The midfielder nodded the ball beyond Greg Fleming after Lawrence Shankland launched one of his trademark throw-ins deep into the Ayr United box. A ruck of players, from both St Mirren and Ayr, attempted to get a head on it before it fell invitingly into Walsh’s path for the loanee to level the score.
The Buddies started the game off sluggishly and with less than a minute on the clock, Ayr’s Nicky Devlin missed an opportunity to really test Scott Gallacher in the Saints goal with a cross-cum-shot that lacked power.
It was the hosts who took the lead early in the first half when former Kilmarnock player Jamie Adams headed home. Brian Gilmour whipped in a free kick that Adams managed to get on the end of to head into the back of the net. It was a frustrating start for Saints who are looking to get their first league win of the season on the board.
The closest Saints came in the first half came on 24 minutes when David Clarkson ran on to a cross from John Sutton but the striker was unlucky to see the attempt go wide of the keeper’s near post.
It was a drab first half with not many chances for either side but the Buddies were dealt a huge let off with 10 minutes of the first half remaining. Gilmour did well to find ex-Saint Gary Harkins with time and space in the box but the midfielder failed to get the shot away and St Mirren mopped up the danger.
Half-Time: Ayr United 1-0 St Mirren
Saints played with more purpose after the break but the warning signs were evident immediately when, just a matter of seconds into the second half, Ayr had the ball in the net a second time but thankfully the linesman’s flag had already been raised.
The Buddies were growing into the match a little more and Ryan Hardie went close when he got on the end of a cross from Jason Naismith. The striker got his head to the ball but saw the effort pushed away well by Fleming. Fleming again foiled Hardie a minute later after the loan man was found brilliantly in the box by Clarkson. He burst in on goal but his shot was blocked with Sutton unlucky not to get something on the rebound.
Tom Walsh entered the match on the hour mark and within just six minutes of being on the field, sent in a good cross for Clarkson whose header went agonisingly wide of the post.
Walsh’s desire to have an impact on the game would not be denied when he grabbed the equaliser for St Mirren with the clock fast approaching the 90 minute mark. The Ayr United defence didn’t deal with Shankland’s throw and Walsh ghosted in to nod the ball beyond the helpless Fleming.
The drama wasn’t to end there though as Sutton was put clean through on goal a minute later when Hardie found him in acres of space inside the box but Fleming was equal to it. Ayr broke up the field and almost got themselves a late winner on the counter but Harkins’ effort went wide of the far post.
Full-Time: Ayr United 1-1 St Mirren
Ayr United: Fleming, Devlin, Boyle, Murphy, Meggatt, Cairney (Crawford 81), Docherty, Gilmour, Adams, Harkins, Nisbet (Forrest 64).
Subs Not Used: Rose, Thomas, O’Connell, McGuffie, Hart (GK).
St Mirren: Gallacher, Naismith, Baird, Webster, Irvine, Stewart (Walsh 60), Mallan, Hutton (Shankland 70), Hardie, Sutton, Clarkson.
Subs Not Used: McLear, Whyte, Gordon, McDonald, Langfield (GK).
Referee: Crawford Allan.
Assistant Referee: David Roome.
Assistant Referee: Derek Crothers.
Attendance: 2,165 (800 St Mirren fans).
Match report pictures by Allan Picken – © Allan Picken Photography.
Match Gallery Pictures © John Millar.

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