Livingston 0 - 1 St Johnstone: Rooney becomes legend as Saints win the battle

St Johnstone have won their first ever League Cup, thanks to Shaun Rooney’s powerful header.
Shaun Rooney scored the winner for St Johnstone. Picture: SNSShaun Rooney scored the winner for St Johnstone. Picture: SNS
Shaun Rooney scored the winner for St Johnstone. Picture: SNS

Callum Davidson’s side defeated Livingston 1-0 in the showpiece final at Hampden Park, a game where there was more battle than beauty.

The triumph means St Johnstone have lifted both major domestic cup trophies in the past eight years having won neither in their first 129 years of being.

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It was far from an exciting encounter in Mount Florida and it was fitting it was decided by a set piece.

The first real moment of quality arrived in the 17th minute. A long ball from the Livi defence found Scott Robinson. Backing into Liam Gordon, the Saints defender wasn’t able to get a solid clearance. The ball fell to Josh Mullin who cut inside Callum Booth but his lovely outside of the right boot effort was excellently tipped around the post by Zander Clark.

Just past the half hour mark the opening goal was delivered by the head of Rooney.

As had in the previous meeting between the sides and the semi-final win over Hibs, the wing-back powered a header into the net from Craig Conway’s corner, holding off Jon Guthrie in the process.

The lead was nearly doubled two minutes after the break.

Conway’s disguised pass found Ali McCann’s run into the box. The Northern Ireland international cut the ball back for David Wotherspoon but Livingston’s on loan goalkeeper Robby McCrorie produced an instinctive save with Chris Kane unable to turn in the rebound.

Six minutes later and Jamie McCart thought he had scored for the Saintees.

The centre-back stepped off Efe Ambrose and glanced a header goalwards but it hit off Ambrose.

Livingston failed to leave a glove on St Johnstone after that early Mullin chance.

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Their performance may most be remembered for Marvin Bartley’s role on the left wing. He wasn’t moved infield until the 70th minute.

Alan Forrest added a bit of threat but as the game progressed and St Johnstone defended deeper it was still the Saints who posed the threat with the work of Chris Kane in attack and running of Shaun Rooney.

They held on and sealed a fantastic achievement.