St Johnstone's cup continues to run over - but Clyde boss Danny Lennon claims smaller clubs have been 'shafted'

Michael O'Halloran fires the ball past Matej Vajs to put St Johnstone 2-0 up against Clyde.Michael O'Halloran fires the ball past Matej Vajs to put St Johnstone 2-0 up against Clyde.
Michael O'Halloran fires the ball past Matej Vajs to put St Johnstone 2-0 up against Clyde.
The cups have been kind to St Johnstone this season.

The Betfred Cup is already in the bag and now Callum Davidson’s men can look forward to a Scottish Cup quarter-final away at either Rangers or Celtlc.

Having dispensed of Dundee away from home in the previous round, the Saints were given a more palatable assignment at McDiarmid Park against League One outfit Clyde, who are currently in ninth place and embroiled in a gruelling schedule of a game every two-to-three days.

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Therefore, St Johnstone recorded an entirely predictable 2-0 win. They ought to have at least doubled their goal tally. Not that it mattered, though. They are safely in last eight.

“It's a job well done,” said Davidson. “I thought in the first half we were very good. For me, we probably should have scored a couple more goals to take the game away from Clyde.

"All credit to them – they've had some week, playing that amount of games. They had a younger team out, full of energy, and they kept going right to the end.”

Given the frantic schedule Clyde face, manager Danny Lennon rang the changes. Only three starters from Thursday’s 1-0 defeat by Dumbarton remained, with 20-year-old Slovakian goalkeeper Matej Vajs handed his first start since mid-December.

Lennon was understandably keen to have a pop at the scheduling. "It's been a very challenging month,” he said. “That's the fourth Thursday in a row we've had to play. I'm not getting the violin out but I just feel that the lower league clubs have been really shafted here in terms of the demands placed upon us.

"The SFA even wanted us to kick-off today at 11.45am against a full-time team who've had a full week's build-up when we've played Saturday, Tuesday, Thursday and now today, so I have to thank Callum for agreeing to the 5.30pm kick-off.

"I'm going on a right rant here because it's bugged me for the last month."

Unsurprisingly, St Johnstone started the match full of purpose. David Wotherspoon set Michael O’Halloran free with a pinpoint pass and his cross was tapped into the net from close range by Guy Melamed.

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The second goal wasn’t far away. On 21 minutes, Stevie May drove at the Clyde backline, slipped the ball to O’Halloran and he neatly nutmegged Vajs to score.

St Johnstone ought to have gone on and scored more, but their own level dipped in the second period. Nevertheless, all the action was at the Clyde end. Jason Kerr had a header cleared off the line. Then Melamed, on 66 minutes, rattled the bar from close range with a header.

Clyde then caught the whole of McDiarmid Park off-guard by putting the ball into the net. Substitute Lewis Jamieson rounded a hitherto superfluous Elliott Parish, but the goal was ruled out for offside.

The game then meandered to its conclusion, although Ferguson really ought to have scored right at the death for Clyde, fluffing his lines from four yards out. St Johnstone’s next cup test will be much sterner. Davidson doesn’t mind which half of the Old Firm faces them. “Not got a preference, but I'll go and watch it,” the Saints manager added. “I'll enjoy the victory tonight and I'll look forward to whoever we play.”