Saints hoping they have big freeze covered

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ST Johnstone last night loaned their pitch covers to opponents Cowdenbeath in the hope of saving today’s William Hill Scottish Cup fourth-round tie.

The match will be subject to an 11am pitch inspection, but with temperatures below freezing at Central Park yesterday, St Johnstone stepped in and offered the extra help to try and keep the pitch playable.

One player in the St Johnstone ranks, midfielder Murray Davidson, is indebted to Cowdenbeath for the experience which helped turn him into a Scotland international.

The 24-year-old spent a spell on loan with Cowdenbeath in the 2006-07 season and knows the Central Park pitch, which is circled by a stock car racing track, better than most of his Saints team-mates. “It’s old school,” said Davidson, who made his Scotland debut in Luxembourg earlier this month. “It was seven or eight games I played. It was good for me. It stands you in good stead going to places like that as a young boy. I think more young boys should be put out to lower division teams. You’ve got to go out there, work hard and see what it’s like in the lower leagues. I enjoyed my time there. It stands you in good stead.”

Cowdenbeath met Clydesdale Bank Premier League opposition in the Scottish Cup fourth round last season, losing 3-2 to Hibernian. Saints enter the clash after a frenzied finale on Wednesday night saw them lose 1-0 to Hibs in SPL action at McDiarmid Park.

Davidson, whose game is based on hard graft, is pleased the opportunity to put the loss behind them will come quickly. “It’s good in a way because you come from a Wednesday night game, such a low, and you can’t dwell on it,” he said. “You’re back in first thing in the morning for a big game against Cowdenbeath in the Scottish Cup.”