Almost there. St Mirren need just a point from their Tuesday night meeting with Dundee Utd at Tannadice to confirm their promotion as Championship title winners. For long stages yesterday it looked as though their old rivals Morton were going to allow the starting gun to be fired on their celebrations as they fought gamely to deny Livingston a victory that keeps the outcome of who is crowned champions still at least mathematically in doubt.
However it is only a matter of time for Jack Ross and his men, and in all probability they will be cracking open the champagne at the venue of the toiling side that were most folks’ pre-season favourites to lift the title.
As the scoreline suggests, this was no all-conquering classic from the Paisley men, but it was still a 90 minutes where the outstanding organisation and professionalism that has been drilled into them by the impressive Ross shone like a beacon on a grey Angus afternoon.
Kyle Magennis’ blistering drive which flashed into the net after only seven minutes was enough to determine the outcome of this well-contested game in which the “will they/won’t they?” tension about confirming their promotion was writ large. In the end, Ross was sanguine about the party being put on hold for another 90 minutes.
“Understandably there was a slight apprehension about our play,” he reflected, “But that’s to do with the expectation that was on the players’ shoulders. So for me there was no frustration about the performance, just pride that they’ve produced another win in these circumstances.”
“We understood today that all we could affect was our own result. Livingston are a really good team so I had no strong belief that they wouldn’t win today. I’m happy with the players – they know they are another big step forward.”
It was Saints’ 22nd win of a fine campaign, but oddly, despite Brechin’s well-documented struggles, it also meant that all four meetings between the sides had only been settled by a single goal margin in the Paisley side’s favour.
Darren Dods’ part-timers put in an immensely creditable shift in this game and, after the break in particular, they had their moments when an equaliser seemed possible, none more so than when Dylan Mackin tested Craig Samson’s alertness.
“In the second half I thought we were excellent and gave our all against a good side,” remarked Dods.