Uk news Tannadice revival epitomised why St Johnstone have enjoyed top-flight success MetiNews.Com
MetiNews.Com - Liam Craig led from the front to earn a point but he was quick to turn the spotlight on the traits that have served the club so well
Breaking News ! It epitomised just why St Johnstone Football Club has enjoyed such success across the past decade. The words ‘character’, ‘resiliency’ and ‘togetherness’ are often thrown around when the Perth side’s performances come under the microscope. Even this reporter is perhaps guilty of overusing the above but it has taken just one match for them to return to the forefront of the vocabulary. Saints’ chips were well and truly down at 3.45pm on Saturday afternoon. They trailed by a goal and were operating with 10-men due to over-zealous Michael O’Halloran’s red. But when Perth management sent their players scurrying back out onto the field it appeared, despite the numerical disadvantage, that there was renewed belief. That Saints started to work their way back into the game should not actually be considered much of a surprise. Defying the odds is what they’ve been doing for years. Character, resiliency, togetherness. Another unsurprising element of the weekend comeback was who led the revival. Liam Craig, second in the club’s all-time appearance list and ageing like a fine wine, stepped up to the plate once more. You always know he will play for the badge. And, every now and then, you know he has a wonder strike in him capable of lighting up even the emptiest of football stadia amid the coronavirus restrictions. Dundee United 1 St Johnstone 1: Liam Craig peach earns a point for 10-man Saints So it proved with his thunderous 56th minute volley which surely vanished any lingering dust off his trusted left-boot. “We didn’t start the game as well as we wanted but we did come back into it,” Craig admitted. “I thought we looked good in wee spells. “The character and togetherness in the second half is why this club has been so successful for so many years now. “At half-time the manager was positive and said keep believing and keep moving them. “We changed a wee thing on how to press and we were going to have to take chances in terms of midfielders joining in at the right time. “Fortunately I went at the right time and it fell perfectly for me.” The strike was actually a milestone moment for Craig. His 75th career goal and, you ask, perhaps the finest? Suddenly memories of a wonder hit away at Dunfermline more than 10 years ago resurfaced. But the 33-year-old couldn’t deny this Tannadice thunderbolt was certainly up there.
. “There’s been one or two others just as important. “With the way the game went - giving away the penalty and having a man sent off - personally it was great to get the goal. “I think it was my first goal in about 18 months. It’s nice to get it and just great to be back playing. “But the biggest thing was the response from the players. It would’ve pleased the manager and the staff, just how much character and spirit the boys showed.” Craig was a proud man when talking through the efforts of his mates and, apart from the obvious in O’Halloran, all those kitted out in blue could be pleased with their contribution. Expectation has never been higher but that presents no problem for Ali McCann Goalkeeper Elliott Parish patrolled his box admirably - fine stops included - while the central defensive trio of Jason Kerr, Liam Gordon and Jamie McCart were no-nonsense. One young man who came in for particular praise was full-back Danny McNamara, the 21-year-old Millwall loanee who has been lured north by Perth boss Callum Davidson. He offered energy in the forward department and actually provided the initial cross which ended up teeing-up Craig’s delicious hit. But defensively his role proved pivotal. A goal-saving block to thwart Peter Pawlett with time running short was quite simply sublime. “Danny was excellent and, being down to 10 men, he had loads of energy and produced a great tackle at the end,” added Craig. “There were a lot of encouraging signs from a lot of players. We’re still a young team and we’ll learn a lot from Saturday. “Danny and Tanto [Isaac Olaofe], since they have come in, have been excellent. Right away you can see them buying into what the manager wants and buying into the club.
“It’s an easy dressing room to come into, especially if you are willing to work hard and show you are here to give everything. “The two of them have shown that, along with Craig Conway.” Picking up a hard-earned point will certainly have the St Johnstone fanbase full of optimism ahead of Aberdeen visiting Perth this weekend. Craig concluded: “It means so much for the St Johnstone supporters. “I think they’ll be happy with what they saw in the second half at Tannadice, the reaction to going a goal and man down. If we can keep hold of that, we’ll win games.”
Source = MetiNews.Com