Dedicated Saints supporters can cheer their fellow fans onto victory in a cup semi-final clash against their Rangers opponents.
An injury-time winner by gritty midfielder Gordon McEwan booked St Mirrenoff’s spot in the final four of the Scottish Supporters Football League Cup.
Now awaiting Saints is old firm outfit Sandbank Rangers, with the two teams set to clash on Sunday 8 May - the day after the senior side travel to Inverness.
St Mirrenoff’s very own Hampden Park will be the sports campus at the University of the West of Scotland, where loyal fans are welcome to shake off their highland hangovers.
On Sunday, Premier League leaders Thistle provided stiff opposition for the Paisley side, currently struggling at the other end of the league. Goals from David Wilson and Andy Tucker were the only plus points in a 4-2 midweek loss against Kerrydale Celtic, so the cup clash provided an enjoyable distraction.
Their early play displayed this freedom and both McEwan and Chris Dailly flashed long range efforts narrowly wide, building on neat play by wing-backs Tucker and Duncan Johnston.
Midway through the first half, Saints came even closer to the breakthrough. They were awarded a free-kick 25 yards from goal after defender Fraser Gray was cynically hacked down as he charged forward.
Wilson dinked the set-piece over the wall for fellow midfielder McEwan, who in turn found striker Robert Hillcoat six yards out. He just failed to get the finishing touch, but the ball broke to defender Ian Craig whose shot on the turn was deflected onto the upright and hacked off the goal line.
Ten minutes into the second half, Saints took the lead, albeit in fortunate circumstances. Attacking down the right, Hillcoat tried to pick out a team-mate in the box with a left foot cross. The Thistle keeper could only look on as Hillcoat’s delivery looped over his head and into the top corner.
Further chances came and went as Saints pressed forward to kill the game, while at the other end, home keeper Craig Muir pulled off two fantastic one-on-one saves in a rare spell of Thistle pressure.
With the clock winding down, Saints suffered a sucker punch as the Thistle winger capitalised on a break of the ball to fire past Muir, who got a hand to the shot, but was unable to keep it out.
Perhaps the thought of 30 energy sapping minutes of extra-time provided the impetus, but Saints pushed forward hoping for one final chance. And deep into injury time, Wilson’s free-kick 30-yards out found McEwan at the back post, whose diving header bulleted into the bottom corner.
Cue crazed celebrations and once the dust settled and Thistle’s rowdy supporters had slumped off home, Saints looked forward with interest to their chance of reaching a showpiece final.
Before that, Saints were back in league action on Tuesday (19 April) against bottom side Sparta Jags, before earning the weekend off.
Fans of the senior team are always welcome to cheer on the supporters’ side. Full fixture details and results at: www.teamstats.net/stmirrenoff.
St Mirrenoff FC: Craig Muir, Chris Adam, Ian Craig, Fraser Gray, Duncan Johnston, Andrew Tucker, Gordon McEwan, Chris Dailly (David Christie), David Wilson, Robert Hillcoat, Ryan Keenan (Craig Sinclair). Subs not used: John Kerr, David Brydson, Gordian Mothersole.