St Mirren take on Falkirk tonight at the Paisley 2021 Stadium in the team’s first game since being crowned league champions on Saturday.
The Buddies sealed promotion back to the Ladbrokes Premiership after securing the one point required in a 0-0 draw at home to Livingston.
Not only was it a game that saw the Championship clinched, but it was also a record-breaking event. Saints stopper, Craig Samson, has now not conceded a goal at home in eight games – defeating Craig Hinchcliffe’s previous record of seven games. The League Cup winner will be looking to extend that record further with another clean sheet tonight.
This fixture is the twice-rescheduled game from the end of February, after the first game was moved to a free weekend in March, but was then postponed again due to international call-ups.
So the last time the two sides have off was back in October, where the match ended 0-0 at the Falkirk Stadium. It was a fairly uneventful game for both sides, with very few chances. St Mirren had to rely on half chances from Smith, Reilly and Morgan in the first half – but the second half saw the best opportunity in the game fall to Cammy Smith, when he capitalised on Jordan McGhee’s failed attempt to clear the ball, but was foiled from a good save by Robbie Thomson.
The other game between the teams was on the opening day of the season at the Paisley 2021 Stadium, where the home team ran out 3-1 winners. It was The Bairns who opened the scoring though, when Nathan Austin took advantage of Samson’s spilled save to give the away side an early lead. St Mirren managed to equalise before half time though, through a well-taken strike from Stelios Demetriou.
The Buddies came to life in the second half though and took the lead seconds after the restart when Cammy Smith struck into an empty net when Robbie Thomson couldn’t clear a Gavin Reilly cross. The three points were secured on the 69th minute – Gavin Reilly ran from deep in the opposition half before he drove past the Falkirk defence and drilled past the keeper into the far corner to score his first league goal for The Saints.
A familiar face also played a part in both games, as Myles Hippolyte turned out for Falkirk and gave the St Mirren's defence a couple of tough afternoons. Hopefully tonight he returns the favour for The Buddies.
This is a very different Falkirk team from the previous two meetings this season, as Paul Hartley gave his side a complete face lift in the January transfer window, with nine new players coming in and 10 going in the opposite direction.
With three games still left of the season, and the future now secured for St Mirren, this could be an opportunity for some other players to come into the team and prove their worth.