Valiant display earns Saints a point

Valiant display earns Saints a point

A valiant St Mirren display saw Jim Goodwin's severely depleted side take a point against Celtic. 

Despite missing several players and requesting a postponement from the SPFL, the match went ahead. Saints were without Jak Alnwick, Jamie McGrath, Conor McCarthy, Richard Tait, Connor Ronan, Ethan Erhahon, Alan Power, Ryan Flynn, Kyle McAllister, Kristian Dennis, Lee Erwin and Eamonn Brophy.

17-year-old Kieran Offord made his debut, while 16-year-old Dylan Reid made just his third start for the Buddies. Jay Henderson also made his first appearance since August with Dean Lyness coming in as goalkeeper for his first league appearance since February. 

St Mirren Academy Graduate Kieran Offord made his first-team debut (Image: Allan Picken)

Lyness would probably have been expecting a busy evening against Ange Postecoglou's side and so it would prove to be for the Saints goalie in the opening stages of the match. He made a terrific save to deny Michael Johnston on eight minutes after the Celtic winger evaded a number of challenges as he jinked into the Buddies box. His strike was pushed away by the strong hands of Lyness. 

Four minutes later Lyness brilliantly turned away a long-range Nir Bitton free-kick. The Celtic midfielder fired towards the keeper's right-hand post with the stand-in at full stretch to get a hand on it.

Saints grew in confidence as the half worn on. The Buddies couldn't force home through a ruck of bodies and from the resultant corner Charles Dunne skinned Liel Abada and Tom Rogic before slamming into the side net. 

Celtic had the vast majority of the ball in the second-half but weren't really troubling Lyness in the Saints net. The visitors were restricted to Johnston volleying into the arms of the Saints goalkeeper on 48 minutes while Callum McGregor's curling effort for distance was gathered at the second attempt on 65 minutes. 

Joe Shaughnessy had to clear off the line on 68 minutes, but Saints best chance of the game came less than 60 seconds later on the counter. Henderson broke forward and slipped the ball to Curtis Main who fired low into the arms of Celtic goalkeeper Scott Bain. 

The visitors would go close again with Abada failing to get on to a McGregor ball across the box before substitute Josip Juranovic curled a free-kick just wide. But the Buddies held on to take a share of the spoils heading into Christmas. 

Full-Time: St Mirren 0-0 Celtic

St Mirren: Lyness, Fraser, Shaughnessy (c), Dunne, Millar, Henderson, Reid, Kiltie, Tanser, Offord (McManus 88), Main
Subs Not Used: Urminsky, Taylor, Jack, MacDonald, Kenny

Celtic: Bain, Ralston, Welsh, Carter-Vickers, Scales (Taylor 89), Bitton (Shaw 80), McGregor (c), Johnston, Rogic, Moffat (Juranovic 61), Abada
Subs Not Used: Hazard, McCarthy, Henderson, Montgomery

Referee: David Munro
Assistant Referee: Ralph Gordon
Assistant Referee: Jonathan Bell
Fourth Official: Lloyd Wilson

Attendance: 6,596

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