Saints exit Scottish Cup after Fifth Round loss

Saints exit Scottish Cup after Fifth Round loss

St Mirren exited the Scottish Cup at the Fifth Round stage after a 2-0 loss at home to Celtic. 

Goals in either half from Kyogo Furushashi and Daizen Maeda saw the holders progress to the last eight despite a valiant effort from Saints. 

There were three changes from the side that defeated Dundee at The SMiSA Stadium on Wednesday night. The suspended James Bolton missed out while Hyeokkyu Kwon was unavailable against his parent team, in came Charles Dunne and Keanu Baccus. James Scott dropped to the bench and he was replaced by Lewis Jamieson. 

Despite a bright start from the hosts, it was Celtic who took the lead on 15 minutes through Kyogo. The Japanese forward took it first time as he met a Luis Palma ball from the left. The strike went through Dunne's legs and squirmed underneath Zach Hemming. 

The Buddies didn't allow themselves to be deflated by the opener and fashioned a good opportunity on 23 minutes after a neat bit of play saw Mikael Mandron dummy Baccus' pass to allow it on to Greg Kiltie. The forward moved into the box but saw his strike blocked by Stephen Welsh.

Saints came so close to a leveller just after the half hour mark when Alex Gogic rattled the cross bar. The defender was first to a Caolan Boyd-Munce corner, brought it down before turning and crashing his strike off the woodwork.

Gogic was agonisingly close to a stunning equaliser in the final minute of the half when his overhead kick was well saved by Joe Hart. 

Alex Gogic came close to equalising before half-time

Celtic doubled their advantage seven minutes into the second-half. A Palma cross found Matt O'Riley unmarked at the back post. His volley came off the bar but Maeda reacted first to the rebound to knock into the net. 

Saints had struggled to get going after the restart and the manager reacted by making two changes with Jaden Brown and James Scott introduced in place of Elvis Bwomono and Lewis Jamieson on 57 minutes. 

The changes seemed to spark the Buddies and Saints should have pulled a goal back on the hour mark when Scott Tanser's brilliant delivery found Kiltie a few yards from goal, but the forward didn't get a clean enough connection and glanced his header wide. Two minutes later Mandron was close when he pinged an effort just by the post from the edge of the area. 

Substitute Scott was unlucky when he got in behind the Celtic defence and struck wide from a tight angle as the game approached its final 20 minutes. That chance came after Baccus had a go from 20 yards that was easily gathered by Hart. But the Buddies just couldn't find a way to get back into the game and exit the cup at the Fifth Round stage. 

Full-Time: St Mirren 0-2 Celtic

St Mirren: Hemming, Fraser (c), Gogic, Dunne, Bwomono (Brown 57), Baccus, Boyd-Munce, Tanser, Kiltie (Olusanya 78), Mandron (Ayunga 78), Jamieson (Scott 57)
Subs Not Used: Urminsky, Taylor, Flynn, Mooney, Penman

Celtic: Hart, Ralston, Welsh, Scales, Bernabei, McGregor (c), O'Riley, Palma (Yang 62), Maeda (Kuhn 75), Idah (Bernardo 62), Kyogo (Oh 75)
Subs Not Used: Bain, Nawrocki, Tomoki, Vata, Kelly

Referee: David Dickinson
Assistant Referee: Daniel McFarlane
Assistant Referee: Steven Traynor
Fourth Official: Graham Grainger 
VAR: Alan Muir

Attendance: 4,400

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