Callum Davidson hails his St Johnstone team after reaching Betfred semis but reveals he stopped watching pens after Callum Hendry miss

St Johnstone manager Callum Davidson has hailed the financial benefits of his side’s Betfred Cup quarter final win over Dunfermline while revealing he could not watch all the penalties.

St Johnstone manager Callum Davidson and opposite number Stevie Crawford before the Perth side's Betfred Cup victory over Dunfermline   (Photo by Ross Parker / SNS Group)
St Johnstone manager Callum Davidson and opposite number Stevie Crawford before the Perth side's Betfred Cup victory over Dunfermline (Photo by Ross Parker / SNS Group)

In his maiden season in charge Davidson has led the Perth side to their first last four appearance in a cup competition since winning the Scottish Cup in 2016 against Dundee United.

St Johnstone made heavy weather of their win at East End Park. After the goalless 90 minutes, full back Shaun Rooney struck his first goal for the club three minutes into extra-time. But Dunfermline substitute Iain Wilson scored in the second period of extra-time to force penalties.

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Zander Clark saved Paul Watson’s first effort for Dunfermline while Callum Hendry saw his fierce attempt strike the junction of post and bar. Liam Craig was left with the task of sending St Johnstone through after Clark saved Kevin O’Hara’s kick. He did so with aplomb – not that Davidson knew too much about it.

“I don’t watch some of them,” the manager said later. “It depends on how I’m feeling at the time. I saw the Hendry one but I probably didn’t watch after that!“It’s about who has the composure to take one. Sometimes the goalie pulls off a great save which I thought Zander did with the first one. It’s really important financially for the club and I’ll look forward to the draw. We lost a shootout to Dundee United earlier in season so it’s nice to win one.”

Dunfermline manager Stevie Crawford praised his side for getting back into the tie despite tiring legs. The hosts had to absorb a lot of pressure from their Premiership opponents during the 90 minutes and displayed grit to respond after going a goal behind at the start of extra-time.

“It’s a sore one to lose on penalty kicks but that was no disgrace,” said Crawford. “They’ve all hit the target and it’s credit to big Zander Clark. They weren’t ‘misses’ in my eyes, and credit to the boys for being brave. Hopefully, that whets the appetite for more moments like this on our journey.”

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