Jim Goodwin hopes Saints can go marching back to Hampden in front of fans

The Paisley side reached the semi-finals of both cup competitions when they were played behind closed doors last season.

By Press Association Published: 22 January 2022 - 6.35pm

St Mirren manager Jim Goodwin hopes his team can return to Hampden this season but with supporters there to experience it this time.

The Paisley side reached the semi-finals of both cup competitions when they were played behind closed doors last season.

They booked their place in the last 16 of this year’s Scottish Cup with a comfortable 2-0 win away to Ayr thanks to first-half goals from Kyle McAllister and Greg Kiltie.

And Goodwin hopes it can be the start of another extended cup run for his team.

He said: “When the draw was made, if you were looking to pick out a few banana skins this would have been one of them. So I’m really pleased with the application of the players.

“It’s a clean sheet, a couple of goals and we’re in the hat for the next round – that’s all we can ask for.

“We felt that if we had got a third goal it would have killed the game completely. Unfortunately it didn’t come. Their goalkeeper has made a couple of good saves and we had one just by the post. But the boys did everything asked of them.

“Every fan, manager and team has that little dream that you can get back to Hampden.

“We’re in the last 16 now so you never know. You can find yourself in the quarter-finals and then you’re within touching distance again.

“We’d love to get back there but with the fans behind us this time around and our families in the stand cheering us on. That’s the incentive for every team out there now.”

Ayr threatened early on but went into their shells once they fell behind after seven minutes.

And manager Lee Bullen admitted that early goal had been costly.

He said: “I thought we started alright. We were on the front foot, we did OK without causing the goalie any problems. But the early goal took the stuffing out of us.

“We were hoping to nick a goal with 10 or 15 to go and then that would have changed the whole complex of the game.

“The whole place would have got a lift, Saints would have got a bit nervous but unfortunately we weren’t able to do it.”

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