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Callum Davidson credits cup form for sparking St Johnstone’s goals rush

St Johnstone v Celtic – Scottish Premiership – McDiarmid Park
(Image credit: Andrew Milligan)

Callum Davidson believes the Betfred Cup was the catalyst for St Johnstone’s sudden goalscoring exploits.

The Perthshire club have struggled for goals all season and failed to score in their four Premiership fixtures before the international break.

The Saints scored nine goals in their two Betfred Cup matches against Kelty Hearts and Brechin and that renewed confidence in front of goal was evident as they smashed five past Hamilton in an impressive 5-3 win.

“The cup competition came at a good time for us. Stevie May is back in good form and his movement was really good. He kept getting in behind players and he was a constant threat,” said manager Davidson.

“He was very unselfish for Craig Conway’s goal and that’s the pleasing aspect for me. It’s the same as when David Wotherspoon gave the penalty to Callum last week, it shows our spirit.”

The attacking trio of Conway, Wotherspoon and May were hugely influential and involved in every goal. Former Accies striker May bagged a first-half double while Conway grabbed his brace after the interval with Wotherspoon’s strike coming on 13 minutes.

The trio have contributed 10 goals between them across St Johnstone’s last three fixtures and Davidson was effusive in praise for his experienced goalscorers.

“Stevie and Craig were both great but I also need to mention David. We’ve asked for more from him and it was good to see him deliver. We are a small squad and we have to stick together,” Davidson added.

“I believe in our quality and we had good substitutes who came on and helped see the game out. Hopefully we can do it the easy way soon but I’ll always take the three points.”

Hamilton’s nightmare opening half hour was compounded by an injury to the influential David Templeton. His replacement Ronan Hughes was the shining light in defeat as the academy graduate netted his first two goals for the club which drew praise from manager Brian Rice.

“David’s took a sore one but it gave us an opportunity to get Ronan on the pitch. We’ve not been able to do that recently since his injury at Parkhead. He managed to get two goals and that’ll be a massive boost to the young man,” Rice said.

“We gave ourselves a mountain to climb and I’m bitterly disappointed. Hamilton isn’t known for giving up, we’ve seen that today so we go again on Tuesday night.”