After back-to-back defeats put paid to their Betfed Cup ambitions, St Johnstone finally got off the mark by easing to a 4-0 win over League Two Brechin.
However, the Ladbrokes Premiership team’s Group B win over the part-timers was overshadowed by conjecture surrounding the proposed deal to lure back striker Stevie May from Aberdeen.
Saints fans had hoped the 2014 Scottish Cup winner would have been unveiled after passing a medical but a late hitch has cast doubt over the striker’s anticipated return to McDiarmid Park.
On the field, Saints got off to the perfect start when full-back Scott Tanser stroked home a sixth-minute penalty, awarded after defender Chris McLaughlin’s foul on Matty Kennedy.
The visitors had already survived a third minute scare when Chris Kane hammered a Michael O’Halloran cutback off the underside of the bar.
Former Rangers winger O’Halloran slipped a close-range effort wide before dissecting the City defence and firing his shot over the bar.
The League Two side threatened in the 25th minute as goalkeeper Zander Clark thwarted Dougie Hill’s header, before Matthew Knox missed the target with his follow-up.
However, Saints doubled their lead in the 33rd minute when Kane touched home Murray Davidson’s stretching touch on Kyle McClean’s back post cross.
Minutes after the interval, Wallace Duffy, Kennedy and O’Halloran all squandered close-range opportunities to stretch the home side’s advantage.
Substitute Callum Hendry powered home the third with a 73rd-minute header from a Richard Foster cross.
Three minutes later Kennedy wrapped up the scoring when he burst through and slid a close-range finish under the advancing keeper.
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