Saints and County serve up a nine-goal thriller - 2012

(first published in the match programme for St. Mirren v Ross County, 27th February 2021)

St. Mirren v Ross C. 2012

St. Mirren v Ross C. 2012

The 3,706 fans who turned up to St. Mirren Park for the visit of Ross County on 29th September 2012 wouldn’t have guessed that they were about to witness a goal-fest, the likes of which hadn’t been seen in Paisley for the best part of forty years, and one which would be capped off with the most spectacular finish to the match.

Saints were banging in the goals in the League Cup, but had been more shot-shy in the League, scoring only 9 goals in seven matches. County had been even less successful, with four scoreless draws to date and having troubled the net only three times in the other three matches. The fans might therefore have been looking for something to keep them awake during the afternoon’s encounter.

The visitors took the lead through Iain Vigurs on 11 minutes when he carried the ball towards the retreating Saints defence and unleashed a 22-yard shot beyond Craig Samson. Steven Thompson equalised with a header from a Jim Goodwin corner in 39 minutes and almost scored another shortly after but Fraser parried the striker's header to safety. The Staggies then regained the lead just on half-time when the unmarked Grant Munro ghosted in at the back post to head home a Vigurs free-kick.

St. Mirren were awarded a penalty early in the second half when Thompson was fouled and Lewis Guy crashed the spot kick high into the net for the equaliser. The Buddies then took the lead for the first time in the match on 59 minutes with a move which built from the back, executed a series of passes up the field, and culminated in Sam Parkin's close-range header from a David Van Zanten cross. Five minutes later, Jim Goodwin’s crunching tackle in midfield started the move which ended with a 30-yard daisy-cutter from Kenny McLean to put St Mirren 4-2 ahead.

The visitors fought back, and two almost identical goals in two minutes from future Saint Rocco Quinn looked to have given County an unlikely draw. However, heading into the last minute, Saints worked the ball down the left side and Graham Carey’s cross was met by Steven Thompson, who sent a spectacular overhead kick into the net past the despairing dive of ‘keeper Fraser to win the match 5-4 for St. Mirren, the first time Saints had scored five goals in the SPL.

Steven Thompson nets the winner with an overhead kick

Steven Thompson nets the winner with an overhead kickl

Issue No. 6 of the 32-page match programme featured Paul McGowan on the front cover. Inside, Danny Lennon’s “View From the Dugout” recognised the Club’s forthcoming 135th anniversary and set out some of the features which separated out St. Mirren as a “special” club in the heritage of the national sport. Holly McCormack then gave a fan’s perspective of the visitors in an interview with die-hard Staggie supporter Kelle Savery.

“Marketing Matters, sponsorship items and “Saints in the Community” took us to “News Desk”, which highlighted that Steven Thompson would be making his 50th start for Saints, so it would be a fitting reward that he played a big part in the afternoon’s result. There followed two pages on the visitors from Dingwall and a centre page photo of St. Mirren’s 2012/13 squad.

Into the second half, “Buddies Stats” and Wullie Bell’s news from the St. Mirren Supporters Trust preceded Brian Corry’s “Football Not Played On Paper Apparently” and Alan Gallacher’s “Football Bloody Hell”, both of which discussed the recent findings of the independent commission into the 1989 Hillsborough disaster. These sat either side of “Paisley Panda’s Fun Page”. “The Gallery” featured photos of presentations from the recent Hearts match, and “Kit Sponsors”, “The Squads” and the fixture and line-up details for season 2012/13 brought the £2.50 issue to a close.