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Rather than sit deep this time, St Johnstone had no intention of settling for 2-0, as they swelled in confidence and piled further pressure on Hibs.
Rooney, playing at right wing-back, was at the heart of it as he frequently drove into the box to wreak havoc, none more so than for the third goal, when he cleverly picked out Conway to tap home to effectively seal victory with a full half hour still to play.
St Johnstone can score goals. A lack of them has meant league results have not matched performances, but all three strikes at Hampden were fantastic. Kerr and Rooney’s headers are as good as you are likely to see all season, and the third was terrifically well-worked.
After riding their luck for the opening 35 minutes, Davidson’s side grew in confidence, and often exposed Hibs’ left channel in attack, while retreating back into their solid back five with expert efficiency when required. It was a thoroughly deserved triumph.
As for Hibs, this is a horrible blow. They have now lost two semi-finals in the last three months, and all five since they lifted the Scottish Cup in 2016.
Ross keeps talking about progressing the club by ensuring they compete for trophies and European places, so a retreat to the old fragile mentality on the big occasion must be of great concern. This cup was there for the taking.
Their narrowness in attack made life easier for St Johnstone’s back three than it might have done, and once behind they could not come up with any answers to change the momentum of the game. That said, if Murphy had buried one of his two attempts, it’s a different game.
Livingston survived a late bombardment to edge past St Mirren at Hampden and set up a Scottish League Cup final against St Johnstone.
Scott Robinson’s early header ultimately made it 11 games unbeaten under David Martindale as the club reached just their second major final.
St Mirren had a strong penalty claim dismissed, when Nicky Devlin caught Joe Shaughnessy, and finished strongly.
Martindale’s midas touch shows no signs of fading, with the head coach’s ninth win the most precious of his embryonic tenure.
Livingston’s only previous silverware came in this competition in 2004 and they hadn’t featured in a semi-final for 15 years. But recent form favoured Martindale’s men in this all-Premiership tie and they wasted no time in asserting themselves.
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