McGrath nets twice as five-star St Mirren return to winning ways

St Mirren scored five times as they shrugged off their Hampden disappointment.

McGrath nets twice as five-star St Mirren return to winning ways SNS Group

St Mirren returned to winning ways in style by putting five goals past Dundee United at Tannadice.

The Buddies had been bitterly disappointed to lose their Betfred Cup semi-final with Livingston on Sunday but a vital 5-1 Premiership victory went a long way to making amends.

St Mirren took the lead in the 30th minute when a deep free-kick was headed into a dangerous area in the United box by Conor McCarthy, with Joe Shaughnessy heading back across goal and past United keeper Deniz Mehmet.

The Buddies increased their advantage 12 minutes later when they were awarded a penalty by referee John Beaton for a push on Shaughnessy by Mark Reynolds in the United box. Jamie McGrath stepped up to calmly send Deniz the wrong way and the ball into the back of the net.

St Mirren then made it three on the stroke of half-time when home striker Lawrence Shankland was adjudged to have handled a shot, with McGrath again making no mistake with the spot-kick.

The Tangerines pulled one back in the 54th minute thanks to a stunning long-range strike from midfielder Ian Harkes.

However, St Mirren put the game to bed in the 80th minute with a clinical break and finish from substitute Dylan Connolly and five minutes later the rout was completed by a Kristian Dennis tap-in.

There had been an early chance for the Buddies in the opening seconds of the game but Eamonn Brophy dragged his shot from just outside the United box well wide.

United came close in the 23rd minute when a free-kick into the Buddies box was chested down by Mark Connolly into the path of Dillon Powers, who hit a ferocious drive that was blocked by St Mirren keeper Jak Alnwick. Powers pounced on the rebound but was unable to make his second effort count.

The home side were then howling for a penalty as Luke Bolton went down in the St Mirren box under a challenge by Richard Tait but the referee saw no offence.

Shortly after, St Mirren were up the other end to break the deadlock through Shaughnessy and then take a grip on the game with the McGrath penalties.

Harkes gave United hope with Connolly then coming close with a powerful header at a corner. However, St Mirren’s late double secured the win.

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