JIM Goodwin last night stated that St Mirren’s failure to beat Livingston in the Betfred Cup semi-final at Hampden was the biggest missed opportunity of their careers.
Goodwin felt the Paisley club should have been awarded a penalty by referee David Munro in the first-half when Livingston defender Nicky Devlin kicked the heels of Joe Shaughnessy inside his own area.
However, he confessed that his side, who had beaten Premiership rivals Aberdeen and Rangers in the previous rounds, had lacked a cutting edge up front and had spurned an excellent chance to lift silverware.
“I am absolutely gutted for everybody connected with the club – players and staff and directors and obviously the supporters back home who watched the game on the telly and listened on the radio,” said Goodwin.
“We are absolutely gutted that we weren’t able to get to the final. We all believe it is one of the biggest missed opportunities in all of our careers because of the teams that were left in the competition. Every team that was in the semi-finals would have genuinely believed they could go all the way.
“We had to knock out Aberdeen, we had to knock out Rangers, to get here. We were hoping that we were able to complete the task against Livingston and be able to face St Johnstone at the end of next month.
“I asked them to have no regrets and be able to make sure that nobody could point the finger at them and say we didn’t have a go. I don’t think they froze on the occasion, I don’t think there was a lack of effort or commitment.
“You could argue, yes, that there was maybe a bit of a lack of quality in the final third, but everybody who has watched the game, whether you are a fan or a neutral, will appreciate we threw absolutely everything at them in the last half an hour. Unfortunately, we didn’t get the break of the ball.”
He added: “I have to congratulate Livingston on how they defended. They were brilliant all afternoon. It is very difficult when a team like Livvy goes in front because you know what to expect. They get 10 or 11 men back behind the ball and they make life very difficult for you.
“Unfortunately, we couldn’t come up with that moment of quality, that moment of brilliance that you need to break down opposition like that. So congratulations to Livingston, well done to David Martindale and his players.”
Asked about the first-half penalty claim, Goodwin said: “There is no denying the fact that Devlin kicks right through the back of the leg of Shaughnessy. Unfortunately for us the referee has missed it.”