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Scottish League Cup: St Mirren 3 Celtic 2

27 January 2013 17:39

St Mirren ended a nine-game goalless run to secure a place in the Scottish League Cup final with a 3-2 victory over Celtic.

Goals from Esmael Goncalves, Stephen Thompson and a penalty from Paul McGowan saw the Paisley side past the SPL leaders, who had levelled through Gary Hooper on the stroke of half-time while Charlie Mulgrew found the net late on.

Celtic had the first real chance of the early stages as Emilio Izaguirre raced down the left wing, before whipping in a cross in the direction of Lassad Nouioui, but the Tunisian man couldn't reach the ball as it drifted away.

But it was the Paisley side who took the lead as Gary Teale played the ball to Conor Newton on the edge of the area and the on-loan Newcastle midfielder chipped the ball into the box for St Mirren new boy Goncalves to mark his debut with a goal.

As they started to ramp up the pressure, Celtic had a chance to equalise as Hooper got on the end of a long ball from Brown but the English striker's effort sailed over the bar.

It continued to be one-way traffic as Adam Matthews swung in a cross from the right, onto the head of Georgios Samaras, but with David van Zanten nearby he could only direct his effort onto the top of Craig Samson's bar.

On the stroke of half-time Lennon's side levelled things, when Brown found Hooper with a cross from the right wing and the Norwich target made no mistake, firing home the equaliser for Celtic.

Celtic could have opened the second half in the lead as referee Willie Collum awarded a penalty for a handball by Goodwin, but Mulgrew saw his effort expertly saved by Sammon, diving to his right.

From almost putting Celtic in the lead, Mulgrew then helped them go behind as he handled a Teale cross and that allowed McGowan to step up from the spot to regain the lead for Danny Lennon's side.

Things went from bad to worse for Celtic, as they failed to deal with a corner allowing Marc McAusland to whip in a cross that that Thompson turned and volleyed into the net to give the Buddies a two-goal cushion.

The Parkhead side pulled a goal back in injury time with a Mulgrew strike but Celtic couldn't find the goals to take the game into extra time and St Mirren secured their place, along with Hearts in the League Cup final.

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