St Mirren striker Gavin Reilly left Saturday’s match against Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale with the match-ball after the Buddies routed to a 7-1 victory against their East of Scotland League opponents in the William Hill Scottish Cup.
Speaking to St Mirren’s YouTube channel post-match, Reilly said:
“It was good to get the win and my four goals are a bonus. We came here, acted professional and now we are into the next round, which we are delighted with. You have got to come to these places and be professional – we could have played a weakened side or came here thinking you will get the win regardless, but, these are hard places to come. The conditions are hard, it was a cold afternoon, so, we had to be on our game.”
Reilly gleamed as he spoke about his four goal first-half haul.
“I’ve already got the match-ball – no matter who you play, if you score a hat-trick, you always want to take home the match-ball. I would have been delighted with a couple of goals at the start of the day, so, to get four, it is something I am really delighted with: it is the first time I have scored four goals so it is a wee bit more special.”
After a difficult spell with Dunfermline last season which restricted the striker to only two goals, he now sits on 15 with the Buddies by the middle of November.
“I am delighted with the way things are going this season. I would have taken 10 before Christmas so to get 15 with a month left to play. It is really encouraging as from a confidence side of things, as a striker, you gain confidence by scoring goals so hopefully I can continue doing that; scoring goals and putting in good performances as who knows where that can take us!”
It isn’t just Reilly who was impressed by his contribution in Saturday’s William Hill Scottish Cup tie.
“I am pleased [for Reilly] as he is an old-fashioned striker who takes great pleasure from it [scoring goals],” explains St Mirren manager Jack Ross – also speaking to St Mirren TV. “You can see what it means to him by his eagerness to get the match-ball at the end. We stressed to the forward-going players before the game that this was an opportunity for them to get goals if they did things the right way and were ruthless and we were that today. I thought some of our finishing was very good, so, for him [Reilly] to get to that goals tally by November means that he is on course for a very healthy tally for the whole season, if he remains in that vein.”
Ross was also in agreement with the former Hearts striker that the professionalism on show at Saughton Enclosure was exactly as required.
“I don’t think anyone can accuse our players of not approaching the game properly and trying to play in the right manner. The first-half performance was excellent; to score the amount of goals we did in 45 minutes is a big ask, regardless of the opposition. You can also be critical of the bits in the second-half that I wasn’t pleased about, but, that is just my nature!
You very rarely find a side can keep that up for the full-game as generally people begin to protect themselves and cast their eye towards upcoming games. I am pleased to be in the next round as this wasn’t easy coming here, with the pitch and everything around it so it was really good.”