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Dublin: 2 °C Tuesday 19 November, 2019
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Ex-Dundalk star making a mark in Scottish Premiership after early setback

David McMillan has scored in consecutive games for St Johnstone after being sidelined for three months.

THE END OF the Scottish Premiership season is coming a little too soon for David McMillan’s liking.

After joining St Johnstone when the January transfer window opened, McMillan scored his first goal for the club in Saturday’s 5-1 win over Motherwell.

David McMillan David McMillan in action for Dundalk last season. Source: Bryan Keane/INPHO

He doubled his tally for the season by opening the scoring from the penalty spot in last night’s 2-1 away victory against Hamilton Academical.

The opening of McMillan’s goalscoring account in Scotland was a long time coming, but having now contributed two goals in just 122 minutes of first-team football for the Saints, the 29-year-old striker certainly hasn’t been experiencing a goal drought since departing Dundalk.

Back in January, McMillan lasted just 21 minutes of his debut in Scotland after he sustained a hamstring injury in a 3-1 defeat to Partick Thistle. The Dubliner initially hoped to be back in action just three weeks later, but his absence lasted for three months instead.

The former Sligo Rovers, UCD and St Patrick’s Athletic striker made a positive impact when he returned last weekend, after being introduced as a 65th-minute substitute against Motherwell. McMillan, who marked his first start for the club with another goal against Hamilton, will hope to finish the season on a high at home to Ross County on Saturday.

“I’m delighted, obviously,” he told Saints TV after last night’s win. “It’s been a frustrating period. To be back playing and scoring goals is brilliant. The season is obviously ending now. I’d love it to be continuing. But it’ll set me up nicely now for pre-season and the start of next year.”

McMillan, who has signed a two-and-a-half-year deal at McDiarmid Park, added: “I was lucky in the end to get these couple of games before the end of the season. It’s nice to have that but obviously eyes are on next season already for me; to get a good pre-season, get as fit as I can, and have a good start to the new season.”

McMillan was a key member of the Dundalk side that won three Premier Division titles, one FAI Cup and two EA Sports Cups during his four seasons with the SSE Airtricity League club. He also played a pivotal role in their memorable European run in 2016, during which he scored five times.

He was snapped up by St Johnstone after netting 23 times in all competitions for Stephen Kenny’s side in the 2017 season, which earned him a place in the PFAI Premier Division Team of the Year for the second campaign in a row.

“I’ve settled in really, really well,” McMillan said of his time at St Johnstone so far. “Besides the injury it’s been great. We have a great group here, the lads get on brilliantly, and I’ve settled in very, very well. It has just obviously been difficult and frustrating to be in with the physios all the time and not be out on the pitch.

“But it’s been great in the last few weeks to get back on the pitch and thankfully get a couple of goals.”

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Paul Dollery

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