Motherwell 1 – 2 St Johnstone
Motherwell hoped to bounce back after being on the receiving end at Celtic Park, but the effects of their midweek tie were evident as they struggled to match a lively St Johnstone.
Although the visitor’s had the bulk of the play especially in the first half, ‘Well sneaked the lead two minutes after the break through Chris Cadden. But Saints quickly equalised through Danny Swanson before Steven MacLean latched onto a lapse by Craig Samson to seal the win for the Perth side.
‘Well did create chances, and Allan Mannus had to pull off a couple of impressive saves, but it was a frustrating day at Fir Park.
Mark McGhee made one change from midweek, with Joe Chalmers taking the left back berth for the injured Stevie Hammell, Lionel Ainsworth, the match winner at Rugby Park, returned to the line-up starting through the middle supporting Scott McDonald.
Saints, after their midweek win over Hearts in the Betfred Cup were confident and the Perth men created the early chances.
Samson was not tested until the 22nd minute when he palmed Chris Millar’s drive from the edge of the box over the bar.
Although Motherwell looked leg weary they came closest to scoring just after the half hour mark. Craig Clay sent Marvin Johnson to the goal line and his ball across the face of goal found Lionel Ainsworth stretching at the back post to turn the ball into the side netting.
Just before half-time ‘Well had another chance when Richard Tait’s cross picked out Ainsworth in a packed box but his half volley was blocked by Brad McKay.
Two minutes after the break ‘Well nicked the lead. Richard Tait burst into the box and his great ball across goal took a deflection off Brad McKay. As the ball rolled free Chris Cadden raced in to slam the ball over the line for the teenager’s third goal of the season.
As Saints looked shattered ‘Well chased a second and within minutes Johnson tried his luck from 30 yards but he steered his drive wide of goal.
McDonald almost made it 2-0 but after Lionel Ainsworth’s shot was blocked, the Fir Park striker steered the loose ball narrowly past.
The Steelmen paid for that miss two minutes later when Saints equalised.
Danny Swanson cut into the box from the right before driving a left foot shot under Samson to make it 1-1.
The “Well ‘keeper then advanced from his line as Kane raced through unchallenged but he forced the Saints’ striker to squeeze the ball beyond his right hand post.
Chris Cadden then tried his luck for a second goal and watched as his well struck drive from 30 yards firm drive palmed over the bar by Mannus.
That was last action for the teenage midfielder as striker Jacob Blyth came on for 27 minutes to impress.
However it was Johnson who came closest to grabbing a winner for the home side, curling a right foot which was heading for the top corner until Mannus stretched high to his left to turn the ball over his bar.
Unfortunately, the winner came at the other end 16 minutes from time and it was a bit of a disaster for Craig Samson who produced so many outstanding saves at Parkhead in midweek.
Chris Kane’s 25 yard drive was well struck but it should have been comfortable for Samson. However, the ‘Well ‘keeper elected to palm the shot down allowing McLean to stoop and nod the bouncing ball over the line for a late and deserved winner for Saints.
Alastair Reilly at Fir Park
FT: Motherwell 1 – 2 St Johnstone #MFCvSJFC
90′ | 1-1
Three minutes added on here at Fir Park.
89′ | 1-1
Dom Thomas fires a half-volley narrowly over the bar after Marvin Johnson’s deep cross fell to the midfielder.
87′ | 1-1
Sub – St Johnstone make their last change of the afternoon – Craig replaces Swanson.
81′ | 1-1
McDonald picks up a booking for a deliberate hand-ball. The forward turned the ball into the back of the net from Johnson’s cross
75′ | 1-1
Sub – Dom Thomas replaces Lionel Ainsworth with 15 minutes to go.
74′ | 1-2
Goal – Steven MacLean follows in to head in from 4 yards after Samson’s save came back out.
73′ | 1-1
Craig Clay picks up a booking for a late trip.
71′ | 1-1
Double sub: Paton replaces Millar, Wotherspoon replaces Alston for St Johnstone.
70′ | 1-1
Jacob Blyth flicks the ball on to Scott McDonald who cuts in and curls a beautiful strike on goal but Mannus tips over. So close!
bSub: Chris Cadden comes off for summer signing Jacob Blyth.
60′ | 1-1
Cadden forces a brilliant save from Mannus! The youngster strikes on target from 25-yards and the Saints keeper tips it over.
58′ | 1-1
Kane is slipped through on goal by Swanson and with just Samson to beat, drags his right-footed shot wide from ten yards.
55′ | 1-1
Goal – Swanson draws the visitors level after cutting in from the right onto his left foot to fire past Samson from close range.
53′ | 1-0
So close! A brilliant early ball from Tait is controlled by Ainsworth, the ball then falls to McDonald who strikes just wide.
50′ | 1-0
Marvin Johnson strikes wide from 25-yards. The Fir Parkers are playing with confidence here.
49′ | 1-0
Danny Swanson picks up a yellow for another late foul from the visitors.
48′ | 1-0
Tait crosses the ball across the face of goal where CADDEN is lurking to fire home!! 1-0 to the Steelmen!!
48′ | 1-0
Tait crosses the ball across the face of goal where CADDEN is lurking to fire home!! 1-0 to the Steelemen!!
47′ | 0-0
Murray Davidson is given a stern warning from referee Euan Anderson after a late swipe on Chris Cadden.
46′ | 0-0
We’re back underway at Fir Park.
An even first 45 produces no goals so far…
HT: Motherwell 0 – 0 St Johnstone #MFCvSJFC
43′ | 0-0
Tait attempts another cross but it is blocked and goes out for a corner.
41′ | 0-0
Second booking of the afternoon, it’s St Johnstone’s Chris Kane for a wild tackle on Marvin Johnson.
40′ | 0-0
Tait involved immediately again as he puts in a brilliant cross to the feet of Ainsworth, whose strike from 8 yards is blocked
38′ | 0-0
Tait goes into the book for what looks to have been a shirt pull on Swanson.
35′ | 0-0
McManus finds himself on the ball near the opposing by-line, but his attempted cross is gathered by Mannus.
31′ | 0-0
Best chance of the game so far! Johnson beats his man and sends in a brilliant low cross, but McDonald hits wide on the stretch
30′ | 0-0
Marvin Johnson collects the ball out on the right and dribbles inside onto his left foot, but his strike deflects wide.
26′ | 0-0
The Steelmen win a corner now, but similarly to St Johnstone’s it is over-hit and cleared.
bThe following corner is wasteful, and Motherwell see it away.
24′ | 0-0
At the other end, Chris Millar forces a decent save from Samson, who pushes it over for a corner.
23′ | 0-0
Johnson sends in a vicious, low cross, but it is well held by Mannus in the Saints goal.
19′ | 0-0
MacLean is afforded too much time on the edge of the Motherwell box and he strikes low and hard towards goal, but it skips wide.
17′ | 0-0
Heneghan’s clearance crashes off McManus and flashes just past Samson’s post. Still not much in the way of chances so far though.
12′ | 0-0
Kane breaks through on goal but his soft effort is easily brought away from crossing the line by Heneghan.
11′ | 0-0
St Johnstone send in a cross after winning the throw-in, but Kane heads over.
10′ | 0-0
Both sides sharing short spells of possession but little in the way of chances so far.
5′ | 0-0
St Johnstone win a corner but head over, Motherwell break quickly but fail to test Mannus.
5′ | 0-0
St Johnstone win a corner but head over, motherwell break but fail to test Mannus.
Lasley gets the game underway. COYW!!!
St Johnstone subs: Clark, Wotherspoon, Paton, Gordon, Craig, Cummins, Comrie #MFCvSJFC
St Johnstone: Mannus, Alston, Anderson, Millar, Davidson, MacLean, Swanson, Shaughnessy, McKay, Easton, Kane #MFCvSJFC
Motherwell manager Mark McGhee:
|Craig Samson||Alan Mannus|
|Richard Tait||Blair Alston (70)|
|Ben Heneghan||Steven Anderson|
|Stephen McManus||Chris Miller (70)|
|(75) Lionel Ainsworth||Murray Davidson|
|Marvin Johnson||Steven MacLean|
|(64) Chris Cadden||Danny Swanson (88)|
|Keith Lasley||Joe Shaughnessy|
|Joe Chalmers||Brad McKay|
|Craig Clay||Brian Easton|
|Scott McDonald||Chris Kane|
|Dean Brill||Zander Clark|
|Lee Lucas||David Wotherspoon (70)|
|(64) Jacob Blyth||Paul Paton (70)|
|(75) Dom Thomas||Liam Gordon|
|James McFadden||Liam Craig (88)|
|David Ferguson||Graham Cummins|
|Allan Campbell||Aaron Comrie|
|4||Shots on target||5|
|9||Shots off target||10|
|Referee: Euan Anderson|