Motherwell edged out St Johnstone by the odd goal in five in a topsy-turvy evening at Fir Park.
Saints completely dominated the first half and could have scored six or seven goals, but only had two courtesy of Alex Kitchen and Bradley Fortnam-Tomlinson, who himself could and perhaps should have had at least a hat trick.
In between those two goals, Steven Higgins capitalised on a defensive slip to reduce the arrears and ‘Well would have been thankful for trailing by just one at the break.
Dale Shirkie got his side level minutes after the interval before Lee Erwin eventually put the Steelmen in front on the hour and that’s how it finished, as ‘Well aim to end the season on a high.
Jonatan Johansson made three changes to the side that lost 3-0 at Lennoxtown eight days ago. Zaine Francis-Angol, Euan Murray and Craig Moore dropped out, replaced by Jack McMillan, Ben Hall and Steven Higgins.
But it was the Perth side who came out the traps flying and Fortnam-Tomlinson had one of an almost countless amount of first-half chances inside thirty seconds, but flashed his shot wide. Two minutes later he was at it again, but this time Stewart saved.
The Steelmen stopper also saved really well from Craig Thomson but was helpless to stop Saints’ opener when defender Kitchen rose well at the back post to head home a Scott Brown corner.
Motherwell were rarely out their own half but Dom Thomas at least registered a chance for the hosts with a shot straight at keeper Mark Hurst.
Erwin had a couple of chances at the midway point of the half but the away keeper comfortably saved both shots.
But it was Saints who continued to threaten and create opportunities. Fortnam-Tomlinson was causing problems, but his finishing was letting him down. He had another three attempts before the half hour, one wide of the post, one high over the bar and one sliced into the Cooper Stand.
He wasn’t the only one though; Thomson also passed up a good chance after cutting in from the right only to blaze high and wide.
Amazingly, after being under the cosh for much of the half, ‘Well leveled eight minutes from half time. Steven Higgins was alert to a short pass back by Stewart and he raced in to coolly slot under Hurst for his seventh of the campaign.
It didn’t stay level for long though as Saints were back ahead within two minutes and it was Fortnam-Tomlinson who finally scored at the sixth time of asking. Fullback Scott Gray sent in a good ball towards the near post for the striker who nipped in ahead of Morgyn Neill to net from a few yards out.
Amazingly, ‘Well should have equalised before the break but Dale Shirkie didn’t get enough on David Ferguson’s cross and headed wide.
‘Well came out for the second half with fire in their belly and equalised inside two minutes. Dom Thomas skinned Scott Gray on the flank and his cross eventually found Shirkie at the back post, who smashed home a half-volley with the aid of a slight deflection off Stewart.
Both sides made changes but it was Saints who should have got themselves back in front.
Fortnam-Tomlinson was again involved as he raced clear of the defence. He was blocked once again by Stewart but picked up the rebound. He squared it for Scott Wilson who was only denied by an excellent goal line clearance by McMillan.
‘Well went immediately on the attack and Erwin almost got amongst the goals.
He collected after good hassling by Cadden on the halfway line. After striding into the box, he danced around two challenges but could only scoop his left-footed effort high and wide.
However, the big striker wouldn’t be denied shortly after. Ferguson’s brave header landed at the 19-year old at the edge of the box. He turned his marker Stewart once and then again, leaving him on his backside, before smashing high into the net from an acute angle.
Saints, clearly shell-shocked, went in search of an equaliser themselves. Fortnam-Tomlinson had another effort straight at Stewart before the ‘Well stopper made another great block to deny Wilson.
Lee Erwin could have wrapped up the win after racing clear on the left flank, but his neat chipped finish came back off the post and dropped wide. Minutes later, Saints sub Fisayo Adarabioyo raced clear too but Stewart was again quick off his line to make the save.
‘Well managed to hang on to the end, but there was still time for one more scare late in the game when Adarabioyo got on the end of a fired Dylan Easton cross but it squirmed inches wide.
It was an amazing win for Johansson’s men. Saints will have travelled back to Perth thinking what might have been given the chances they created in the game.
Motherwell: Stewart, Ferguson, McMillan (McCall – 75mins), Hall, Neill, Cadden, McCafferty, Erwin, Shirkie, Thomas, Higgins (MacLean – 55mins)
Subs: Currie, R.Leitch, Clarke, Mackin