Phil McGhee Fir Park
Motherwell recorded their biggest victory of the season with a 5-0 win over St Mirren at Fir Park this evening.
Billed by both managers as a ‘must win’ game, there was only one winner after Motherwell outmuscled and outplayed a Saints side which lacked in confidence.
Ian Baraclough had asked his players for a quick start and begin the way they finished at Rugby Park on Saturday. And Lee Erwin literally did as he was asked scoring twice inside the first 25 minutes.
Scott McDonald netted a third on the stroke of half time to virtually wrap up the points.
John Sutton, for the second consecutive home game, came on and claimed a double to underline Motherwell’s superiority.
In a whirlwind start, a curling free kick from Josh Law produced the first save from Mark Ridgers inside two minutes.
Four minutes later ‘Well were in front and having netted the winner on Saturday, Erwin made it the perfect start. Collecting Lionel Ainsworth’s cut back with his back to goal, the 21 year old striker wheeled at the edge of the six yard box before squeezing the ball inside Ridgers left hand post.
Saints’ immediate reply was a dipping drive from John McGinn which George Long comfortably saved.
Kiernan Sadler should have tested the ‘Well ‘keeper when he raced through unchallenged but it was Ridgers at the other end who was forced into a diving save to push Johnson’s left foot volley round the post.
But the Saints ‘keeper was beaten again ten minutes later as ‘Well doubled their advantage. And in a similar finish to the first, Erwin collected an Ainsworth shot eight yards in front of goal before turning and guiding the ball inside the unsighted Ridgers’ right hand post to make it 2-0 and put ‘Well in a commanding position,
The home side’s appetite for more goals was insatiable and after passing up a couple of chances to extend their lead the Fir Parkers rounded of a fantastic first half with a fabulous goal. Josh Law found Ainsworth down the right and his cross sailed over the defence to Johnson who nipped to the goal line before setting up McDonald who drilled the ball home from eight yards.
With Saints committed to attack in the second half it was the question of ‘Well utilising the defensive gaps to improve their negative goal difference.
A header and curling shot from McDonald were comfortably saved by Ridgers while Long got down to hold an Gregg Wylde drive before diving to block Marc McAusland’s powerful header.
Worryingly, Stephen Pearson limped off to be replaced by Conor Grant before Erwin received a standing ovation as he made way for John Sutton with 20 minutes remaining.
Against his former club Sutton took only four minutes to find the net stooping to head home Johnson’s free kick.
[tab:As it happened]
Ally Reilly at Fir Park
FT’ | 5-0 | #MFCvSMFC
91′ | 5-0 | #MFCvSMFC
Safe hands from Long who dives to his left to save McGinn’s long shot.
89′ | 5-0 | #MFCvSMFC
Johnson, who has been excellent, passes up a good opportunity just inside the box. Volleys just over the bar.
PIC | 5-0 | #MFCvSMFC
Sutton celebrates his brace and Motherwell’s fifth of the night
83′ | 5-0 | #MFCvSMFC
St Mirren sub, Goodwin off for Brown
81′ | 5-0 | #MFCvSMFC
Frustration for McGinn who hacks down Straker who had just skinned him. Booked.
79′ | 5-0 | #MFCvSMFC
Thomas skips past a few men out wide, squares it to McDonald whose shot is palmed to SUTTON who pokes it home! 5-0!!
78′ | 4-0 | #MFCvSMFC
McDonald races straight up the park and shoots inches wide of the post! Very unlucky from the Aussie.
77′ | 4-0 | #MFCvSMFC
Off the post by Mallan! Close range shot, probably should have scored.
75′ | 4-0 | #MFCvSMFC
Motherwell sub, Ainsworth off for Dom Thomas
74′ | 4-0 | #MFCvSMFC
Sublime delivery from Johnston onto the head of big Sutty who nods it home. 4-0!!!!
72′ | 3-0 | #MFCvSMFC
Excellent save from Ridgers to deny Grant, whose low shot from 15 yards was heading in!
71′ | 3-0 | #MFCvSMFC
Motherwell sub, two-goal hero Erwin comes off for Sutton.
70′ | 3-0 | #MFCvSMFC
Long gets down well to McAusland’s low close range header. St Mirren creating a few chances now.
67′ | 3-0 | #MFCvSMFC
Wylde jinks into the box and wins a corner…ball ricochet’s off Thompson’s back straight into Long’s hands.
66′ | 3-0 | #MFCvSMFC
Thompson latches onto Wylde’s long ball but can’t get any power in his header to test Long.
64′ | 3-0 | #MFCvSMFC
Ainsworth’s shot from the edge of the box is deflected inches past the post!!
63′ | 3-0 | #MFCvSMFC
Motherwell sub, Grant on for Pearson, who is limping off.
62′ | 3-0 | #MFCvSMFC
Pearson down on the half-way line with an injury. Looks like he’s coming off.
60′ | 3-0 | #MFCvSMFC
Almost as if ‘Well had too much time to think there as Pearson and McDonald take an eternity to get a shot away.
59′ | 3-0 | #MFCvSMFC
Thompson attempts an overhead kick 12 yards out but can only scuff it well past.
57′ | 3-0 | #MFCvSMFC
Ainsworth does well to win a corner. Ball falls to McDonald but he can’t generate enough power in his header
53′ | 3-0 | #MFCvSMFC
Mallan shoots from about 30 yards out but fails to trouble Long who makes a routine save.
50′ | 3-0 | #MFCvSMFC
Booking for McAusland, who hauled down Erwin 35 yards out.
49′ | 3-0 | #MFCvSMFC
Ainsworth breaks away but overhits his throughball to Johnston, allowing Ridgers to mop it up.
46′ | 3-0 | #MFCvSMFC
Early second half corner for Motherwell. Strikes the hand of Goodwin but he didn’t know much about it, to be fair.
HT’ | 3-0 | #MFCvSMFC
Second half is underway. COYW!!!!!!!!!!!!
HT’ | 3-0 | #MFCvSMFC
Second half subs for St Mirren, Wylde and Thompson on for Sadlier and Dayton.
HT’ | 3-0 | #MFCvSMFC
An incredible opening 45 from ‘Well and they’ve had chances to make it even more.
HT’ | 3-0 | #MFCvSMFC
Half time: Motherwell 3 – 0 St Mirren
45′ | 3-0 | #MFCvSMFC
McDONALD adds a third!! Johnson sets him up and from 12 yards he slams it home!
39′ | 2-0 | #MFCvSMFC
Erwin sends McDonald racing clear but the linesman’s flag went up. From the replay looked like he was on!
34′ | 2-0 | #MFCvSMFC
Ainsworth does well to get down the right wing and as he cuts in, opts to shoot. Ridgers gathers with ease.
32′ | 2-0 | #MFCvSMFC
Decent spell of passing ends with Lasley blasting well over the bar from 25 yards. Not his best effort :p
31′ | 2-0 | #MFCvSMFC
Johnson thought he has won his side a penalty but he was ruled to have been offside. Correct decision in the end.
PIC | 2-0 | #MFCvSMFC
Erwin celebrates his and ‘Well’s second goal of the game.
25′ | 2-0 | #MFCvSMFC
It’s 2-0!!! Lee Erwin again with a great turn and finish from 10 yards. great stuff from Erwin!!
15′ | 1-0 | #MFCvSMFC
Free header from McManus but it goes just wide from 10 yards!
14′ | 1-0 | #MFCvSMFC
Johnson’s cross is deflected wide for a corner….ball falls to Johnson who volleys it superbly first time. Saved!
PIC | 1-0 | #MFCvSMFC
Lee Erwin takes the applause of his team mates after he gives his side the lead.
11′ | 1-0 | #MFCvSMFC
St Mirren win a free-kick in a dangerous position, central, 25 yards out. The wall stands strong and blocks.
8′ | 1-0 | #MFCvSMFC
Sadlier beats the offside trap but perhaps leaves it too late to shoot, narrowing his angle and shooting well wide.
6′ | 1-0 | #MFCvSMFC
Great start for ‘Well as Ainsworth gets down the wing ans squares it to Erwin who slots it home. 1-0!!!!
2′ | 0-0 | #MFCvSMFC
Dayton wins St Mirren a corner.. It’s taken short and Dayton goes down in the box, which the ref waves away.
1′ | 0-0 | #MFCvSMFC
Erwin wins an early free-kick for ‘Well. About 25 yards out. Law strikes it but it’s comfortable for Ridgers.
0′ | 0-0 | #MFCvSMFC
Dayton and Mallan get the game underway. COYW!!!
Pre-match | #MFCvSMFC
Both teams just coming out the tunnel, led by McAusland and Lasley. Lovely night for it here at Fir Park.
Motherwell manager Ian Baraclough:
“We moved the ball well, we looked strong in all areas; it was a comprehensive performance. We took a bit of time to get going, but when we did, we reaped the rewards. Our wide men got on the ball, attacked their fullbacks and when they’re in that sort of mood, they’re difficult to contain.
“The only real frustration I suppose is that we didn’t get more given some of the chances we created and the positions we got into.”
St Mirren manager Gary Teale:
“Mathematically we’re still in with a shout. But on the performances and the goals we’re conceding, added to the fact we’ve not really got a goal-scoring threat, it’s going to be nigh on impossible to get out of it.
“(It’s) Schoolboy errors for the goals and that’s why we’re sitting where we are. You can’t legislate for the errors we’ve been making this season, we’ve not been able to cut it out.
“There’s a lot of players out of contract in the summer. Can they look themselves in the mirror and think they gave everything for the club this year?”