A dramatic second half saw the points shared between Motherwell and St Mirren.
While the goals rained in at every other Premiership ground, this game had all the hallmarks of a dull no-scoring affair until the game burst into life in an exciting and controversial second half.
A quick double from Tony Watt within the first seven minutes of the restart seemed to atone for ‘Well’s poor first half.
However, thoughts of a welcome three points were quelled when Eamonn Brophy grabbed a quick double, the second in questionable circumstances, to leave the teams settling for a point each and status quo in terms of the league table.
Graham Alexander was hoping that his players could recapture their winning form and end the first round of matches with three points and strengthen ‘Well’s position in the top six.
The ‘Well boss made two changes from the side which was unlucky not to return from Tannadice with something to show for their efforts.
Sondre Solholm was recalled to the defence in place of Bevis Mugabi, while Connor Shields made his home debut, with Kevin van Veen stepping down to the bench.
Three straight defeats, after a six-game unbeaten run, put pressure on the home side for the visit of an on-form Saints, with Jim Goodwin equally hopeful that his side could respond after Sunday’s reversal to Rangers.
Despite the torrential rain, the Fir Park pitch looked in great condition.
It was Saints who made the most of the welcoming playing surface, retaining possession to press Motherwell deep into their own half in the opening spell.
The first strike on goal came after 10 minutes when Main was given time 20 yards from goal but his low drive was easily held by Liam Kelly.
Eight minutes later the former ‘Well striker but from eight yards he headed Scott Tanser’s tempting cross wide of goal.
By comparison, the Steelmen found it difficult to get into the game and make any real threat towards Jak Alnwick’s goal.
With 27 minutes on the clock, Alexander was forced into an early change in his defence with Juhani Ojala limping off and replaced with Mugabi.
As Saints continued to dictate the first half, without ever really testing Kelly, the ‘Well boss must have been quite content that his side were at least still level at the interval.
No doubt, though, as the players left the field to the disapproval of the home fans, Alexander would have demanded that a big improvement was required in the second half.
Although there were no personnel changes, there was an immediate change in ‘Well’s attitude and fortunes with the opening goal within three minutes of the restart.
Shields fed the ball to Goss on the left touchline and when he whipped in a cross to the back of the six-yard box, Watt bulleted his header into the ground to send the ball high past Alnwick and inside the ‘keeper’s far post.
That injected some much-needed energy into the home side and from Stephen O’Donnell’s run and pass from the right, Watt’s thumping drive rebounded from Alnwick with nobody in claret and amber able to pounce on the loose ball.
It was turning into Watt’s evening and after showing great determination to power his way through two challenges inside the box the striker was felled as he nudged the ball past Alnwick. There was no doubting it was a penalty and no question that Watt was going to take it, calmly sending the Saints’ ‘keeper diving the wrong way as he stroked the spot-kick into the bottom left-hand corner.
Two up and with the home fans back on song, the home side looked a threat every time they broke upfield.
However, as the Buddies recovered from that double whammy they exerted some pressure on the home goal and Kelly had to make a couple of smart saves from Eamonn Brophy and Kyle McAllister to preserve ‘Well’s two-goal advantage.
With 25 minutes remaining, ‘Well strengthened the midfield replacing Kaiyne Woolery with Mark O’Hara.
Five minutes later it was almost 3-0 when Solholm stooped to meet a Goss inswinging free-kick but his low header was saved on the line by Alnwick.
Sixteen minutes from time, Saints pulled a goal back.
Brophy chased the ball to the byline at the edge of the home penalty area and as Kelly advanced from his goal, the former Accies striker squeezed the ball into the unguarded net.
Two minutes later, the Buddies were level under controversial circumstances.
Firstly, Brophy won his side a penalty when he played the ball beyond Solholm and ran straight into the Danish defender. After ‘Well’s protests, Brophy stepped up to take the award and although he struck the kick low to the right, Kelly produced a wonderful one-handed save to push the ball away.
The Fir Park celebrations were cut short when referee Bobby Madden somehow adjudged the ‘Well ‘keeper had left his line, allowing Brophy to hammer home the spot-kick at the second time of asking.
There was still a sense of injustice around the home stands as the game moved into the final minutes, as the visitors threatened to steal it.
As Saints’ fired a corner into a packed box, Kelly made two spectacular saves to prevent all three points heading along the M8 to Paisley. and ensure a share of the spoils.
Motherwell: Kelly, O’Donnell, Ojala (Mugabi 27), Solholm, McGinley, Grimshaw, Goss, Slattery, Woolery (O’Hara 65), Watt, Shields.
Subs not used: Fox, Carroll, Maguire, Roberts, Van Veen.