Motherwell kicked off the cinch Premiership season with a 0-1 win away to St Mirren in Paisley.
Kevin van Veen’s penalty in the 42nd minute was enough to take all three points back to Lanarkshire.
Steven Hammell made three changes to the side that lost to Sligo. In came Solholm, Shields and Goss and out went Mugabi, Tierney and Slattery (suspended).
The winning goal
Just before half-time Motherwell made the breakthrough. Blair Spittal saw his shot blocked by a hand in the box and John Beaton didn’t hesitate to point to the spot.
Van Veen cooly stepped up and sent Carson the wrong way to give ‘Well the lead at the break.
Five talking points
- Motherwell were forced into an early change as Paul McGinn suffered a nasty head clash with Mark O’Hara. He came off with blood pouring from the wound and will be assessed for next week’s game.
- With the first half coming to a close, Liam Kelly pulled off an early contender for save of the season. Jonah Ayunga looked certain to score with his head from 12 yards but the Scotland International made an incredible save, with his weight going in the opposite directed he clawed it away from goal and palmed the follow-up away to safety.
- Motherwell finished the game with ten men. Ricki Lamie saw red for a clumsy looking challenge on Baccus on the edge of the box.
- Incredibly, Kelly produced a second world-class stop. This time Tait swung in a cross from the left wing and Main’s touch could easily have deceived the ‘keeper but he got down sharply and scooped the ball wide of the post.
- 18-year-old Kian Speirs was handed his first-team debut. Stevie Hammell trusted the academy graduate in the middle of the park as he replaced Sean Goss with 20 minutes to go. The youngster will be pleased with his contribution.
Motherwell: Kelly, McGinn (O’Donnell, 19), Solholm, Lamie (Sent off, 82) , Carroll, Spittal (Cornelius, 62), Goss (Speirs, 67), Shields, van Veen (Mugabi, 85), Morris (Efford, 68).
St Mirren: Carson, Gallagher, Shaughnessy, Dunne, Strain (Henderson, 73), Baccus, Erhahon, O’Hara (Flynn, 45), Tanser (Tait, 52), Ayunga, Grieve (Main, 62)