Scottish Premiership
St Johnstone2Motherwell1

St Johnstone 2-1 Motherwell

Steven MacLean knocks in the first of two close-range goals

Steven MacLean scored twice as St Johnstone recovered from the loss of an early goal to record their first victory of the season.

The striker turned the ball in from close-range twice in the second half, helped by assists from David Wotherspoon and Michael O'Halloran.

Louis Moult had bundled Motherwell ahead on 11 minutes.

Jake Taylor picked up a late second booking for simulation as the visitors slumped to a fourth successive loss.

Motherwell are now without a point in five visits to McDiarmid Park.

Three points for St Johnstone lift Tommy Wright's side to seventh in the Premiership and although clean sheets evade Saints, there is no shortage of goals.

MacLean, formerly of clubs such as Rangers, Aberdeen and Sheffield Wednesday, has now already equalled his tally from last season of three strikes - he looked threatening for three quarters of the match.

It was the first quarter when Saints stalled a bit, with Lionel Ainsworth getting the better of Brian Easton down the right to square the ball low for his fellow Englishman Moult to open his account in the most straightforward of ways since joining from Wrexham.

Louis Moult scored his first goal for Motherwell
Louis Moult scored his first goal for Motherwell

Ainsworth and Scott McDonald then scorned chances to add to the visitors' lead.

Motherwell goalkeeper Connor Ripley - son of former Blackburn Rovers winger Stuart Ripley - had looked awkward versus Aberdeen last week but his two saves from 15-yard MacLean strikes were impressive.

MacLean had better luck from a few yards out after the break.

His first was set up by substitute Wotherspoon and converted into the middle of the goal, then O'Halloran wriggled free down the right to expertly provide another on a plate for him in a match watched by Scotland manager Gordon Strachan.

To complete a miserable day for Motherwell, Welsh midfielder Taylor, on loan from Reading, picked up a second yellow from referee Craig Thomson for going down too easily.

Line-ups

St Johnstone

  • 1Mannus
  • 14Shaughnessy
  • 2Mackay
  • 3Scobbie
  • 24Easton
  • 29O'HalloranSubstituted forCraigat 87'minutes
  • 7Millar
  • 8Davidson
  • 4LappinSubstituted forWotherspoonat 58'minutes
  • 18CumminsSubstituted forKaneat 73'minutes
  • 9MacLean

Substitutes

  • 10Wotherspoon
  • 11Sutton
  • 12Clark
  • 15McKay
  • 25Kane
  • 26Craig
  • 27Thomson

Motherwell

  • 1Ripley
  • 18Law
  • 5Laing
  • 6McManus
  • 3HammellSubstituted forChalmersat 45'minutesBooked at 68mins
  • 7AinsworthSubstituted forLeitchat 68'minutes
  • 14Lasley
  • 25TaylorBooked at 86mins
  • 11Johnson
  • 77McDonaldSubstituted forThomasat 78'minutes
  • 20Moult

Substitutes

  • 12Twardzik
  • 15Chalmers
  • 16Kennedy
  • 19Clarkson
  • 21Leitch
  • 23Thomas
  • 26Cadden
Referee:
Craig Thomson
Attendance:
3,361

Match Stats

Home TeamSt JohnstoneAway TeamMotherwell
Possession
Home54%
Away46%
Shots
Home11
Away11
Shots on Target
Home6
Away4
Corners
Home7
Away6
Fouls
Home7
Away8

Live Text

Match ends, St. Johnstone 2, Motherwell 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, St. Johnstone 2, Motherwell 1.

Attempt missed. Louis Moult (Motherwell) header from the centre of the box misses to the left following a set piece situation.

Foul by Chris Millar (St. Johnstone).

Louis Moult (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Corner, St. Johnstone. Conceded by Josh Law.

Substitution

Substitution, St. Johnstone. Liam Craig replaces Michael O'Halloran.

Dismissal

Second yellow card to Jake Taylor (Motherwell).

Jake Taylor (Motherwell) has gone down, but that's a dive.

Corner, St. Johnstone. Conceded by Joe Chalmers.

Attempt missed. David Wotherspoon (St. Johnstone) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right from a direct free kick.

Christopher Kane (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Stephen McManus (Motherwell).

Goal!

Goal! St. Johnstone 2, Motherwell 1. Steven MacLean (St. Johnstone) left footed shot from very close range to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Michael O'Halloran.

Substitution

Substitution, Motherwell. Dom Thomas replaces Scott McDonald.

Attempt missed. Steven MacLean (St. Johnstone) left footed shot from the right side of the box misses to the left.

Substitution

Substitution, St. Johnstone. Christopher Kane replaces Graham Cummins.

Attempt saved. Marvin Johnson (Motherwell) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Chris Millar (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Keith Lasley (Motherwell).

Attempt missed. Graham Cummins (St. Johnstone) header from the left side of the six yard box misses to the left following a set piece situation.

Booking

Joe Chalmers (Motherwell) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Michael O'Halloran (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Joe Chalmers (Motherwell).

Substitution

Substitution, Motherwell. Jack Leitch replaces Lionel Ainsworth.

Corner, St. Johnstone. Conceded by Louis Laing.

Attempt saved. David Wotherspoon (St. Johnstone) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

Foul by David Mackay (St. Johnstone).

Louis Moult (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt missed. Louis Moult (Motherwell) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.

Goal!

Goal! St. Johnstone 1, Motherwell 1. Steven MacLean (St. Johnstone) right footed shot from very close range to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Graham Cummins.

Attempt missed. Chris Millar (St. Johnstone) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.

Substitution

Substitution, St. Johnstone. David Wotherspoon replaces Simon Lappin.

Graham Cummins (St. Johnstone) hits the bar with a header from the centre of the box.

Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by Joe Shaughnessy.

Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by David Mackay.

Corner, St. Johnstone. Conceded by Louis Laing.

Attempt missed. Keith Lasley (Motherwell) right footed shot from outside the box is too high.

Hand ball by Chris Millar (St. Johnstone).

Second Half

Second Half begins St. Johnstone 0, Motherwell 1.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Hearts5500135815
2Celtic5410135813
3Aberdeen440071612
4Hamilton42116247
5Ross County52128537
6Dundee52129727
7St Johnstone512289-15
8Dundee Utd5113510-54
9Motherwell510438-53
10Partick Thistle503227-53
11Inverness CT502338-52
12Kilmarnock5023414-102
View full Scottish Premiership table

Top Stories