Scottish Premiership
Motherwell1St Johnstone2

Scottish Premiership: Motherwell 1-2 St Johnstone

Steven MacLean celebrates his St Johnstone goal
Steven MacLean equalised for St Johnstone

St Johnstone took a major step towards securing fourth place in the Scottish Premiership as they came from behind to defeat fifth-placed Motherwell.

Well took an early lead after Scott McDonald took advantage of a defensive mistake to score.

St Johnstone equalised through striker Steven MacLean. Like McDonald, it was his 14th goal of the season.

Just before half-time, Danny Swanson slotted home from close range for the Saints to secure a significant victory.

The result means the Perth side have a five-point lead over Motherwell with only two games left to play.

Motherwell were gifted the perfect start when goalkeeper Zander Clark sliced his clearance from a back pass right into the path of McDonald, who headed into an empty net.

St Johnstone almost equalised from a training ground free-kick. Brian Easton played the ball sideways to Liam Craig, who curled in an effort from 25 yards that came back off the post.

Up at the other end, Chris Cadden had a chance from close-range following a knockdown from Louis Moult, but his effort was weak and Clark was able to gather.

Marvin Johnson then loped forward from his left-back berth into the St Johnstone penalty area.

His cutback found the feet of McDonald, but the Australian striker lashed his shot wide of the target.

St Johnstone left-back Easton would have better luck. His cross was met at the back post by MacLean, who supplied the perfect finish to bury the ball into the corner of the net.

The Perth outfit took the lead just before half-time. David Wotherspoon's cross found Swanson with time and space in the box and the midfielder calmly slotted the ball home.

Just after the break, McDonald fired just wide of the post as Motherwell searched for an equaliser.

Joe Shaughnessy headed over the bar as St Johnstone set about stretching their lead.

Motherwell goalkeeper Connor Ripley then had to make a decent diving save to deny a low, drilled effort from Wotherspoon.

There was plenty of Motherwell pressure, but too few clear-cut chances, as St Johnstone held on for a hugely valuable three points.

Line-ups

Motherwell

  • 1Ripley
  • 32Hall
  • 16Kennedy
  • 6McManus
  • 7AinsworthSubstituted forThomasat 59'minutes
  • 26Cadden
  • 14LasleySubstituted forChalmersat 53'minutes
  • 8PearsonBooked at 67mins
  • 11JohnsonSubstituted forLeitchat 84'minutesBooked at 89mins
  • 77McDonald
  • 20Moult

Substitutes

  • 5Laing
  • 13Samson
  • 15Chalmers
  • 17Gomis
  • 21Leitch
  • 23Thomas
  • 35Campbell

St Johnstone

  • 12Clark
  • 22FisherBooked at 39mins
  • 14Shaughnessy
  • 6Anderson
  • 24Easton
  • 18CumminsSubstituted forKaneat 74'minutes
  • 16SwansonSubstituted forScobbieat 80'minutes
  • 8DavidsonSubstituted forBrownat 39'minutes
  • 10Wotherspoon
  • 26Craig
  • 9MacLean

Substitutes

  • 1Mannus
  • 3Scobbie
  • 11Sutton
  • 20Brown
  • 25Kane
  • 31Hurst
  • 66Krachunov
Referee:
Greg Aitken
Attendance:
4,441

Match Stats

Home TeamMotherwellAway TeamSt Johnstone
Possession
Home51%
Away49%
Shots
Home9
Away9
Shots on Target
Home1
Away6
Corners
Home6
Away4
Fouls
Home12
Away6

Live Text

Match ends, Motherwell 1, St. Johnstone 2.

Full Time

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

Attempt missed. Scott McDonald (Motherwell) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left.

Foul by Tam Scobbie (St. Johnstone).

Marvin Johnson (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Booking

Jack Leitch (Motherwell) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Brian Easton (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Jack Leitch (Motherwell).

Attempt missed. Christopher Kane (St. Johnstone) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the right is close, but misses to the left.

Substitution

Substitution, Motherwell. Jack Leitch replaces Marvin Johnson.

Darnell Fisher (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Stephen Pearson (Motherwell).

Substitution

Substitution, St. Johnstone. Tam Scobbie replaces Danny Swanson.

Liam Craig (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Louis Moult (Motherwell).

Attempt missed. Marvin Johnson (Motherwell) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.

Substitution

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

Attempt missed. Chris Cadden (Motherwell) right footed shot from the centre of the box is too high.

Booking

Stephen Pearson (Motherwell) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by Steven MacLean.

Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by Brian Easton.

Corner, St. Johnstone. Conceded by Kieran Kennedy.

David Wotherspoon (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Marvin Johnson (Motherwell).

Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by Brian Easton.

Substitution

Substitution, Motherwell. Dom Thomas replaces Lionel Ainsworth.

Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by Darnell Fisher.

Attempt saved. David Wotherspoon (St. Johnstone) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Attempt missed. Scott McDonald (Motherwell) right footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the right.

Substitution

Substitution, Motherwell. Joe Chalmers replaces Keith Lasley because of an injury.

Attempt missed. Joe Shaughnessy (St. Johnstone) header from very close range is too high.

Corner, St. Johnstone. Conceded by Marvin Johnson.

Attempt missed. Scott McDonald (Motherwell) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left.

Steven Anderson (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Scott McDonald (Motherwell).

Second Half

Second Half begins Motherwell 1, St. Johnstone 2.

Half Time

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

Goal!

Goal! Motherwell 1, St. Johnstone 2. Danny Swanson (St. Johnstone) right footed shot from the left side of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Steven MacLean.

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

Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by Darnell Fisher.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic35248382275580
2Aberdeen35225860402071
3Hearts361710956381861
4St Johnstone36157145452252
5Motherwell36145174455-1147
6Ross County36136175058-845
7Dundee361114115252047
8Inverness CT361210144948146
9Partick Thistle36128163645-944
10Hamilton36119164060-2042
11Kilmarnock3698193859-2135
12Dundee Utd3676233865-2727
View full Scottish Premiership table

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