Scottish Premiership
Motherwell1St Johnstone2

Motherwell 1-2 St Johnstone

Steven MacLean's fourth goal of the season earned St Johnstone their first Premiership win of the campaign.

The striker punished a mistake by Motherwell goalkeeper Craig Samson when he spilled Chris Kane's shot to score the winner.

Chris Cadden had given the home side the lead early in the second half.

However Danny Swanson, with his sixth goal of the season, equalised with a neat finish before MacLean secured the win.

Saints increase their unbeaten run to seven games this season, and that is now six of the last eight matches between these sides that have been won by the odd goal.

There was an early speculative effort from Motherwell full back Richard Tait as he tried to lob Alan Mannus from wide on the right.

The Saints 'keeper had been grounded on the edge of his six yard line after thwarting Scott McDonald, but he was relieved to see Tait's chip land on the roof of the net.

The visitors then had a couple of near things as a Kane shot was blocked, and a Murray Davidson header from Swanson corner kick went over the bar.

Kane almost took advantage of a Stephen McManus mistake but his effort from a tight angle went across the face of goal rather than going in.

Chris Millar, wearing the captain's armband, tried to lead by example with fine shot from the edge of the box which Samson did well to tip over.

Steven MacLean scores
Steven MacLean scores after Craig Samson's mistake

Fine wing play by Marvin Johnson almost created an opener for the home side when his driven cross from the left flew across the front of goal, but Lionel Ainsworth arriving at the back post could only turn it into the side netting.

However, powerful running by full-back Tait saw his cutback take a deflection, steering it to the back post where Cadden made no mistake from two yards.

But it didn't take Saints long to pull themselves level and the in-form Swanson did it again.

He picked the ball up on the right edge of the box, stepped inside two defenders, before firing a low left foot shot through the legs of the Samson to find the net.

Cadden came close to claiming a second goal for Mark McGhee's men with a 25 yard strike which was tipped over by Mannus.

The Saints 'keeper produced an even better save to prevent Johnson nudging 'Well back in front as he turned away the winger's right foot curler which looked destined for the top corner.

But then Kane's shot from the edge of the 18 yard box looked an easy catch for Samson but he parried the ball into the path of MacLean, who reacted well to slide the ball into the net.

McDonald did put the ball in the net, but it was done illegally as he produced a volleyball type smash to beat Mannus and referee Euan Anderson duly disallowed the goal and booked the Motherwell striker for his hand ball antics.

What the managers said

St Johnstone's Tommy Wright: "From a footballing aspect it was our best performance of the season. We passed the ball really well controlled large spells of it.

"In the first half we probably didn't make enough of the opportunities, we always looked a goal threat, so really pleased, and we showed character again to come back from 1-0 down away from home."

Motherwell's Mark McGhee: "I think the result was right, they were better than us today. I think they showed more energy, they had more desire.

"We obviously talked about that in the dressing room how they were actually feeling in the game. It seems that we were lacking a wee bit of energy that we normally have, whether that's a result of the three games we've had in the last week or a result of Wednesday night [a 5-0 loss at Celtic] and not being able to recover as quickly as they did because they had a very positive result on the same night which affects you in a different way.

"So we'll try and work out why that was but they deserved to win the game."

Line-ups

Motherwell

  • 1Samson
  • 2TaitBooked at 39mins
  • 4Heneghan
  • 6McManus
  • 15Chalmers
  • 7AinsworthSubstituted forThomasat 76'minutes
  • 14Lasley
  • 20ClayBooked at 74mins
  • 12CaddenSubstituted forBlythat 64'minutes
  • 11Johnson
  • 77McDonaldBooked at 82mins

Substitutes

  • 13Brill
  • 18Lucas
  • 19Blyth
  • 23Thomas
  • 24McFadden
  • 25Ferguson
  • 27MacLean

St Johnstone

  • 1Mannus
  • 14Shaughnessy
  • 15McKay
  • 6Anderson
  • 24Easton
  • 4AlstonSubstituted forWotherspoonat 71'minutes
  • 7MillarSubstituted forPatonat 72'minutes
  • 8DavidsonBooked at 90mins
  • 25KaneBooked at 42mins
  • 11SwansonBooked at 50minsSubstituted forCraigat 88'minutes
  • 9MacLean

Substitutes

  • 10Wotherspoon
  • 12Clark
  • 18Paton
  • 23Gordon
  • 26Craig
  • 29Cummins
  • 39Comrie
Referee:
Euan Anderson
Attendance:
3,739

Match Stats

Home TeamMotherwellAway TeamSt Johnstone
Possession
Home51%
Away49%
Shots
Home13
Away15
Shots on Target
Home4
Away5
Corners
Home6
Away3
Fouls
Home14
Away8

Live Text

Match ends, Motherwell 1, St. Johnstone 2.

Full Time

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

Foul by Scott McDonald (Motherwell).

Paul Paton (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Booking

Murray Davidson (St. Johnstone) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

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

Foul by Murray Davidson (St. Johnstone).

Foul by Marvin Johnson (Motherwell).

Murray Davidson (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Attempt missed. Dom Thomas (Motherwell) right footed shot from the right side of the box is close, but misses to the right.

Foul by David Wotherspoon (St. Johnstone).

Marvin Johnson (Motherwell) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Substitution

Substitution, St. Johnstone. Liam Craig replaces Danny Swanson.

Booking

Scott McDonald (Motherwell) is shown the yellow card for hand ball.

Jacob Blyth (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Steven Anderson (St. Johnstone).

Substitution

Substitution, Motherwell. Dom Thomas replaces Lionel Ainsworth.

Goal!

Goal! Motherwell 1, St. Johnstone 2. Steven MacLean (St. Johnstone) header from the centre of the box to the high centre of the goal.

Attempt saved. Christopher Kane (St. Johnstone) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Booking

Craig Clay (Motherwell) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Craig Clay (Motherwell).

Murray Davidson (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Marvin Johnson (Motherwell).

Danny Swanson (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Substitution

Substitution, St. Johnstone. Paul Paton replaces Chris Millar.

Substitution

Substitution, St. Johnstone. David Wotherspoon replaces Blair Alston.

Foul by Keith Lasley (Motherwell).

Joe Shaughnessy (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by Murray Davidson.

Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by Alan Mannus.

Attempt saved. Marvin Johnson (Motherwell) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top right corner.

Foul by Marvin Johnson (Motherwell).

Joe Shaughnessy (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Motherwell. Jacob Blyth replaces Chris Cadden.

Attempt missed. Stephen McManus (Motherwell) left footed shot from the centre of the box is too high.

Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by Alan Mannus.

Attempt saved. Chris Cadden (Motherwell) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top right corner.

Attempt missed. Christopher Kane (St. Johnstone) right footed shot from the right side of the box is close, but misses to the left.

Attempt missed. Chris Millar (St. Johnstone) left footed shot from the right side of the box is just a bit too high.

Goal!

Goal! Motherwell 1, St. Johnstone 1. Danny Swanson (St. Johnstone) left footed shot from a difficult angle on the right to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Steven MacLean.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Rangers21103214
2St Johnstone21102114
3Partick Thistle11002023
4Dundee21014313
5Celtic11002113
6Kilmarnock21013303
7Motherwell21013303
8Ross County210145-13
9Aberdeen20200002
10Hamilton201123-11
11Hearts201112-11
12Inverness CT200225-30
View full Scottish Premiership table

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