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Summary

  1. Motherwell have lost five straight league games
  2. Lionel Ainsworth gives 'Well the lead
  3. Michael O'Halloran squares it for St Johnstone
  4. Michael O'Halloran makes it 2-1 to Saints

Live Reporting

By Roddie McVake

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Well that's time for me to sign off. Thanks for your company and do join us again tomorrow for all the action in the SPFL and the Scottish Cup.

Keep an eye on the website for the highlights of tonight's game, which will be available to watch later.

Motherwell manager Stuart McCall

"We created enough chances to win the game. We created more tonight than we have for a while so that was a positive. The bottom line is we lost the game but I can't criticise the players tonight.

"I thought going in level at half time was unjust but that's football. We've lost a game that there's no way we deserved to.

"When we're 1-0 up and in control we had good opportunities to go further ahead but we didn't take them and were punished."

St Johnstone manager Tommy Wright

"The points are a welcome relief. The performance was good and so was the character. To go a goal behind at home and show the character they did was pleasing.

"I'm pleased for Michael O'Halloran because he knows he could have done better for their goal. We're trying to encourage him to take people on and have some shots, and the second goal was a thing of beauty.

"Hopefully we can build on that and start to look up the table."

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John Bryson: "Stuart McCall and his team deserve much better support. Some supporters have very short memories, Stuart McC's record is fantastic."

So it's not all doom and gloom among the 'Well fans. We'll be hearing from Stuart McCall soon...

Paul from Fauldhouse: "Those that doubted McCall should have attended tonight's match, amazing entertainment from both sides and tremendous progress from us since the Dundee game. Feel more confident than ever to take a result come Friday. Cmon ye 'Well."

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Johnny from Perth: "Great win for Saints! Glad to see young players like O'Halloran net some goals! COYS!"

Another nightmare for Stuart McCall

The Motherwell manager saw his side take the lead against Saints but they surrendered the points and remain on a woeful run of form.

Motherwell manager Stuart McCall
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Tom English - BBC Sport

"Motherwell look to me like a side with zero confidence, who don't know where their next win is going to come. As soon as they get their first win they could back it up with two or three."

Saints' goal hero Michael O'Halloran is congratulated by James McFadden after netting the second goal.

Michael O'Halloran
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Tam fae Glenrothes: "Working so never saw the game, chuffed that Saints are back to winning ways. COYS"

Kevin Morrison on Facebook: "Fantastic result for Saints tonight... well done!"

Michael O'Halloran's night started badly but he recovered spectacularly with a double that earned his side a crucial win. Saints leapfrog Partick Thistle and go up to eighth in the table on 13 points.

Motherwell remain stuck on seven points and if Ross County beat Aberdeen on Monday, the Steelmen will be bottom of the table.

FULL-TIME

The final whistle blows in Perth and the three points go to the Saints.

CLOSE!

Gary Miller has a great chance to add a third for Saints, but after the ball falls to him just a few yards out he misses his kick completely and Dan Twardzik snatches it.

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RyanR87: "McCall is now under even more pressure if 'Well can't sneak a point from tonight. A result next Friday against Dundee United at Fir Park could still provide a turning point though."

Stuart McCall's Steelmen are now staring down the barrel of a fifth straight league defeat. Can they salvage a point in injury time?

Motherwell freshen things up with just two minutes of normal time to play, throwing on Josh Law for Ian Vigurs.

Saints then make their second change, sending on Gary Miller for Lee Croft.

St Johnstone are the first to make a change with James McFadden making way for Liam Caddis.

Michael O'Halloran really should have had his hat-trick, or set up a team-mate for an easy finish, but after being played in by James McFadden he shoots straight against a 'Well defender.

GOAL

St Johnstone 2-1 Motherwell (O'Halloran)

It's another for Michael O'Halloran as Saints hit the front. James McFadden does well in the left corner and after playing in O'Halloran, the winger dances past a couple of woeful attempted tackles and calmly knocks the ball beyond Dan Twardzik and into the net. Great finish.

A draw doesn't do much for either of these sides so we can expect a big push for a winner from both in the last 10 minutes.

Saints are beginning to boss this game as we enter the last 15 minutes. Defender Dave Mackay does well down the right but after beating a couple of Motherwell players his final ball is easily cleared.

CLOSE!

More fine play from the hosts. Lee Croft breaks down the right flank and whips a great ball into the box where Frazer Wright meets it perfectly. The defender does everything right, nodding the ball downwards, but Dan Twardzik is up to the task with a tremendous stop.

Saints press forward with Michael O'Halloran cutting in form the left and smashing a shot goalwards, but it's straight at Dan Twardzik and the keeper easily collects.

Iain Vigurs tries his luck from a free-kick just outside the box but the 'Well man's left-foot effort goes over the bar.

YELLOW CARD

The visitors' Iain Vigurs is shown a yellow card after a moment of petulance, as he throws the ball at Gary McDonald.

St Johnstone threaten with Chris Millar delivering across the face of goal but the ball is just out of James McFadden's reach.

Motherwell then break forward through Lionel Ainsworth, who plays in Henrik Ojamaa but his shot is well saved by Alan Mannus.

The home side look to break forward quickly but striker Brian Graham is left frustrated when Lee Croft fails to read his pass and the move breaks down.

Lionel Ainsworth is proving a real menace to Saints. He races into space on the left and delivers a brilliant ball into the box where I'm sure he'd expect to see a team-mate waiting to apply the finish. It remains 1-1.

St Johnstone's Gary McDonald and 'Well's Iain Vigurs challenge for the ball and then indulge in a bit of afters, but it comes to nothing and both escape without a booking.

'Well's Lionel Ainsworth plays a clever pass out to Fraser Kerr bombing down the right but his attempted delivery is wild, clearing the bar by some distance.

YELLOW CARD

And Michael O'Halloran's pace again causes problems, with Henrik Ojamaa hauling the flying winger down and earning a yellow card for his trouble.

Lee Croft's free-kick into the area comes to nothing.

Michael O'Halloran, clearly buoyed by his first-half goal, leaves a trail of Motherwell players in his wake as he hits the accelerator and plays in Lee Croft, but the move breaks down with a poor attempted cross from Dave Mackay.

KICK-OFF

We're off again for the second 45 minutes in Perth.

Polish off that toffee apple quickly as the sides are back on the pitch.

Michael O'Halloran was the sinner for Saints when he gifted possession to Motherwell for the opening goal, but the fleet-footed winger made amends late in the half by hauling his side level.

Michael O'Halloran celebrates after hauling St Johnstone level
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There's even a bbcsportscotland Facebook page.

So with this Premiership match finely poised, how do you think the second half will go? Let us know.

HALF-TIME

Kevin Clancy brings the first half to a close.