St Mirren 0-1 Motherwell

A dramatic last-minute free-kick from Motherwell's Tom Hateley maintained the Lanarkshire side's position at the top of the league with a win at St Mirren.

Saints keeper Craig Samson denied Jamie Murphy, Nicky Law and Michael Higdon in the first half.

The home side struggled to create openings after the break and Samson made more impressive saves.

But Hateley stole all three points for the visitors when his 20-yard free kick found the net.

Motherwell's third Scottish Premier League win of the campaign keeps them clear of Celtic, who have played a game less, and Stuart McCall's side have yet to concede a goal this term.

Law and Higdon combined to set up Murphy on the quarter-hour mark and the striker's 18-yard effort was pushed wide by Samson.

Higdon then dispossessed Jim Goodwin to send Law clear on goal but Samson again diverted the shot past the post.

At the other end, Shaun Hutchinson came close to scoring an own goal when he turned Gary Teale's corner out for a corner.

Higdon became the latest player to be foiled by Samson when his 12-yard shot was blocked by the in-form keeper.

Motherwell keeper Darren Randolph comfortably held Teale's long-range drive and Higdon headed wide as the first half wound down.

The Buddies tried to exert some pressure after the break and Steven Thompson headed wide before Hutchinson made an excellent clearance from Teale's dangerous cross.

Samson got down to block Higdon's 20-yard effort and the keeper then rushed from his line to avert the danger posed by Murphy.

Thompson's long-range volley flew over the Motherwell bar and Samson was called into action again to block Ross Forbes' 30-yard strike.

Teale was penalised for a sliding tackle on Law, a decision that angered the home side, and from the free-kick Hateley curled the ball home to the delight of the travelling fans.

And St Mirren could not find an opening in the closing seconds as they sustained a first defeat of the season.

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