Match ends, St. Mirren 0, Motherwell 1.
- John Sutton scores winner for Well
- Leaves former club St Mirren at bottom
- Motherwell six points clear of St Mirren
- St Mirren's fourth straight defeat
John Sutton gave Motherwell a fortunate victory that will have left St Mirren feeling emotionally battered and aggrieved at the bottom of the table.
The Buddies had to play 72 minutes with 10 men after captain Steven Thompson received what appeared to be an unfortunate red card.
A Kenny McLean header looked to have crossed the line and the same player had a penalty claim turned down.
But new Well manager Ian Baraclough was handed a debut win by Sutton's strike.
The Buddies remain one point behind Ross County after the Dingwall side lost 1-0 at home to Hamilton Academical.
More importantly, however, it stretches the gap between the Paisley side and their third-bottom visitors to six points.
Teale's first game in charge was last weekend's 4-1 defeat by Celtic, but the caretaker always considered this the first real test of his side since the sacking of Tommy Craig.
He and Baraclough will have been left in no doubt about the challenge they face to revive their team's respective fortunes after a drab affair only enlivened by controversy.
Baraclough's options for change were limited by injuries, with Iain Vigurs and Zaine Francis-Angol being the ones to drop out this time to be replaced with Lionel Ainsworth and Craig Reid.
Teale turned to youth, giving a debut to Lewis McLear and re-introducing fellow 18-year-old Stevie Mallan into midfield in place of the more experienced Sean Kelly and Thomas Reilly.
The freshness on the bench failed to filter on to the pitch with neither goal threatened in a cagey and nerve-filled opening.
St Mirren's cause appeared to sail further off course when Thompson was dismissed eight minutes later.
The former Scotland striker appeared to be unlucky as he tried to connect with a loose ball only to catch Mark O'Brien's shin as the Motherwell defender flew in from behind.
Even finding themselves with a man advantage failed to breath life into Motherwell and it was St Mirren who came close to creating anything that could fairly be described as a chance in the first half.
A powerful Marc McAusland header was deflected clear from in front of goal and it was not until five before the break that Josh Law's half-volley warmed the fingers of goalkeeper Mark Ridgers with Motherwell's first effort on target.
Baraclough replaced the hobbling O'Brien and fellow defender David Ferguson with Fraser Kerr and striker Lee Erwin during the break as he attempted to introduce a goal threat.
However, it was St Mirren who appeared to have made the breakthrough when McLean's header from a Mallan corner struck the underside of the bar and appeared to bounce behind the line.
Referee Alan Muir waved play on as half the home team celebrated and Jim Goodwin's drive flashed just wide of the far post.
St Mirren were incensed again when they cried for a penalty, claiming a trip on McLean, to no avail.
Fortune had deserted the home side and it was perhaps inevitable that the man to add to the woes would be former St Mirren striker Sutton, who turned in Josh Law's cross from three yards.
While it ended Well's run of four games without a win, the Buddies' fourth straight defeat leaves the Paisley side without a win in 10 games and does little for Teale's hopes of being named manager permanently.
- 2NaismithBooked at 40mins
- 13OsbourneSubstituted forReillyat 85'minutes
- 8McLeanBooked at 90mins
- 32MclearSubstituted forWyldeat 78'minutes
- 7McGinnSubstituted forBallat 83'minutes
- 9ThompsonBooked at 19mins
- 30FergusonSubstituted forErwinat 45'minutes
- 15O'BrienBooked at 43minsSubstituted forKerrat 45'minutes
- 2ReidBooked at 90mins
- 7AinsworthSubstituted forThomasat 85'minutes
- 24OjamaaBooked at 90mins
- Alan Muir
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, St. Mirren 0, Motherwell 1.
Attempt saved. Stephen Mallan (St. Mirren) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.
Stephen Mallan (St. Mirren) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Dom Thomas (Motherwell).
Attempt missed. Jim Goodwin (St. Mirren) header from the centre of the box misses to the right.
Corner, St. Mirren. Conceded by Stephen McManus.
Attempt blocked. Stephen Mallan (St. Mirren) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
Henrik Ojamaa (Motherwell) is shown the yellow card.
Kenny McLean (St. Mirren) is shown the yellow card.
Craig Reid (Motherwell) is shown the yellow card.
Jason Naismith (St. Mirren) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Craig Reid (Motherwell).
Foul by Kenny McLean (St. Mirren).
Craig Reid (Motherwell) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Hand ball by John Sutton (Motherwell).
Substitution, Motherwell. Dom Thomas replaces Lionel Ainsworth.
Substitution, St. Mirren. Thomas Reilly replaces Isaac Osbourne.
Foul by Callum Ball (St. Mirren).
Keith Lasley (Motherwell) wins a free kick on the right wing.