Scottish Premiership
St MirrenSt Mirren0MotherwellMotherwell1

St Mirren 0-1 Motherwell

By Clive LindsayBBC Scotland Sport
  • 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.

St Mirren captain Stephen Thompson is sent off
St Mirren captain Stephen Thompson is shocked to be shown a red card

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.

Motherwell manager Ian Baraclough chats with St Mirren counterpart Gary Teale before kick-off
Motherwell's Ian Baraclough and St Mirren's Gary Teale chatted about their new roles before kick-off
Lewis McLear makes his first appearance for St Mirren
Lewis McLear made his debut as he started for St Mirren in Paisley
Kenny McLean's header strikes the underside of the Motherwell bar
St Mirren thought Kenny McLean's header had crossed the line
Motherwell's John Sutton slides in to score the winning goal
Motherwell's John Sutton slid in to score the winning goal


St Mirren

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 12Ridgers
  • 2NaismithBooked at 40mins
  • 4McAusland
  • 6Goodwin
  • 22Tesselaar
  • 13OsbourneSubstituted forReillyat 85'minutes
  • 8McLeanBooked at 90mins
  • 32MclearSubstituted forWyldeat 78'minutes
  • 7McGinnSubstituted forBallat 83'minutes
  • 31Mallan
  • 9ThompsonBooked at 19mins


  • 3Kelly
  • 10Marwood
  • 11Wylde
  • 14Reilly
  • 16Ball
  • 17Drury
  • 28Kello


Formation 4-4-2

  • 12Twardzik
  • 30FergusonSubstituted forErwinat 45'minutes
  • 15O'BrienBooked at 43minsSubstituted forKerrat 45'minutes
  • 6McManus
  • 2ReidBooked at 90mins
  • 18Law
  • 14Lasley
  • 4Carswell
  • 7AinsworthSubstituted forThomasat 85'minutes
  • 9Sutton
  • 24OjamaaBooked at 90mins


  • 13Nielsen
  • 19Erwin
  • 20Kerr
  • 26Thomas
  • 28Neill
  • 29Cadden
  • 39MacLean
Alan Muir

Match Stats

Home TeamSt MirrenAway TeamMotherwell
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, St. Mirren 0, Motherwell 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, St. Mirren 0, Motherwell 1.

  3. Post update

    Attempt saved. Stephen Mallan (St. Mirren) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

  4. Post update

    Stephen Mallan (St. Mirren) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  5. Post update

    Foul by Dom Thomas (Motherwell).

  6. Post update

    Attempt missed. Jim Goodwin (St. Mirren) header from the centre of the box misses to the right.

  7. Post update

    Corner, St. Mirren. Conceded by Stephen McManus.

  8. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Stephen Mallan (St. Mirren) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  9. Booking

    Henrik Ojamaa (Motherwell) is shown the yellow card.

  10. Booking

    Kenny McLean (St. Mirren) is shown the yellow card.

  11. Booking

    Craig Reid (Motherwell) is shown the yellow card.

  12. Post update

    Jason Naismith (St. Mirren) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  13. Post update

    Foul by Craig Reid (Motherwell).

  14. Post update

    Foul by Kenny McLean (St. Mirren).

  15. Post update

    Craig Reid (Motherwell) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  16. Post update

    Hand ball by John Sutton (Motherwell).

  17. Substitution

    Substitution, Motherwell. Dom Thomas replaces Lionel Ainsworth.

  18. Substitution

    Substitution, St. Mirren. Thomas Reilly replaces Isaac Osbourne.

  19. Post update

    Foul by Callum Ball (St. Mirren).

  20. Post update

    Keith Lasley (Motherwell) wins a free kick on the right wing.