Scottish Premiership
MotherwellMotherwell1St JohnstoneSt Johnstone1
By Kenny CrawfordBBC Sport Scotland

John Sutton lashed in a morale-boosting equaliser against St Johnstone to end 10-man Motherwell's bad losing run.

Murray Davidson's calm finish from Chris Kane's pass had put Saints ahead early on.

The Steelmen's afternoon worsened on 25 minutes when Louis Laing was dismissed for a last-man challenge on Kane.

But Motherwell created several chances in the second half and deserved the point that Sutton's seventh strike of the season brought them.

Credit must be given to the quality of assist provided by 18-year-old Dom Thomas, who himself had tested St Johnstone goalkeeper Alan Mannus with a half-volley before creatively playing in Sutton.

Fraser Kerr had earlier been close to levelling, the defender's header from a corner requiring a goal-line clearance by Steven MacLean.

Tommy Wright's Saints struggled to push on from the advantage Davidson's second goal of the season an Laing's sending-off had given them, but remain sixth in the Scottish Premiership.

In light of a miserable five-game losing streak for Ian Baraclough's 11th-place 'Well, midweek happenings at Fir Park suggested this could be the game to turn things round.

Referee Willie Collum shows Louis Laing the red card after 25 minutes
Referee Willie Collum shows Louis Laing the red card after 25 minutes

The loan signings of centre-back Laing and left-sided player Anthony Straker, from Nottingham Forest and York City respectively, were combined with a conclusion to retired businessman Les Hutchison's takeover of the North Lanarkshire club.

But 21-year-old Laing had barely started establishing any sort of defensive understanding with Mark O'Brien before they were watching Davidson pounce.

Kane, such a thorn in Aberdeen's side with his nippy running and deft flicks last weekend, threaded a lovely pass for Davidson to run onto and steer past Dan Twardzik from 12-yards in the most laid-back manner.

The dreadful opening for Motherwell almost got better before it got even worse.

Josh Law whipped in a goal-bound free-kick from the left-hand side but Saints' Stephen Anderson was in the right place to diligently head it away from danger.

Laing's Motherwell debut then came to an end just 25 minutes in. Again, Kane's pace proved problematic from Tam Scobbie's long ball and referee Willie Collum judged that the big Englishman had leaned in and grounded the youngster when looking to get clean-through on goal.

St Johnstone's best chance to increase their lead before half-time again fell to Davidson, whose near-post shot was turned round the post by Twardzik.

Early in the second half, Steven MacLean's diving header bounced narrowly wide of the far post following a nice delivery by Gary Miller.

But the Perth side failed to find momentum and even the introduction of former Motherwell favourite James McFadden could not produce them a winner following Sutton's important left-footed equaliser.

Murray Davidson scored his second goal of the season for St Johnstone
Murray Davidson scored his second goal of the season for St Johnstone

Line-ups

Motherwell

  • 12Twardzik
  • 2Reid
  • 45LaingBooked at 25mins
  • 15O'BrienSubstituted forKerrat 46'minutes
  • 38WattSubstituted forThomasat 59'minutes
  • 18Law
  • 4CarswellSubstituted forMooreat 71'minutes
  • 5Ramsden
  • 44Straker
  • 9Sutton
  • 19Erwin

Substitutes

  • 7Ainsworth
  • 13Nielsen
  • 20Kerr
  • 22Moore
  • 26Thomas
  • 29Cadden
  • 39MacLean

St Johnstone

  • 1Mannus
  • 19Miller
  • 6Anderson
  • 3Scobbie
  • 24Easton
  • 4Lappin
  • 25KaneSubstituted forMcFaddenat 70'minutes
  • 18Davidson
  • 22CroftSubstituted forGrahamat 80'minutes
  • 10Wotherspoon
  • 9MacLeanSubstituted forO'Halloranat 80'minutes

Substitutes

  • 2Mackay
  • 5Wright
  • 14Graham
  • 15Banks
  • 16Caddis
  • 17McFadden
  • 29O'Halloran
Referee:
William Collum
Attendance:
3,449

Match Stats

Home TeamMotherwellAway TeamSt Johnstone
Possession
Home43%
Away57%
Shots
Home3
Away8
Shots on Target
Home3
Away3
Corners
Home2
Away6
Fouls
Home10
Away11

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Motherwell 1, St. Johnstone 1.

  2. Full Time

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

  3. Post update

    Foul by John Sutton (Motherwell).

  4. Post update

    Brian Graham (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  5. Post update

    Josh Law (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  6. Post update

    Foul by Murray Davidson (St. Johnstone).

  7. Post update

    Attempt missed. James McFadden (St. Johnstone) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right.

  8. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Michael O'Halloran (St. Johnstone) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  9. Post update

    Corner, St. Johnstone. Conceded by Fraser Kerr.

  10. Post update

    Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by Brian Easton.

  11. Substitution

    Substitution, St. Johnstone. Brian Graham replaces Lee Croft.

  12. Substitution

    Substitution, St. Johnstone. Michael O'Halloran replaces Steven MacLean.

  13. Post update

    Craig Moore (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  14. Post update

    Foul by Simon Lappin (St. Johnstone).

  15. Goal!

    Goal! Motherwell 1, St. Johnstone 1. John Sutton (Motherwell) left footed shot from the left side of the box to the top left corner. Assisted by Dom Thomas.

  16. Post update

    Foul by Steven MacLean (St. Johnstone).

  17. Post update

    Craig Reid (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  18. Post update

    Foul by James McFadden (St. Johnstone).

  19. Post update

    Craig Reid (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  20. Substitution

    Substitution, Motherwell. Craig Moore replaces Stuart Carswell.

Top Stories