Scottish Premiership
St Johnstone0Motherwell0

St Johnstone 0-0 Motherwell

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Highlights: St Johnstone 0-0 Motherwell

Motherwell's stalemate with St Johnstone means they remain level on points in seventh and eighth going into the Scottish Premiership split.

Murray Davidson fired narrowly wide for Saints in the first half.

The hosts pressed again early in the second period with David Wotherspoon denied by goalkeeper Trevor Carson.

Curtis Main was off target and team-mate Liam Grimshaw's effort was blocked for Well, who face Aberdeen in next weekend's Scottish Cup semi-final.

The two sides move on to 38 points - eight clear of Hamilton Academical, who host Celtic on Sunday, and 10 clear of the relegation zone.

The expectation was this would be decidedly end-of-season fare and the first half certainly lived up to that.

Barry Maguire
Barry Maguire got his first Motherwell start

With both sides matching up with 3-5-2 formations, they effectively cancelled each other out for large tracts of a dull opening 45 minutes.

With Motherwell just a week away from their Hampden date, this was a chance for fringe players to stake a claim. Academy graduate Barry Maguire made his first start on the right-hand side of defence.

The only chance of note came on the stroke of half-time when St Johnstone manoeuvred themselves to the edge of the Motherwell box. Davidson fired off a shot but it flew wide of the post.

At the start of the second half there was an immediate improvement in terms of excitement as Carson had to save well from Wotherspoon, who had been set up by Scott Tanser.

Down at the other end Main tried to curl in a shot from the edge of the box, but it flew just wide.

In the last minute Motherwell almost made the breakthrough but the effort from Grimshaw was cleared off the line.

There was a bit more bite in the second half but both sides lacked an edge throughout and the scoreline summed it up.

Post-match reaction

St Johnstone manager Tommy Wright: "Difficult conditions and the pitch didn't lend itself to flowing football but I think both teams tried to play on the front foot.

"I thought we got into really good positions. We worked all week to try and cut crosses back because when you get deep against them they set their three centre-backs in and they are very difficult to get across. I think we probably edged it but probably didn't do enough in terms of our final ball.

"Quite simply people are playing for contracts. And even if they are under contract if the attitude is not right it plants a seed for me for next season. If standards drop people will not be in the team.

"What we will do is introduce some of our younger players and give them the experience, but I want to finish the season strongly."

Motherwell manager Stephen Robinson: "The right result for both teams. A scrappy affair, the pitch dictated it was never going to be good quality.

"They had a little spell at the start of the second half when the game sort of opened up and we had a spell in the last 10-15 minutes. We come out of the game quite happy with a point.

"They have all given me food for thought. Gael Bigirimana and Liam Grimshaw have both come in and done themselves no harm whatsoever. They have shown they can step up.

"I'll have a look and see where we are injury-wise. We have six players out at the moment. Tough decisions to make but hopefully the right ones."

Line-ups

St Johnstone

  • 1Mannus
  • 15Kerr
  • 5Shaughnessy
  • 6Anderson
  • 3Tanser
  • 19FosterBooked at 62mins
  • 8DavidsonBooked at 80mins
  • 10Wotherspoon
  • 11WilliamsSubstituted forWillockat 70'minutes
  • 9MacLean
  • 25KaneSubstituted forJohnstoneat 86'minutes

Substitutes

  • 7Millar
  • 17Johnstone
  • 20McClean
  • 22Watson
  • 23Gordon
  • 28Willock
  • 30Hurst

Motherwell

  • 1Carson
  • 34MaguireSubstituted forRoseat 73'minutesBooked at 75mins
  • 21KipreBooked at 51mins
  • 19Aldred
  • 8McHugh
  • 2Tait
  • 5Bigirimana
  • 4Grimshaw
  • 11FrearSubstituted forCaddenat 63'minutes
  • 12Bowman
  • 9MainSubstituted forNewellat 63'minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Hendrie
  • 7Cadden
  • 13Griffiths
  • 15Rose
  • 20Petravicius
  • 24Newell
  • 26MacLean
Referee:
William Collum
Attendance:
2,409

Match Stats

Home TeamSt JohnstoneAway TeamMotherwell
Possession
Home51%
Away49%
Shots
Home8
Away5
Shots on Target
Home3
Away1
Corners
Home1
Away3
Fouls
Home9
Away18

Live Text

Match ends, St. Johnstone 0, Motherwell 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, St. Johnstone 0, Motherwell 0.

Joe Shaughnessy (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Andy Rose (Motherwell).

Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by Joe Shaughnessy.

Richard Foster (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Richard Tait (Motherwell).

Attempt missed. Liam Grimshaw (Motherwell) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.

Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by Scott Tanser.

Foul by Steven Anderson (St. Johnstone).

Carl McHugh (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Substitution

Substitution, St. Johnstone. Denny Johnstone replaces Christopher Kane because of an injury.

Corner, St. Johnstone. Conceded by Carl McHugh.

Attempt blocked. Murray Davidson (St. Johnstone) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Christopher Kane (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Liam Grimshaw (Motherwell).

Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by Alan Mannus.

Attempt saved. Gael Bigirimana (Motherwell) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

Booking

Murray Davidson (St. Johnstone) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Murray Davidson (St. Johnstone).

Gael Bigirimana (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt missed. Richard Foster (St. Johnstone) right footed shot from the right side of the box is too high.

Foul by Christopher Kane (St. Johnstone).

Tom Aldred (Motherwell) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Booking

Andy Rose (Motherwell) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Matty Willock (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Andy Rose (Motherwell).

Substitution

Substitution, Motherwell. Andy Rose replaces Barry Maguire.

David Wotherspoon (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Liam Grimshaw (Motherwell).

Attempt missed. Tom Aldred (Motherwell) header from the centre of the box misses to the left.

Foul by David Wotherspoon (St. Johnstone).

George Newell (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, St. Johnstone. Matty Willock replaces George C Williams.

Attempt missed. Scott Tanser (St. Johnstone) right footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the right.

David Wotherspoon (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Liam Grimshaw (Motherwell).

Substitution

Substitution, Motherwell. George Newell replaces Curtis Main.

Substitution

Substitution, Motherwell. Chris Cadden replaces Elliott Frear.

Booking

Richard Foster (St. Johnstone) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic32219262204272
2Rangers33195967382962
3Aberdeen33195950361462
4Hibernian331611649351459
5Kilmarnock32141084338552
6Hearts33111393530546
7Motherwell33108153643-738
8St Johnstone33108153247-1538
9Hamilton3186174156-1530
10Dundee3386193153-2230
11Ross County3368193857-1926
12Partick Thistle3367202657-3125
View full Scottish Premiership table

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