Scottish Premiership
St MirrenSt Mirren0MotherwellMotherwell2

St Mirren 0-2 Motherwell: Visitors swat aside woeful hosts

By Scott MullenBBC Sport Scotland at the Simple Digital Arena

St Mirren have now gone 10 Scottish Premiership games without a win after they were swatted aside by Motherwell.

Goals from David Turnbull and Chris Cadden ended a run of five games without a win for the Fir Park side.

The defeat in Paisley consigns St Mirren to a sixth straight Premiership loss and keeps them second bottom, a point clear of Dundee.

Oran Kearney's side also had Ryan Flynn sent off in the second-half for a terrible tackle on Richard Tait.

The win moves Motherwell up to ninth - one place, but seven points, behind Aberdeen.

Nothing to grasp at for hapless St Mirren

This should have been the game Kearney was waiting for. Six games in the job, the Northern Irishman has yet to win one of them, five defeats from the last five offering a bleak backdrop in Paisley.

However, against a Motherwell team with just one victory in the Premiership and severely lacking in confidence, a glaring opportunity was there to be grasped. In the end, there was nothing to clutch at for Kearney here.

A back three was put in place with an overloaded midfield to try and go toe-to-toe with Motherwell, but the challenge was meek. In defence they were hapless, midfield lost, and non-existent in attack. They were picked off and bullied with ease.

The warning signs were clear early on. A one-two between Liam Grimshaw and Cadden opened up a chasm for the latter to surge through. His drilled cross was then missed by Paul McGinn, only for Curtis Main to let them off the hook.

When the first goal did come, unsurprisingly for the visitors, it was met with stunned silence. A firm but routine shot from Turnbull was let off in the direction of Samson 20 yards out, but the former Motherwell keeper inexplicably allowed the ball to skid under him, as "One Craig Samson" chants emanated from the away end.

A response was needed after the break ahead of a huge 45 minutes for the Paisley side, but they bounced like a breezeblock.

Within two minutes, Cadden again pierced the St Mirren defence with a one-two, but this time Main's return laid the ball perfectly for the winger to curl a low shot beyond Samson from the edge of the box.

There was still plenty time for matters to deteriorate for Kearney. The frustration of the crowd was channelled by Flynn, who scythed down Tait as he rampaged down the left. As the red mist descended, and a red card was raised.

Ryan Flynn was shown a straight red for St Mirren on a miserable side for Oran Kearney's side
Ryan Flynn was shown a straight red for St Mirren on a miserable side for Oran Kearney's side

Motherwell deliver while Buddies abysmal - analysis

That's now six defeats in a row for St Mirren, with only two goals scored. Things don't get any easier for Kearney, whose side welcome Rangers on Saturday as the severity of the Paisley side's situation only intensifies.

As poor as Dundee are, St Mirren were abysmal when so much was there for them to take. That draw with Celtic in Kearney's first game in charge is a fading memory.

Motherwell, on the other hand, have delivered what St Mirren simply could not - a performance when it was so badly needed.

The Fir Park club have squandered four leads this season but it never looked likely here. Defeat could have seen them slip to second bottom. Instead, a victory over a beleaguered Dundee on Saturday and Stephen Robinson and his team can, perhaps, begin to lift their heads and gaze upwards.

'We just lacked quality' - reaction

St Mirren manager Oran Kearney: "There's certain things you can ask for and things you can try and get but I think in areas of the pitch we just lacked quality and that's probably the harshest part of it all.

"Fans will go away from that tonight and say that's as poor a performance as we've had but actually I think our players were braver tonight."

Motherwell manager Stephen Robinson: "I never lost belief in any of the players. I get a bit of stick for having some loyalty to a lot of the guys but I know the character we have in the team is always there. It's just trying to get them to believe.

"I try and take the stick, rather than the players. You've got to remember that they're young boys who aren't on millions of pounds. They make mistakes and their decision-making at times can be better."

Line-ups

St Mirren

Formation 3-4-2-1

  • 1SamsonBooked at 75mins
  • 2McGinn
  • 35Ferdinand
  • 19Jones
  • 21Hodson
  • 4McGinn
  • 8FlynnBooked at 75mins
  • 27EdwardsBooked at 57mins
  • 10SmithSubstituted forMullenat 50'minutes
  • 77HammillSubstituted forWillockat 49'minutes
  • 11Jackson

Substitutes

  • 15Baird
  • 16McShane
  • 18Mullen
  • 22Willock
  • 25Rogers
  • 28MacPherson
  • 39Erhahon

Motherwell

Formation 3-5-2

  • 1Carson
  • 6Hartley
  • 5AldredBooked at 88mins
  • 4McHughBooked at 43mins
  • 7Cadden
  • 14Grimshaw
  • 17BigirimanaSubstituted forCampbellat 72'minutes
  • 28TurnbullSubstituted forMaguireat 89'minutes
  • 2Tait
  • 9MainSubstituted forJohnsonat 82'minutes
  • 12BowmanBooked at 77mins

Substitutes

  • 8Campbell
  • 11Frear
  • 19Sammon
  • 20Gillespie
  • 21Mbulu
  • 24Johnson
  • 30Maguire
Referee:
Kevin Clancy
Attendance:
4,001

Match Stats

Home TeamSt MirrenAway TeamMotherwell
Possession
Home45%
Away55%
Shots
Home6
Away13
Shots on Target
Home2
Away5
Corners
Home2
Away7
Fouls
Home7
Away18

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, St. Mirren 0, Motherwell 2.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, St. Mirren 0, Motherwell 2.

  3. Post update

    Richard Tait (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Paul McGinn (St. Mirren).

  5. Substitution

    Substitution, Motherwell. Barry Maguire replaces David Turnbull.

  6. Post update

    Attempt missed. Daniel Mullen (St. Mirren) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left from a direct free kick.

  7. Post update

    Foul by Tom Aldred (Motherwell).

  8. Post update

    Simeon Jackson (St. Mirren) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  9. Booking

    Tom Aldred (Motherwell) is shown the yellow card.

  10. Post update

    Foul by Tom Aldred (Motherwell).

  11. Post update

    Daniel Mullen (St. Mirren) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  12. Post update

    Attempt saved. Danny Johnson (Motherwell) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

  13. Post update

    Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by Paul McGinn.

  14. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Danny Johnson (Motherwell) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked.

  15. Post update

    Attempt saved. Chris Cadden (Motherwell) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

  16. Substitution

    Substitution, Motherwell. Danny Johnson replaces Curtis Main.

  17. Post update

    Attempt missed. Carl McHugh (Motherwell) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left.

  18. Post update

    Foul by Curtis Main (Motherwell).

  19. Post update

    Lee Hodson (St. Mirren) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  20. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Lee Hodson (St. Mirren) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Top Stories

Around Scottish sport