Scottish Premiership
St Mirren0Motherwell3

St Mirren 0-3 Motherwell: James Scott scores twice in easy win

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Highlights: St Mirren 0-3 Motherwell

James Scott scored twice as Motherwell closed to within one point of third place in the Scottish Premiership after a comfortable win over St Mirren.

Stephen Robinson's side edged closer to Aberdeen thanks to a brace from 19-year-old Scott in the first half.

Motherwell extended their lead in the second half courtesy of a short-range finish from Allan Campbell.

The Paisley side sit bottom of the table by a point after six defeats from their last seven games.

Scott makes short work of dejected St Mirren

This was a night which started badly for St Mirren and simply got steadily worse.

The first blow came after just seven minutes when they lost Gary MacKenzie to what looked like a hamstring pull following a challenge with Devante Cole. The towering centre-half is a big player for the Paisley side, who never really looked assured at the back thereafter.

The first quarter was, frankly, torture. Blessed relief, in the form of some quality football, did materialise before the half was out. Sadly for the home fans, it was the visitors who provided it.

One man in particular stood out, and not just because of his shock of blonde highlights. Scott is only 19 but, in common with many of his Fir Park team-mates, looks to have a very good future in the game.

There was much to admire about the two goals he scored in quick succession. The first was all individual. Set up by Liam Grimshaw's scampering run up the right, Scott was on the touchline when he received the ball. Quick as a flash, he skipped past his marker and unleashed a perfect low drive straight into the bottom right-hand corner of Vaclav Hladky's net.

Moments later, he was celebrating again. Some slack play in midfield by Tony Andreu presented Liam Polworth with the ball, and he sent a precise pass into the path of Scott's equally well-timed run, and his chipped finish over Hladky was as cool as it was impudent.

Two moments of genuine quality, and we already had our man of the match. Over and above his goals, Scott was a constant nuisance for the home defence, full of intelligent running and always comfortable on the ball. He might feel he should have completed a first-half hat trick, but fired just wide.

It wasn't completely one-way traffic. Kyle Magennis almost equalised for St Mirren when they were just a goal down but his shot was deflected narrowly past Mark Gillespie's left-hand post.

By and large, though, St Mirren were nowhere near the standards they've set in recent matches; and the standard manager Jim Goodwin demanded pre-match, with key fixtures looming against Hamilton, Livingston and St Johnstone before Christmas.

Motherwell form

If Goodwin gave his men a half-time rollicking, it didn't have the desired effect. Quite the opposite. Motherwell were comfortable with their lead, and added to it after the hour. Jermaine Hylton's run was determined and his cutback was perfect, leaving Campbell nothing to do but tap the ball over the line to surely seal the deal for the visitors.

Trying to add insult to injury, Cole nearly scored a fourth, only for Ryan Flynn to head off his own line. A couple of quick corners followed, as Motherwell's total domination continued, and from one of them, Declan Gallagher headed narrowly over.

This was supposed to be a tricky away match for Motherwell but it proved anything but. Goalkeeper Mark Gillespie didn't have much to do until the dying minutes, when St Mirren struck the crossbar either side of two good saves from the goalkeeper to keep out substitute Kyle McAllister and then Andreu.

Motherwell are putting together yet another impressive season. That's seven goals in their last two games, and they'll head into the festive fixture list a point off third place and full of the joys of the season.

Man of the match - James Scott

You could have picked any of the three main Motherwell midfielders. Once again, Polworth, Campbell and Liam Donnelly all had fine matches and, between them, controlled much of the game.

But for a first-half display that yielded two goals, and many other moments of note, the award should surely go to Scott. That's six goals for the season so far. It will be very surprising if he doesn't significantly add to that before the season's end.

'We punished them' - reaction

St Mirren manager Jim Goodwin: "Up until the first goal I didn't think there was much between the teams. But as soon as Motherwell got that first goal, it almost seemed to knock the wind out of a few sails and we didn't recover then after.

"Tonight was no reflection of the team we saw in the last two games."

Motherwell manager Stephen Robinson: "We got back to keeping clean sheets and were a real threat going forward. Every time we attacked we looked like we were causing them problems.

"St Mirren are a very difficult team to break down. They've only lost two games here. They don't concede many goals. So for us to create that many chances and open them up that often shows the level of our performance."

Line-ups

St Mirren

  • 1Hladky
  • 2McGinnBooked at 86mins
  • 6MacKenzieSubstituted forMacPhersonat 9'minutes
  • 5McLoughlin
  • 3Waters
  • 4McGinn
  • 8Flynn
  • 18Mullen
  • 10Andreu
  • 7MagennisSubstituted forMcAllisterat 75'minutes
  • 9ObikaSubstituted forMoriasat 63'minutes

Substitutes

  • 11Durmus
  • 14McAllister
  • 19Morias
  • 20Cooke
  • 24MacPherson
  • 26Lyness
  • 39Henderson

Motherwell

  • 20Gillespie
  • 4Grimshaw
  • 31Gallagher
  • 24Mugabi
  • 3Carroll
  • 22Donnelly
  • 6CampbellSubstituted forO'Haraat 70'minutes
  • 19Polworth
  • 44ColeBooked at 15minsSubstituted forManzingaat 83'minutes
  • 17Scott
  • 14HyltonSubstituted forSeedorfat 75'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Carson
  • 2Tait
  • 9Long
  • 11Seedorf
  • 12Manzinga
  • 15Maguire
  • 52O'Hara
Referee:
Andrew Dallas
Attendance:
4,240

Match Stats

Home TeamSt MirrenAway TeamMotherwell
Possession
Home48%
Away52%
Shots
Home8
Away16
Shots on Target
Home3
Away6
Corners
Home3
Away7
Fouls
Home10
Away14

Live Text

Match ends, St. Mirren 0, Motherwell 3.

Full Time

Second Half ends, St. Mirren 0, Motherwell 3.

Attempt saved. Daniel Mullen (St. Mirren) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

Attempt saved. Junior Morias (St. Mirren) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

Attempt saved. Kyle McAllister (St. Mirren) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

Attempt missed. Christy Manzinga (Motherwell) left footed shot from the left side of the box is too high.

Attempt missed. James Scott (Motherwell) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.

Booking

Paul McGinn (St. Mirren) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Paul McGinn (St. Mirren).

Mark O'Hara (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Tony Andreu (St. Mirren).

Liam Donnelly (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Motherwell. Christy Manzinga replaces Devante Cole.

Attempt missed. Sherwin Seedorf (Motherwell) right footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high.

Tony Andreu (St. Mirren) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Bevis Mugabi (Motherwell).

Attempt missed. Tony Andreu (St. Mirren) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.

James Scott (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Ryan Flynn (St. Mirren).

Václav Hladky (St. Mirren) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by James Scott (Motherwell).

Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by Calum Waters.

Substitution

Substitution, Motherwell. Sherwin Seedorf replaces Jermaine Hylton.

Substitution

Substitution, St. Mirren. Kyle McAllister replaces Kyle Magennis.

Attempt missed. Junior Morias (St. Mirren) right footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the right.

Attempt missed. Declan Gallagher (Motherwell) header from the centre of the box is too high following a corner.

Substitution

Substitution, Motherwell. Mark O'Hara replaces Allan Campbell.

Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by Stephen McGinn.

Attempt blocked. Bevis Mugabi (Motherwell) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by Calum Waters.

Attempt blocked. Devante Cole (Motherwell) right footed shot from the right side of the six yard box is blocked.

Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by Stephen McGinn.

Goal!

Goal! St. Mirren 0, Motherwell 3. Allan Campbell (Motherwell) right footed shot from very close range to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Jermaine Hylton.

Attempt missed. Liam Donnelly (Motherwell) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left.

Substitution

Substitution, St. Mirren. Junior Morias replaces Jonathan Obika.

Foul by Jonathan Obika (St. Mirren).

Liam Donnelly (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Ryan Flynn (St. Mirren).

Liam Donnelly (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Hand ball by Liam Polworth (Motherwell).

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic1513114693740
2Rangers15122145103538
3Aberdeen168532519629
4Motherwell169162822628
5Kilmarnock166551717023
6Hibernian164752429-519
7Ross County164571935-1617
8Livingston163671724-715
9Hearts152671626-1012
10Hamilton162681629-1312
11St Johnstone152671333-2012
12St Mirren1632111124-1311
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