Saturday 17th December
Chris Kane's fourth goal of the season earned Saints a point at home to Motherwell in a match St. Johnstone boss Tommy Wright will feel his side could have won due to the number of chances they created.
Motherwell had taken the lead after 12 minutes through an own goal by home goalie Zander Clark after he misjudged a low cross into the box and it somehow deflected off his gloves and into the net, before 'Kano' bundled the ball home on 62 minutes to tie the match.
Christmas Eve sees Saints head to Kilmarnock to kick off the first of three match in eight days before the winter break.
Saints headed into Saturday’s clash with Motherwell looking to build on their fine performance at Pittodrie the previous week, earning a point after a hard fought goalless draw with Aberdeen. Saints remained without Danny Swanson, but looked to extend their run of clean sheets and unbeaten run against visitors Motherwell which dates back to 2012.
Saints started brightly and Ricky Foster’s outside-of-the-foot cross almost crept in, before Samson parried behind for a corner.
From the resulting set piece, fellow full back Easton connected cleanly with the cross and his volley was cleared off the line.
But it was Motherwell who took the lead on 12 minutes as Moult fed Tait who’s cross was parried into his own net by keeper Clark. 0-1.
Saints were keen to retaliate and a surging run from Shaughnessy saw the centre half feed MacLean, but the forward’s effort was deflected into Samson’s arms.
On 25 minutes, the hosts almost levelled as a Wotherspoon corner was met by the head of Tam Scobbie, but his effort was cleared off the line by the outstretched leg of Craig Samson.
Saints were forced into making an early change as Blair Alston replaced the injured Michael Coulson, as the ex-York winger who had impressed going forward limped off.
The half burst into life in injury time as a Chris Millar cross looked to have been converted by MacLean but for a wonderful diving save from stopper Samson.
The teams went in at half time with Tommy Wright’s side trailing, and they would want to take advantage of their possession in the second half if they wanted the points. Half time: 1-1.
Saints got the second half underway, shooting into the Ormond Stand, and Saints fashioned the first real chance on 53 minutes when a Foster cross was headed at goal by Davidson, but the shot was just held by keeper Samson and no more.
Motherwell made their first change on 58 minutes as Ferguson was replaced by Lee Lucas.
But on 61 minutes Saints were level through Chris Kane, as the forward linked up well with strike partner MacLean to lash a close range effort off Samson and knock in the rebound. 1-1, game on.
Saints second switch was to bring on Paul Paton for captain Chris Millar after the veteran had put in an excellent shift.
Motherwell then brought on Lionel Ainsworth for Keith Lasley as they looked to regain the lead.
Motherwell then made their final change, replacing McMillan with Bowman.
A late mazy run from Alston saw the substitute almost grab a late winner, but Samson parried his placed effort.
Saints switched Kane for Cummins in a late bid for a goal, after the young striker had thoroughly impressed and proved to manager Wright why he should be in the starting XI.
Saints found themselves in a brilliant position in injury time as Wotherspoon had possession deep inside the box, but much to the attacker’s dismay, his cross failed to pick out anyone in the box.
But referee Collum blew for full time at one each, a result which was probably a fair reflection of the game. Full time: St Johnstone 1-1 Motherwell.
Saints: Clark, Foster, Shaughnessy, Scobbie, Easton, Millar (Paton, 69), Davidson, Wotherspoon, Coulson (Alston, 44), MacLean, Kane (Cummins, 84) Unused subs: Mannus, Watson, Gordon, Hunter.
Goals: Kane (61)
Motherwell: Samson, Tait, Heneghan, McManus, Moult, Cadden, Lasley (Ainsworth,73), Clay, Ferguson (Lucas, 58), McMillan (Bowman, 81), McDonald. Unused subs: Brill, Thomas, Turnbull, Maguire.
Goals: Tait (12)
Attendance: 2836 Referee: Willie Collum Man of the Match: Chris Kane
Match Report by Ross Gardiner.
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