Tuesday 6th February
Two second half goals from Motherwell this evening defeated Saints at Fir Park.
Saints started the match brightly and created several chances during the first half with Stefan Scougall unlucky not to give Saints the lead after 3 minutes.
Saints were forced to make a change on 20 minutes when Matty Willock came on for the injured Stefan Scougall.
Motherwell broke the deadlock on 64 minutes when Allan Campbell converted an Andy Rose cross. The Steelmen then doubled their advantage on 70 minutes as a Richard Tait pass picked out Curtis Main whose low shot from the edge of the box found the corner of the net.
Looking to bounce back from Saturday’s 1-0 defeat to Hearts at Tynecastle Park, Saints headed to Motherwell this evening. Tommy Wright made three changes to the team that started on Saturday as Denny Johnstone and Matty Willock dropped to the bench, whilst David Wotherspoon was suspended. They were replaced by Blair Alston, Steven MacLean and Stefan Scougall. Motherwell manager Stephen Robinson made two changes to the team that started Saturday’s 1-1 draw at home to Partick Thistle as Stephen Hendrie and Craig Tanner dropped out to be replaced by Richard Tait and Andy Rose.
Saints got the match underway and they created the first chance of the game after 3 minutes. Steven MacLean and Chris Kane combined on the edge of the box and the latter slipped the ball to Stefan Scougall who broke into the box before having a low shot at goal that was saved by Trevor Carson.
Saints continued their positive start to the match on 9 minutes when MacLean setup Kane who turned and got the shot away however, his effort was well held by Carson.
Despite the early one-way traffic Motherwell created their first chance of the game on 13 minutes when Allan Campbell got forward before playing the ball into Curtis Main whose shot was deflected for a corner by Steven Anderson.
Then on 20 minutes Saints were forced to make a change as Matty Willock came on for the injured Stefan Scougall.
By the midway point of the first half the match was a more even affair and Alan Mannus made a good save to deny Curtis Main after a Cédric Kipré shot had broken to the striker who brought the ball down before unleashing a shot which the Saints keeper was equal to.
Motherwell came even closer 10 minutes before half time when Main skipped past the challenge from Joe Shaughnessy before having a shot at goal which crashed off the crossbar.
Saints coped well with the danger from the home side and they created a chance of their own on 38 minutes when Willock had a shot at goal blocked and from the follow-up Scott Tanser’s effort was straight at Carson. Then 2 minutes later Saints were awarded a free kick on the edge of the box after Murray Davidson had been fouled by Andy Rose. The free kick was taken by Blair Alston but his right-footed effort was straight at Carson.
Motherwell got the second half underway and 4 minutes into the half they squandered a great chance to break the deadlock when Nadir Çiftçi’s shot broke to the unmarked Main 15 yards out but luckily for Saints he put his effort wide of Mannus’ goal. Then on 52 minutes Çiftçi flicked the ball onto Main who was one-on-one with Mannus but the Saints keeper made a terrific save with his left foot to deny the striker.
The home side were creating the better chances and just after the hour mark Chris Cadden went on a good run and then cut inside before firing over from 20 yards.
The pressure from the Steelmen eventually told when they broke the deadlock on 64 minutes. Andy Rose delivered the ball into the danger area and Campbell timed his run to perfection to knock the ball into the net.
It was 2-0 6 minutes later when Richard Tait broke down the left, beating Joe Shaughnessy, before picking out Main on the edge of the box who turned his man and fired a low shot into the far corner of the net.
Motherwell were dominating the second half and on 76 minutes Main came close again when his volley from a Campbell cross was saved by Mannus.
With 9 minutes remaining Saints got a sight off goal as Blair Alston unleashed a long-range strike however, the midfielder’s effort hit the side netting.
Then deep in added on time Mannus made another good save this time pushing a shot from substitute Gael Bigirimana behind for a corner.
Motherwell: Carson, Tait, Cadden, McHugh, Main (Petravicius 79), Rose, Dunne, Aldred, Kipré, Campbell (Bigirimana 85), Çiftçi (Tanner 67)
Unused Substitutes: Griffiths, Hendrie, Grimshaw, Frear
Scorers: Campbell (64), Main (70)
Saints: Mannus, Tanser, Alston, Shaughnessy, Anderson, Davidson, MacLean (Johnstone 66), Kerr, Foster (Watson 73), Scougall (Willock 20), Kane
Unused Substitutes: Clark (GK), Millar, McClean, Gordon
Referee: Don Robertson
Match Report by Daryl Scott
Picture: Stefan Scougall has a shot at goal
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