Saturday 12th August
In an action packed game, Saints came out on top 4-1 at home to Motherwell to continue the 100% record after two matches of the new league season.
Steven MacLean grabbed the opener after just 8 minutes, before Michael O'Halloran grabbed a double and Murray Davidson wrapped up the scoring in stoppage time. The Steelmen's Andrew Rose replied for the visitors midway through the first half to make it 2-1.
Other talking points in the match were the three red cards handed to Motherwell's Trevor Carson, Carl McHugh and Charles Dunne. Michael O'Halloran also saw his late penalty saved by Russell Griffiths to deny him a deserved hat trick.
Motherwell got the game underway.
The first chance came to Saints in the 2nd minute when a Brian Easton cross was spilled by Trevor Carson, which MacLean nearly got his foot to.
In the 8th minute, Stefan Scougall cut in from right hand side and his cross took a deflection off a Motherwell defender and MacLean quickly pounced for a smart finish in the left hand side of the goal. 1-0 Saints.
In the 12th minute O'Halloran made a darting run and then crossed attempting to find MacLean however the Motherwell defence prevailed and managed to scramble the ball clear.
In the 17th minute the ball was won by MacLean and knocked down to O'Halloran who made a great run through he Motherwell defence and then coolly slotted into the bottom right corner of the net to make it 2-0 Saints.
A corner for St. Johnstone in the 23rd minute ended with Davidson meeting the ball but his header flew over narrowly.
A free kick for Motherwell went to the back post and was headed in by Andrew Rose past Mannus in the 28th minute.
St Johnstone kicked off the second half, with no changes to either side.
On the 50 minute mark, a free kick to Motherwell was put to the back post where Rose again put in a good header but Mannus got down well to tip it round the post.
In the 62nd minute, Trevor Carson appeared to handle the ball outside the area which resulted in a straight red given by Craig Thomson. It was a hammer blow for Motherwell, subsequently ruling out their chance to get back into the game.
The resultant free kick from outside the box, was taken by Scougall but was comfortably saved by Motherwell's substitute goalkeeper, Griffiths.
O'Halloran began a run on the right hand side, making his way through into the middle of the box before slotting it through the legs of the keeper on 74 minutes for his second of the match.
Motherwell were then reduced to 9 men as a bad challenge was made on Easton by Steelmen's captain, Carl McHugh.
The ball was nodded down to a Motherwell attacker, which was then driven to the bottom right hand side, Mannus got down low and made a great save, the two resultant corners produced nothing, into the last 10 minutes and 3-1 Saints.
On 84 minutes, a quick and short corner was passed to Alston who cut into the box and tried to curl it in the top right peg, but it narrowly went over.
In the 88th minute Saints were awarded a penalty, with Charles Dunne being sent off for tripping Graham Cummins. O'Halloran stepped up but Griffiths got down well to his left to save and deny him his hat trick.
Saints were really dominating possession now, and with the game into stoppage time, Richard Foster picked up the ball and ran down the right and straight into the box to cross for the waiting Murray Davidson who coolly slotted it in the bottom right hand corner to make it 4-1.
Alan Mannus, Joe Shaughessy, Steven Anderson (captain), Murray Davidson, Steven Maclean (Hendry 81), David Wotherspoon (Alston 74), Michael O'Halloran, Paul Paton, Richard Foster, Brian Easton, Stefan Scougall (Cummins 69)
Unused Substitutes Zander Clark, Scott Tanser, Liam Craig, Ally Gilchrist.
Motherwell; Trevor Carson, Richard Tait (Tanner 69), Ben Heneghan, Gael BigiriMana (Griffiths 64), Chris Cadden, Carl McHugh (captain), Ryan Bowman (Moult 59), Andrew Rose, Charles Dunne, Cedric Kipre, Alex Fisher
Unused Substitutes Ellis Plummer, Jack McMillian, Allan Campbell, Ross McLean
Bookings: St Johnstone- Maclean (Yellow). Motherwell- Carson (Red), Dunne (Red) and McHugh (Red).
Referees: Craig Thomson Assistants; Alan Mulvanny and Antony Cooper Fourth Official; Kevin Clancy Attendance- 3451
Match Report by Ruairidh Smith
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