Motherwell 0-3 Saints
20th February 2021
A Guy Melamed double and a Jason Kerr strike just before half time saw Saints run out 3-0 winners against Motherwell in North Lanarkshire this afternoon.
It was a dominant performance by Callum Davidson’s side and they took the lead on 19 minutes thanks to a stunning strike from Melamed.
Captain Jason Kerr then got Saints second goal of the afternoon on the stroke of half time. Saints then made sure of the points 5 minutes into the second half as Melamed converted a penalty after Chris Kane had been fouled by Liam Polworth.
Today’s result sees Saints move onto 33 points and are in eighth place in the Scottish Premiership, 2 points behind sixth placed St Mirren, who have played a game less.
Saints are next in action a week tomorrow when they take on Livingston in the Betfred Cup final at Hampden Park, kick off 2pm.
Fir Park was the destination for Saints this afternoon as they took on Motherwell in a Scottish Premiership match. Saints were unlucky to lose 2-1 to Celtic last Sunday at McDiarmid Park and Callum Davidson made two changes to his side for this afternoon’s match. Both Craig Bryson and Craig Conway dropped to the bench and they were replaced by Liam Craig and Guy Melamed. Motherwell lost 4-1 at home to local rivals Hamilton Accies last weekend and manager Graham Alexander made four changes to his team this afternoon. Max Johnston, Tyler Magloire, Liam Polworth and Robbie Crawford came into the starting eleven to replace Bevis Mugabi, Allan Campbell and Mark O’Hara whilst Stephen O’Donnell missed out due to suspension after getting sent off against Hamilton Accies last Saturday.
Motherwell got the match underway bit it was Saints who would start the match on the front foot and they created the first chance of the match on 4 minutes. A good cross from the left by Callum Booth picked out Shaun Rooney who headed the ball down to Liam Craig but his volley blocked by the Steelmen defence.
Saints good start to the match continued and on 12 minutes Rooney’s deflected cross into the box fell nicely to Ali McCann but the header from the Northern Ireland internationalist was gathered by Liam Kelly in the Well goal.
On 19 minutes, Saints were rewarded for their good start to the match as they took the lead. Good play by Rooney saw him beat Jake Carroll to the ball in midfield and he drove forward before slipping the ball into Guy Melamed’s feet. The Israeli striker then shifted the ball from his right foot to his left before unleashing a fantastic curling strike from 25 yards that gave Kelly no chance.
Saints were dominating possession and on 29 minutes David Wotherspoon delivered an inviting cross from the left which Melamed was inches away from making a connection with. Then 2 minutes later Wotherspoon sent another good cross in from the left which fell to Rooney who sent a thunderous shot wide.
On 33 minutes the hosts created a chance to get back into the match however, Liam Polworth’s 25 yard effort was well saved by Zander Clark.
Saints though continued to control the game and 10 minutes later a Wotherspoon corner from the right picked out Jason Kerr however, the header from the Saints captain was too high as it landed on the roof of the Motherwell net.
That proved to be a warning for the hosts as on the stroke of half time Saints doubled their advantage. From a Wotherspoon corner on the left the ball was played to Liam Craig who was at the edge of the Steelmen’s box and the midfielder unleashed a shot at goal which cannoned off the bar. The loose ball then broke to Kane who headed it to Rooney but the header from close range by the wing-back also hit the bar. Motherwell were struggling to clear their lines and Robbie Crawford’s clearance only went as far as Kerr who sent a great right-footed effort past Kelly and into the net.
Saints domination of the match continued into the second half and on 47 minutes Booth played a neat ball into the feet of Wotherspoon who twisted and turned in the box before unleashing an angled shot which went inches wide.
Then 2 minutes later good play by David Wotherspoon and Chris Kane saw them break into the Motherwell box and earn Saints a penalty after Kane was brought down by Polworth. Melamed stepped up to take the penalty and he coolly despatched it low into the bottom left corner of the net.
The one-way traffic continued and on 56 minutes Booth saw his effort go wide of the target.
Just after the hour mark Motherwell made three changes as Jake Hastie, Jordan Roberts and Nathan McGinley came on to replace Christopher Long, Barry Maguire and Jake Carroll. Whilst Saints also made a change as Craig Bryson came on to replace David Wotherspoon.
On 67 minutes the hosts were awarded a free kick after Devante Cole was fouled by Liam Gordon. Polworth took the free kick and his floated ball into the Saints box was gathered by Clark.
Saints continued to search for more goals and on 73 minutes Craig again hit the bar with a long-range effort.
With 14 minutes remaining Saints made a double change as Chris Kane and Guy Melamed were replaced by Stevie May and Glenn Middleton.
Saints were not troubled by the hosts in the closing stages of the match and they came close to fourth goal on 87 minutes as Ali McCann played the ball into the feet of May but the strikers effort was saved by Kelly. Then late on Charlie Gilmour came on to make his Saints debut after joining the club at the beginning of this month on a deal until the end of the season.
Overall, it was a dominant performance by Saints and the players can now look forward to next Sunday’s Betfred Cup final against Livingston at Hampden Park.
Motherwell: Kelly, Johnston, Magloire, Lamie, Carroll (McGinley 61), Polworth, Crawford, Maguire (Roberts 61), Long (Hastie 61), Cole, Watt
Unused Substitutes: Morrison (GK), Devine, MacIver, Cornelius
Saints: Clark, Rooney, Kerr, Gordon, McCart, Booth, Craig, McCann (Gilmour 90), Wotherspoon (Bryson 62), Melamed (Middleton 77), Kane (May 76)
Unused Substitutes: Parish (GK), Brown, Tanser, O’Halloran, Conway
Scorers: Melamed (19, 50 pen), Kerr (45)
Referee: John Beaton
Match Report by Daryl Scott
Picture: Guy Melamed scores his first goal of the afternoon