Saturday 12th September
A 20 yard Allan Campbell strike 4 minutes into the game handed Motherwell all 3 points at Fir Park this afternoon.
Saints created chances to draw level during the match with the best chance falling to substitute Stevie May midway through the second half. A mistake by home defender Ricki Lamie let in the Saints striker however, May’s effort from a tight angle trundled wide of the left-hand post.
Despite suffering defeat this afternoon, Saints move up to sixth place in the Scottish Premiership on goal difference, leapfrogging St Mirren who suffered a 3-0 defeat at home to Hibernian.
Next up for Saints is a home game against Ross County next Saturday, kick off 3pm.
After having a free weekend last week due to Scotland’s UEFA Nations League games against Israel and Czech Republic Saints returned to action today as they took on Motherwell at Fir Park. There were no changes to the Saints starting eleven this afternoon as Callum Davidson chose to go with the same team that defeated St Mirren 1-0 a fortnight ago. Motherwell manager Stephen Robinson made two changes to the team that started their last match; a 3-0 defeat at Celtic. Out went Liam Grimshaw and Christopher Long and they were replaced by Callum Lang and Nathan McGinley.
Liam Polworth got the match underway for the hosts and The Steelmen would take an early lead after 4 minutes. Allan Campbell, who scored the winner for Scotland under 21s against Lithuania in midweek, picked the ball up in midfield and surged forward past Ali McCann and David Wotherspoon. The midfielder then unleashed a low shot from outside the box which, despite the best effort of Elliot Parish in the Saints goal, ended up into the bottom left corner of the net.
Despite the early setback Saints looked to bounce back quickly and on 11 minutes Craig Conway sent an excellent cross into the box from the left however, Nathan McGinley knocked the ball behind for a corner which came to nothing.
Saints were coming more into the game and on 20 minutes a Ricki Lamie pass back to Motherwell keeper Trevor Carson was short and Michael O’Halloran used his pace and got in behind Lamie to win the ball. However, Carson was out quick to block O’Halloran’s strike from a difficult angle as the Northern Irish man turned it behind for a corner.
On 34 minutes Saints were awarded a free kick following a foul on O’Halloran by Bevis Mugabi. Conway took the free kick and his delivery into the box from the left broke to David Wotherspoon but his chipped effort was easily gathered by Carson.
Then with 4 minutes of the first half remaining Callum Hendry got a great chance to level the match for Saints. Danny McNamara sent a fantastic cross into the box from the right and Hendry rose highest to make a connection with the ball but his header went wide of the target.
5 minutes into the second half Hendry was involved in the action again as the Saints striker unleashed an effort at goal which was turned behind for a corner. Conway again took the corner and his delivery from the right picked out Jason Kerr as the Saints captain got up to head the ball towards goal however, it went narrowly over.
Saints made a double change on 54 minutes as Michael O’Halloran and Callum Hendry were replaced by Stevie May and Chris Kane as Callum Davidson freshened his attacking options.
On the hour mark Parish was called into action tipping over a Polworth free kick and then moments later Mugabi headed over from a Polworth cross as the hosts looked to extend their lead.
Saints made another change on 64 minutes as Liam Craig came on for Liam Gordon. Then a minute later Saints got a fantastic chance to level the match as McNamara’s ball into the box was missed by Lamie and the ball broke to May. However, the Saints striker steered his effort from a tight angle inches wide of the far post.
With 15 minutes remaining another ball into the Motherwell box, this time by Conway, picked out Wotherspoon at the back post but the header from the midfielder didn’t trouble Carson as it went high over the crossbar.
Saints continued to press in the latter stages for an equaliser and despite 8 minutes added on at the end Motherwell soaked up the Saints pressure to seal their first league win of the season.
Motherwell: Carson, O’Donnell, Gallagher, Mugabi, Lamie, McGinley (Grimshaw 71), O’Hara, Campbell, Polworth, Lang, Watt (White 69) (Long 90+2)
Unused Substitutes: Morrison (GK), Hastie, Maguire, Seedorf, MacIver, Johnston
Booked: O’Hara, Watt, Carson, Campbell
Scorer: Campbell (4)
Saints: Parish, Kerr, Gordon (Craig 64), McCart, Tanser, McCann, Wotherspoon (Davidson 84), Conway, Hendry (Kane 54), O’Halloran (May 54), McNamara
Unused Substitutes: Clark (GK), Rooney, Duffy, Olaofe, Robertson
Referee: Euan Anderson
Match Report by Daryl Scott
Picture: A Craig Conway corner picks out skipper Jason Kerr who heads over
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