Saturday 30th November
Saints slipped to a 4-0 defeat against Motherwell on a cold afternoon at Fir Park today.
Despite having a bright start to the match as Saints dominated possession they would find themselves a goal down just before the half an hour mark as Motherwell took the lead courtesy of a Devante Cole header.
4 minutes into the second half Peter Hartley doubled the advantage for the Steelmen before Jake Carroll added a third with 18 minutes remaining.
Christy Manzinga sealed the win late on for Stephen Robinson’s side as he who coolly steered the ball beyond Clark.
Next up for Saints is a trip to Rugby Park on Wednesday evening to take on Kilmarnock.
For the first time in six weeks Saints were back on the road today for an away fixture as they made the trip to take on Motherwell at Fir Park. Tommy Wright made two changes to the side that earned a point against Aberdeen on Sunday as Drey Wright dropped to the bench and Murray Davidson was suspended following his red card against the Dons. They were replaced by Chris Kane and David Wotherspoon. Stephen Robinson’s Motherwell suffered a 3-1 defeat against Hibernian at Easter Road last weekend and the Northern Irishman man made one change to his starting eleven. Out went Barry Maguire and he was replaced by Liam Donnelly.
Saints started the match brightly with a lot of the action going down the left-hand side. On 4 minutes good play down the left saw the ball played to David Wotherspoon. The midfielder then delivered a lift footed cross into the box which picked out Chris Kane however, the striker couldn’t get his effort on target.
Then on 11 minutes Anthony Ralston went on a mazy run, cutting inside before having a shot which was straight at Mark Gillespie in the home goal.
The home supporters were already starting to get frustrated with Well’s slow start to the match however, Stephen Robinson’s men started to come into the game but Ali McCann was doing a great job in midfield cutting out the danger.
On 20 minutes another good move by Saints saw Matty Kennedy, Chris Kane and Stevie May all link up well down the right before Kennedy’s cross into the Motherwell box was well gathered by Gillespie.
The Steelmen were becoming more settled into the match and they created a chance on 24 minutes to open the scoring. Liam Grimshaw did well to get away from David Wotherspoon before crossing to Christopher Long but the striker put his effort wide of Zander Clark’s post.
Motherwell created another chance 3 minutes later as Jermaine Hylton’s strike from 20 yards went inches wide. Motherwell had now picked up the pace and they took the lead just before the half an hour mark. Good play by Hylton down the left saw him curl a cross into the box and Devante Cole rose highest to plant a header past Clark and into the net.
Saints looked for a quick response and minutes later McCann saw his curling strike well held by Gillespie.
Then on 37 minutes good work by Wotherspoon and May saw the ball played out to Scott Tanser by the later and the left-back delivered a low cross into the box which Kane couldn’t get on target. The Saints striker got another chance 2 minutes later as Wotherspoon went a on great run down the left before picking out Kane however, his backheel effort was saved by Gillespie.
Motherwell almost doubled their advantage on 43 minutes but Wotherspoon was in the right place as he cleared a Peter Hartley effort off the line.
The Steelmen came out of the traps fast at the start of the second half and they doubled their advantage on 49 minutes. Liam Polworth curled in a corner from the left and Well captain Hartley easily lost his marker before bulleting a header past Clark and into the bottom corner.
On 58 minutes Saints were awarded a free kick out wide on the left. It was taken by Kennedy who delivered a low ball into the box however, May couldn’t make a proper connection with the ball as Gillespie gathered.
Then a minute later Cole burst forward for Motherwell and instead of squaring to Long for a tap in he chose to shot but he dragged his effort wide.
Up the other end moments later clever play by May setup up Kennedy who broke into the box before unleashing a strike that hit the side netting.
Saints were starting to come back into the game and good play down the left by Kennedy and Tanser on 63 minutes saw the later deliver a good cross into the box which picked out McCann however, the young midfielder saw his header go narrowly over. Then shortly after May broke forward before crossing to Kane and the striker turned his man before putting his effort wide.
Tommy Wright then made a double change on 68 minutes as he brought on Drey Wright and Michael O’Halloran for David Wotherspoon and Stevie May.
However, Motherwell further extended their lead on 72 minutes as a Polworth corner from the left picked out Declan Gallagher whose effort hit the post and Jake Carroll reacted quickest to knock the ball home from close range.
With just under 10 minutes of the match remaining Saints were forced to make a change as Wallace Duffy went down after he cleared the ball and he had to be replaced by Madis Vihmann.
Motherwell rounded off a fine afternoon late on as they got a fourth as from a Saints corner they broke on the break through James Scott. The striker then sent a long ball forward which was headed on by Mark O’Hara to the unmarked Christy Manzinga who calmly slotted the ball low into the far corner of the net to end a miserable afternoon in North Lanarkshire for Saints.
Motherwell: Gillespie, Carroll, Grimshaw, Hartley, Campbell, Long (Scott 61), Hylton (Manzinga 76), Polworth (O’Hara 79), Donnelly, Gallagher, Cole
Unused Substitutes: Carson (GK), Tait, Seedorf, Mugabi
Scorers: Cole (29), Hartley (49), Carroll (72), Manzinga (89)
Saints: Clark, Duffy (Vihmann 81), Tanser, Kane, Wotherspoon (Wright 68), May (O’Halloran 68), Kerr, McCann, Holt, Ralston, Kennedy
Unused Substitutes: Parish (GK), Swanson, Booth, Craig
Referee: Euan Anderson
Attendance: 4,092 (281 Saints fans)
Match Report by Daryl Scott
Picture: Anthony Ralston has a shot at goal
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