Saints 2-1 Motherwell

Saints looked to make it two wins in five days when the Perth men took on Motherwell at McDiarmid Park on Wednesday.

Jason Holt came in for Stevie May as the hosts aimed to build on their fine Scottish Cup win over Ayr United on Saturday.

And Tommy Wright’s side almost got off to a perfect start with midfielder Holt’s cross picking out Drey Wright just after the ten minute mark. The Englishman couldn’t make a clean connection at close range and flicked his attempt over.

The first half remained largely uneventful up until the 26th minute when Cal Hendry tried to thread a pass to Holt.

The pass was deflected back into the hitman’s path and the number 22 lashed into the bottom corner from just outside the box to make it 1-0.

The lead only lasted five minutes though as a similar strike from Motherwell’s Long was tipped onto the post by Zander Clark, who then watched the ball come back across the goal line and bounced in off the other post levelling the scores.

Hendry came within inches of restoring the lead when great play from Ali McCann and Wright on the left culminated in Holt squeezing through the Well defence.

The on-loan Rangers man squared the ball across goal but the on-rushing Hendry couldn’t nick the vital touch.

McCann was next to ramp up the pressure, fizzing a twenty-yard-effort at goal. The strike had such venom that the ball bounced off the Lanarkshire club’s goalkeeper and back into play, knocking the stopper for six and getting the vociferous home fans on their feet.

In the second half, Hendry maintained his tenacity and drew foul after foul. The striker latched onto a Booth cross on the hour mark and the men in blue would have led again but for superb defending.

The Perth men continued to push and Tony Ralston’s tempting daisy-cutting cross deserved a finish to round off a fine move, but resolute defending from the Steelmen kept Saints at bay.

On another day, Tommy Wright's men could have been sitting comfortably and cushioned but the hosts watched as Hendry, McCann and Holt were all denied in a stramash and when the half-cleared attack was launched back into the box, captain Jason Kerr was left heartbroken as his header clipped the post.

Saints were handed a late advantage as Motherwell sub Mazinga was sent off with ten minutes to go. The attacker had earlier received a booking for a challenge on Ralston before later receiving a second yellow for simulation.

And the hosts reaped the rewards of their hard work with a fantastic run from Jason Kerr. The captain saw the space and made a run any winger would be proud off, finishing the move off with a pinpoint cross for substitute Chris Kane to tuck home in the very last minute of added time.

SAINTS: Zander Clark, Anthony Ralston, Callum Booth, Jason Kerr (c), Jamie McCart, Liam Craig (Matt Butcher 51), Ali McCann, Jason Holt (Stevie May 85), Drey Wright, David Wotherspoon, Callum Hendry (Chris Kane 75)

UNUSED SUBS: Elliott Parish, Liam Gordon, Scott Tanser, Isaiah Jones

SCORERS: Callum Hendry (27), Chris Kane (90+2)

MOTHERWELL: Mark Gillespie, Peter Hartley (c), Declan Gallagher, Jake Carroll, Liam Grimshaw, Liam Donnelly, Mark O'Hara, Rolando Aarons (Liam Polworth 84), Jermaine Hylton (Christy Manzinga 69), Allan Campbell, Christopher Long (Tony Watt 64)

UNUSED SUBS: Trevor Carson, Bevis Mugabi, Ross McIver, Richard Tait

SCORER: Christopher Long (32)