Festive double is the aim after Saints slip

Steven Saunders played for the under-20s last week, but is still some way off a first team return.
Steven Saunders played for the under-20s last week, but is still some way off a first team return.
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MOTHERWELL’S stay in second place in the SPL lasted less than a week as they lost to St Mirren on Friday night.

Striker Bob McHugh struck for the second week in a row, but it wasn’t enough to cancel out two Stephen Thompson goals in a 2-1 defeat in Paisley.

’Well will aim to pick themselves up with a festive double header at Fir Park against Aberdeen today (Wednesday) and Kilmarnock on Saturday.

Despite dominating the early part of the game, ’Well almost went behind only for Tom Hateley to pull off a brilliant goal-line clearance from Jim Goodwin.

At the other end St Mirren goalkeeper Craig Samson tipped Shaun Hutchinson’s header on to the angle of post and bar, while Kenny McLean grazed Darren Randolph’s bar with a deflected shot.

But the hosts were put firmly in control with two goals in three minutes.

On 39 minutes THOMPSON steered in Jon Robertson’s cutback at the front post and then on 42 minutes the same player rose above Hateley at the back post to loop a header over Randolph from Gary Teale’s cross.

After the break Randolph kept his side interested with saves from McLean and John McGinn.

The visitors had a decent shout for a penalty as Nicky Law’s shot looked to have been handled by Goodwin, but referee Iain Brines wasn’t interested.

Last week Hibs threw away the game against ‘Well after taking off their strikers, having been 2-0 up, and when St Mirren withdrew Teale and put on Lee Mair ’Well must have hoped for a case of deja-vu.

Stuart McCall’s men seized the initiative, and 13 minutes from the end substitute McHUGH turned in Henrik Ojamaa’s cross.

However, despite battering at Samson’s goal there was to be no equaliser.

Better news for ‘Well is the return to action of defender Steven Saunders who underwent knee surgery in August. The 21-year-old turned out for the under-20s last week against Dundee and even managed to get on the scoresheet.

Saunders told MFCTV: “It was good to be back on a football pitch after four and a half months out and get 35 minutes under my belt.

“I feel good fitness wise. I am a bit away from first team action, but with a few more under-20s games I’ll get there.”