’Well defeated by Saints

Chris Cadden puts Motherwell ahead against St Johnstone on Saturday (Pic by Alan Watson)
Chris Cadden puts Motherwell ahead against St Johnstone on Saturday (Pic by Alan Watson)

Motherwell suffered a 2-1 home reverse at the hands of St Johnstone in the sides’ second Scottish Premiership match of the season on Saturday.

Saints’ Chris Kane had an early shot blocked by Ben Heneghan, before Murray Davidson headed wide after a St Johnstone corner.

A 13th minute defensive mix-up between ‘Well keeper Craig Samson and centre half Stephen McManus let in Kane but he finished weakly.

St Johnstone then almost went ahead in freakish circumstances when McManus’s attempted clearance hit Heneghan’s back and went wide for a corner.

Saints were bossing possession and Danny Swanson and Steven MacLean both had shots just off target as the Perth side dominated.

Chris Millar was the next Saint to have an effort but it was turned over by Samson.

The Steelmen gradually gained a stranglehold and Marvin Johnson had a shot deflected for a corner before Craig Clay had a header blocked from a Joe Chalmers corner.

‘Well came very close to taking the lead when Ainsworth hit the outside of the post after Johnson’s cross to the far stick.

Motherwell went ahead on 47 minutes when Chris Cadden tapped home at the back post after Richard Tait’s cross from the right.

Johnson then shot wide for ‘Well before Saints went to the other end and MacLean’s header was stopped by Samson.

McDonald wasted a great chance to put ‘Well two up when he shot off target after Lionel Ainsworth’s initial attempt had been blocked.

And the Steelmen paid for this just three minutes later when Danny Swanson cut inside and drilled in the equalising goal.

The game was now end to end stuff, with Swanson and Kane missing with Saints goal efforts before Cadden had an effort tipped over and McManus shot off target at the other end.

Johnson forced a great save from Saints keeper Alan Mannus with a shot from outside the box on 68 minutes as ‘Well tried to get ahead.

But it was St Johnstone who got their noses in front when Samson badly spilled a Kane shot to MacLean who shot home.

McDonald had the ball in the net for ’Well on 80 minutes but the ‘goal’ was disallowed as he had clearly punched in Johnson’s whipped free-kick from the right.

Sub Dom Thomas volleyed over Johnson’s cross at the back post as the hosts failed to equalise.