St Mirren and Motherwell contested a goalless draw in Paisley, a result which does neither side any favours.

The home side had the best of the opening 45 minutes and Gary Teale's deflected effort was well saved by Darren Randolph.

However, Motherwell forced the pace in the second half and Craig Samson produced a superb stop to block Michael Higdon's header.

Winger Chris Humphrey hit the bar late on but St Mirren held out for a point.

A flowing first-minute move looked to have ended with Paul McGowan's shot being blocked by Motherwell defender Tim Clancy. But the loose ball fell to Dougie Imrie and his powerful drive was batted away by visiting goalkeeper Randolph at his near post.

Teale was impressing for St Mirren on the right wing and he almost fired his side ahead on the half-hour mark. He cut inside from that flank and unleashed a deflected shot that Randolph had to pull off a stunning stop to keep out.

Motherwell were under real pressure and McGowan found a yard of space at the edge of the box and cracked a 20-yard shot inches past the upright.

The visitors had offered little in attack but had a penalty claim turned down in 37 minutes when Marc McAusland appeared to foul Nicky Law. Referee Craig Charleston, officating in his first Scottish Premier League match, waved away the appeals.

Motherwell produced the move of the match seven minutes into the second period when Henrik Ojamaa twisted and turned to get away from two opponents and crossed for Higdon.

The striker met the ball with his head to bring out a contender for save of the season from Samson as he made an instinctive block with his right hand.

As the game entered its later stages, Motherwell squandered an excellent opportunity to take the lead when defender Shaun Hutchinson failed to make strong contact with a Tom Hateley set-piece and his header missed the target.

Estonian striker Ojamaa then saw his curling effort touched away by Samson and, finally, Humphrey hit the crossbar with an attempted cross as Stuart McCall's side searched in vain for a winner.

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