Scottish Premiership
MotherwellMotherwell3St MirrenSt Mirren0

Motherwell 3-0 St Mirren

By Clive LindsayBBC Scotland at Fir Park

Henri Anier grabbed an impressive double as Motherwell ended St Mirren's run of four games without defeat at Fir Park.

The on-loan Viking Stavanger striker turned his markers dizzy before firing the opener from eight yards.

Lionel Ainsworth sped into the penalty box to slip the second past St Mijrren goalkeeper Marian Kello.

And Anier ensured a deserved victory with a fine half-volley finish from 12 yards.

The victory builds on the three points won by Stuart McCall's side away to Ross County last weekend and justifies his decision to name an unchanged starting line-up.

McCall spoke ahead of the game of his desire to extend the loan spells for Anier and Rotherham United winger Ainsworth.

And the 'Well boss will be doubling his efforts after they combined to ensure the Buddies followed six unbeaten games with successive defeats.

The pair combined straight from kick-off as Ainsworth's near-post cross was headed just wide by the Estonia striker.

St Mirren manager Danny Lennon had resisted the temptation to rest Paul McGowan after a no-doubt stressful week in which the midfielder pleaded guilty to two assaults on police officers.

With his bright orange boots, the 26-year-old showed no desire to hide from the public glare and his tenacious probings were asking questions of the home side, but they responded with a stout, if sometimes desperate, defence under trial.

However, it was Kello who was being given the stiffer test as he flew full length to turn wide a Simon Ramsden header and blocked an Ainsworth effort from point-blank range.

Lennon had brought Lee Mair into defence ahead of Marc McAusland, but the centre-half and captain Jim Goodwin were turned inside out by Anier as the striker fired the opening goal.

Apart from a slightly too high long-range effort from Gary Harkins, who had started ahead of John McGinn, the closest the visitors came to replying before the break was when on-loan Dundee goalkeeper Dan Twardzik flapped at the midfielder's corner before punching unconvincingly clear a second time.

Livewire Ainsworth was a constant threat down the Motherwell left and started and finished their second goal, slipping the ball past the advancing Kello after collecting a neat touch through from John Sutton.

Motherwell were again the more incisive after the break and Mair had to clear a goal-bound Sutton effort from in front of goal then Kello again blocked from Ainsworth.

St Mirren substitute McGinn stung Twardzik's palms with a rasping 16-yard drive, but any prospects of a fightback were ended with Anier's finish from an Iain Vigurs cross.

Line-ups

Motherwell

Formation 4-4-2

  • 51Twardzik
  • 4Ramsden
  • 3Hammell
  • 14LasleySubstituted forLawsonat 85'minutes
  • 5Hutchinson
  • 6McManus
  • 25AinsworthSubstituted forKerrat 77'minutes
  • 18Carswell
  • 24AnierSubstituted forMooreat 72'minutes
  • 9Sutton
  • 11Vigurs

Substitutes

  • 7McFadden
  • 8Lawson
  • 15Cummins
  • 17Francis-Angol
  • 20Kerr
  • 21Stewart
  • 22Moore

St Mirren

Formation 4-1-4-1

  • 28Kello
  • 18Kelly
  • 22Naismith
  • 6GoodwinSubstituted forvan Zantenat 80'minutes
  • 4McGregor
  • 5Mair
  • 24NewtonBooked at 60minsSubstituted forMcGinnat 61'minutesBooked at 83mins
  • 10McGowan
  • 9Thompson
  • 11McLean
  • 8HarkinsSubstituted forReillyat 77'minutes

Substitutes

  • 2van Zanten
  • 7McGinn
  • 14McAusland
  • 16Caprice
  • 17Reilly
  • 27Grainger
  • 30Dilo
Referee:
William Collum
Attendance:
3,867

Match Stats

Home TeamMotherwellAway TeamSt Mirren
Possession
Home55%
Away45%
Shots
Home14
Away6
Shots on Target
Home6
Away1
Corners
Home10
Away10
Fouls
Home8
Away9

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Motherwell 3, St Mirren 0.

  2. Post update

    Keith Lasley (Motherwell) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  3. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Motherwell 3, St Mirren 0.

  4. Post update

    Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by Sean Kelly.

  5. Post update

    Attempt missed. John Sutton (Motherwell) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left.

  6. Post update

    Craig Moore (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  7. Post update

    Foul by Lee Mair (St Mirren).

  8. Substitution

    Substitution, Motherwell. Paul Lawson replaces Keith Lasley.

  9. Post update

    Corner, St Mirren. Conceded by Simon Ramsden.

  10. Booking

    John McGinn (St Mirren) is shown the yellow card.

  11. Post update

    Foul by John McGinn (St Mirren).

  12. Substitution

    Substitution, St Mirren. David van Zanten replaces James Goodwin.

  13. Substitution

    Substitution, Motherwell. Fraser Kerr replaces Lionel Ainsworth.

  14. Substitution

    Substitution, St Mirren. Thomas Reilly replaces Gary Harkins.

  15. Post update

    Attempt missed. Steven Thompson (St Mirren) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left.

  16. Substitution

    Substitution, Motherwell. Craig Moore replaces Henri Anier.

  17. Post update

    Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by Lee Mair.

  18. Post update

    Foul by Stuart Carswell (Motherwell).

  19. Post update

    Paul McGowan (St Mirren) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  20. Post update

    Foul by Simon Ramsden (Motherwell).