Scottish Premiership
St JohnstoneSt Johnstone2MotherwellMotherwell1

St Johnstone 2-1 Motherwell

By Kenny CrawfordBBC Scotland
Steven MacLean knocks in the first of two close-range goals

Steven MacLean scored twice as St Johnstone recovered from the loss of an early goal to record their first victory of the season.

The striker turned the ball in from close-range twice in the second half, helped by assists from David Wotherspoon and Michael O'Halloran.

Louis Moult had bundled Motherwell ahead on 11 minutes.

Jake Taylor picked up a late second booking for simulation as the visitors slumped to a fourth successive loss.

Motherwell are now without a point in five visits to McDiarmid Park.

Three points for St Johnstone lift Tommy Wright's side to seventh in the Premiership and although clean sheets evade Saints, there is no shortage of goals.

MacLean, formerly of clubs such as Rangers, Aberdeen and Sheffield Wednesday, has now already equalled his tally from last season of three strikes - he looked threatening for three quarters of the match.

It was the first quarter when Saints stalled a bit, with Lionel Ainsworth getting the better of Brian Easton down the right to square the ball low for his fellow Englishman Moult to open his account in the most straightforward of ways since joining from Wrexham.

Louis Moult scored his first goal for Motherwell
Louis Moult scored his first goal for Motherwell

Ainsworth and Scott McDonald then scorned chances to add to the visitors' lead.

Motherwell goalkeeper Connor Ripley - son of former Blackburn Rovers winger Stuart Ripley - had looked awkward versus Aberdeen last week but his two saves from 15-yard MacLean strikes were impressive.

MacLean had better luck from a few yards out after the break.

His first was set up by substitute Wotherspoon and converted into the middle of the goal, then O'Halloran wriggled free down the right to expertly provide another on a plate for him in a match watched by Scotland manager Gordon Strachan.

To complete a miserable day for Motherwell, Welsh midfielder Taylor, on loan from Reading, picked up a second yellow from referee Craig Thomson for going down too easily.

Line-ups

St Johnstone

Formation 4-4-2

  • 1Mannus
  • 14Shaughnessy
  • 2Mackay
  • 3Scobbie
  • 24Easton
  • 29O'HalloranSubstituted forCraigat 87'minutes
  • 7Millar
  • 8Davidson
  • 4LappinSubstituted forWotherspoonat 58'minutes
  • 18CumminsSubstituted forKaneat 73'minutes
  • 9MacLean

Substitutes

  • 10Wotherspoon
  • 11Sutton
  • 12Clark
  • 15McKay
  • 25Kane
  • 26Craig
  • 27Thomson

Motherwell

Formation 4-4-2

  • 1Ripley
  • 18Law
  • 5Laing
  • 6McManus
  • 3HammellSubstituted forChalmersat 45'minutesBooked at 68mins
  • 7AinsworthSubstituted forLeitchat 68'minutes
  • 14Lasley
  • 25TaylorBooked at 86mins
  • 11Johnson
  • 77McDonaldSubstituted forThomasat 78'minutes
  • 20Moult

Substitutes

  • 12Twardzik
  • 15Chalmers
  • 16Kennedy
  • 19Clarkson
  • 21Leitch
  • 23Thomas
  • 26Cadden
Referee:
Craig Thomson
Attendance:
3,361

Match Stats

Home TeamSt JohnstoneAway TeamMotherwell
Possession
Home54%
Away46%
Shots
Home11
Away11
Shots on Target
Home6
Away4
Corners
Home7
Away6
Fouls
Home7
Away8

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, St. Johnstone 2, Motherwell 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, St. Johnstone 2, Motherwell 1.

  3. Post update

    Attempt missed. Louis Moult (Motherwell) header from the centre of the box misses to the left following a set piece situation.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Chris Millar (St. Johnstone).

  5. Post update

    Louis Moult (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  6. Post update

    Corner, St. Johnstone. Conceded by Josh Law.

  7. Substitution

    Substitution, St. Johnstone. Liam Craig replaces Michael O'Halloran.

  8. Dismissal

    Second yellow card to Jake Taylor (Motherwell).

  9. Post update

    Jake Taylor (Motherwell) has gone down, but that's a dive.

  10. Post update

    Corner, St. Johnstone. Conceded by Joe Chalmers.

  11. Post update

    Attempt missed. David Wotherspoon (St. Johnstone) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right from a direct free kick.

  12. Post update

    Christopher Kane (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  13. Post update

    Foul by Stephen McManus (Motherwell).

  14. Goal!

    Goal! St. Johnstone 2, Motherwell 1. Steven MacLean (St. Johnstone) left footed shot from very close range to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Michael O'Halloran.

  15. Substitution

    Substitution, Motherwell. Dom Thomas replaces Scott McDonald.

  16. Post update

    Attempt missed. Steven MacLean (St. Johnstone) left footed shot from the right side of the box misses to the left.

  17. Substitution

    Substitution, St. Johnstone. Christopher Kane replaces Graham Cummins.

  18. Post update

    Attempt saved. Marvin Johnson (Motherwell) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

  19. Post update

    Chris Millar (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  20. Post update

    Foul by Keith Lasley (Motherwell).