Scottish Premiership
Motherwell1St Johnstone5

Motherwell 1-5 St Johnstone

Media playback is not supported on this device

Highlights: Motherwell 1-5 St Johnstone

Departing striker Steven MacLean scored a hat-trick in his final game for St Johnstone to dent Motherwell's Scottish Cup final preparations.

MacLean, who joins Hearts this summer, headed home Ricky Foster's cross before Steven Anderson grabbed the second.

A first-time finish brought MacLean, 35, his second before half-time.

He tapped home to complete his hat-trick before Gael Bigirimana nodded in for Well, but David McMillan headed in a fifth to seal a crushing victory.

"It was a great all-round performance and you couldn't have written the script better for Steven, leaving with a hat-trick, and some of the goals and some of our play was wonderful," beamed Saints boss Tommy Wright.

"It was a great afternoon for us and a great way for Steven to end his career at St Johnstone."

MacLean, who has spent six seasons in Perth, will not play on Hamilton's artificial pitch in their penultimate league game on Tuesday because of knee problems, and is suspended for their last game of the season against Ross County.

Saints remain in eighth place but moved level on points with Well, and closed their goal-difference gap to two, with two games left.

MacLean had the honour of captaining St Johnstone and led by example with his all-round display.

After Motherwell had the best early chance when Curtis Main delayed his shot and saw his effort blocked, Saints took the lead with a well-worked goal.

A probing move down the right saw David Wotherspoon release Richard Foster to the byline, and the full-back delivered a perfect cross for MacLean to head back across Motherwell keeper Trevor Carson into the opposite corner.

Steven MacLean celebrates scoring a hat-trick for St Johnstone
His hat-trick goal brought an exuberant celebration from MacLean, who took his season's goal tally to nine

The visitors doubled their lead five minutes later when Anderson claimed his first goal of the season.

Matty Willock's free-kick was headed down by Murray Davidson, Carson could only parry it into the advancing MacLean and Anderson pounced to blast the ball high into the net.

Saints' third goal was even better than their first. George Williams released Willock on the left and his low cross was met first time by MacLean, racing into the six-yard box and stretching to volley the ball into the net for his second.

Motherwell manager Stephen Robinson sent on two substitutes - Ryan Bowman and Gael Bigirimana - for the second half, withdrawing Liam Grimshaw and Carl McHugh.

Saints came close to a fourth when Wotherspoon connected with a Foster cross but his left-foot shot went wide of the target.

Bigirimana sent in a dipping 30 yard free-kick for Well which Zander Clark parried clear, and the Saints goalkeeper made another excellent reaction save to deny Nadir Ciftci moments later.

But in the 56th minute MacLean topped off his day in the Lanarkshire sun, completing his second hat-trick for Saints.

Steven MacLean gets a hug from manager Tommy Wright as he is replaced
Steven MacLean got a hug from manager Tommy Wright as he was replaced in the second half

Willock played a short free kick to Wotherspoon, who fired in a low shot from 20 yards. The ball looked to be going wide until MacLean swooped to divert it into the net from close range.

The veteran striker received a standing ovation from the visiting support when he departed eight minutes later, with McMillan coming on in his place.

'If we play like that in the Scottish Cup final we've got no chance'

Motherwell did pull a goal back when Bigirimana headed home after Bowman's shot rebounded off the post.

But substitute McMillan, in only his second appearance, headed in Saints' fifth from another terrific cross from Foster from the right.

"David's had a torrid time, getting injured after 15 minutes of his debut, so for him to come on and score a wonderful header made it a great day for us," Wright added.

Motherwell, who rested Richard Tait and Cedric Kipre, looked like a side with at least one eye on their Scottish Cup final date with Celtic in a fortnight.

"That's the first time in 36 games I've seen us play like that," said boss Stephen Robinson. "All our errors came in one game, five crosses into the box - things that we've been very good at dealing with. Every single error we made got punished. It was very uncharacteristic of us.

"If we play like that in the Scottish Cup final we've got no chance but we won't do that. We won't get too carried away with it."

Motherwell still have to face relegation-threatened Partick Thistle on Tuesday and Lanarkshire neighbours Hamilton next Saturday before they can fully focus on Hampden.

Line-ups

Motherwell

  • 1Carson
  • 34Maguire
  • 19Aldred
  • 18Dunne
  • 8McHughSubstituted forBowmanat 45'minutes
  • 7Cadden
  • 4GrimshawSubstituted forBigirimanaat 45'minutesBooked at 84mins
  • 22Campbell
  • 11FrearSubstituted forPetraviciusat 67'minutes
  • 9Main
  • 23CiftciBooked at 83mins

Substitutes

  • 3Hendrie
  • 5Bigirimana
  • 12Bowman
  • 13Griffiths
  • 20Petravicius
  • 26MacLean
  • 31Turnbull

St Johnstone

  • 12Clark
  • 5Shaughnessy
  • 15Kerr
  • 6Anderson
  • 3Tanser
  • 19Foster
  • 28WillockSubstituted forMcCannat 75'minutes
  • 8DavidsonBooked at 79mins
  • 10Wotherspoon
  • 9MacLeanSubstituted forMcMillanat 64'minutes
  • 11WilliamsSubstituted forScougallat 71'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Mannus
  • 14Comrie
  • 16McMillan
  • 21Scougall
  • 23Gordon
  • 26Craig
  • 37McCann
Referee:
Gavin Duncan
Attendance:
3,524

Match Stats

Home TeamMotherwellAway TeamSt Johnstone
Possession
Home50%
Away50%
Shots
Home13
Away14
Shots on Target
Home3
Away8
Corners
Home4
Away1
Fouls
Home17
Away12

Live Text

Match ends, Motherwell 1, St. Johnstone 5.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Motherwell 1, St. Johnstone 5.

Foul by Charles Dunne (Motherwell).

Jason Kerr (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Nadir Ciftci (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Steven Anderson (St. Johnstone).

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

Foul by Ryan Bowman (Motherwell).

Steven Anderson (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Curtis Main (Motherwell).

(St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Booking

Gael Bigirimana (Motherwell) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Gael Bigirimana (Motherwell).

Alistair McCann (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Booking

Nadir Ciftci (Motherwell) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Richard Foster (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Nadir Ciftci (Motherwell).

Goal!

Goal! Motherwell 1, St. Johnstone 5. David McMillan (St. Johnstone) header from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Richard Foster.

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

Booking

Murray Davidson (St. Johnstone) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Allan Campbell (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Murray Davidson (St. Johnstone).

Charles Dunne (Motherwell) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Alistair McCann (St. Johnstone).

Goal!

Goal! Motherwell 1, St. Johnstone 4. Gael Bigirimana (Motherwell) right footed shot from very close range to the high centre of the goal.

Ryan Bowman (Motherwell) hits the left post with a left footed shot from the centre of the box.

Substitution

Substitution, St. Johnstone. Alistair McCann replaces Matty Willock.

Nadir Ciftci (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Murray Davidson (St. Johnstone).

Substitution

Substitution, St. Johnstone. Stefan Scougall replaces George C Williams.

Attempt saved. Matty Willock (St. Johnstone) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Substitution

Substitution, Motherwell. Deimantas Petravicius replaces Elliott Frear.

Attempt missed. Gael Bigirimana (Motherwell) right footed shot from outside the box is too high from a direct free kick.

Nadir Ciftci (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Matty Willock (St. Johnstone).

Attempt blocked. Nadir Ciftci (Motherwell) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Gael Bigirimana (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Murray Davidson (St. Johnstone).

Substitution

Substitution, St. Johnstone. David McMillan replaces Steven MacLean.

Foul by Tom Aldred (Motherwell).

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic35239370234778
2Aberdeen36216954361869
3Rangers362151070442668
4Hibernian361812656391766
5Kilmarnock361510114847155
6Hearts351113113634246
7Motherwell36119163949-1042
8St Johnstone36119163951-1242
9Dundee36106203556-2136
10Hamilton3696214663-1733
11Partick Thistle3679203060-3030
12Ross County36610203960-2128
View full Scottish Premiership table

Top Stories