Match ends, Motherwell 1, St. Johnstone 2.
St Johnstone staged a dramatic comeback to stun Motherwell in an all top-flight Scottish League Cup meeting to progress to the quarter-finals.
Tony Watt sparked a turgid game at Fir Park into life with the opener just after the hour for the hosts.
But goals from Callum Hendry and David Wotherspoon had the visitors in front within 16 minutes, with a late cavalry charge not heralding a leveller.
It means St Johnstone are now unbeaten over 90 minutes in 10 games.
While the two played in the Scottish Premiership last week, you have to go all the way back to 1969 for the last League Cup meeting.
On the basis of the first half, this wasn't worth the wait. A scrappy and frenetic game did not offer up a bounty of chances until just before the break, Watt shooting straight at Zander Clark, while Ali McCann was impressively denied at the other end by Aaron Chapman's outstretched leg.
Motherwell emerged rejuvenated for the second half, with Sherwin Seedorf on in attack, and on 61 minutes they took the lead.
A floated free-kick was not mopped up by the visitors, with the ball shuffled through to Watt. With the defence napping, the former McDiarmid Park striker shuttled the ball under Clark.
However, it was a lead that lasted only seven minutes. Slack play allowed Michael O'Halloran to race to the byeline and cut the ball back. Chapman's leg blocked the cross but only deflected the ball straight to Hendry, who tapped in.
And the winner arrived 11 minutes later. O'Halloran's electric pace again crucial, this time his drilled delivery being turned in at the front post by Wotherspoon.
Motherwell manager Stephen Robinson: "Arguably we didn't deserve to take the lead. I thought they were hungrier, more bit to them. They just were brighter.
"The two goals that we gave away I can only describe as ridiculous decision making. You can't legislate for that. It's just poor defending. We probably got what we deserved."
St Johnstone manager Callum Davidson: "We probably lost the goal against the run of play a little bit. Heads could easily have gone down. I think we showed the character of the players.
"Michael O'Halloran basically dragged us back into the game with his heart and his desire. The cups are really important to St Johnstone. We'll look forward to the draw."
- 31GallagherBooked at 10mins
- 4LamieSubstituted forGrimshawat 77'minutes
- 19PolworthSubstituted forWhiteat 77'minutes
- 44ColeSubstituted forSeedorfat 45'minutes
- 6GordonBooked at 57mins
- 11O'HalloranBooked at 41mins
- 22HendrySubstituted forKaneat 77'minutes
- Alan Muir
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Motherwell 1, St. Johnstone 2.
Attempt blocked. Tony Watt (Motherwell) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.
Attempt missed. Liam Craig (St. Johnstone) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.
Corner, St. Johnstone. Conceded by Declan Gallagher.
Foul by Robbie Crawford (Motherwell).
Shaun Rooney (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Callum Lang (Motherwell) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Michael O'Halloran (St. Johnstone).
Foul by Callum Lang (Motherwell).
Shaun Rooney (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Attempt blocked. Callum Lang (Motherwell) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.
Attempt missed. Liam Gordon (St. Johnstone) header from very close range is just a bit too high.
Corner, St. Johnstone. Conceded by Liam Grimshaw.
Foul by Liam Grimshaw (Motherwell).
Shaun Rooney (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Attempt saved. David Wotherspoon (St. Johnstone) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.
Attempt missed. Christopher Kane (St. Johnstone) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right.
Foul by Liam Grimshaw (Motherwell).
Christopher Kane (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick on the right wing.
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