Motherwell make the short trip to Paisley on Saturday hoping for an elusive victory.
Followers of the Steelmen have to look back to early September to remember a ‘Well win. In the thirteen matches since that happy day at Tynecastle five draws and eight losses have placed Motherwell perilously close to the foot of the table.
Injuries and suspensions have played a part in the woeful run but the players know that they are underperforming. The team has conceded more than any other and only a series of added time equalisers eased the pain. It is no surprise to the home team as strong favourites.
St Mirren still retain a narrow hold on third place despite a recent wobbly spell. Two wins from their last six attempts has been enough to retain their place thanks to the indifferent form of their competitors. Stephen Robinson praised the striking partnership of Jonah Ayunga and Stav Nahmani after his side beat Ross County 2-0 last week and with Mikael Mandron with six to his credit they have plenty of firepower available. Alex Gogic also impressed as they recorded a clean sheet.
Motherwell had to field a much changed side last week that featured Stephen O’Donnell as a central defender. Nevertheless they held off the St Johnstone threats until a self-inflicted error offered the visitors a goal. Once again the manager was forced to throw on every able bodied forward in a frantic charge for a late goal. And to their credit the fourth added time goal in recent weeks delivered a valuable point. A reliance on late heroics is not sustainable and if the season is not to end in disaster an improvement is needed.
Harry Paton will be welcomed back having served his two game suspension and fingers are crossed that John McGinn and Calum Butcher are declared fit.
Craig Napier will be the man in the middle.
Meetings with St Mirren have been close affairs in the last couple of seasons and one goal is normally enough to secure three points. On this occasion both teams might find the net to produce a 1-1 draw.