The home side kicked off and Motherwell started with backs to the impressive travelling support. We were forced into two changes with Lasley's suspension and the injury to Saunders. Hutchison returned to his place in defence and Forbes was given his first outing of the season.
Despite Saints having the best of the opening quarter it was Motherwell that had two early chances to open the scoring. First Law and higdon combined to set up Murphy on the 18 yard line. Samson reacted well to the shot. Minutes later Goodwin was robbed by the close attentions of Higdon and Law. The midfielder then ran into the box unchallenged but his finish was foiled by the 'keeper who pushed the ball away for a corner.
We had another chance in 26 minutes when Higdon turned and shot from around 10 yards but again Samson touched it round the post. Saints were by no means bystanders and they had plenty of possession in our last third but their chances were limited to long range efforts and at the break there was no score.
The St Mirren crowd came to life early in the second period when we needed some last ditch defending to cut out a series of dangerous crosses. The game became a wee bit physical as both teams pressed and players had little time on the ball. None of this was helped by the seemingly random decisions of Iain Brines who managed to attract cries of derision from both sets of fans.
Murphy was a foot short of poking the ball beyond Samson and Higdon pounced on a slip to test the keeper again. By mid second half he was already assured of the man of the match award. Forbes unleased fizzer from 30 yards and Higdon came close to the resultant spill.
Saints, for all their passing and pressure failed to break through and with the help of some brave defending we kept them out. With five minutes left Jennings came off and Carswell took up midfield station. The referee had signalled for one added minute and we moved up the park for a final attack. Law was fouled by Teale outside the left corner of the box and both teams made their preparations for the free kick. In front of the 1000 Motherwell fans (as he did in Odense) Hateley was given the chance to score with almost the last kick of the ball. He struck sweetly and for the first time in the game Samson was beaten. The ball swept into the net on his left and the game was won.
Saints will feel hard done by but we created far more chances and take away all three points. Well done Tom!