Motherwell lost to St Johnstone at Fir Park despite scoring a gifted equaliser in added time. Does a 2-1 home defeat end Hammell’s hopes?
One sure conclusion from this game is that the incoming manager has a difficult task ahead. He will inherit a squad short in firepower and shaky in defence. Good luck to him.
Home dugout restored
Stevie Hammell made a couple of changes in his second game with the suspended Ricki Lamie and Jake Carroll replaced by Stephen O’Donnell and Bevis Mugabi.
Under the caretaker a different style is apparent. Reliance on the long ball game is gone and a valiant attempt at the passing game has emerged. However, the weakness in the last third remains.
Kevin Van Veen saw a free kick soar high and Sean Goss tried a drive off target before the visitors opened the scoring. A ball from deep was knocked on to Jamie Murphy and he collected wide on the right side of the penalty area. He placed an inch perfect low shot across Liam Kelly and into the far corner.
St Johnsone score at the wrong end; 1-1
Connor Shield came close to an immediate leveller with a right footed volley that clipped the outside of the post but Hammell decided to make changes at the break.
Dean Cornelius and Joe Efford came on to freshen the attack and more and more play was targeted at the Cooper end goal. On the hour Van Veen forced Matthews into his first save of the match but the St Johnstone defence coped as Motherwell began to up the pace.
Ross Tierney joined the fray and Robbie Mahon was added as desperation grew.
Willie Collum added six extra minutes and the home crowd roared its approval. A decent strike was headed for a corner and the equaliser followed. The ball from the set pieced nicked off Graham Carey and found the same corner as the opener.
Motherwell players charged back to starting positions hoping that time remained for a winner but in the 94th minute their heads dropped when Stevie May managed to toe poke the winner beyond Kelly.
The loss will do Hammell no favours and the work needed to transform this squad is substantial. Some magic will be needed before the transfer deadline arrives.
Motherwell 1 St Mirren 2
Attendance 4,711 (347)
Team: Kelly, O’Donnell, McGinn, Mugabi, Solholm, Maguire (Cornelius 45), Spittal (Tierney 67) , Goss, Van Veen, Morris (Efford 45), Shields (Mahon 85)
Saturday 6 August 2022