Motherwell lost at Fir Park as St Mirren found the net. Goals count, missed chances don’t.
The highlights' reel will have viewers baffled at the result. Motherwell had a host of scoring opportunities but Scott Tanser’s volley ten minutes into the second half proved to be the decisive action.
Home fans were relieved to find Liam Kelly and Blair Spittal in the opening line up as they were passed fit for the match. Paul McGinn was suspended and Shane Blaney stepped into the back three.
The opening quarter revealed two teams attempting to push forward but the game tended to stick in midfield as defences matched the threats.
Conor McMenamin fluffed the first chance with poor contact from 8 yards but the action soon switched to the other end as Callum Slattery and Spittal tested Zack Hemmings.
Theo Bair found room on the right of the box but his attempt to find the far corner narrowly missed. Stephen O’Donnell charged forward into midfield to spark a move that offered Spittal an attempt from the edge of the box but brave defending blocked his effort.
Saints made a double change at the break and Spittal tried his luck after the restart. A long delay followed a clash of heads as Bevis Mugabi and Alex Gogic needed treatment.
St Mirren took the lead with their first shot on target after 55 minutes. Ryan Strain delivered a long ball to the back post and Tanser arrived to volley into the net. Motherwell upped the pace and pushed for the equaliser. The visitors’ crime count accumulated five bookings as they fought to deny ‘Well’s attacks.
Direct attempts from free kicks were saved and corners were defended. Stuart Kettlewell made changes including introducing Georgie Gent to Fir Park. The debutant rattled the bar as the stadium clock showed 90 minutes but there was to be no late leveller despite the additional 7 minutes.
Motherwell drop to third and face fourth placed Rangers at Ibrox next Sunday.
Motherwell 0 St Mirren 1
Attendance 5,653 (1,023)
Team: Kelly, O’Donnell (Gent 83), Blaney (Ferrie 92),Mugabi, Casey, Spencer, Spittal, Slattery, Miller, Paton, Bair (Shaw 78)
Saturday 16 September 2023