A sparkling start in Perth set Motherwell up for a fine 3-0 win that dispels some of the gloom that's been hanging over Fir Park in recent weeks.
The news awaiting the Motherwell fans squeezed into the extreme left end of the main stand was that both Hutchinson and Kerr were on the injured list. That resulted in a back four of Hateley, Cummins, Ramsden and Hammell being charged with the protection of Randolph’s goal.
The four game goal drought disappeared inside the first minute. Ojamaa collected the ball on the left and from the angle of the box let fly with a shot/cross that struck a defender before falling at Murphy’s feet. The shot was easily dispatched to give us a terrific start.
Ojamaa missed a sitter in the second minute when a slack pass back set him up with a glorious chance. With the goal gaping he snatched the ball wide from ten yards. We spurned another chance or two before St Johnstone settled into any rhythm.
Inevitably, the home side started to push us back and we had to endure several tense moments. We looked uncomfortable with crossed balls and too often resorted to hasty clearances when a more productive option was available.
In 37 minutes Murphy collected his second goal. He collected Hammell’s pass on the left wing and headed towards the goal. No challenge came as he bore through a ruck of defenders and his low drive beat Mannus. We had the two goal lead our first half chances had merited.
Saints kicked off the second period with the floodlights on and the game fell into a sluggish spell with little incident. On the hour Ojamaa had a half chance to lob the ‘keeper and from the ensuing corner Cummins headed over the bar.
The killer third goal was set up with a fine back heel from Ojamaa that released both Murphy and Law into the box with just Mannus to beat. Law took charge and dinked the ball over the goalie to secure the three points.
Randolph did well to prevent a consolation for Saints when he produced a quick reaction save from Hasselbaink's header as the game entered the closing stages but Robertson gave the home crowd a cheer when he blasted a cut back into the net with two minutes remaining.
The win puts us back in the top six and sets us up for our game in hand on Wednesday with the rot well and truly over.
Saturday 3 November 2012
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