There was no new manager bounce for Motherwell as St Johnstone took the points at Fir Park after a handing us a 2-1 defeat. We equalised once with McDonald but despite a late effort failed to score a second.
The midweek injury scare forced a patched up selection. Moult and Frear joined the team while the suspended Heneghan dropped out with Bowman. McHugh continued his central defensive partnership with Jules.
Unfortunately we lasted only 8 minutes before we conceded to a Craig header. Shaky defence syndrome was again a major factor and it almost cost a second when McHugh lost possession on the half hour.
We had a few opportunities; Cadden blasted high from ten yards McDonald had a penalty claim waved away then squandered a decent chance from close range and a Cadden shot was off target. We finished the half the stronger side and got the reward a minute from the break. A blocked shot found its way to McDonald and afer a controlling touch he fired us level.
St Johnsone changed 'keepers for the second period as Mannus replaced Clark. He was soon in action after a 'Well corner when Jules forced a save on the line. We kept the pressure up and Moult came close with a chest then volley on the hour. Our top scorer had a another chance when he collected Frear's cross.
But our frailty at the back cost us when St Johnstone ventured to the other end for the first time in the second half. Swanson crossed, Ferguson failed to make the cut out and Craig volleyed hs team into the lead.
We responded by pulling Bowman off the bench with Hammell making way. The visitors were intent on slowing the game and Davidson was booked for his contribution.
Ainsworth replaced Frear as we pushed for a second equaliser and it almost came when Moult had a header only five yards out but he missed the target. Bownan almost produced a last gasp goal when his header struck the inside of the post but the ball ran along the line without crossing.
It was a hard loss but that's the reward for shoddy defending and weak finishing.
Motherwell 1 St Johnstone 2
Team: Samson, Hammell (Bowman 68), McHugh, Cadden, Clay, Jules (Blyth 91), Ferguson, McDonald, Pearson, Moult, Frear (Ainsworth)