No Joy for Motherwell in Paisley

Last updated : 19 January 2008 By Firparkcorner

A decent Motherwell support made the short journey and they would have been pleased to read a fine tribute to Phil O'Donnell in the match programme. The pitch had recovered from the recent deluge and only a forty yard puddle along the main stand-side track was left as a reminder.

Smith takes care of a first half corner

We lined up with just the one expected change; Marc Fitzpatrick replaced the suspended Jim Paterson at left back. St Mirren had the better of the opening exchanges and they came close when an overhead effort from Dargo caused a sharp intake of breath.

The home team's early pressure paid off in eight minutes when Corcoran was given room on the left side of the box. His low drive through Smith's legs game them the lead. To Motherwell's credit we equalised three minutes later. McCormack found McGarry running into the box at the dead ball line. He collected on his chest (though the defence claimed for hand ball) and passed to Clarkson who was able to pick his spot and beat Chris Smith on the keeper's left.

There followed a fairly even spell during which we began to get our passing game going to some extent but we developed no goal scoring chances. On the other hand Smith was forced into a couple of saves in our goal before we lost a bad one seven minutes before the break. A Corcoran corner arrived at the back post where both Quinn and Maxwell waited. Our captain failed to get a clean head on the ball and it ended up in the net off of the St Mirren player.

Motherwell started the second period attacking the goal in front of the away support with the words of the manager's team talk fresh in their heads but it failed to stop Maxwell scoring their third in forty nine minutes. The tempo of the game picked up and a few niggling tackles raised the temperature. Van Zanten was booked for mouthing to the referee and McCormack found himself with only the keeper to beat following the quickly taken free kick but his shot was saved.

McGhee pulled off McGarry and fielded Murphy on the hour in an an attempt to salvage something. The switch almost came off immediately when the youngster made a wonderful low cross which ran inside the six yard but it eluded the strikers. The youngster then produced a fine dribble at the edge of the box to set up Clarkson but poor control ended the chance.

The manager's last throw of the dice was to bring on McLean for McCormack. Both full backs moved up the park and we played a three man back line. Greham replaced Porter for the last few minutes.

At least we have a run of home games to come.