Motherwell will be happy to return from Perth with a point after a 1-1 draw.
St Johnstone had the majority of possession but they had to rely on Motherwell conceding a ninth penalty of the season to get back into the game after Mark O’Hara finished a fine move in the first half.
The necessity of self-isolation forced a reshuffle for Stephen Robinson as the omission of Allan Campbell and Barry Maguire led to a first start for Robbie Crawford and the return of Bevis Mugabi.
The home side had the better of the early exchanges with only a series of long throw-ins from Stephen O'Donnell offering a counter.
The opening goal came against the run of play but it was a beauty. Motherwell swarmed up the pitch after Stephen O’Donnell’s starter. Lang, Polworth and Watt were involved before Mark O'Hara finished the move with an accurate left footed drive to the right corner of the goal.
The game returned to the previous pattern with St Johnstone probing for an equaliser. It came after a further five minutes following Mugabi's inelegant challenge on Stevie May. The striker blasted the penalty beyond Aaron Chapman.
The half was extended by five minutes following a delay caused by an injury to Murray Davidson. He left the field on a stretcher. In those closing minutes both O'Hara and Devante Cole came close but the teams headed for the break level.
The pattern remained the same. St Johnstone had the better possession and Motherwell tended to rely on breaks. Chris Long replaced Devante Cole after the hour but his involvement lasted barely fifteen minutes before an injury forced his substitution. Ricki Lamie was called from the bench.
Clear chances were few at either end. Stephen O'Donnell lined up a 25 yard effort but missed the target. Jordan White relieved Callum Lang in the dying minutes but the game petered out without a winner.
The teams meet at Fir Park next week in the League Cup. A winner will emerge!
St Johnstone 1 Motherwell 1
Team: Chapman, O'Donnell, Gallagher, Mugabi, McGinley, O'Hara, Crawford, Polworth, Watt, Cole (Long 62 (Lamie 77)), Lang (White 86)
Saturday 21 November 2020