We kicked off with our backs to the away end and the game soon settled into a lethargic rhythm. There was little urgency and even less action in the first fifteen minutes but it was clear that Gus McPherson's team were aware of our defensive weakness, especially on the left.
Almost every attacking move from St Mirren was channelled to face Paterson and Donnelly. The goalkeeper's long clearances, their switches of play and any of the few passing moves were destined to find their right wing and the tactic bore fruit when Kean freed himself form the loose attention of Donnelly with a quick turn deep inside the box. His low cross had to travel only a dozen yards to provide Sutton with an easy finish from close in.
The pattern continued without much invention from either team. Though Quinn and Hamilton, then Kerr from a free kick, forced saves from Smith in the home goal. We demonstrated nothing in the way of creative play.
Five minutes after the break we gifted the Saints the second goal. An in-swinging corner seemed to be falling safely towards the far post with no black and white threat in sight. The ball glanced off Quinn and into the net.
McDonald and Clarkson replaced Foran and McCormack as Malpas tried to scheme a way back into the game.
Graham Smith had a busy spell and had to be on top form when Sutton spotted him a couple of yards from his line. The keeper was at full stretch to palm the ball to the ground and had to be quick to smother it.
We had most the ball for the last quarter as the home team sat back a touch. Despite this we failed to come close to scoring.
After the game Malpas said that we were pedestrian in our performance and that we gave away two soft goals.
Some desperate work is needed to fix this broken team. We were short of pace and ideas up front and very shaky at the back. It will be long, hard season.