Report: 'Well 1 St Johnstone 2

Last updated : 27 June 2017 By Firparkcorner

Poor? Lacking conviction? Uninspired? It's difficult to find words fit to describe the performance of a 'Well side beaten by a St Johnstone team which was, at best, ordinary.

The team started out with the same formation as lost to Hearts last week. Three at the back (Ready replacing Forrest) and five in midfield (Adams replacing McFadden). Woods (surely in the shop window) retained his place.

The usual St Johnstone support

The formation had altered considerably mid way through the second half, such was the disarray. Both teams were reduced to ten on the hour when the referee and his assistant spotted some ankle tapping between Strong and Saint's Forsyth . Both went for early baths and for the second week in a row we had a central defender dismissed.

But we had found a new leader up front! Karl Ready, who had been our main threat in the first half from his far post headers at set pieces, was dispatched to join our ineffective strike force. In truth he made little difference.

Indeed, McFadden's late consolation goal gave the game a score which suggested a close game. It was never close.

Both teams found the surface difficult but the visitors seemed to adjust more quickly. We rarely visited the Saints goal and didn't trouble their goalie until a Leitch long range shot was beaten away just before half time. We were two down by then.

Both goals came from shots on the edge of the box. The first beat Woods at his left hand post and the second sneaked in at his right. Neither goal was the result of inspired forward play but the home support could not have been surprised at their arrival. Most of the play found us on the back foot, unable to break out of our half. The first came in nine minutes and the second in thirty eight.

Eric Black said afterwards, "we didn't play well until we were 2-0 down". Maybe he noticed an improvement which escaped the four and a half thousand spectators! James McFadden replaced Adams at the break but the pattern of the play hardly changed.

The clock moved steadily but we rarely troubled them It was not until the second period was well underway that Elliott got involved for the first time. He produced a fine run and shot but our reward was only a corner.

Kelly tried an ambition hook shot from close in and there was a stramash in their six yard box but we got no break. They could have scored a third with twenty minutes left when Woods was exposed by the stretched defence. He came out and managed to get a foot to the shot. Even McFadden's goal flattered. He struck well from around twenty five yards but had to have the help of a deflection to beat the goalie.

"I thought it was a very poor display from us" said the manager after the game. Correct.

We are now five points clear of St Johnstone. Eric's men have just lost a six pointer and that is disappointing enough but the manner of he defeat must have alarm bells ringing in the Fir Park manager's office.