The scene was set early on when the visitors dominated the first ten minutes. Apart from an early long range tester from Kerr we were fortunate to escape as several promising attempts flowed into Smith's penalty area.
First half defence
We fell behind after twenty minutes when McLaren turned Murphy inside out and delivered a low ball into the box. Peter MacDonald got a foot in place and the ball scooped over Smith and found the net.
St Johnstone could have had the game sewn up by the break. Scotland should have done better with an unchallenged header ten yards out when Reynolds was a couple of yards out of position. Then Smith produced a wonder diving save from a Harvey header and we reached the safety of the dressing room without further loss.
Second half attack
Motherwell charged upfield from the restart and McCormack was pulled down twenty five yards from goal within seconds. He took the free kick but the attempt flew high and wide.
There was no fluency on show as we sprayed passes to blue jerseys and failed to support the strikers from midfield. The game was killed with twenty minutes remaining when the Stanic ran through our defence to set up Scotland with scoring header.
The home fans got a late glimpse of hope when McDonald's cross was side footed home by McCormack but it would have been a travesty has we taken the game to a replay. St Johnstone thoroughly deserved their win and their record against SPL teams continues to impress.
Everyone who wore the claret and amber tonight has soul searching to do for the next day or two. We were outplayed at home by a team from a lower division. No excuses, we were awful.