Motherwell got of to a flying start to the season with a wonderful early goal from McGarry. It was enough to take all three points at Love Street.
Reports of McCormack's recovery were wide of the mark and we lined up with Porter leading the line.The preferred back four were Quinn, Craigan, Reynolds and Paterson.The men in the middle were McGarry, Lasley, O'Donnell, Fitzpatrick and Clarkson with the 4-5-1 switching to 4-3-3 when the attacking opportunities presented.
The home side kicked off with their backs to the away stand. We got off to a flyer with a quality goal in the third minute.Clarkson and Porter exchanged passes while advancing at the right corner of the box then squared ball along the six yard line to give McGarry the simple job of scoring the first Motherwell goal of the season.
Five minutes later we could have been two ahead when McGarry's pinpoint cross following an eighty yard drive up the right wing found the head of Clarkson.The striker was inches away and the ball crashed of the junction of post and bar.
Porter in action
The game took on an edge as the match settled into its rhythm.The referee managed to book six by the break and half chances began to spring up at either end.Smith had to get down quickly to smother a Brady effort through a crowded penalty area on the half hour as the Saints tried to find an equaliser.
We had another chance to extend the lead five minutes before half time when a McGarry free kick was handled by Mehmet inside the box.Slim Jim Paterson missed the target from the spot and the opposition, buoyed by the bonus, charged to the other end to put Smith under pressure.We had to hang on for the forty five minute whistle and escaped when St Mirren failed to make the best of a free kick just outside the box.
There were a couple of anxious moments at the start of the second period and Mcghee's response was a double substitution five minutes in.McGarry and O'Donnell made way for Mensing and Darren Smith.
We3defended well and at times swarmed around attackers to break up the threat.Corcoran had a good chance when the ball fell to him at the far post but he screwed his first time effort wide. An animated Mark McGhee, in shirt sleeves and tie-less, spent lots of time in the technical area urging his troops on.
We began to hang on more and more as the Saints threw more men upfield.Despite this we had a few chances.Fitzpatrick had a half shot from twenty two yards and then a free volley inside the box.Clarkson found himself with only the keeper in his way but an all to familiar lack of composure caused the opportunity to fade away.
Murphy replaced Clarkson in injury time and the big travelling support was able to give the team a triumphant cheer as the referee brought the game to an end.It was just the start our new manager had hoped for (and we havefour 'home' games ahead).There will be a few celebrations in town tonight!