Hall and Pearson will get deserved credit for having their names on the scoresheet but all their teammates made decent contributions to the victory that moved us a few spots up the table.
Despite the teatime scare about the weather beaten pitch the surface held up well and the groundsman should be complimented.
It was not a surprise to see Motherwell line up with the same eleven that won the two previous games and we kicked off facing the South Stand. The opening exchanges were tentative and it took some time before either team threatened.
The scoreboard displayed the Brave as a Lion legend during the tenth minute and the crowd gave Uncle Phil a round of applause.
McDonald cut in from the left and fired into the side net and at the other end Ripley produced an excellent save when MacLean’s shot seemed bound for the corner.
Our first corner came after half an hour and we took the lead when Hall headed the ball over the line. The teenage centre back has now played three, won three and has his name on the goal scorers’ table.
St Johnstone seemed likely to equalise following a race down the left wing followed by a perfect pass to Kane in the centre. He was running in of goal but Ripley came to our rescue as he robbed the ball from the striker’s feet. The importance of his save was evident a minute later as the ball was swept up field by McDonald and funnelled to Pearson who had sprinted into the box. Fisher blocked his attempt but the ball fell kindly and it was dispatched with the second bite. Within two minutes of the break we had the game won.
St Johnstone had been hampered by having to make two first half substitutions O’Halloran and Davidson were unable to continue and their loss id us no harm.
We had to defend in numbers for much of the second period but Ripley and his men kept their clean sheet. We came close to a third when McDonald threw himself to head the ball wide with the goal gaping.
The manager felt that we were “a little bit off with tonight’s performance” and warned of the danger of complacency ahead of the visit of Hamilton on Saturday. Still, a team with three wins on the trot must go into the Lanarkshire derby with confidence.
Motherwell 2 St Johnstone 0
Team: Ripley, Hammell, Grimshaw, Mcmanus, Pearson, Johnson (Clarkson 84), Lasley, Law, Moult (Ainsworth 60), Hall, McDonald