St Johnstone 2-1 Motherwell- Match Report

MacLean double seals Saints winTwo goals from Steven MacLean saw St Johnstone come from behind to beat Motherwell 2-1 at McDiarmid Park and record their first Ladbrokes Premiership win of the new season.In a game of two halves, the visitors completely dominated the first period and took the lead through Louis Moult's first goal for the club.But the Saints turned the match around after the break and MacLean's two strikes - both from close-range - ended a miserable start to the season which had seen his side exit the Europa League at the first hurdle and fail to find a victory in their first four league matches.The away side's misery was compounded when Jake Taylor received a second yellow card for diving with four minutes remaining.Motherwell took the lead with the first major opportunity of the game in the 11th minute

After linking up nicely with Scott McDonald, winger Lionel Ainsworth found space on the right and squared for Moult, who applied a simple finish at the far post with the Saints offering little resistance.It was almost two for the visitors moments later

Tom Scobbie lost possession with an awful piece of control in a dangerous area, allowing Moult to run unopposed towards goal, with only a crucial low save by goalkeeper Alan Mannus denying the striker from converting a great one-on-one opportunity.St Johnstone were struggling to create any clear opportunities and Graham Cummins' tame header on the half-hour mark was the first time away shot stopper Connor Ripley was called into action.At the other end, Marvin Johnson made ground down the left and squared to McDonald, who unleashed a great effort from 25 yards which only just missed the top corner.Motherwell continued to press and Ainsworth was not far away with a powerful strike from the edge of the penalty area.The Saints finally found some rhythm prior to half-time

First, a Joe Shaughnessy long throw found its way to MacLean at the far post and the forward fired a powerful effort towards goal, which Ripley impressively repelled with a reflex stop.Just before the break, MacLean twisted and turned at the edge of the area and got another shot away, which Ripley dealt with more comfortably as Ian Baraclough's men went into the interval with a one-goal lead.Motherwell started the second half strongly when good interplay between Moult and McDonald set up Keith Lasley to shoot over the bar before Ainsworth saw his attempt deflect just wide of the near post after a twisting run.St Johnstone responded and came close when a powerful header from Cummins' grazed the crossbar and then Chris Millar failed to find the target with a presentable chance from 18 yards out.The hosts found an equaliser on 63 minutes with a well worked team goal

Substitute David Wotherspoon had an immediate impact and fed Cummins, who in turn squared for MacLean to tap home from a yard out at the far post to score in his second straight match.Tommy Wright's men suddenly had all the momentum and Wotherspoon was just off-target with an effort of his own before the playmaker's cross set up MacLean to glance a header wide.Motherwell threatened when Johnson's shot forced Mannus into action, but the away side were struggling to stem the constant flow of pressure from St Johnstone, who took the lead in the 79th minute.A storming run from Michael O'Halloran saw him beat Joe Chalmers and force his way into the penalty box before laying it on a plate for MacLean to convert his second and put the Saints in front.Any chance of an equaliser disappeared for the away side when Jake Taylor, who had already been booked mid-way through the first half for preventing a quick free-kick, was shown a second booking after referee Craig Thomson adjudged he had dived in the box

Source : PA

Source: PA