'Well beaten in Perth
Despite the backing of a mightily impressive travelling support Motherwell lost 2-0 in Perth to a St Johnstone side that will now join us in the Europa League next season.
The initial plan was that the travelling fans would occupy the extreme wing of the main stand but by kick off Motherwell fans also occupied a sizeable chunk of the Ormond Stand. Confusion reigned!
Three first team regulars were missing from the starting eleven. Randolph sat on the bench to give Hollis some action while Humphrey and Hateley were not even on the team sheet – reported as injured in Saturday’s training session. Kerr and Ojamaa filled the gaps.The 'Well crowd needed extra accommodation!
The bumpy pitch gave both sets of players problems with control and most of the for first half the play was squeezed into the middle 50 yard of the pitch with few goalmouth incidents. Law had chance in 5 minutes but his 15 yard attempt flew high. St Johnstone had the ball in the net but the assistant’s flag ruled it out.
After much fruitless huffing and puffing, the Saints opened the scoring. Following a spell of pressure that included a hit on the post and a corner Craig blasted a low drive from 25 yards. It came through the crowded area and beat Hollis at his left hand post.
We almost levelled as the fourth official indicated the added time. Hidgon headed a corner on target and the ball was knocked to the six yard line by Mannus, Ojamaa’s snatched effort cleared the bar.
The home team, bouyed by the half time score at Dingwall, started the second period on the front foot and inside two minutes Hasselbaink turned inside the box to claim the second goal of the afternoon with a well placed shot to the corner of the goal.
Our showing had a definite ‘end of season’ appearance. We were too pedestrian and lacked pace, especially on the flanks. With an hour gone McCall threw on Higginbotham and McHugh for Carswell and McFadden in an attempt to turn the game but the change had little effect. The home team continued to dominate and the game could have ended as a contest had Davidson’s terrific strike dipped by a couple of inches instead of cracking off the bar.
Daley replaced the stale Ojamaa for a final charge but the afternoon deservedly belonged to the Saints. Let’s hope both teams enjoy their respective European tours.
The fans gave their favourites a warm farewell and now all that remains is to await the outcome of the cup final to determine when we start the new season.
Sunday 19 May 2013 1245
St Johnstone 2 Motherwell 0
Motherwell : Hollis, Kerr, Hutchinson, Ramsden, Hammell, McFadden(McHugh 61), Lasley, Law, Carswell(Higginbotham 61), Higdon, Ojamaa (Daley).
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