Motherwell secured their first three points of the 2020/21 Premiership season with a 1-0 win over St Johnstone on Saturday afternoon.
The hosts were the quicker out of the blocks in the behind closed doors game at Fir Park, with Allan Campbell driving forward and firing home an ultimately decisive first goal from the edge of the box inside five minutes.
The game was short on quality thereafter with both teams largely relying on set-pieces for sightings at goal.
St Johnstone huffed and puffed throughout the second half, but ultimately fell short as ‘Well recorded their first win of the campaign.
1. Pressure eases on Robinson
A defeat today would have seen the ‘Well manager severely under the pump ahead of their fixtures against Aberdeen and Rangers.
However, the Ulsterman will sleep easier tonight knowing his side have their first win under their belt.
It wasn’t pretty from the hosts, who have plenty of work to do at both ends of the pitch.
Yet, three points was the main goal and Robinson’s men finally got over the line this week.
They remain at the foot of the table due to Hamilton’s win over Livingston, but should now take some confidence into their Europa League qualifier against Coleraine on Thursday.
2. Campbell’s quality shines through
Several of the home players put in strong shifts, including Tony Watt. The forward is still searching for his first goal of the campaign, but he showed some nice touches in the first half and worked hard before being substituted in the second period.
Mark O’Hara also deserves a mention for keeping the dangerous Craig Conway quiet and using the ball well from his defensive midfield position.
Yet, it was Allan Campbell who made the difference.
The bustling midfielder picked up where he had left off with Scotland U21s by driving forward and firing a fine shot beyond Elliot Parish into the bottom left corner in just the fourth minute.
He stepped up to the mark to take the heat off Motherwell’s goal-shy forwards and brought a calm energy in midfield thereafter.
Campbell’s stock continues to rise and he was well worthy of his Man of the Match award.
3. Saints short on killer instinct
St Johnstone have started the season relatively well and should have been full of confidence following their win over St Mirren last time out.
However, they started the game poorly and were forced to change their gameplan when Campbell netted inside five minutes.
Callum Davidson’s side were afforded plenty of possession but although they didn’t create much from open play, they had more than enough opportunities to get something from the game.
Free headers from set-pieces were squandered either side of the interval and the shaky Ricki Lamie presented the visitors with several opportunities through unforced errors.
The most clear-cut fell to Stevie May in the 65th minute, but the substitute could only scuff his finish wide when through one-on-one with Trevor Carson.