Nothing could separate St Mirren and Motherwell as the pair played out a 0-0 draw.
Jonathan Obika and Devante Cole had the best openings of a match few in clear chances as both sides take a point towards their respective aims, Saints now two points clear in sixth while the Fir Park club sit five points above bottom spot in the Scottish Premiership.
Barry Maguire’s shot from range and Tony Watt’s cutback to no takers was all there was to discuss in the first half. It was a gritty affair where neither team managed to use their attacking outlets to full effect.
Motherwell may not have been too fussed with this after losing 4-1 and 3-0 in their last two matches. They looked noticeably more comfortable in defence but St Mirren needed to do more to put pressure on them.
Pre-match, it looked like a battle of the walking wounded. Motherwell were missing almost a full squad of players including key men like captain Declan Gallagher while St Mirren had Kristian Dennis and Eamonn Brophy out, alongside Jamie McGrath and Jake Doyle-Hayes.
But Jim Goodwin sprung a surprise and implemented the latter two from the start as Allan Campbell beat illness for Graham Alexander and Stephen O’Donnell returned from suspension. Not even the introduction of key players could spring the first half into life.
Obika started the second half brightly for St Mirren and forced the first big save of the match out of Liam Kelly, his short-range effort well-saved by the QPR loanee. Campbell went up the other end with two half-chances as the first five minutes of the second 45 provided promise.
Niggly fouls given by Nick Clancy were breaking this game up, much to the frustration both managers, Alexander having to cool his frustrations after a first half booking.
The game had opened up a bit with Motherwell having more of the chances through Jordan Roberts on a couple of occasions and Cole had one cleared off the line late on as Goodwin’s team venture forward too. But the first half’s stalemate nature had crept into the second half and neither team found the winner. Here are three things we learned.
Both teams headed into this one with several key stars missing but there were signs that injury fears were beginning to clear. Doyle-Hayes and McGrath returned in two boosts for Goodwin, both vital in his midfield.
Meanwhile in the other engine room, Campbell shook off an illness and boosts numbers in that area while new signing Steven Lawless was on the bench. Motherwell still have the likes of Gallagher, Bevis Mugabi, Liam Grimshaw and many more out.
Saints frustrating ‘Well
That’s now six games without a victory over St Mirren for Motherwell. This one was perhaps the least exciting in this run of games but Goodwin’s team have certainly found a way to limit the Steelmen recently.
This bucks the consecutive defeats for Motherwell and perhaps more importantly, it was through a good defensive display. They could have been doing with three points but Alexander will be satisfied with a point. Having conceded seven in their last two fixtures, it’s a confidence booster for the ‘Well.
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