St Johnstone 0, Motherwell 2
Corr, Keogh, Quinn (Higgins), Kinniburgh, Hammell, McBride, Fagan, Fitzpatrick (Wright), Paterson (Connolly), Hamilton, McDonald (Clarkson).
Sub not used: Alexiou.
Motherwell scorer: McDonald (2).
WELL ENOUGH IN RESERVE
Saint Johnstone 0 Motherwell 2
AN UNDER-STRENGTH MOTHERWELL Comfortably won this Friendly encounter at McDairmid Park in front of 1035 fans. Although most of the victorious CIS Cup Squad were rested, those who did play certainly did their chances of regular first-time action no harm, especially the impressive David Keogh.
The home side were first to show when Corr had to look smart to hold an angled Dobbie shot, the striker latching onto a forward ball from the one trialist on show. Bagan then played a forward ball in the direction of Moore who appeared to carry the ball out, though the Linesman decided that Kinniburgh had instead knocked it behind. However, Kinniburgh was strong in the challenge and cleared the corner. Motherwell's first chance arrived shortly afterwards; Fitzpatrick ran onto Paterson's ball but fired wide. Seconds later the Fir Parkers attacked again, McDonald played Hammell wide and he in turn found McBride. The ball ran on for Keogh but Samson held his deep cross. Pouncing on a loose ball was the home trialist and he half-volleyed an effort wide of the far post with Corr covering. Jim Hamilton then played a ball to McDonald and although he was blocked Hammell picked up the loose ball to chip over. Saint Johnstone attacked next and Moore next to fire a 25-yard shot well over. A foul by Bagan on McDonald gave Motherwell a free kick around 30 yards out shortly afterwards. McBride was unable to keep his effort on target. However, Motherwell made their next chance count, and it was a terrific goal. From a Hammell free kick Hamilton laid the ball off for McDonald and he brilliantly finished from 20 yards out. From a free kick given when Fotheringham went down easily under minimal Fitzpatrick pressure, Moore appeared to push Kinniburgh but a corner was awarded. A push by Rutkiewicz on Corr was spotted and a foul given.
Kinniburgh then slipped allowing Dobbie a chance but he failed to hit the target. A neat one-two involving Hammell and McDonald almost produced another opening but Maxwell did well to clear. Willie Kinniburgh was forced to concede a corner moments later but Rutkiewicz headed over. A shot from the home trialist, running onto a cross from Moore, was then comfortably saved by Samson. Under pressure from McDonald, Fotheringham conceded a corner. The ball was zipped along the 6-yard-line by McDonald but it went to safety. The trialist for Saint Johnstone then combined with Moore to find Bagan whose shot troubled no one. Following a corner which Paterson won for Motherwell, Sean Fagan had a chance 25 yards out but he was crowded out. Then Fotheringham handled a through ball, Hammell took the free kick, but Samson held firm. A late offside flag denied McDonald when he looked to have sprung the offside trap. Corr was then called into action when he had to hold a free kick given after Moore had gone down. Paterson, combining with McDonald, then won a corner but perhaps could have done better with options inside. Superb work from Quinn denied the trialist a moment later when he forced the midfielder wide when through onto a Dobbie ball. Just before the break McDonald had an appeal for a free kick on the edge of the box denied when he was felled by a rough Maxwell challenge.
Half Time Saint Johnstone 0 Motherwell 1
A half-time change by the home side saw Forsyth on for Fotheringham, whilst also replacing Sheerin with McAnespie. Saint Johnstone came out a good deal more determined and fashioned a few early chances. The trialist found Moore who was denied by Kinniburgh at the expense of a corner. Moore then saw a pass blocked but as it fell to Bagan he fired well over the bar. Quinn was unlucky to see his clearance strike Hammell and go for a conrer, but the defence dealt with the ball well. Dobbie then went on a run towards the box though Kinniburgh, defending stoutly, cleared the danger. A stray pass back from former Motherwell man David Cowan then almost had Samson in trouble, the keeper managing to get back before the ball went over the line. Bagan played a dangerous ball along the box a minute later forcing Hammell to knock behind for a corner. Soon after Saint Johnstone had another, this time the clearance fell to McAnespie who screwed his shot high and wide. On the hour mark the home side made a double change, Hannah and McCann replacing Bagan with the trialist also making way. They had hardly been on the park when Motherwell scored the decisive second goal. A strong pass by Rutkiewicz gave McAnespie no time to react. McDonald, lurking nearby, pounced on the loose ball and bore down on Samson before finishing with aplomb. The home side tried to respond, McAnespie firing well over the top after being set up by McCann. Also sending the ball well past was Moore as he again was put in a shooting position by McCann from midfield. Another home change had Rutkiewicz hauled off in place of Anderson, with Motherwell making their first change as goal hero McDonald went of in favour of David Clarkson. Teammate Kinniburgh was again solid in defence dealing with a Moore ball into the box. Hamilton then flicked on for Clarkson but he was caught by a very late, and somewhat dubious, offside flag.
Tuesday night's hero Marc Fitzpatrick was then subbed by Kenny Wright. Getting to the by line was Clarkson and his low cross was well punched away by Samson in goal as Fagan hovered. In any other game Moore would have seen yellow when he kicked the ball away having conceded a free kick, but Referee MacKay chose to warn him instead. Not so lucky was Maxwell who was booked for a hefty tackle on Kenny Wright. From the free kick Motherwell won a corner, and as it was cleared to Fagan he shot wide. Paul Quinn was adjudged to have had his foot too high in a challenge with McAnespie, but the free kick went wide. The home support was angry when Hamilton, climbing on the shoulders of Moore, had a free kick given against him when they howled for a penalty. Consulting the linesman, the Referee decided the offence took place just outside the box. From the free kick the ball was deflected for a harmless corner. Motherwell looked to add to their lead, and Hammell played Wright wide but the ball for McBride was blocked. Finding himself in a bit of space was Dobbie but he sent a poor effort over the top. Late changes for Motherwell saw Quinn and Paterson replaced by youngsters Chris Higgins and Kenny Connolly.
Full time Saint Johnstone 0 Motherwell 2
Match Report by Ricky Mullen