Saints 3-3 Motherwell

Last updated : 24 October 2009 By Stuart Gillespie
It was all going so well. We were dominating the game, playing the sort of attacking, flowing many people have been calling for, and a couple of goals up. Then we switched off, let Motherwell pull one back and there was only going to be one winner after that. Fortunately, Motherwell could only find an equaliser and we still got a point. I'd have taken it before the game, but it was disappointing to blow a two goal lead.

Mind you, it was difficult against 12 men. Stevie O'Reilly seemed to be on a different planet for much of the 90 minutes, making a series of bizarre decisions in Motherwell's favour. Chief among them was a penalty - but I'll come on to that one later.

There was just one change to the Saints side that had beaten Falkirk, with Tom Brighton replacing the injured Craig Dargo. The opening quarter of the game was relatively dull, Andy Dorman barely testing John Ruddy with a couple of shots and Ross Forbes seeing an effort tipped over by John Ruddy. Things livened up a bit when Ruddy was at full stretch to palm away another Dorman effort and jack Ross shot over before something rather odd happened.

A Motherwell attack broke down and Saints were suddenly on the counter. Billy Mehmet flicked it into Brighton's pass, and he crossed the ball in for... Hugh Murray. The midfielder was clearly in nosebleed territory and must have pondered passing the ball back the way before deciding to produce a weak shot that just trundled into the net. A rare moment - he hadn't scored since we were fighting relegation in May 2007. And there was more to come from him...

Sadly, Brighton had to go off before the break after twisting his knee. He left the field on a stretcher, suggesting he may be out for some time. Higdon came on to replace him.

A relatively action free first half, but the opening minutes of the second more than made up for that thanks to Space Cadet O'Reilly. Motherwell won a corner and there were some pathetic appeals for a penalty when the ball hit someone's face. Then we were treated to some utter lunacy when Shuggy appeared to win the ball when tackling Jim O'Brien - outside the box - and O'Reilly gave a penalty. The Saints players and fans were furious, although booing O'Brien was a bit harsh - he hadn't dived and hadn't been looking for the foul. Murray and Dorman got booked for complaining and Forbes stopped laughing long enough to score the penalty.

This injustice fired Saints up and they started playing some good football when folk weren't slipping about on the pitch. Dorman had a shot blocked by Ruddy, although Higdon may have got in the way too, before the big striker produced a flick on from which Dorman restored the lead. Then something rather odd happened. Again.

David Barron played a ball out wide to Murray and with everyone expecting him to cross it, he fizzed a shot off the turf that managed to spin its way past Ruddy and into the net. He admitted later he was trying a cross, but it didn't matter - we'd scored three and Shuggy had somehow scored twice! For the stat fans, he hasn't done that since we played Clydebank in 2000!

It seemed too good to be true - and it was. Motherwell were given another dodgy free-kick by their good pal. We didn't deal with it, switched off and Lucas Jutkiewicz pulled one back. With 10 minutes left there was a debatable corner, and the same man scored again. We were in trouble and Forbes had a shot across the face of goal that flashed just wide. Mind you, we also nearly snatched a win - Stephen O'Donnell had a terrible shot that Steven Thomson almost managed to force in at the death.

We should have won this one, but some dodgy refereeing and defending saw it slip away. Still, it was an exciting, entertaining game - far better than our previous home draws!