Much had been expected of the 20-year-old when he returned to St Johnstone in the summer after two prolific seasons on loan at Alloa Athletic and Hamilton Academical and so far he has let down nobody.
In front of the watching Gordon Strachan, May scored his ninth goal of the campaign, early in the second half of this surprisingly one-sided affair, eight of which have come for St Johnstone and the other on his first start for the Scotland under-21 side earlier this month. With the national coach due to name his squad for next month's friendlies against the USA and Norway the clamour for May's inclusion will surely grow should he continue this vein of form.
"When Stevie plays with that energy, mobility and tempo then he's a real livewire," said Tommy Wright, the St Johnstone manager. "I'm just pleased he's improving. He's got another goal inside the six-yard box. He's renowned for his shooting outside the box and getting a lot of goals for distance. We want him to continue to improve his link-up play, and get more goals in the box. If he continues to do he'll go to the top of the game."
It capped a good week for the player who also extended his contract with the Perth side by a further year, until 2015, presumably more to increase his transfer value once he inevitably moves on rather than in any real expectation that he will remain with St Johnstone until that date.
"There was never going to be a problem with the contract when a player wants to stay, the club wants him, his advisers want him to stay and everyone around him wants to stay," added Wright. "It just took a little bit of time to sort out one or two things. Let's hope he's here for a while and we don't sell him in the summer - unless it's for a lot of money."
If May's goal was opportunistic, the striker bundling in the rebound after Gary McDonald's overhead kick had been saved, the second goal that ensured St Johnstone victory was one Gunnar Nielsen will be keen to forget. The Motherwell goalkeeper scurried from his line to try to prevent Simon Ramsden's pass back from going out for a corner only to end up slipping on the sodden turf. The attendant Nigel Hasselbaink was quick to capitalise, fizzing a shot into the empty net from a tight angle. It summed up Motherwell's luck on a day when they were far from their best.
"The second goal killed us but I don't think we did enough to merit anything," said Stuart McCall, the losing manager. "We're naturally disappointed as it was an uncharacteristic performance. We had a few words after the game but I have to think about the bigger picture. We had disappointing games last season and still ended up finishing far better than we would have thought."
The only disappointment from St Johnstone's point of view was that there were not more there to see them move into the top half of the league table. If every day is indeed a school day then there will have been more than a few in Perth and Motherwell whose Gaelic came on a bundle yesterday. Only 2449, St Johnstone's lowest home crowd of the season, braved the incessant rain and wind to traipse out to McDiarmid Park, the prospect of watching the match on BBC Alba from the warmth of their living rooms perhaps dissuading more from joining them. Throw in the unappealing kick-off time - 4.05pm on a Sunday - and the attraction of Chelsea playing Manchester City live on satellite TV, and perhaps the biggest surprise was that so many turned up, rather than so few.
With Frazer Wright suspended and Steven Anderson injured, Wright was forced into fielding four full-backs across his defensive line but they were rarely tested. Only once did they look beaten and it came midway through the first half. John Sutton seemed certain to score as he got between Dave Mackay and Gary Miller to latch on to Ramsden's hanging cross but his header drifted wide of Alan Mannus' goal.
Nothing really clicked for Motherwell. Granted, St Johnstone were hardly operating a shoot-on-sight policy either but they did at least carry more of an attacking threat. By half-time they had conjured up a number of near things. Paddy Cregg had an early stab that spiralled wide, before May thrashed in a shot that also failed to hit the target and had another goalbound bash deflected for a corner.
The striker, however, would not be denied early in the second half as St Johnstone deservedly moved in front. Nielsen did well to keep out McDonald's effort but the rebound fell kindly for the 20-year-old, who slipped it beyond the goalkeeper at his back post. That sparked a raft of half-chances at either end. Stephen McManus deflected Hasselbaink's shot narrowly past his own goal, Miller headed over, before Bob McHugh had Motherwell's first chance of the half with a drive that sailed over the crossbar. When Shaun Hutchinson then headed Iain Vigurs' corner into the arms of Mannus you suspected it was not going to be Motherwell's day, a hunch confirmed when Hasselbaink sealed the win.