Motherwell have endured a week to forget with Wednesday night’s hammering against Celtic swiftly followed up with a 2-1 defeat to St Johnstone at Fir Park this afternoon.

Mark McGhee’s side squandered a 1-0 goal after Chris Cadden had broken the deadlock just minutes after the interval, but his opener was cancelled out by goals from Danny Swanson and Steven MacLean.

It was an afternoon that will give Craig Samson, the Motherwell keeper, nightmares after he was nutmegged for the opener after Swanson had cut inside before he then parried a Chris Kane effort directly into the path of MacLean for what proved to be the winner.

In what had been a drab opening period, Motherwell arguably had the best of the chance of the game. Marvin Johnson had looped across the face of goal but as Lionel Ainsworth slid in at the back post he just missed connecting.

Prior to that, St Johnstone had shaded the majority of possession with the Perth side almost nabbing a comical opener when Ben Heneghan’s clearance had cannoned off of Stephen McManus before rebounding out of play.

Chris Millar and Steven MacLean tried their luck from distance but there was little of note for either team.

As the second period got underway Murray Davidson was given a warning by referee Euan Anderson after a late swipe on Chris Cadden, but the Motherwell striker exacted revenge almost immediately after when he stuck the ball in the back of the net.

It gave Motherwell the impetus – which proved to be short-lived – to dominate the game, with Scott McDonald drawing a fine save from Alan Mannus, while Johnson had also seen a shot go wide.

The game turned, though, when St Johnstone got themselves back into it through Swanson’s leveller and the Fir Park side failed to heed the warning signs. Within minutes Chris Kane had collected from Swanson and dragged a shot wide of the post with only Samson to beat, but it proved to be a stay of execution for Motherwell.

With 15 minutes remaining they found themselves chasing the game after MacLean beat Samson from close range.

Mark McGhee’s side pressed to find a leveller - substitute Dom Thomas lashed a half-volley just over the bar as the game drew to a close but there was no way back for Motherwell.