McDiarmid Park was the latest venue to be treated to the Kevin Van Veen display as the Dutchman took his show on the road. In truth it was not a vintage performance from the striker, although there will be little to quibble with the stats that he continues to post.

His penalty in Perth ensured he marked his territory in Scotland as he penned his name into the record books after scoring in an eighth consecutive top flight game, thereby setting a post-war Motherwell record and new Scottish record in the Premiership era.

His goal was added by a Motherwell second as this game, forgettable for large chunks, drew to a close with Mikael Mandron and Blair Spittal exchanging passes before the former netted his first league goal for the club. 

Van Veen needed a bit of luck to get there but a haul of 26 goals for the Fir Park side this term would suggest there is more to his game than mere fortitude. Indeed, after his initial tame spot-kick when Stephen O’Donnell had been fouled by Andrew Considine and Remi Matthews saved his effort, he stepped up for a second bite - Matthews was judged to have been off his line - and calmly dinked an effort down the middle of the goal to show complete composure and confidence.

If his showreel will have the Fir Park boardroom rubbing their hands at the fee he may invite this summer, manager Stuart Kettlewell is irked at any suggestion of pastures new as he maintained that the striker is living firmly in the moment.

“Kevin played through an injury,” he said. “It’s with his foot and he didn’t train an awful lot through the week. If you’re not committed to the cause at this club then he’s chapping my door and telling me that he wants to sit at the side and not be involved.

“That never came across at any point. I think everyone could see that wasn’t his best day but he still comes up with another goal.

"Kevin van Veen has another year left on his contract so until such time as something changes then that's how the situation remains. Kevin doesn't speak that way, I don't speak that way, his team-mates don't, and we have a season to finish off as well. If we start thinking about what comes next then we give ourselves major, major problems.

“Undoubtedly he catches the headlines, we understand why, eight games in a row he has now scored, but he is very much committed to the cause, which everybody can see.

“The most pleasing aspect for me is probably the character that this team show, because it's very easy to think you are in holiday mode and very easy to think you can stroll through that game.”

For St Johnstone, the afternoon was much bleaker. They were toothless in the final third and had just one shot on target throughout the duration of the game.

It drags them firmly back into the relegation mire with this week an anxious one as they look to Saturday’s game against Kilmarnock at Rugby Park. Derek McInnes’s side could leapfrog them with a win, while Ross County’s victory at Tannadice yesterday means that the Highlanders, currently second bottom, are just three points off of catching the Perthshire side. The problems that have undermined their season and which Callum Davidson paid for with his job remain visible with the concluding weeks of this campaign requiring some strong stomachs from those of a Saints persuasion.

If it is a grim finale, interim manager Steven MacLean has insisted that they remain masters of their own fate.

“We aren’t really interested in the other teams,” he said. “It’s in our hands, we’d rather be in our position than the teams below us. We will go to Kilmarnock and be positive. The boys are disappointed but I will pick them up again. We will go down there and look to win the game.

“We just lacked that little bit of quality against Motherwell. We were the better side in the first half and got into good areas but we lacked that killer instinct. That final pass wasn’t there but we will analyse it.

“It wasn’t a lack of trying, it was just the final cross and that bit of quality.”