A lovely Scott Tanser strike gave St Mirren a hard-fought 1-0 win over Motherwell at Fir Park, as the hosts were left frustrated that their performance was not rewarded with any points.

Here are the talking points as the soaring Saints go marching on...


Sometimes, especially away from home, you have to dig in and do the dirty work to get a result. And Stephen Robinson’s men are masters of the art.

They may feel that referee Matthew McDermid gave them the rough end of the stick with more than a few calls, mind you, but when there was a foul to be made to break up the game or halt a Motherwell offensive, then the men in black were more than prepared to carry it out.

They picked up five bookings in all for offences ranging from tugs to trips to timewasting, but they all contributed to Saints getting over the line and doing a job on Motherwell for the second time in quick succession, having put them out of the Viaplay Cup by the same scoreline.

“I’m delighted with the result and we showed great character and togetherness to grind it out,” said Robinson.

“We weren’t at our best by any stretch of the imagination, especially in possession of the ball.

“We started off well, but it became scrappy and Motherwell were the better team for the remainder of the half.

“It was the same second half, we went 1-0 up and then some of the defensive displays...Alex Gogic is playing with stitches in his head and stopping everything. Zach Hemming makes a super save on to the crossbar.

“Against Aberdeen, we were brilliant but didn’t get the three points. Here, we weren’t at our best on the back of boys flying in from all over the world. But we got a result, and that’s the sign of a good team.”


Motherwell’s flying start to the season is all the more impressive when you factor in the issues they have been having up top, with injuries to new arrivals Mika Biereth and Conor Wilkinson leaving them with only Theo Bair and deadline day signing Oli Shaw to choose from in the striker’s position.

It was Bair who was given the nod here, and while the big man held the ball up well enough and was full of endeavour, his finishing is less than clinical.

It was he who missed the best chance for the hosts, Blair Spittal sending him in on goal with a clever reverse pass, only for the forward to pull his finish inches wide of the far post.

His replacement, Shaw, was also guilty of squandering a huge opportunity moments after coming on. Harry Paton was the creator this time, forcing the ball through to him inside the area, but his finish was weak and gratefully scooped up by Hemming.

They almost got a deserved leveller late on as substitute left-back Georgie Gent crashed a brilliant effort off the face off the crossbar via the fingertips of Hemming, but it was a frustrating day in the end for the Steelmen.

“Anyone who was there would have seen that we were by far the better side, I don’t think there’s any point in kidding ourselves on about that,” said Motherwell manager Stuart Kettlewell.

“But I give St Mirren full marks in the sense that they got something to cling on to.

“I thought we were the better side in the first half, though maybe not as fully dominant as we were in the second half. You guys watch the game the same as I do.

“That’s not to make an excuse, I kind of get fed up sometimes when I hear people saying ‘we were the better side’, so we need to do more in some aspects, whether that is converting a chance or the one moment where we switch off to stop a cross from (Ryan) Strain, who has got obvious quality.

“But I have to say that that was probably as well as we’ve performed since I came to the club in February, I genuinely believe that.

“In and out of possession I thought we were excellent, but again, it’s all excuses isn’t it? We’ve lost the game of football.

“I’ve said it to the players there, we can’t become a side who plays like that, and doesn’t pick something up from the game.

“I genuinely mean it, I would have been disappointed with a point, such was the dominance in the second half especially.”


The Australian right-back has been such a rich source of assists for the Saints and he got another to his name here as his brilliant deep delivery to the back post picked out Tanser to volley home and break the stalemate here 10 minutes into the second half.

His manager Robinson said recently that other clubs clearly didn’t realise how good a player Strain was after managing to keep him in Paisley during the summer, and Motherwell clearly underestimated him too, giving him acres to measure his delivery from the right channel perfectly into Tanser’s late run.

They may not have been at their best, but with the quality of the likes of Strain in their ranks, Saints will always pose a threat.