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Page last updated at 16:52 GMT, Saturday, 7 February 2009

Motherwell 1-1 St Mirren

By Andy Campbell

St Mirren midfielder Andy Dorman
Dorman (left) gave St Mirren the lead at Fir Park

Stephen Hughes earned Motherwell a Homecoming Scottish Cup replay with a second-half leveller against St Mirren.

Andy Dorman rounded goalkeeper Graeme Smith and fired the visitors into the lead after 12 minutes.

Hughes levelled for Motherwell in the 65th minute with a powerful shot past Mark Howard.

After withstanding more Motherwell pressure, St Mirren could have won the tie in injury time when Scott Cuthbert had a close-range shot saved.

Motherwell striker David Clarkson was put through on goal by Keith Lasley in the opening minutes but the striker's shot from the left-hand side of the boz was claimed comfortably by goalkeeper Mark Howard.

The home side then had the chance to put the St Mirren defence under pressure with a set piece but Marc Fitzpatrick headed over from Stephen Hammell's inswinging cross.

Saints took the lead when Billy Mehmet slipped a pass through to Dorman who evaded Hammell and goalkeeper Graeme Smith before stroking the ball into the net.

Well went in search of parity but were frustrated as Clarkson and Maros Klimpl had shots blocked.

St Mirren goalkeeper Mark almost presented Motherwell with a chance to level when he failed to claim Hughes' header across goal but the danger was cleared.

Motherwell midfielder Stephen Hughes
Hughes' leveller ensured the tie went to a replay

Jim O'Brien then required treatment after being caught by Howard, who had come out to the edge of his box to clear the ball.

On-loan Celtic striker Cillian Sheridan was handed his Motherwell debut at the start of the second half as a replacement for Lasley.

Hugh Murray was caught in a challenge with Sheridan and received treatment off the pitch.

Hughes drove at the St Mirren defence but, after evading three players, the midfielder could not find a team-mate in space as Sheridan was flagged offside.

At the other end, Mehmet set up Murray for a shot 25 yards out but the ball bobbled just in front of the St Mirren captain before he shot high and wide.

Jim Hamilton and Mehmet combined on the edge of the box but, from a promising position, the latter shot well wide.

Motherwell began to dominate possession but were unable to create meaningful chances until Hughes' leveller.

Clarkson crossed for Sheridan, whose shot was blocked by Howard but the ball broke back to Hughes, who lashed it high into the net.

Well continued to press but were again struggled to creat openings against a resolute St Mirren.

And Saints almost secured a passage to the quarter-finals when Cuthbert met Steven Robb's inswinging free-kick only to see Graeme Smith claim the ball.

The two sides will meet again at St Mirren Park on Tuesday 17 February.

Motherwell manager Mark McGhee:
"We struggled in the first half after we lost the goal, we couldn't get any rhythm at all.

"In the first half when our play was breaking down, it was largely to do with the pitch. It slowed down our play.

"We reshaped at half-time and it worked better. Cillian Sheridan made a great contribution.

"Stephen Hughes came up with a terrific finish, which we were grateful for.

"It would've been hard on St Mirren had we got a winning goal.

"It will be another very, very close game and I think it's hard to call. It will be something small that will separate us."

St Mirren manager Gus MacPherson:
"It was an extremely disappointing game. The conditions certainly played their part.

"Mistakes were maybe the feature of the game, because of the pitch.

"We took the lead and we're slightly disappointed that we weren't able to hang on to it.

"We'll need to look again at the goal we lost. It's really just a basic throw-in which has cost us dearly.

"We're delighted still to be in the cup. We won't take anything for granted.

"We know we're going to be in for another tough game against Motherwell and hopefully we can make that home advantage count."

Motherwell: Graeme Smith, Quinn, Craigan, Reynolds, Hammell, Lasley (Sheridan 45), Klimpl, Hughes, O'Brien, Clarkson, Fitzpatrick (Darren Smith 62).
Subs Not Used: Krysiak, Sutton, McGarry.

Goals: Hughes 65.

St Mirren: Howard, Ross, Potter, Cuthbert, Robb, McGinn (Thomson 76), Murray, Dorman, Brady, Hamilton, Mehmet (Brighton 90).
Subs Not Used: Smith, Wyness, McAusland.

Booked: Mehmet, Hamilton.

Goals: Dorman 12.

Att: 5,695

Ref: C Thomson

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see also
Scottish Cup photos
07 Feb 09 |  Scotland
Scottish Cup as it happened
07 Feb 09 |  Scottish Cups

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