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Page last updated at 16:52 GMT, Saturday, 26 December 2009

Motherwell   1 - 3   St Johnstone

Peter MacDonald
MacDonald scored the first hat-trick in the Scottish Premier League this season

A Peter MacDonald second-half hat-trick gave St Johnstone a well-deserved league win away to Motherwell.

Steven Jennings headed in the opener in the 39th minute for the hosts after good work from Yassin Moutaouakil.

In the 54th minute, MacDonald fired in from the back post after good work by Chris Millar, then added an identical strike three minutes later.

He completed the first league hat-trick this season with 20 minutes remaining, heading in from Millar's curving cross.

Motherwell boss Jim Gannon made four changes from the 6-1 defeat by Rangers last weekend, with club captain Stephen Craigan, winger Jim O'Brien and striker John Sutton all returning, while midfielder Keith Lasley was handed his first start of the season.

St Johnstone made one change to the team that beat St Mirren last weekend, with Murray Davidson in for Filipe Morais.

Following a slow start, the game sparked to life in the 15th minute when John Sutton worked his way into St Johnstone penalty area and fired for goal, but keeper Graeme Smith deflected the danger.

Moments later, St Johnstone striker Kenny Deuchar should have done better with a shot that Steven Saunders managed to block.

Deuchar and Motherwell's Steven Saunders became involved in a tussle in the penalty area, which ended with the former Gretna man kicking Saunders in the head.

However, referee Craig Conroy awarded a bewildering free-kick to the visitors despite claims for a penalty from the home crowd.

As the half-hour mark passed, Chris Millar blasted in a shot from the edge of the Motherwell penalty area that tested John Ruddy.

Motherwell should have taken the lead in the 35th minute after Smith could only parry Sutton's header from a Tom Hateley free-kick, but Jutkiewicz could not connect with the goal gaping and Keith Lasley ran on to hit the post from three yards out.

O'Brien attempted to lob keeper Smith as the half-time whistle approached, but the Bellshill man managed to tip it over for a corner to Motherwell.

Jennings scored his first goal for Motherwell with a fine header from a Moutaouakil cross to give the home side a slim lead as the teams turned in for the break.

Immediately after the re-start, Ruddy spilled a Liam Craig shot, but managed to collect at the second attempt to maintain Motherwell's advantage.

Five minutes later, Dave McKay skied a quality opportunity over the bar as St Johnstone pressed for an equaliser.

MacDonald restored parity in the 54th minute, blasting in from the back post after Millar set him up, levelling the scores and regain a foothold on the match for the visitors.

Three minutes later, he netted his second - almost a carbon-copy of the previous goal - to give St Johnstone a well-deserved lead.

He netted his third with a fine header from the back post for the first hat-trick in the Scottish Premier League this season, and St Johnstone's first ever hat-trick in the competition.

Sutton headed off the post as Motherwell attempted to claw their way back, then Saunders had shot saved by Smith saved.

With five minutes remaining, Craig sent a close-range strike from deep inside the Motherwell penalty area that driftyed wide of the target.

Motherwell failed to mount a significant challenge as the minutes ticked away, despite a late effort from Saunders, and St Johnstone held on to claim maximum points.


Motherwell manager Jim Gannon:
"I don't think we ever had the game under control.

"You go in at half-time leading at 1-0 and hope the lads can go out and play competitively to see the game out, but it never looked that way in the second-half.

"The frailties and weaknesses have been there for a long time. There's not much you can do as a manager, you just try and coach and pair them as well as you can, but often you feel like you're juggling soap.

"We could play any formation with any group of players and we wouldn't keep a clean sheet.

"It's just the culture at the club at the moment.

"There's not enough players with physical and mental strength who can keep clean sheets."

St Johnstone striker Peter MacDonald:
"It's good to get three goals, but I'm more delighted with the three points.

"We needed them, as the first-half wasn't good enough, and the gaffer let us know.

"You could see straight from kick-off, we were right in about them.

"If the team is playing well, the goals come.

"It's just good to be back playing. The gaffer gave me another chance and put a bit of faith in me, so I'm glad he did.

"Derek is a top-notch manager, so it's no wonder teams are looking at him."


Live text and stats

 

Saturday, 26 December 2009

Scottish Premier

Home Team Score Away Team Time
Motherwell 1-3 St Johnstone FT
(HT 1-0)
  • Jennings 39
  • MacDonald 54
  • MacDonald 57
  • MacDonald 70

Motherwell

  • 21 Ruddy
  • 02 Moutaouakil
  • 04 Reynolds
  • 05 Craigan
  • 43 Saunders
  • 08 Jennings
  • 14 Lasley (Murphy 60)
  • 24 Hateley
  • 09 Jutkiewicz (Humphrey 71)
  • 11 Sutton
  • 17 O'Brien (Slane 65)

Substitutes

  • 01 Fraser,
  • 03 Hammell,
  • 29 Page,
  • 07 Humphrey,
  • 33 Meechan,
  • 15 Murphy,
  • 45 Slane

St Johnstone

  • 25 Smith
  • 02 Irvine
  • 03 Grainger
  • 12 MacKay
  • 18 Gartland
  • 04 Morris
  • 07 Millar
  • 14 Moon (Craig 46)
  • 20 Davidson yellow card
  • 16 MacDonald (Morais 84)
  • 17 Deuchar (Milne 46)

Substitutes

  • 01 Main,
  • 24 Anderson,
  • 10 Craig,
  • 22 Morais,
  • 34 May,
  • 37 Durnan,
  • 09 Milne
Ref: ConroyAtt: 4,140
MOTHERWELL
ST JOHNSTONE

Possession

  • Motherwell 56%
  • St Johnstone 44%

Attempts on target

  • Motherwell 6
  • St Johnstone 7

Attempts off target

  • Motherwell 4
  • St Johnstone 5

Corners

  • Motherwell 6
  • St Johnstone 5

Fouls

  • Motherwell 7
  • St Johnstone 11
  • Final Result
  • Full Time
  • 90:00+3:04 The final whistle goes and the game is over.
  • Correction - 90:00+1:49 Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Chris Humphrey played to the near post, Close range shot by Steven Saunders clears the bar.
  • 90:00+1:49 Chris Humphrey takes the outswinging corner, Steven Saunders has a headed effort from close range and clears the bar.
  • 90:00+0:31 Liam Craig decides to take a short corner.
  • 89:56 Filipe Morais takes a short corner.
  • 87:15 Corner from left by-line taken by Chris Humphrey.
  • 85:45 Liam Craig takes a shot. John Ruddy makes a save.
  • 84:44 Shot by Liam Craig from deep inside the penalty area misses to the right of the target.
  • 83:19 David MacKay restarts play with the free kick.
  • 83:19 Substitution Filipe Morais is brought on as a substitute for Peter MacDonald.
  • 83:19 Unfair challenge on David MacKay by John Sutton results in a free kick.
  • 80:57 The free kick is swung in right-footed by Tom Hateley, Liam Craig manages to make a clearance.
  • 80:57 Booking Murray Davidson is cautioned.
  • 80:46 Foul by Murray Davidson on Tom Hateley, free kick awarded.
  • 78:29 The ball is delivered by Chris Humphrey, Steven Saunders takes a shot. Save by Graeme Smith.
  • 78:02 Corner taken by Chris Humphrey played to the near post.
  • 76:27 The ball is swung over by Yassin Moutaouakil, Header from inside the area by John Sutton bounces off the post.
  • 75:24 Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Liam Craig from the right by-line, save by John Ruddy.
  • 71:44 Tom Hateley takes a outswinging corner to the near post, clearance made by Chris Millar.
  • 70:40 Substitution Lukas Jutkiewicz goes off and Chris Humphrey comes on.
  • 69:35 Assist by Chris Millar.
  • 69:35 GOAL - Peter MacDonaldMotherwell 1 - 3 St Johnstone Peter MacDonald grabs a headed goal from inside the six-yard box. Motherwell 1-3 St Johnstone.
  • 65:55 Murray Davidson gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Tom Hateley. Direct free kick taken by John Ruddy.
  • 65:15 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Murray Davidson by Steve Jennings. David MacKay restarts play with the free kick.
  • 63:59 Substitution Jim O'Brien leaves the field to be replaced by Paul Slane.
  • 63:39 Unfair challenge on Stephen Craigan by Peter MacDonald results in a free kick. John Ruddy restarts play with the free kick.
  • 61:58 Effort on goal by Daniel Grainger from deep inside the penalty area misses to the right of the target.
  • 59:22 Substitution Jamie Murphy is brought on as a substitute for Keith Lasley.
  • 57:31 Chris Millar gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Jim O'Brien. Free kick taken by Stephen Craigan.
  • 56:39 Assist by Jody Morris.
  • 56:39 GOAL - Peter MacDonaldMotherwell 1 - 2 St Johnstone Peter MacDonald scores a goal from deep inside the penalty box to the bottom left corner of the goal. Motherwell 1-2 St Johnstone.
  • 55:27 Keith Lasley takes a shot. Save made by Graeme Smith.
  • 53:43 The assist for the goal came from Chris Millar.
  • 53:43 GOAL - Peter MacDonaldMotherwell 1 - 1 St Johnstone Peter MacDonald finds the back of the net with a goal from close in high into the middle of the goal. Motherwell 1-1 St Johnstone.
  • 52:24 Shot from close range by David MacKay clears the bar.
  • 51:43 Steven Saunders gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Steven Milne. Liam Craig takes the free kick.
  • 47:53 Lukas Jutkiewicz fouled by Gary Irvine, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick crossed right-footed by Tom Hateley from left wing.
  • 45:32 Liam Craig takes a shot. Save by John Ruddy.
  • 45:01 The second half begins.
  • 45:01 Substitution Liam Craig on for Kevin Moon.
  • 45:01 Substitution (St Johnstone) makes a substitution, with Steven Milne coming on for Kenny Deuchar.
  • Half Time
  • 45:00+0:23 It is the end of the first-half.
  • 39:44 Effort from deep inside the area by Chris Millar clears the bar.
  • 38:39 Yassin Moutaouakil provided the assist for the goal.
  • 38:39 GOAL - Steve JenningsMotherwell 1 - 0 St Johnstone Steve Jennings grabs a headed goal from inside the box. Motherwell 1-0 St Johnstone.
  • 38:27 The ball is sent over by Yassin Moutaouakil,
  • 37:51 Foul by Peter MacDonald on Steven Saunders, free kick awarded. Stephen Craigan restarts play with the free kick.
  • 35:08 Effort on goal by Lukas Jutkiewicz from inside the penalty area goes harmlessly over the bar.
  • 33:35 Graham Gartland concedes a free kick for a foul on Lukas Jutkiewicz. Tom Hateley fires a strike on goal direct from the free kick, save by Graeme Smith.
  • 31:54 Tom Hateley takes a outswinging corner from the right by-line played to the near post, Strike from close range by Lukas Jutkiewicz clears the bar.
  • 31:24 Foul by Kenny Deuchar on Stephen Craigan, free kick awarded. John Ruddy takes the direct free kick.
  • 30:52 Daniel Grainger takes a inswinging corner.
  • 30:16 Shot by Chris Millar from 18 yards. Save made by John Ruddy.
  • 27:39 Unfair challenge on Jim O'Brien by Gary Irvine results in a free kick. Tom Hateley delivers the ball from the free kick right-footed from left wing, free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on David MacKay by John Sutton. Graeme Smith takes the free kick.
  • 26:44 Steven Saunders challenges Graham Gartland unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Graeme Smith.
  • 26:00 Jim O'Brien takes the inswinging corner, save made by Graeme Smith.
  • 25:11 Graham Gartland gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Lukas Jutkiewicz. Direct free kick taken by Stephen Craigan.
  • 21:51 Jim O'Brien takes a shot. Graeme Smith makes a save.
  • 19:33 Murray Davidson has an effort at goal from outside the penalty box missing to the wide right of the goal.
  • 17:11 Unfair challenge on Graham Gartland by John Sutton results in a free kick. Graeme Smith takes the direct free kick.
  • 15:49 Kenny Deuchar takes a shot. Steven Saunders gets a block in.
  • 14:58 John Sutton takes a shot. Save made by Graeme Smith.
  • 14:05 Foul by Daniel Grainger on Lukas Jutkiewicz, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Yassin Moutaouakil.
  • 13:05 Gary Irvine takes the inswinging corner, clearance by Steve Jennings.
  • 6:19 Steven Saunders challenges Peter MacDonald unfairly and gives away a free kick. The free kick is swung in right-footed by Gary Irvine.
  • 3:36 Jim O'Brien is caught offside. Graeme Smith takes the free kick.
  • 0:00 The referee gets the game underway.

Live text and data provided by The Press Association.



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Scottish Premier results

26 Dec 2009 23:59 UK


Scottish Premier table

Saturday, 26 December 2009 17:23 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
Full Scottish Premier table
1 Rangers 16 25 37
2 Celtic 17 18 36
3 Hibernian 16 14 32
4 Dundee Utd 16 6 28
5 Hearts 17 -3 20
6 Motherwell 17 -7 20
7 St Johnstone 17 -6 19
8 Aberdeen 16 -6 18
9 Hamilton 16 -11 16
10 St Mirren 16 -7 14
11 Kilmarnock 17 -10 14
12 Falkirk 17 -13 12

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