Saints pick up a point on the road

Saints pick up a point on the road

St Mirren picked up a point at Fir Park after Marcus Fraser's first goal since October 2021 was cancelled out by a Theo Bair equaliser for Motherwell.

Fraser's first-half header had Saints ahead, but Bair levelled for the hosts with just over 15 minutes remaining to grab a share of the spoils. 

Ryan Strain returned to the starting eleven as he made his first appearance since November. James Bolton also returned from injury after breaking his hand before the international break, while Toyosi Olusanya came in from the start. That meant Charles Dunne and Conor McMenamin dropped to the bench with Ryan Flynn not in the squad. 

The hosts started brightly and went close to opening the scoring on just four minutes when Georgie Gent got in down Saints right-hand side but saw his low effort pushed on to the post by Zach Hemming. Fraser then made a vital defensive intervention on 10 minutes to ensure Blair Spittal couldn't hit the target after being found on the end of a cut-back. 

But Saints almost hit the front just a minute later when Olusanya used his strength to outmuscle Gent to get his shot away. His effort was blocked by the feet of Liam Kelly before Strain's follow-up was deflected into the 'Well goalkeeper's arms. The Buddies should have gone ahead on 15 minutes when Strain's free-kick cracked off the bar and came back out to Mandron, but he headed on to the bar as well before Motherwell managed to deal with the danger.

Stephen Robinson's side would hit the front three minutes later though when Fraser got his head on the end of a corner to nod beyond Kelly and score his first goal of the season. 

Marcus Fraser celebrates after goal against Motherwell (Image: David Henderson)

Marcus Fraser celebrates after goal against Motherwell (Image: David Henderson)

Saints could have doubled their lead on 34 minutes after the ball fell kindly in the box to the unmarked Scott Tanser but he fired his effort high and wide. Olusanya then had a big opportunity in the final moments in the half when he was found by Tanser, though he couldn't get enough of a connection on his strike which allowed Kelly to gather. 

It was Olusanya again who had a good chance to extend the lead only to be denied by a brilliant defensive block by Dan Casey that helped turn the ball wide. 

Keanu Baccus and Conor McMenamin were introduced just after the hour mark and the former came so close to making it 2-0 with a curling effort from the edge of the area that went inches by the post. 

Those missed opportunities would come back to bite when Theo Bair levelled the scores on 74 minutes. The Canadian forward managed to get in beyond the Saints defence to tap home a Stephen O'Donnell knock down. 

Saints would look to try and grab a winner with substitute Jonah Ayunga forcing a save from Kelly after a low drive on 80 minutes, but the Buddies would have to settle for a point that keeps us five points clear of seventh place Hibernian heading into the final two matches before the split. 

Full-Time: Motherwell 1-1 St Mirren

St Mirren: Hemming, Bolton (Taylor 29), Gogic, Fraser, Strain (Bwomono 46), O'Hara (c), Boyd-Munce (Baccus 61), Tanser, Kiltie, Mandron (Ayunga 78), Olusanya (McMenamin 61)
Subs Not Used: Urminsky, Dunne, Kwon, Scott

Motherwell: Kelly, McGinn, Casey, Devine (Mugabi 64), O'Donnell (Blaney 87), Zdravkovski, Gent, Spittal, Halliday (Miller 64), Vale (Nicholson 84), Bair
Subs Not Used: Oxborough, Shaw, Moses, Ross, Butcher

Referee: Matthew MacDermid
Assistant Referee: Sean Carr
Assistant Referee: Alastair Taylor
Fourth Official: Peter Stuart
VAR: Grant Irvine

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